How do I get rid of fleas in my car?

This question came in from Jonathan:


I believe I have fleas inside my car.  What's the best way to handle
this situation?  I don't want to be bringing fleas back inside the
home. Thanks,


My response:

"If you've got fleas in your car, it's important to treat them there, because if even one comes into your house it will lay dozens of eggs, leading to an infestation there as well. They're probably in the carpet on your floorboards, because that's an easy place for the eggs and larva to hide. Larva will attach themselves to any fiber, which may include either the carpet or even your car's seats assuming they're not leather. They feed on the feces of adult fleas, which has blood in it. So your car could be the home of a self-contained flea infestation.


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There are a couple of ways to kill them that might work in a car as well, but they aren't designed for it. Boric acid is a traditional remedy for carpet, but you have to leave it there for a week before vacuuming it out. Some commercial flea powders do the same thing and only take a few days. The one thing I'd watch out for: they're designed for interior carpet, so I'd test it on a small spot first (maybe underneath the seats) to make sure it doesn't stain or anything. Another option along the same vein is diatomaceous earth, which you could sprinkle around the car and vacuum up later. I think one of these would be your best option - frequently vacuum and reapply until they die off.

A fogger might work, but I'd be worried about it stinking up the car. They aren't made for enclosed spaces and I don't know what it would do.

Also try to avoid giving them any food. Use socks, boots, or something to protect your ankles (where they tend to bite). Even if you kill off all the adults, fleas can keep hatching from eggs hidden in the fibers of your car's interior for 2 to 4 weeks. But if they've got no food, the adults aren't going to live to start laying eggs. You might keep seeing fleas for awhile because of this." 

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