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Signs You Have Fleas in Your Bed and How to Get Rid of Them

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

Fleas in your bed can be a major nuisance, causing discomfort and potentially spreading diseases. These small bugs drink the blood of animals, like pets and humans. If you find itchy bites on your skin when you wake up or see signs of these bugs in your bed, you need to do something about it. This article will show you how to tell if there are fleas in your bed, how they get there, and the best ways to get rid of them.

How Fleas Get Into Your Bed

Fleas can enter your bed in several ways. The most common way fleas tend to is through pets that spend time on the bed. When pets go outside, fleas can attach to their fur and hitch a ride back into the house. Fleas can also be brought indoors on clothing, luggage, or even through cracks in walls. Additionally, wildlife such as raccoons, opossums, and rats can carry fleas into your home, and these fleas can find their way to your bed.

The Signs You Have Fleas in Your Bed

It’s essential to be able to recognize the signs of a flea infestation early on. Not paying attention to the issue can cause bigger problems later on. Here are the key indicators that fleas might be sharing your bed with you:

Itchy Bites

One of the most noticeable signs of fleas in your bed is waking up with itchy bites on your skin. Flea bites may manifest as minor red bumps or groups of bites frequently observed around the ankles or lower legs. These bed bug bites can be extremely itchy and irritating.

Flea Dirt

Flea dirt, which is flea excrement, is another telltale sign of fleas in your bed. Flea dirt looks like tiny black dots and can be found on light-colored bedding. You can use a damp cloth or sock to test if it’s flea dirt. If it changes to a reddish color, it indicates the presence of flea dirt.

Pet Scratching

If you have pets that sleep or spend time on your bed, their excessive scratching can indicate fleas. Pets might scratch, bite, or lick their fur to help stop the itchiness from flea bites.

Visible Fleas

These are likely adult fleas if you see small, dark reddish-brown bugs with long hind legs hopping or jumping on your bed. Adult fleas are about 1 to 4 millimeters long and have a hard shell to protect their bodies.

Flea Eggs

Fleas reproduce rapidly, and one female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. These eggs are small, oval-shaped, and white. While they can be found on pets, they are more likely to be found in areas where pets spend time, such as bedding, floors, or furniture.

Flea Larvae

Flea larvae are the immature stage of fleas and resemble tiny white maggots. They feed on flea dirt and other organic matter found in their environment. These larvae may be crawling on your bed’s headboard or underneath the bed furnishings.

The Dangers of Fleas

Fleas can pose various risks to both pets and humans. They can transmit diseases such as flea-borne typhus, flea feces, and cat scratch disease. Pets with fleas may experience intense itching, hair loss, and even anemia due to blood loss from the feeding fleas. For humans, flea bites can cause itching, discomfort, and potential skin infections if scratched excessively. In individuals with allergies, flea bites can lead to a rash or allergic reaction.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Bed

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To effectively eliminate fleas in your bed, it’s essential to follow a comprehensive treatment plan. Here are the steps you should take to dead fleas:

Treat Your Pets

If you have pets, consult with your veterinarian about the best flea treatment options. They may recommend flea medication, flea collars, or other products to eliminate fleas on your pets. Treating all pets for fleas in bed in your household is crucial, even if they are not showing signs of fleas.

Wash Bedding and Linens

Remove all flea skin from bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and mattress pads, and wash them in hot water. Hot water kills fleas and their eggs. Use a high heat setting in the dryer as well to ensure that any remaining fleas or eggs are eliminated. It’s important to wash bedding at least once a week until all signs of fleas are gone.

Vacuum Thoroughly

Vacuum your mattress, bed frame, and surrounding areas to remove any fleas, eggs, or larvae. Pay special attention to seams, cracks, and crevices where fleas may hide. Use a crevice tool to reach difficult-to-access areas and bring fleas. Once you finish vacuuming, throw away the vacuum bag or empty the dust container into an outdoor garbage bin immediately.

Steam Clean

Consider using a steam cleaner on your mattress, carpet, and furniture. The high heat from steam can help kill fleas at all life stages, including larvae and eggs. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that steam cleaning is safe for your specific mattress.

Use Flea Treatments

If the flea problem is really bad, you might have to use a special spray or get experts to help you control the bugs in your home. Consult with a professional to determine the best course of action.

Preventing Fleas in Your Bed

Preventing fleas from infesting your bed is essential to maintaining a clean and comfortable sleeping environment. Here are some preventive measures against flea bites you can take:

  • Keep Pets Protected: Use flea prevention products your veterinarian recommends to protect your pets from fleas. Remember to regularly look over your pets to see if they have fleas. If you find any, treat them right away.
  • Maintain Cleanliness: Make sure to clean and vacuum your home often, especially where your pets hang out. This will get rid of flea eggs, young fleas, and grown-up fleas in your living areas.
  • Limit Outdoor Exposure: Minimize your pets’ exposure to areas where fleas are prevalent, such as tall grass, wooded areas, and areas frequented by wildlife. Consider using flea and tick prevention products when spending time outdoors.
  • Use Protective Covers: Consider using mattress encasements and pillow protectors designed to prevent fleas from infesting your bed. These covers create a barrier between you and any potential pests.
  • Inspect Secondhand Items: If you bring used furniture, rugs, or other items into your home, carefully inspect them for signs of fleas before bringing them inside. Fleas can hitch a ride on these items and infest your bed and home.

By doing these things to prevent fleas, you can make sure they don’t come into your bed or home. This will help you and your pets stay free from fleas.


How do fleas end up in my bed?

Fleas can be carried into your home by your pets, or they might hitch a ride on your clothing or belongings. Once fleas live inside, they can quickly infest your bedding.

Can I get fleas even if I don’t have pets?

Yes, although pets are a common source of flea infestations, you can still get fleas without them. Fleas can be brought indoors through various means, including on clothing or through gaps in windows and doors.

Can fleas transmit diseases?

Yes, fleas are known to transmit diseases like murine typhus and tapeworms. While the risk is relatively low, it’s essential to address a flea infestation promptly.

How can I prevent fleas from infesting my bed?

Regularly wash your bedding, vacuum your mattress and surrounding areas, and ensure your pets are treated for fleas. Additionally, consider using flea-prevention products for your pets.

Are DIY flea treatments effective?

DIY treatments can be helpful to some extent, but severe infestations often require professional pest control services to ensure complete eradication.

What steps should I take to eliminate fleas from my bed?

Start by thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming your bedding, mattress, and bedroom. Wash your bed bugs and linens in hot water, and consider using flea sprays or powders. If the infestation persists, consult a pest control professional.


A flea infestation in your bed can disrupt your sleep and cause discomfort. By recognizing the signs and taking action, you can regain control of your sleeping space. Remember to wash your bedding, vacuum your mattress, and use effective remedies to eliminate fleas. If the infestation is severe, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Enjoy a flea-free and peaceful sleep environment once again.


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