Getting Rid of Fleas in an Apartment

Category Fleas
Whether your pet has picked up fleas or they were resident in your new apartment before you moved in it can be a chore to get rid of them. This is a page about getting rid of fleas in an apartment.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I live in an 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment. I foster animals with a rescue and have never had any issues until my most recent lot of kittens. I currently have 7 foster kittens, 1 foster puppy, and my personal dog.

I have removed all of the animals and taped off my private unit and used 3 foggers, one in each bedroom and one in the living room. I have washed all of the bedding in my apartment along with buying a spray for my carpet, couch, beds, everything. I vacuum and flea comb all of the animals every morning and night. But when I comb the kittens I still get some fleas off of them.

I am giving them all meds today to kill anything on them, but I don't want to waste it if they are going to just jump right back on them. I have never dealt with this before and apparently I am not doing too great. What else can I do? I need them gone; I'm losing my mind. Do I contact the apartment office about it? Will they fix it? What else can I do? I don't want to keep wasting my money, but I want them gone!


August 23, 20190 found this helpful

Sprinkle salt or borax on carpets and vacuum. Empty bag outside. Vacuum vigilantly. Put anything that can be put in the dryer for 20 minutes to kill the fleas.

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May 26, 2013

I live in an apartment and on a fixed income. My dog is severly allergic to fleas. What is the cheapest way to get rid of fleas in my home and on my 60 pound dog?


By angels m


May 26, 20130 found this helpful

This link is one that has all the best solutions in one place. Do not do the yeast one though...that can cause major problems.

I use dawn as a bath, and sometimes if the fleas are really bad, I will use a mixture of baby shampoo and peroxide on wet fur and then let sit and then rinse off. I only let it sit a couple of minutes.

Find a food at a feed supply store, or at the grocery, which has no corn, soy, or wheat in it. I like diamond lamb and rice. Or Lamb Meal and Rice. This helps the animal not to be so attractive to fleas.

Sometimes what looks like fleas is really a yeast infection. Improving the food the dog eats is an important first step. Unhealthy dogs attract parasites of all kinds.


It has great ideas, just don't give your dog yeast tablets.


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June 2, 20130 found this helpful

I use Blue Dawn. It works great. Is gentle on my girls, two poodles, kills fleas on contact and is affordable. It has to be Blue Dawn. Be sure to start with your dogs neck to keep a barrier so the fleas don't run and hide in the ears and nose. Once there is a barrier around the neck the fleas are history.

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November 6, 2018

I just moved to my apartment. I have a cat that has never been outside and the apartment has fleas now. My neighbors say that previous tenants did not have pets. A stray cat stuck her nose into our home briefly for food and not long enough to be the one carrying a host. I have alerted the management and they are contacting the company they use however I will have to pay 75 dollars.


First question is should I be responsible? Secondly, my brother and his wife are stopping by to get me for dinner and want to come in and see my place. Should I postpone until this place is treated or since they will not be here but 10 min or less is it OK?

Please help. Thank you so very much.


November 6, 20180 found this helpful

This is complicated. So first, cancel your visit. I would not invite anyone in until the situation has been resolved. Safety first!

Second, even if the previous owners did not have a pet, is it possible they could inflitrated into your place from another apartment (if there are shared vents and others have pets that could be carriers).

Technically fleas can live for several months without a host, so it is possible they came in through a vent and came out when you and your cat moved in.


Who should pay? That could become a he said/she said if you have a cat with them saying your cat brought them in and you saying your cat never had fleas.

if you have vet bills showing your cat was healthy and never had fleas before, you could try to make a case that they were there when you moved in and your cat caught them there. Then you could ask them to pay the full amount since you should not have moved into a place that had an infestation.

If you can't show your cat was previously flea less (not everyone keeps all their paperwork, I get that), you may want to ask them if they will split the different with you, just for a good faith gesture....I doubt the visiting cat could have brought in fleas that fast, but you never know and if someone saw that happen they could say that was the carrier and it was your fault for letting it in.


Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck! Post back what happens.

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November 6, 20180 found this helpful

I would not have people come in to a flea-infested place. I dont think you have to pay. Landlords have to pay for that.

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November 7, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for taking time to answer. I am not letting anyone inside! I will have my cat at Vet 7am tomorrow all day. It is interesting as my cat Louie was acting weird suddenly here and licking and when I came home he was in the tub like he wanted to wash himself. I took the hint and got an ole washcloth and soaked it in hot water and rubbed his body and the relief on him. Oh me. This was AFTER he was treated by vet.

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November 7, 20180 found this helpful

Oh no. Your landlord should take care of that immediately. They are not part of your plan!

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December 20, 2010

What can I do myself to kill fleas or mites in my apartment?

By DCDC from NJ


August 28, 20050 found this helpful

We have 5 cats right now and a whole lot of fleas in our house. I'm going to be giving my cats baths all week and pick up that spot on flea treatment from the vets when I get paid on August 1st, but I need remedies for getting rid of them in my apartment. All 5 cats are indoor/outdoor cats.

I have a 14 month old son and our floors are linoleum. We have 2 couches. I gave the cats a bath last night and now I am going to give them one every night from now on and comb them out until i can get to the vets next week. Our orange tiger cat has tons of fleas, then we have 2 pure black cats, one black calico cat, and one dark grey cat.

Any advice would be great. The fleas are driving me nuts!

Lynn(kitty lady)

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December 20, 20100 found this helpful

Set a light on the floor; it must have a regular bulb that produces heat. Fleas are attracted to the heat. In front of the light place a white or light colored shallow container--even an old dinner plate will work. In this container put a mixture of water and dish soap. The fleas are attracted by the heat and the light color of the container. While fleas are strong enough to break the surface tension of water, they cannot break the surface tension of the soapy water. It doesn't take much soap, but it needs to be mixed into the water. Suds on top is too much soap. Empty daily until there are no more fleas. I used this when fleas came in from the condo next door and it worked quite well.

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January 16, 20160 found this helpful

get Moth Flakes and place them in the couch in the closet and on the floor in corners. If you have rugs crush them into the rug for 1 day then vacumn. another way is get flea dip mix it into your mop bucket water wash your floors down with the dip . let it dry. No fleas.

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January 16, 20160 found this helpful

several ways to get rid of fleas. My late husband was a vet and we used these tricks in our own home. #1. If you have non carpeted area get some flea dip friendly to your pets Dilute about 2 capfulsl in a bucket of water and wash the floors with the dip. Let it dry do not rinse. #2 if you have rugs get a flea shampoo and mix it into the water of your rug shampooer. and shampoo the rugs. vaccum and remove the eggs and the larve. repeat this after 14 weeks. #3 If you use foggers. you have to spray under the all furniture to treat then fog.
Save all your receipts and sue the landlord for not providing you with a clean apartment. Please note One pregnant flea lays 500 eggs. The eggs hatch in 14 days after you repeat everything in 14 days whether you see fleas or not. As for me I'm lazy. I shampoo my pets with a name brand flea shampoo ( no Hearts or Sergents) Adams , Vet Kem are great.When you lather you make sure you do the ears and the private areas first Fleas will hide run and hide there.. leave the shampoo on for 10 mins rinse rewash leave on for 10 mins rinse and last wash leave on for 10 mins and rinse you should not see fleas on the 3rd rinse. dry off the pet and take him/her out for 4 hours while you fog come back in 2 hours after you set off the bomb and air out the place for 2 hours.... Vaccumn in 2 days remember in 14 days repeat it. If you see white thing in there stool, those are tape worm segment from the flea.. no problem just worm the pets. the dead worms will be digested.

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October 19, 2017

There's been a flea infestation for many months. We've got 3 flats. Pros have done flea bombs and spray of some type. The 2 empty flats were successful, but the one I'm living in wasn't. I'm so stressed because they're in my towels and clothes. My house is spotless, as well. It is very disturbing. I tried Staykill twice, to no avail. Please advise me. Thank you.


October 19, 20170 found this helpful

Try a different product. Do it once and again 3 weeks later.

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October 19, 20170 found this helpful

One thing that fleas do not like is eucalyptus. You could use the essential oil in a diffuser, or even place sachets throughout your dwelling. I find that the smell of eucalyptus is a lot more pleasant than dealing with fleas, but that is my own personal preference. They also do not like black walnut leaves. When other products did not work, my mom would find someone with a black walnut tree and get some leaves, placing them in strategic locations throughout(like under couch/sofa cushions, in cupboards etc.) We never had flea trouble as long as we used these methods and they are a lot less toxic than sprays and bombs.

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October 23, 20171 found this helpful

Getting rid of fleas.

Step 1
Do you have a pet? If so wash everything they lay on or put in a hot dryer to kill eggs and fleas.

Step 2
Treat the dog with advantage or whatever the vet recommends.

Step 3
Sprinkle salt,or borax on carpets and vacuum everywhere you can.

Step 4
Put your vacuum bag in a tied bag outside.

Step 5
Keep humidity in room under 50 % for two days this will kill fleas.Get a dehumidifier or borrow one.

Step 6
Vacuum daily.Put your towels and clothes in a dryer for 20 minutes to kill fleas and eggs.

Step 7
Boil some lemons in water put in spray bottle when it cools.

Step 8
Spray around the house.

Step 9
Use 1/4 cup distilled vinegar to 3/4 cups water mix in a spray bottle.Spray all your fabrics this will get rid of them.

Step 10
There is more information at this link

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 20, 2010

If I use flea bombs to kill the fleas in my apartment will the fleas migrate over to the other apartments in my housing unit?

By Sherry from Danielson, CT


Fleas In An Apartment

Call your landlord and tell him/her of the problem and ask them to hire someone to get rid of them. (09/17/2010)

By Sherri

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September 14, 2010

I just moved to an apartment that is completely infested with fleas. I originally had asked the landlord to flea bomb as a precaution before I moved in. I knew the previous tenants had a dog. I myself have no pets.

She did, but I went into the the apartment the day after the bomb and I got attacked by hundreds of them all over my pants, inside my pants, on my back, in my hair, and on my face. It was a nightmare.

I'd already signed a lease and given my deposit before I knew of the problem. Yet still I had hope that more flea bombs would help. When I came back again I only got 2 or 3 on me. I figured that was normal. But I am still seeing them crawl out of my pant legs and jump on me. We have flea bombed 7 times, changed all the old carpets, and laid tiles. We had the whole house exterminated yet nothing works.

After each fogging they are still happily jumping around biting us all over. Its driving me insane. The exterminator is coming back sometime this week and I'm renting a steam cleaner. I'm beside myself because nothing is working. I've even vigorously salted all the rugs and furniture, after vacuuming for hours. They are biting me and my children from head to toe. We catch 5-6 of them daily with masking tape while they're biting us. Please help.

By nicole from VT


Fleas In An Apartment

Most bombs of the market (especially the ones you buy in the store and not from a vet) kill only living adult fleas, and not their eggs or young. You'll need to re-bomb or spray with a high quality product from the vet. Be sure to put you dishes, open foods, and toothbrushes in the fridge or in oven to keep the chemicals off them! You apartment manager should pay for you to buy these products.

Do yourself a favor, spend an hour reading up on killing fleas here on ThriftyFun and on the internet, it will be well worth your time! You need to bomb a certain amount of time between each time to kill the just-hatched eggs, (I think it's 10 days) unless you buy a products that "also" kills the eggs and young. If you vacuum first, the vibration helps to hatch the young fleas so they can be killed. Believe me, I know about fleas, because both my son and myself are allergic to them. There are many good posts about ridding a home of fleas here on ThriftyFun.

Start your reading here:

"Ask the Vet" from the Division of Humane Services:

The university of Kentucky college of entomology at the URL below:

You know about salt, Try adding borax. This is an additional option:

Mix equal parts of: baking soda, borax, and salt. Mix together well, then put in a shaker container (like for Parmesan cheese). Sprinkle this mixture everywhere, all over your carpets and wood floors and furniture. Next sweep it into the rug, wood floor cracks, and upholstery as deeply as you can. Leave this on the floors and carpets for 2 or 3 weeks, then vacuum it up (with a flea collar inside your vacuum). Then do the same thing again.

You'll have to do this 2 times for sure and possibly 3 times. This formula works because the borax and salts dehydrate the fleas and their shells, which kills them. It's not the best thing for carpets because the salts are slightly abrasive and can make the carpets wear out faster. If you live in a very humid area like Florida and don't have air conditioning, then the salt can attract and absorb moisture from the air, so if you live in a humid climate without air-conditioning just use the borax all by itself. It's not nearly as effective, but it's an option. Don't worry if you have air-conditioning because it gets rid of excess humidity.

They sell this very same formula at most vets, but you'll have to pay a pretty penny for it. The salt and baking soda are usually sold 2 or 3 for $1 at most dollar stores. The borax can be hard to find. They don't sell it at my Walmart, but I've found it at several grocery stores in the laundry aisle. (It's called: 20 mule Team Borax and it's sold as a laundry additive.)

If you have a pet, you'll need to buy those flea drops you put on the back of the pet's neck like "Advantage" or "Revolution". (10/22/2009)

By Cyinda

Fleas In An Apartment

Diatomaceous earth (horticultural or food grade/not swimming pool filter grade). I'd highly recommend getting some, and using it generously on all carpeting and upholstered furniture in the house. You can even rub it on your pets safely. I used only about 1/2 pound to treat a mama cat, her 3 kittens, an upholstered chair and ottoman, and the floor and baseboards in my house.

It's a white powder, fine, much like flour or confectioner's sugar. It is completely non-toxic. I made a shaker can to distribute mine; drilled holes in the top of a Pringles can, filled the can halfway, went to town.

By Lynn

Fleas In An Apartment

I forgot something. You may have picked up some on your clothes which you took away with you. Make sure any clothes you wore are also treated (10/22/2009)

By Lynn

Fleas In An Apartment

Call the health dept maybe they can help and you may get your money back, move to another place. Good luck. (10/23/2009)

By kathleen williams

Fleas In An Apartment

This has worked for years for me. Mop your floors with Pine-Sol water. For a bad flea problem I mix a cup of Pine-Sol to a gallon of water. Don't buy the knock-off pine cleaner. I sprayed my furniture with a solution (weaker) in a spray bottle. (10/26/2009)

By kay winters

Fleas In An Apartment

I just recently was in the same situation where the people before had an indoor outdoor pet and I too became infested along with my eight year old indoor only cat who has never, ever had fleas before. My landlord hired a professional pest control company to come in and spray and have only seen a couple renegade fleas just after that because it sometimes takes a few days for all the critters to die. The company said they will come back and spray again if I see any more.

It is definitely your landlord's responsibility so you need to be firm and tell her that you are demanding a professional pest control company be hired. You shouldn't have to go through all this turmoil and I hope you are not the one paying for the additional flea bombs! Anyway, be sure to do this in writing with an explanation included just like what you wrote here (keep a copy for yourself) and postal mail it certified and return receipt requested. If she does not hire a professional within a couple of days after she receives the letter then call your local health department.

Keep a copy of that letter and the mailing receipts in a "safe place" just in case you need to move because of the flea infestation. You may have a lovely landlord who takes care of it, but if you don't that letter will protect you if you have to break the lease and be able to get your security deposit back. (10/26/2009)

By Deeli

Fleas In An Apartment

20 Mule Team Borax is sold in the laundry section of most grocery stores. I have used this several times for fleas. Sprinkle it on your floors, leave it overnight, vac it up, then repeat the process in a few days. Be sure to throw away the filter bag after each use. Good luck. (10/26/2009)

By Joyce Lambert

Fleas In An Apartment

Steam. It kills not only fleas, but any other crawling critter you may have, destroys the bacteria in their feces, their eggs, mites and their droppings, and human borne bacteria as well. And you can apply it to any surface, hardwood, carpets, mattresses, etc. Anything you can wash like drapes, clothing, etc. wash in very hot water. No need for chemicals kiddo, just steam. (12/12/2009)

By Knoodles

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July 20, 2010

How do I get rid of fleas in my apartment and on my dog, inexpensively?

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October 22, 2009

I am in desperate need of any advice given to me in getting rid of fleas in apartment and on two cats.

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