Homemade Flea Trap

Category Fleas
Fleas are a horrible nuisance to have around your home. get rid of these tiny pests with a homemade flea trap. This is a page about making a homemade flea trap.


Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

June 6, 2011


  • short extension cord
  • pie pan or small bowl
  • night light with Christmas type light
  • water
  • dish soap


Place a small amount of dish soap in the pie pan or bowl, and add enough water so fleas will not be able to swim out (about 1/2 inch). Fasten extension cord with night light plugged in so they extend out over the water. SECURE THE ELECTRIC CORD SO IT WILL NOT FALL INTO WATER.

Let this be the only light on at night. If you have small children, this will have to be removed in the day while they are awake. If no children this will even work in the day time just not as well.

The soap in the water will keep your animals from drinking the water, refresh the water and soap as needed. If this works for you like it did me, you will not be able to count all the dead fleas, and it should save you a few dollars. Also if it works for you, save others some money, and pass the tip on.


By SAVAGE12755 from Tulsa, OK

Comment Was this helpful? 11
Read More Comments

We had a dog that we took in while his parents were busy with moving house. He slept in our garage/laundry room. Soon after the dog was gone, I went into the room to do some laundry and was attacked by what I can only describe as an army of little black vampires.

I read online about a product called "The Ultimate Flea Trap" which basically used a night light and some sticky pads. "Well," I thought to myself "I am probably going to have to one up that one." I brought in my huge bug zapper, and some sticky tile, which I turned upside down. The little demons were indeed drawn to the light and heat of the zapper, and alas, after an hour or so, we had a small army of the blood suckers, cozily attached to the sticky tiles and not jumping about happily sucking us dry.

I will check back tomorrow, and let you know if the lil' darlins' are indeed gone. My freezer is also in this space, and it would be nice to be able to enter without wearing a space suit, and covered in insect repellent, and having to shed and leave my clothes outside! :)

Source: I saw a product , called "Ultimate Flea Trap"

Comment Was this helpful? 2

January 25, 2013

This trap uses:

disposable container, like a baking pan

Fill the pan half full with water. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vinegar and mix with water. Find a convenient outlet and plug in the night light. Place pan of vinegar and water under nightlight.


The fleas are attracted to body heat. The nightlight will draw them and when they try and reach the heat they will fall into the pan and die. The vinegar works like an insecticide.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

Got fleas? They're no fun! I have no pets but somehow we have fleas inside our home and they're biting me. In any shallow pan/dish (I used a pot saucer) - add some water and mix with dish soap. Place underneath a light source and plants beside. Repeat and spread throughout your house where you may have fleas.

A homemade flea trap using water and dish soap.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

June 9, 2005

If your home has fleas, put a shallow dish of water with a little dish soap under a night-lite at night. The fleas will jump into the water and drown. Fleas can't swim! :)

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


This is a video I saw on youtube that I would like to share with you. You take a cookie sheet and put water and a couple of squirts of soap in it. Then put it somewhere out of sight, like under the bed.


By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
Read More Comments


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.

August 29, 2004

I have a little 9 week chihuahua. When we got him he had no fleas, but I have a half german shepherd/husky that lives downstairs so I think he got it from him I was wondering what I can use and will not be harsh on the lil' chihuahua and what can I use for the dog that lives downstairs. I have wooden floors all through the house. What will be a good solution to use to clean the house where the dog has been. Ana


August 29, 20040 found this helpful

I live in South Carolina and boy do we have fleas! After spending a small fortune on flea killers, including purchasing everything on the market from my vet, I have found a really simple way to prevent flea infestations............ wash your animals with Dawn dish detergent, a little goes a long way, and believe it or not, it kills fleas instantly.


To help prevent fleas from getting on your animals in the first place, rub their legs, belly, and under the neck with a small amount of Avon's Skin so Soft bath oil. Hope this works as well for you as it does for me!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Kim (Guest Post)
August 30, 20040 found this helpful

I recently had the same problem with my cat! First of all use Frontline on both animals immediatley. I bought a 3 month supply on ebay pretty cheap. I did a lot of reseach online and found that people have had great results by first vacuuming the whole house (then put the vacuum bag in another bag in the freezer to kill and fleas in the bag). Then mix one part salt to 6 parts borax powder) and spread it all over your carpets. Somehow it kills them off. It worked really well for me. I had to repeat it a couple times and so far so good. You could research it online your self ..just type in "fleas and borax " and it will give you lots of info. That's what I did. I did try flea bombs and they did nothing. The borax & salt is the way to go.. believe me! Hope that helps you.. you have nothing to lose!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Linne Dodds (Guest Post)
September 2, 20040 found this helpful

I was going to tell about the Dawn too. It is so Gentle it is used to wash Birds & Animals which have gotten into Oil Spills.


Also Mop your floors with it. We just put 1 small squirt in an old window cleaner bottle & fill with water. Then squirt it on the dog & wash outside with the hose.

We have an American bulldog & a daschund, also a Bunch of cats. some of whom are still here due to being bathed with the stuff & or many other dishwashing liquids, not the dishwasher kind, only the kind for washing dishes in the sink.

You don't need the Borax for the carpets either .The salt works just as well, is lots cheaper & if pets lick it off themselves they probably won't get sick. My bulldog ate some of the Borax & badly vomited .

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 26, 20060 found this helpful

I use Avon Skin So Soft also. Works great! I tried using Frontline on my Dog, but it gave him seizures. I am going to try Dawn, thanks for the adivce.


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20160 found this helpful

Diatomaceous earth works well especially around your home. I have too many pets to rub this into all the fur but use it in aquariums with hamsters, on guinea pigs/rabbit & ferrets. Just make sure it's the food safe type & not the type you use for a pool! I dust my floors then leave it for a few days & voila except for my many dogs & cats which I need to find a cheap remedy. Anybody ever hear of a remedy using insecticide like Bayer for the yard? It does have the same ingredients of advantage but I'm afraid of over dosing my 5 lb chihuahuas..anybody?? Thank you!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 31, 20170 found this helpful

Please research the dangers of diatomaceous earth, even food grade. It's not as safe for animals as people think.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

November 6, 2007

Is it safe to use flea treatment on my dog with 1 week old pups and if so what? Pups have fleas but mom doesn't. Otherwise healthy.

Helen from Brisbane, Australia


By Victoria (Guest Post)
November 7, 20071 found this helpful

Please check with your veterinarian. I would assume flea treatments are too strong and possibly deadly for pups that young.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
November 10, 20070 found this helpful

I once used teatree oil mixed with water to help a two week old flea ridden abandoned kitten with great success. I would be reluctant to use commercial products at such a young age.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By nancy goh (Guest Post)
November 11, 20070 found this helpful

You can use johnson & johnson baby shampoo. Just apply it and gently rub from tail to head then let it stay for 2 to 5 minutes. After this comb out with flea comb then bath as usual. If it doesn't work you can use white distilled vinegar made from grain (MIZKAN - brand of the vinegar) is one of japan production. Just spray undiluted vinegar directly on the puppy and be careful for the eyes and nose then gently rub forward and let it stay for 3 to 5 minutes then rinse with warm water. After this bathe as usual using puppy's shampoo.

good luck!
from malaysia

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20161 found this helpful

Please don't use any insecticides on a nursing mother. Bath mom & pups with lavenderbaby shampoo. Immediately wet dogs neck & bum & lather shampoo thickly on both areas. Leave on & continue bathing. Rub shampoo onto dogs for at least 5 minutes. Otherwise some fleas will only be stunned & you would be amazed at their ability to stay on the dog & recover from the bath. Can also use diatamaceous earth as a light dusting powder on mom's back & legs, also on pups & or on pups bedding. Be sure to purchase FOOD GRADE diatamaceous earth. The type used on pools isn't the same as food grade!! I LOVE PUPPIES!!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
July 24, 20160 found this helpful

Do NOT spray undiluted vinegar on your animals!!! It has the wrong PH balance and will burn their delicate skin! If you used it on an adult, it HAS to be diluted at least

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...


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

March 14, 2011


Flea Control

This will eliminate all of your fleas in the home. You need eight or nine small white bowls, very small. Put water in them and put them all over throughout your house. They need to be at least small enough for the fleas to jump into. Over time they will all go to the bowls and drown. My mom told me this and I didn't believe her, but it worked.

By familyov6 (06/09/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Homemade Flea Trap

Another great flea trap my husband made. He took a premium plus cracker box, cut two squares on one side and inserted a sheet of yellow sticky fly trap(sticky on both sides) . He then took a string of Christmas lights removed all but two green bulbs from the end, which he inserted into two holes in the cracker box. This created a green night light. Fleas are attracted to green. The trap has been in our daughters room for a week and we counted 76 dead fleas on the sticked tape. (06/17/2005)

By Tanya


Fleas will jump into a bowl of soapy water placed on the floor and drown. I have no idea why they do this, but it works. A friend demonstrated this to me, using Dawn dish soap in a small bowl.

By Rev. Alex (06/24/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Homemade Flea Trap

It really works, I put some water with Dawn in a small saucer, put a small candle in the middle and this morning I counted 27 fleas. It works. (08/14/2005)

By R. Holley.

Homemade Flea Trap

I used the Raid flea trap, which is a an upright green light that is connected to a base that has sticky paper on the bottom.. The idea is the fleas are attracted to the light, try to get it, hit it and then fall into the stick paper. I have left it on for days now and no luck. There are still fleas in my room, I keep picking them off my legs! I am going to try the vacuum trick plus the water bowl with a drop of dish soap. (08/17/2005)

By Ryan

Homemade Flea Trap

I did the light trap with water and it is working! Thank you very much (11/25/2005)

By Agueda Village

Homemade Flea Trap

I live in Florida. I have no pets. I had a huge flea infestation on the side yard of my home. I tried all kinds of flea & bug killers, with no luck. Then I tried the pan with dish soap & night light tip. After a week, I counted well over 1000 fleas. I added some Demon WP in with the soapy water, to keep ants & giant roaches from eating the dead fleas...wow, it works! Thanks for the tips! (01/07/2006)

By Jim R.

Homemade Flea Trap

I have had an exterminator at my house the last 3 Fridays in a row, and still fleas! I will try the green light and dawn dish soap. I was amazed by reading all these helpful tips. I hope they work for me. (10/03/2006)

By Jennifer

Homemade Flea Trap

What is the purpose of the dish soap?
Editor's Note: It is supposed to coat the surface of the water to make it so the fleas cannot jump back out. (10/11/2006)

By Suzanne

Homemade Flea Trap

Haven't tried it, but me and my girlfriend are going to be trying it tonight. (03/18/2007)

By Cthomas

Homemade Flea Trap

It works. I put water in a pie tin, and a squirt of dish soap. Sat it under tables or beds or anywhere. Fleas are stupid. They jump in and drown. Many little flea bodies will be in the bottom of the tin by morning. (03/19/2007)

By Ariela

Homemade Flea Trap

A similar method works for fruit flies, also. During canning season especially; and that is to put some water and dish soap, along with some citrus juice, in shallow bowls and cover with saran wrap. Then poke tiny holes in the saran wrap. The fruit flies will crawl in and become trapped. (03/19/2007)

By Laura

Homemade Flea Trap

I got one of those Raid green-light sticky-strip traps at a yard sale last year, and it worked wonderfully during that flea season. This year, however, it doesn't seem to be catching nearly as many fleas . I'm afraid the fleas in my house have evolved into intelligent beings and have learned to avoid the trap!

I never thought of using a light or candle with the dish-of-water trick! I always just used hot water and was out of luck when it cooled off! Thanks for posting a useful variation on this method!

By Callie

Homemade Flea Trap

Don't use the candle. Unattended it could be hazardous.
Also mouse/glue traps under a night light works just as well. The fleas stick to the traps. (09/19/2007)

Homemade Flea Trap

Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth on dish soap:

Soap is a surfactant. It reduces water's surface tension and improves its ability to wet surfaces, leaving fewer air bubbles on rough surfaces.

Insects have no lungs, just holes in their sides. Air diffuses through these holes, into a network of microscopic tubes called "tracheae."

Without soap, water doesn't penetrate the tracheae and the bugs have enough stored air to "breathe" to keep them going while they swim around and climb back out.

With soap in the mix, the water wicks into their tracheae and wet the internal surfaces, drowning the buggers.

Okay, I lied; the air doesn't just diffuse in. Check this out:

But, still: water+soap = better wetting -> dead bugs. (09/25/2007)

By Surfactant

Homemade Flea Trap

15 watt bug zapper on the floor hiding in a corner away from everyone has always worked great for me since 1984! The wattage calls fleas from all over the house it worked great for me, be careful keep it away from everyone and thing! (11/18/2007)

Homemade Flea Trap

Here's what I do for fleas. Sprinkle reg table salt in carpet. Wait 24 hours then vacuum. Do this till you see no more fleas. Salt cuts up the fleas and their eggs. (05/06/2008)


Homemade Flea Trap

I just now read this on 7/4/08. I just now also place 3 foam plates 2 with a plastic candle with fluid inside to keep the flame running 10hrs. And dawn dish soap with water surrounding it, On my patio porch. We'll see what happens. (07/04/2008)

By latinguy

Homemade Flea Trap

It works! I tried it and within minutes the fleas started jumping in the water and drowning! Thanks so much! (09/01/2008)

Homemade Flea Trap

My problem was that the fleas were no located in a single area, they were spread throughout the house. Because of this the soapy water & light trick only worked sometimes.
I almost went crazy I swear, with all the biting and itching not to mention the reluctance to have company over for fear of embarrassment.

This is what I did, and at first my wife thought I was nuts!
I took two pieces of cardboard and bent them length wise around my shins, marked them and cut them long enough to make it all the way around my shins and meet at the back.
Then I laid them out and punched three holes in each end about an inch from the edges. (these holes will later be used to thread like a shoe to tie the two ends together)

I found a recipe for home made sticky glue adhesive and coated two pieces of cardboard on one side each (you can buy premixed adhesive from the internet as well but I was in a hurry)

After coating the cardboard I wrapped them around my shins and laced them up with shoe string to make my sticky flea catching shin guards!

You think a soap dish & light works, then try this! I just walked around the places I knew had fleas and they jumped right into the glue as I walked past!

Later I grabbed an old pair of slippers and hot glued some sticky cardboard to them as well since I noticed that a lot of the fleas were still landing on my socks instead of my shins. My flea problem was gone in under a week!

You will look a little funny, and your wife might call you crazy but once she sees all the fleas stuck to your legs she will eat her words!

Cheers (09/16/2008)

By Goon

Homemade Flea Trap

I used a light with a goose neck and aimed it over the pie pan. The fleas were so bad I would just refill the trap with more soapy water and quickly leave the room. I caught so many fleas it was unbelievable. I later went in and fished them all off with a premise spray from the vet! (09/17/2008)

By sb

Homemade Flea Trap

What about the dog? Don't you care about curing the dog that infested your house in the first place? (09/21/2008)

By dogs are the problem

Homemade Flea Trap

I have read the main purpose of putting salt on the carpeting is to dry up the eggs. Salt destroys the eggs so I've read. If we don't kill the thousands of eggs the fleas are laying daily, we can keep trapping them all summer. We should trap and kill the eggs with salt at the same time. The eggs are what keep them coming back.

My guess is lots of salt during the day. Let it sit for an hour or so, vacuum before night fall, and water dish soap nightlight/tealight trap at night. (07/20/2009)

By Cindy Sorgenfrei

Homemade Flea Trap

Fleas can't swim? Hallelujah, after five years battling with these monstrous pests I had begun to think them invincible.

Actually, I have tried the light and bowl of soapy water treatment...nothing, zilch. Maybe I have a more intelligent flea. Oh well, onwards and upwards. (08/06/2009)

By jen

Homemade Flea Trap

I used all the pet store crap zn the lil buggers were resistant, being a little bit mental. I declared war, all you need is sellotape, cardboard, candles and shaving foam which all came to £20 for me so much cheaper than other alternatives, I attached the sellotape backwards to the cardboard so I could make tape traps, I then lit candles and put them in the center of the traps (each one should cost around £2 to make and be 1m.sq, because the traps are double sided (being that the tape is inside out) they catch crawlers and jumpers. Then use shaving foam on your legs and the fleas will be trapped inside ready for drowning, sticking etc then all you need is to hoover, the tape should be good for 2+ weeks so they will outlast any fleas you have ;) (11/28/2009)

By LouiUK

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

Home and Garden Pest Control FleasOctober 28, 2011
Summer Ideas!
Pest Control
Back to School Ideas!
Coronavirus Tips
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-07-31 10:05:07 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Add to PageAsk a Question