Cars can get a bad case of fleas, just as dogs and cats can. Considering fleas enjoy feasting on humans, these annoying insects can make driving a nightmare.
To get fleas out of your car, you can try various DIY techniques, such as sprinkling salt in your car or setting up flea traps. If your car has a severe infestation of fleas, you may need to hire an exterminator.
Want to learn more about how to get fleas out of a car? Keep reading and check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
How to Get Fleas Out of Your Car
1. Sprinkle Salt Around Your Car
One of the cheapest and most natural ways to get rid of fleas in your car is to use salt. The only downside is that you’ll have a car full of salt for a couple of days.
Regular table salt does the job. You want to use fine salt, so do not use rock salt. Sprinkle the sodium chloride around your car and try to focus on areas that have a higher concentration of fleas. Be careful not to put salt in hard-to-reach places, or you may need a professional to clean your card afterward.
Once you finish covering the interior of your car with salt, let it sit for a couple of days. As a dehydrating agent, the salt will kill adult fleas. After a few days, you can then begin to clean up your mess. Use a vacuum to suck up the salt and then a wet cloth to clean up any remaining residue.
2. Use Boric Acid as an Alternative
If you don’t have salt at home and for some reason have boric acid instead, you can use boric acid as an alternative.
Like salt, boric acid is a small white compound. It has the same dehydrating properties that salt has and will kill adult fleas that have infested your car.
Place the boric acid around your car and let it sit for a couple of days. You’ll need to use more caution when using this acid because it can cause skin irritation when you touch it.
To be safe, it’s a good idea to put on a pair of gloves and safety glasses to keep the hydrogen borate out of your eyes. As you would with salt, use a vacuum to clean up the boric acid (preferably a commercial one that you’d find outside a car wash).
Where Do You Buy Boric Acid?
It’s a little bit more challenging to find boric acid. Both superstores and apothecaries sell it. It’s incredibly cheap; you can get a few pounds of it for around $10.
3. Set Up Flea Traps
Flea traps are an effective way to kill fleas in your car passively. Most flea traps use light or color that attracts the insects and subsequently traps them in glue.
The average trap can attract these pests from up to 30 ft. away, so you only need a few of them in your car.
The only caveat to flea traps is that they tend to move around when you’re driving. Therefore, you should place flea traps under your seat or in other secure areas where they are less likely to move.
You also need a power source for most flea traps, limiting the amount you can put in your vehicle.
How Much Do Flea Traps Cost?
Flea traps are a bit more expensive than mouse and cockroach traps. Flea traps have a light and a cord that connects them to either a USB or wall outlet. On average, a flea trap costs $20.
4. Place Hedge Apples in Your Car
A non-traditional trick to get rid of fleas is to place hedge apples in your car. “Hedge apples?”
Also called “horse apples,” this green and bumpy fruit helps to repel fleas and other bugs. Before placing these unique apples in your car, you’ll want to cut them into a few slices to unleash their orange peel aroma.
Where Can You Buy Hedge Apples?
You can buy hedge apples at a variety of grocery stores, including Target and Walmart. If you don’t mind paying a bit more, you can also buy them directly from farmers online.
When Are Hedge Apples in Season?
Hedge apple season lasts from the beginning of July until the end of October.
5. Buy Flea Spray
Almost any big box store sells flea spray products – most of which contain certified organic oils or non-toxic chemicals that kill fleas on contact.
You’ll want to make sure to buy “home” spray, not spray for fogs. Some flea sprays are exclusively for carpet, which is perfect if you have a community of fleas living in your car rugs or seats.
Most flea sprays don’t have a strong smell, especially if they contain natural ingredients. However, it’s best to spray flea spray a few hours before driving.
Since fleas are often hard to spot, you will want to spray in every crevice and crack of your car, ensuring you kill every last insect.
How Much Does Flea Spray Cost?
You can buy flea spray for $10 to $40, depending on the size of the bottle and the type of ingredients. Using a spray is much more affordable than hiring an exterminator.
How Often Should You Use Flea Spray in Your Car?
At a minimum, you should use the spray a couple of times a week, or at least until you stop seeing fleas. Except for leaving behind a slight scent, flea sprays should not do any damage to your vehicle.
6. Use a Flea Fogger
Foggers are available on Amazon and in a variety of stores such as Lowe’s and Walmart. Using a fogger is easy – just release the cap, and the fogger will fumigate throughout your car, killing fleas and other insects on contact.
Before using a fogger in your car, you’ll want to make sure to open all of the interior compartments, such as the glove box.
Try to remove as much as possible from your car and leave your windows up. One fogger should do the job, but you can complement the first go with two or three other rounds.
Most products are non-toxic and will not leave a smell. However, after the can is empty, you should open your windows and let your car air out.
To prevent a mess inside your car, look for foggers advertised as “non-staining.” Most of these insect killers don’t just kill on contact as a bonus – they continue to kill fleas for a few months after the initial use.
7. Vacuum and Steam Clean Your Vehicle
Consistently vacuuming and steam cleaning your vehicle is a good practice, with or without fleas.
Since fleas can escape many household vacuums and steamers, it’s best to use commercial-grade equipment. For the best cleaning tools, head on over to your local car wash or hire a professional.
Vacuuming your car removes fleas, eggs, and larvae that will soon turn into fleas. Even if you don’t rid of all the fleas in your car, vacuuming disrupts their habitat.
Once they’re out of the habitat and cocoons, fleas and their eggs are more suspectable to flea-killer products and will die quicker than when they’re left untouched.
8. Hire an Exterminator
As a last resort, you can hire an exterminator to get rid of the fleas in your car. The average cost of a flea exterminator ranges from $75 to $400.
In most cases, you should be able to fix a flea problem with help. However, if you have a massive invasion, hiring an exterminator is one of the best options. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs in just one day, so a minor flea problem can quickly spiral out of control. Hiring an exterminator will ensure that you do not miss any fleas.
Do Exterminators Have to Treat Your Car Multiple Times?
Most exterminators will come twice – once for the initial visit and then a second time for a follow-up appointment. The price you pay typically includes both visits.
How To Keep Fleas from Entering Your Car
It’s much easier to prevent fleas from entering your car than it is to get rid of them. If you follow a few painless rules, fleas won’t invade your vehicle in the first place.
1. Keep Your Pets out of the Car
Both your cats and dogs can bring fleas into your car. Taking rides with furry friends is one of the number one reasons that people get fleas in their vehicles. If you have no other option, you should keep your pet in a kennel and not allow it to roam freely throughout the car.
Now, instead of locking your pet in a kennel, you should take precautions to ensure it doesn’t get fleas in the first place. You should put your pet on flea prevention, bathe it regularly, and be cautious of letting it explore forested areas.
What if you accidentally bring a pet with fleas into your car? Immediately clean your vehicle after the dog or cat gets out of the car. After a thorough clean, spray your vehicle with flea killer. A flea-stricken pet won’t guarantee an infestation in your car, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Clean Your Vehicle Often
Maintaining a clean vehicle is a great way to keep fleas and other pests out of your car. Fleas enjoy feasting on humans and animals, but they’ll also eat vegetables and dead insects. Therefore, you should vacuum your car once a week and make sure to throw away food.
It’s also a great idea to wipe down your car using a cotton rag. Try to clean hard-to-reach places where fleas are hiding. Moreover, you should pay someone to detail your vehicle a couple of times per year, depending on how dirty it is.
3. Don’t Drag Grass and Leaves into Your Car
Be cautious of dragging the ‘elements’ into the car with you – grass, leaves, and bark. It’s common for fleas to live in tall grass and wooded areas, so always do your best to keep nature out.
4. Treat Flea Problems Inside Your Home
If not treated, flea problems inside your home can quickly make their way to your car. You should routinely vacuum floors, furniture, and mattresses to prevent dragging fleas in your vehicle.
It’s also a good idea to wash your clothes often. You should avoid bringing from your house inside your car, especially items that fleas are likely to nest in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about how to get fleas out of car? Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of Fleas?
Getting rid of fleas can cost as little as $5 if you do a DIY solution or up to $300 if you hire an exterminator.
Can Fleas Bite You?
Yes, fleas can bite humans and cause skin inflammation. Fleas carry diseases, including the plague and typhus, but the chances of getting an infection are slim.
Can Fleas Damage Your Car?
Except for causing a mess, fleas won’t damage your car. However, if you want to make sure you use the right flee remover products to ensure you don’t cause damage to your vehicle while trying to get rid of the fleas.
Are Flea Killers Toxic?
Flea killers are usually not toxic, especially at-home remedies or natural products. You can even spray a handful of products directly on your pet. Nonetheless, we recommend allowing your car to air out before driving it again.
How Do You Spot Fleas in Your Car?
Once they start to amass in hoards, you should have no problem concluding that you car has a flea infestation.
The average flea measures between 1.5 to 3.2 mm in length, so they’re not easy to spot. You may also notice what looks like coffee grounds scattered around your car. This coffee-like substance is flea dirt (otherwise known as flea feces).
Say Goodbye to Fleas
The above techniques are effective ways to say ‘goodbye’ to fleas and reclaim your vehicle from these grimy bugs. However, even if you get rid of fleas, you should continue to practice good habits. Always keep your car clean, be mindful of pets riding in your vehicle, and keep flea traps in your car as a preventative measure.
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