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How Long Does It Take To Suffocate Fleas?

How Long Does It Take To Suffocate Fleas?

Fleas are tiny pests that can cause much trouble for pet owners and furry friends.

They feed on animal blood, and their bites can cause itching, redness, and other skin problems for their host.

When it comes to eliminating fleas, suffocating them is an effective measure. However, the question arises, how long does it take to suffocate fleas?


A flea’s life cycle is divided into three stages; egg, larva, and adult. Under normal conditions, adult fleas can live for about 8 or 9 months, whereas their larvae can survive up to two weeks.

When it comes to suffocating fleas, the time required to kill them also depends on the method used. The lifespan of adult fleas depends on several factors, including:

  • Oxygen supply.
  • Temperature.
  • Humidity.
  • The availability of a host.

This article will explore how long it takes for fleas to suffocate. So, let’s find out what the determining factors are when it comes to suffocating fleas.

Determinants of Suffocating Fleas

Determinants Of Suffocating Fleas

Fleas require oxygen to survive and remain active, like any other parasite or mammal.

Flea breathing is very different from human breathing. Fleas breathe through their bodies, not their mouths, as we do.

Humans have lungs, whereas fleas do not have lungs.

We use blood to carry oxygen to our cells, but fleas directly transfer oxygen to their cells.

1. Oxygen Supply

Oxygen Supply

Fleas are much better at surviving without oxygen than humans are. Therefore suffocating fleas will take time.

If they have access to clean air, they can survive for up to two weeks, even if they do not have a host.

Recent research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology states that fleas that live on burrowing animals die more rapidly than other fleas. This is because they don’t have enough ventilation in underground tunnels.

2. Temperature


Temperatures below 8 degrees Celsius result in the death of adult fleas. Fleas still developing, including their eggs and larvae, are slightly more sensitive to the cold and will perish at temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius.

Adult fleas die considerably faster when exposed to temperatures below freezing at -1 degree celsius. They will die within 5 days.

When temperatures rise by just about 7 degrees Fahrenheit above freezing, the lifespan of an adult flea virtually doubles, with a 10-day survival period at 3 degrees Celsius.

Fleas usually thrive in temperatures ranging from 32 degrees to 70 degrees Celsius.

3. Humidity


To survive, fleas require a humidity level of at least 50%.

Dehumidifiers can eliminate environmental moisture, which can help eradicate fleas organically.

Most adults, pupae, and larvae will die if the room humidity is below 50% for at least two days or longer.

The eggs will also not hatch but remain throughout the house.

You must vacuum, mop, or clean thoroughly to remove the eggs.

4. The Availability of a Host

The Availability Of A Host

Fleas require both air and a host to survive.

They can only survive without a host and air for one to five days.

However, they can live for up to two weeks if they have access to fresh air but no host.

Females, therefore, have up to two weeks to find a host and reproduce, even if they cannot do so during that period.


Remember, fleas are tough insects, so it can be hard to suffocate them.

Below we have outlined a few ways to suffocate them so you can get rid of them once and for all.

Ways To Suffocate Fleas

Ways To Suffocate Fleas

Using a vacuum cleaner to suffocate fleas is one of the most used techniques.

Fleas and their eggs can be promptly removed from the surroundings by the vacuum cleaner’s suction strength, which efficiently kills them. This procedure, which only takes a few minutes to complete, is considered one of the best ways to eliminate fleas.

Using plastic covers or sacks to suffocate fleas is another method.

This technique entails sealing a plastic bag around the infested object, such as a pet bed or furniture, and placing it inside. The fleas will finally die within the bag due to the lack of oxygen. However, completing this process can take a few hours or many days.

Fleas can also be put to sleep with pesticides and flea sprays.

These products contain substances that disrupt the fleas’ neurological system, resulting in paralysis and death. The time it takes for fleas to pass away after contact with these products varies. Still, in most cases, it usually takes between a few hours and a day.


In conclusion, suffocating fleas is an effective way to eliminate these pests. The time required to kill fleas depends on the method, ranging from a few minutes to several days.

Vacuum cleaners are one of the most efficient methods.

At the same time, plastic covers and insecticides are also effective but may take longer.

Suppose you are dealing with a severe flea infestation. In that case, it is advised to consult a pest control professional to determine the best action.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can Fleas Survive in Water?

It takes at least twenty-four hours for a flea to drown in water, even though it can survive there. This is why taking your pet swimming is not a practical solution to get rid of fleas.

Due to their wax-covered cuticles, which repel water and make them unwettable, fleas do not quickly drown.

Can You Suffocate Fleas in a Plastic Bag?

Fleas can be killed by bagging clothing and other articles made of fabric because they require oxygen to survive. Even in a vacuum bag, fleas can suffocate for five days, so you must be persistent and patient.

How Long Will It Take for Fleas To Die After the Flea Bomb?

The insecticide usually takes a few days to kill the fleas completely. To ensure no flea will survive, allow the residue to remain on the carpets and floors for at least 14 days.

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