Does Steam Kill Fleas on Dogs?

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Of the many natural ways to eliminate fleas, steam is one of my favorite home remedies.

Using steam to kill fleas negates the need to use harmful chemicals making it safe to use around pets and children.

Though steam is a safe and effective way to kill fleas around the home, especially in carpets, rugs, and furniture, the real question is:

Does steam kill fleas on dogs?

Below we will explore the use of steam for getting rid of fleas, how to implement this method best, and the potential hazards of using steam for eradicating fleas.

Does Steam Kill Fleas?

Yes, steam is a useful way to kill fleas. It kills adults and larvae and may destroy some of the eggs.

Though steam is an effective method to kill fleas and larvae it does require multiple steam treatments to fully get rid of fleas.

Because it will not eradicate all of the flea eggs, it is necessary to treat the area a few times to ensure you have fully eliminated the fleas.

Dry vacuums are best for dealing with eggs, so once your carpets and floors are dry, it is best to run a dry vacuum over these surfaces to pick up any eggs.

Steam is great for killing fleas around the home, especially in hard to reach areas such as around baseboards and other cracks and crevices.

Additionally, when using a steam vacuum for getting rid of fleas, it has the added benefit of sucking up fleas, eggs, and larvae loosened in the process.

Unfortunately, steam does not repel fleas, but using steam regularly will help kill and eliminate future flea infestations.

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How Does Steam Kill Fleas?

Fleas start dying at temperatures of 95°F degrees[1], and residential steam vacuums range in temperatures from 150°F to 300°F, plenty hot enough to kill adult fleas and larvae.

However, the heat and humidity may also encourage flea eggs to hatch, so it is vital to re-steam the affected areas.

Using steam to get rid of fleas is ideal for use on furniture, cars, and drapes.

Be sure to tackle any areas of your home that your dog frequents, especially any dog beds too big to go in the washing machine.

But a steamer should never be used on your dog.

Though steam is a great way to kill fleas, it is not a safe method to use on your dog.

McCulloch MC1275 steam cleaner kills fleas in the home without chemicals

How to Use Steam for Fleas

Renting or buying a steam machine like the McCulloch MC1275 is perfect for taking care of fleas.

You will want to be sure to steam clean all furniture, carpets, floors, baseboards, and drapes, making sure to pay special attention to dark areas such as under beds.

Eggs can be destroyed by steam, but in the event they are not, they often hatch within three days, so steam vacuum 2-3 times the first week to be sure to kill any fleas that recently hatched.

Regularly steaming your home after the flea infestation has been taken care of will help keep from future reinfestations.

Caution

Though steam cleaning is a great way to eliminate fleas in the home, it can make insecticides less effective as it will dilute the chemicals.

So, if you have already used chemicals to treat the fleas in your home, it is best to use a dry vacuum instead of a steam vacuum.

For best results, it is best to steam clean first, then follow with an alternative safe flea method, such as baking soda or diatomaceous earth[2].

Benefits of Using Steam to Kill Fleas

The obvious benefit of using steam to kill fleas is that it does not use harmful chemicals, making it safe for the home.

However, in addition to being a safe choice, using steam has other benefits, such as getting rid of germs, mildew, allergens, dust mites, and mold.

Steam cleaning alternatives kill fleas on dogs coconut oil effective safe

Alternative Options to Kill Fleas on Dogs

Although steam is not a safe option for killing fleas on dogs, there are several safe alternative options:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, such as Viva Natural’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, is one of the safest and most effective ways to get rid of fleas on your dog.

When mixing coconut oil with your dog’s favorite shampoo, it kills fleas, larvae, and eggs within hours[3]. Additionally, when using coconut oil for fleas, it also helps heal any sores caused by flea dermatitis.

Also, coconut oil can be given to your dog orally to help kill and prevent flea infestations.

To learn more about using coconut oil to kill fleas on your dog, check out our article How to Use Coconut Oil on Dogs for Fleas.

Flea and Tick Treatments

Commercial flea and tick treatments such as Bravecto, Frontline Plus, and NexGard are all conventional and effective methods for getting rid of flea infestations on dogs.

Baby Powder

Baby powder is an effective and primarily safe way to kill fleas on your dog.

Because the baby powder is fine dust, it kills fleas by suffocating them; however, it does not kill eggs and pupae.

For more details about how Baby Powder kills fleas, click here!

Essential Oils

Essential oils, when properly used, are a safe method for eliminating fleas.

Plus, many of the essential oils also work to repel fleas in addition to killing them.

Check out our article Using Essential Oils to Kill Fleas for more information.

SaltWorks Ultra Epsom Salt effective dog flea killing alternative to steam cleaning

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt dries out fleas, causing them to die from dehydration.

Besides being a safe choice for getting rid of fleas on your dog, epsom salt is also an anti-inflammatory, is a topical antibiotic, and soothes irritated skin.

A good epsom salt for getting rid of fleas is SaltWorks’ Ultra Premium Epsom Salt.

Conclusion

So to answer the initial question, does steam kill fleas? Yes, steam kills fleas, but it should never be used on dogs. Steam is ideal for use around your home.

Though you shouldn’t use steam on your dog, there are plenty of other options available for getting rid of fleas on your dog.

And if you are dealing with a flea infestation, you must get rid of fleas both in your home and on your dog to avoid future issues with fleas.

FAQs

What Temperature Does It Have to Be to Kill Fleas?

A minimum of 95°F; however, higher temps are better, and most steam cleaners heat between 150°F to 300°F

Resources

  1. https://fleascience.com/flea-encyclopedia/life-cycle-of-fleas/adult-fleas/how-long-do-fleas-live-for/at-what-temperature-do-fleas-die/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/cha04.htm
  3. https://nextgendog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/34-ECTOPARASITICIDAL-EFFECT-OF-VIRGIN-COCONUT-Cocos-nucifera-OIL-SHAMPOO-IN-DOGS.pdf
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