Fleas are tiny blood-sucking parasites that majorly by feasting on the blood of their hosts which are usually mammals and birds. Although fleas do not have a natural appetite for human blood if any of their favorite hosts like the dogs, hamsters, and cats we keep as pets get infested, they wouldn’t hesitate to feed on our blood.
Having a flea-infested cloth, carpet, or bedsheet is both annoying and unhygienic, and sometimes, it may require thorough fumigation to completely dissipate them. This may be a little bit difficult and time-consuming if you are inexperienced that you have to ask, “Does dry cleaning get rid of fleas?” because it would be way easier and faster.
This question as some other closely related ones will be our major focus in this overview, so keep reading.
Can flea live on cloth
No, fleas do not live on clothes. However, this does not mean that they cannot seek temporary shelter in your clothes or shoes, and usually, when they do, it is mostly for a very short period because it is not an ideal habitat for them to stay.
Fleas are parasites, and as a result, don’t like leaving their host body. This is because, they like to feed and nest under warm conditions, and that is why they prefer dogs’ and cats’ bodies because their furs will provide them with the warmth they require while they also feed on their blood.
On the other hand, before fleas could bite humans, they must have been hiding in their personal belongings, for example, clothes and shoes, for sometimes which is usually very short.
How did I get my clothes infested with a flea
Ideally, human blood is not fleas’ favorite meal, so ordinarily, they are not supposed to be in close contact with humans. But because humans keep their favorite hosts like dogs, birds, cats, hamsters e.t.c. whose bloods are their favorites meal as pets, then human-flea contact will be inevitable.
When human-flea contact occurs, it is mostly through clothes and this could most times when you call your flea-infested pet to sleep with you on your bed and some of the fleas ended up dropping on your bedspread. Or if you are the type that cuddles with your pets a lot, some flea may drop off their body and be transferred to your cloth in the process.
How long can flea stay on clothes
Fleas can only stay on clothes for just 24 hours and this happens mostly in messy situations like when you have a flea-infested cloth packed together with other cloth. In a situation like this, a female flea with eggs can lay them within this short period before they finally make their way back to their host body.
Does dry cleaning kill fleas
Yes, you can kill fleas by dry cleaning your cloth. It is advisable to either dry clean or hand wash any items in the house like cloth, carpets, shoes, beddings, that can be easily infested by a flea. This is because washing these items will help drown and ultimately kill them.
Although it is recommended to always use hot water because apart from helping to drown adult fleas, it will also kill their eggs and larvas, thereby completely exterminating them.
Can flea survive the washing machine
No, they cannot survive the washing machine. Fleas may look tiny and extremely vulnerable, but in reality, they are notoriously resilient and they may survive drowning. But if you run a flea-infested cloth or shoe through a washing machine in a hot cycle, they cannot survive.
If they can survive the extreme heat (which is likely not going to happen) they are most definitely going to die from suffocation due to the chemical compound present in detergents.
Do I have to wash all my clothes if I have fleas
Yes, you can wash all your clothes if you believe you have flea and you don’t seem to know which of your clothes is infested. Although, there are other ways you can get rid of fleas without having to wash your clothes. But of all other alternatives, clothe washing is the one of the most effective, less time consuming and most economical.
Will bagging clothes kill a flea
Yes, bagging flea-infested clothes will kill fleas. Fleas, just like humans and every other living creature require oxygen to stay alive. Therefore, when you have them bagged up, they are mostly going to die from suffocation due to low oxygen levels. Also, when they remain bagged, they will be completely deprived of access to blood and without blood, they may have difficulty completing lifecycle stages.
For example, a female flea may not be able to lay an egg without access to its first meal when it reaches the adult stage.
However, this is not an ideal way to kill fleas because it is highly time-consuming. Fleas can stay up to 3 months without access to a blood meal and also, it can take fleas 5 to 7 days before they finally suffocate from lack of oxygen. Apart from being a total waste of time, it is unhygienic.
How to get rid of fleas in clothes with dry cleaning
Getting rid of fleas on clothes using the dry cleaning method is pretty easy. You can follow the simple steps highlighted below to guide you through the whole process.
- Put your clothes in the washing machine and run through the normal wash cycle using hot water and any detergent of your choice.
- Withdraw your clothes after a complete cycle and load them in the dryer and put it at the highest temperature setting.
A complete cycle through the washing machine and the fry will help to get rid of the adult fleas and their eggs altogether.
How do I prevent fleas from investing in my clothes
Your clothes cannot attract fleas, and if it happens to be on them, it is most likely caused by your pets.
Therefore, the most effective way of preventing them is by treating your pets against flea infestation during flea seasons (warmer months). And also it is recommendable that you comb your pet’s bodily hair with flea combs after each outing.
Curious to know can dry cleaning remove coffee stains?
Dr Philip G Cox currently is a professor in Physiology in the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences which is part of the Hull York Medical School and the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. Dr Philip G Cox studied comparative mammalian functional morphology for the PhD in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.