If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with fleas, you know that these pesky insects are not only a nuisance but can also be difficult to get rid of.
While there are many products on the market that claim to kill fleas, one common question is whether or not these pests will succumb to the heat if left in a hot car.
A recent study set out to answer that question, and the results may surprise you. Technically, if the car reaches a high enough temperature around 100°F – 120°F, fleas will die. However, in order to achieve those temperatures, the car would have to be parked in direct sunlight with all the windows closed for an extended period of time.
It turns out that fleas are pretty resilient creatures. They can live and lay eggs in your car, especially in regulated temperatures.
Most adult fleas won’t survive temperatures more than 85°, but they should be exposed to the heat for at least 1 hour to ensure their death.
The eggs are a different story – they can withstand even higher temperatures. Eggs die when exposed to about 100°F for at least 30 minutes, but it is best to use a higher temperature if possible to be sure.
How to Kill Fleas Inside a Car
Fleas hide in your car’s upholstery, under the seats, and in the cracks of the floor matting. No matter how they got there in your car, you want them gone as soon as possible. Here are some tips on how to kill fleas inside a car:
Park in Direct Sunlight
Park your car in direct sunlight on a hot day. Close all the windows and doors and leave it for at least an hour. Keep the engine running with the air-conditioning turned off. Doing this will help to heat up your car to a temperature that will kill fleas.
This may not be the ultimate solution as it takes time for the car to heat up, and you may not be able to achieve temperatures hot enough to kill all the fleas. However, if you suspect that you don’t have a flea infestation, this method might just do the trick. Just make sure that nobody else is in the car as it can get extremely hot.
Vacuum Your Car
Sometimes, heat alone may not be enough to get rid of these pesky creatures. Aside from the fact that they are difficult to get rid of, they are also hard to spot and can reproduce quickly. This makes an investigation get out of control quickly.
When fleas invade your car’s interiors, start by vacuuming all of the upholstered surfaces and carpets. Pay special attention to any cracks or crevices where fleas might be hiding.
Once you have vacuumed the car, use a handheld steamer to kill any remaining fleas. The steamer will also help to get rid of any flea eggs that might be present.
Use a Flea Bomb
If you have a serious flea infestation, you may need to use a flea bomb. This is a device that releases insecticide into the air and can kill fleas quickly.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and evacuate the area for the amount of time specified on the product.
After using a flea bomb, you will need to vacuum the car again to get rid of any dead fleas. This method is usually a last resort as it can be dangerous if not used correctly. These can also damage your car’s interior if used too frequently.
What Causes Fleas Inside a Car?
Nobody likes finding fleas in their home, but finding them in your car can be especially annoying. The last thing that you want to happen is to make your car interior a breeding ground for these pests. But how do they get there in the first place?
Your pets the most common way that fleas make their way into your car. This can be a no-brainer, but if you have a pet that goes in the car with you, it’s likely that they might bring fleas into your car at some point.
Clothes & Shoes
Another way that fleas can get into your car is by hitchhiking on your clothes or shoes. If you’ve been around an area where there are fleas, they can easily jump onto your clothes and be transported into your car.
If you have passengers that get in your car, they might bring fleas with them without even knowing it. This is especially true if they have been around animals or areas where there are fleas.
A hot car, with a temperature of more than 100°F, is required to kill fleas in a car. A hot car parked in direct sunlight with all the windows closed can reach these temperatures.
By nature, fleas won’t survive in your car for more than 1 week if the area is clean and no pets to feed them are present. It’s safe to say that leaving a car unattended for about a week, even without extreme heat, the fleas won’t survive.
Otherwise, keeping your car clean, using a vacuum cleaner, and using a flea bomb are some additional methods you can do to kill fleas.
The key is to be diligent and consistent in your efforts to get rid of these pests. Otherwise, they will continue to come back and bother you and your passengers.