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How to Get Fleas Out of a Couch

Fleas on the couch are a sign of trouble. Fleas feed on the blood of animals and humans and require a host to survive.

Fleas are often carried on the couch by pets such as cats and dogs. Fleas can be species-specific but even those carried by dogs can bite humans.

Getting rid of a flea infestation that settles on your couch is a lengthy process that requires patience and attention to detail.

Key facts

  • Proper vacuuming is required to eliminate fleas on the couch
  • Washing the cushion cover at high temperature kills all fleas
  • Washing the couch is recommended if its cushion covers can’t be removed
  • Heavy infestations can benefit from spray repellents such as essential oils to dray fleas out

Common ways to get rid of fleas on the couch

The couch is one of the most difficult areas to remove fleas from. Multiple hiding spaces, fabrics, and cushions are used as hiding spots which make fleas difficult to vacuum.

A combination of the following methods is best to efficiently remove fleas settled on your couch.

Vacuum the couch properly

A powerful vacuum cleaner is the first tool to consider against fleas on your couch. Diligent vacuuming covering all areas of the couch and the space underneath it is recommended.

Setting the vacuuming power on high is also best for vacuum cleaners with adjustable sucking power. Make sure you vacuum the couch diligently a few times and even consider repeating the process as fleas can jump around and escape vacuuming efforts.

Pro tip: fleas can jump more than 100 times their body length. Make sure you don’t miss them by not rushing through the vacuuming process.

Remove the cushion covers and wash them at a high temperature

Cushion covers are the most likely surface fleas to settle on. They may attach themselves to these covers and vacuuming them may not remove fleas or flea parts resulting from squishing while vacuuming.

Barely visible flea eggs laid around the couch are another good reason to wash the cushion covers. Flea eggs are white and measure anywhere between 2 and 5mm. They may be overlooked when vacuuming and may only be removed when the cushion covers are properly washed.

Pro tip: always wash the cushion covers at high temperatures. Fleas die when water is hotter than 95°F (35°C).

Consider adding baking soda

Baking soda is one of the natural cleaning agents used on couches. It may also be used against small bugs such as fleas.

The main benefit of using backing soda is that it quickly covers and helps you uncover fleas on your couch

Eliminating odors on the couch is the second main reason to sprinkle baking soda on the couch and vacuum it after a short period.

Fine baking soda can be sprinkled on the couch and vacuumed a couple of times in all directions, preferably by using the brush attachments of the vacuum cleaner.

Pro tip: Let the baking soda settle for 30 minutes before vacuuming if you want it to also remove odors.

Use an extractor cleaner to remove flea eggs

You can use an extractor vacuum cleaner to remove flea eggs if you cannot remove and wash the

You are a steam cleaner if couch cushion covers may not be removed cushion covers. These cleaners first inject water into your couch to also extract it and clean the fabrics just as washing.

Killing flea eggs with cold water is another reason to use extractor cleaners on the couch. Temperatures lower than 55.4°F (13°C) kill flea eggs.

Cold tap water is the best against any eggs they might have laid on the couch.

Pro tip: Leave tap water in the fridge for about an hour before adding it to the extractor cleaner to lower its temperature so that it kills fleas and their eggs.

Try a fogger

Foggers are one of the methods used to kill fleas at every stage of the life cycle, including their eggs. This method requires you to vacate the room the couch is located in for about an hour.

You need to close doors and windows before placing the self-operating spray next to your couch.  A single spray can be sufficient to kill all fleas. You still need to vacuum the couch after about an hour.

Pro tip: Orientate the fogger towards the couch so that the droplets it released fall on the eggs to kill them.

Place a flea trap on the couch

Flea traps are another complementary method to consider against fleas. You can place one on the sofa to attract and kill fleas on the spot.

Most traps use a type of light and heat to attract fleas. The limitation of these traps is that some fleas might still escape them, choosing not to move their location between couch cushions or from areas around the couch.

Pro tip: use flea traps together with other management methods as these traps may not eliminate all fleas on their own.

Use a flea spray

Flea sprays that include powerful chemicals such as tertramethrin can be sprayed on the couch to kill fleas. You need to direct the spray to fleas to kill them on the spot.

Alternatively, you can spray the entire couch even if you don’t spot any other fleas to ensure you kill all of them, together with their eggs.

Both chemical-based and plant-based flea sprays can be efficient against fleas, but vacuuming is still needed afterward.

Pro tip: Keep spraying the same spot for at least 5 seconds before moving to another area of the couch to kill all fleas

Consider essential oil sprays to get fleas out of their hiding spots

Various plant-based solutions also kill fleas. Some of them can also kill their eggs. Various essential oils are known to repel and even kill fleas.

Sprays with peppermint oil, lavender oil, cedar oil, or eugenol are among the typical natural mixtures in sprays that kill fleas.

You may need to spray an area multiple times so that you don’t miss any fleas and vacuum the couch afterward.

Pro tip: keep spraying the couch until damp so that you know the areas you’ve already covered.

Consider vacating the room for 2 weeks so that fleas die of starvation

Fleas don’t survive long without a host and a blood meal. They eventually die when stuck in a house without pets or humans.

Most fleas die within 14 days without food. You may decide to leave the house or simply close off the room the couch is in for 2 weeks for fleas to die on their own.

You can then brush and vacuum the couch normally when the fleas are dead.

Pro tip: Lower the temperature in the room when possible as fleas die in cold weather.

A step-by-step process to eliminating fleas from a couch

All of the methods above can be considered to kill fleas on the couch. However, fleas can also be prevented or dealt with on the spot before multiplying and taking over the couch. Here’s what to do to keep fleas out or to take quick action before they multiply indoors.

Start with daily vacuuming – daily couch and floor vacuuming is among the most beneficial methods of preventing fleas on the couch. This also ensures all existing fleas are quickly removed before they multiply on a human or pet host.

Use a thick vacuuming brush when vacuuming – vacuuming brushes are highly useful when cleaning the couch. Thick couch covers require larger brushes to bring out the fleas and their tiny eggs.

Remove and wash cushions – frequently removing and washing couch covers eliminates the risk of fleas. You should wash the couch covers frequently if you have indoor pets or if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Use deterrents such as essential oils – essential oil sprays on the couch are a deterrent to fleas. They jump away from the couch and the area of the strong fragrance essential oils are known for.

Ensure flea sources around the house are cleared – cats and dogs are among the first to carry fleas indoors and should always be checked for these sucking bugs. Dense vegetation around the house also carries the risk of getting fleas on your clothes and it needs to be regularly trimmed.

Invest in a dog bed and keep it clean – cats and dogs might also benefit from having their own bed, on the floor. A smaller bed for pets is easier to vacuum and wash and the risk of fleas spreading out to the rest of the house is considerably reduced.

Seal the vacuum bag by placing it in a zipped bag – a final step and a good general tip is to always place the vacuum bag in a plastic bag after vacuuming. This ensures any vacuumed fleas and eggs cannot escape.


Vacuuming is one of the easiest methods to getting fleas out of the couch. Washing the cushion covers is also recommended for any small eggs that might have escaped vacuuming. An extractor vacuum might be used on couches without removable cushion covers.