I remember feeling a sense of dread when one of our cats first got fleas. I panicked about what to do and even contemplated bringing in an exterminator to treat our home!
While many options exist to remove fleas from your home, vacuuming is one of the least hazardous flea eradication methods. Vacuuming removes some (or all!) of the fleas’ life stages. Vacuuming fleas also triggers cocooned adults to emerge, which otherwise may remain dormant for up to 5 months (Source: Flea Science).
Because a vacuum can be a great first defense against flea outbreaks in your home, our team researched and compiled a list of the best vacuums for fleas. From traditional canister vacuums to cordless vacuums to backpack vacuums, you are sure to find a flea-fighting vacuum from this list of the best vacuums for fleas.
Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums for Fleas
When selecting a vacuum for flea eradication, bagged and bagless models are suitable options.
Research by Hink and Needham has shown that vacuuming alone can eliminate approximately 90 to 95% of fleas. Additionally, it has been suggested that the brush roll of a vacuum contributes to flea elimination.
Amazing Home Decor emphasizes the importance of consistency in flea eradication, recommending vacuuming every 1 to 2 days until the infestation is under control, regardless of the type of vacuum chosen.
If you are faced with choosing between a bagged or bagless vacuum, both can effectively control fleas if proper disposal methods are followed.
Best Vacuums for Fleas
Cordless: Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
- The most powerful intelligent cordless vacuum.¹ With laser illumination.
- Engineered for whole home, deep cleans. Suction power, run time and tools designed to deep clean your whole home. Engineered for homes with pets.
- Up to 60 minutes of run time.³ Power saving trigger helps maximize battery life, only using power when you need it. Actual run time will vary based on power mode and/or attachments used.
The Dyson V15 Detect Absolute is an exceptional cordless vacuum for effectively combating flea infestations in your home. Its powerful suction removes fleas, eggs, and larvae, providing a clean and safe living environment for your family and pets.
This vacuum is equipped with innovative features like automatic hair de-tangling and cutting-edge laser technology, making it a perfect fit for pet owners dealing with flea problems and those seeking a thorough, deep-cleaning solution.
- The vacuum’s impressive suction power efficiently removes fleas and debris.
- The built-in LCD screen shows the run-time countdown and provides scientific proof of a deep clean through the built-in Piezo sensor, which displays the number of picked-up particles.
- With the Piezo sensor and Dyson DLS technology, the vacuum adjusts its suction power to adapt to different floor types, ensuring effective cleaning.
- Cutting-edge laser technology illuminates the floor, revealing dust particles.
- The nano-structure HEPA filter captures even smaller particles, including pet dander that fleas may feed on, which ensures cleaner air quality.
- The Digital Motorbar cleaner head deep cleans carpets and automatically clears wrapped long hair and pet hair.
- The vacuum comes with a variety of useful accessories, such as a De-tangling digital Motorbar, Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, and more tools for versatile cleaning.
- The vacuum features a 0.76-liter bagless container for easy and touch-free flea disposal.
- It can transform into a handheld vacuum, making cleaning around your home a breeze.
- Specially designed for deep cleaning homes with pets.
- As the Dyson V15 Detect is a premium vacuum, this model is particularly expensive.
- Suction power: 240 air watts
- Filter: Fully sealed HEPA filtration system
- Bagged or Bagless: 0.77 liter bagless container
- Accessories: De-tangling digital Motorbar™, Laser Slim Fluffy™ cleaner head, Anti-tangle Hair screw tool, combination tool, stubborn dirt brush, mini soft dusting brush, crevice tool, wand clip and the wall dock and charger.
- Weight: 6.9 lbs / 3 kg
Upright: Dyson Ball Animal
- The best cleaning performance of any upright de-tangling vacuum.¹
- Engineered for larger homes with pets. Removes dirt and pet hair around your home. Easily tackles big messes. With two additional specialized pet tools.
- De-tangling technology. Automatically clears wrapped hair from the brush bar as you clean.
The Dyson Ball Animal comes highly recommended as a powerful upright vacuum, perfect for removing fleas, eggs, and larvae from all surfaces in your home.
Its strong suction power ensures effective flea removal, while the advanced HEPA filtration system traps allergens and microscopic particles, including flea debris, and provides cleaner air quality.
This vacuum is equipped with a powerful brush roll that agitates and captures stubborn fleas and pet hair with ease.
- The Dyson Ball Animal’s impressive suction power will efficiently remove fleas and debris.
- The vacuum’s brush roll effectively agitates and captures fleas and pet hair for thorough cleaning.
- Featuring an advanced HEPA filtration system, it captures allergens and flea debris, keeping the air clean and fresh.
- The 0.5-gallon (2.27 liter) container offers ample space for easy disposal of fleas and debris.
- The vacuum comes with useful accessories for versatile cleaning, including a tangle-free turbine tool, pet groom tool, tool holder, stair tool, and combination tool for versatile cleaning options.
- The vacuum is a little heavy at 17.33 lbs (7.8 kg).
- Suction power: 290W Radial Root Cyclone™ technology delivers strong suction and captures dust and allergens in the bin.
- Filter: Advanced HEPA filtration system to capture allergens and flea debris.
- Bagged or Bagless: Bagless 0.5 gallon / 2.27 liter container.
- Accessories: Tangle-free turbine tool, Pet groom tool, tool holder, stair tool, combination tool
- Weight: 17.33 lbs / 7.8 kg
Canister: Kenmore 600 Series
- BAGGED CANISTER VACUUM: Multipurpose design w/swivel head cleans all areas and surfaces in your home, den, kitchen, car and garage.Suction power(hose end) ≥183W. Number of Amps 12.Cleaning Width…
- POWERFUL CLEANING: 2-motor system excels in suction strength and includes 2 floor nozzles with exclusive Pop-N-Go floor brush. 3 additional attachments are included: crevice tool, dirt brush and bare…
- TRIPLE HEPA FILTER SYSTEM: Enhanced HEPA filter traps 99. 97% of dirt, trapping dirt inside the vacuum
This powerful canister vacuum boasts advanced technology and robust suction, ensuring top-notch surface cleaning.
Its specialized attachments make it a flea-fighting expert, effortlessly lifting and trapping fleas, providing a clean and safe living space for your family and pets.
I really liked the versatility of this model through its Pop-N-Go system and its built-in storage compartments, which other vacuums often lack.
According to customer reviews, the product offers excellent value for its affordable price.
- The bagged canister vacuum offers a versatile cleaning solution, capable of efficiently cleaning all areas and surfaces in various locations, including homes and pet palaces alike.
- The vacuum comes with two floor nozzles, including the exclusive Pop-N-Go floor brush, allowing users to tailor the cleaning process to specific floor types for optimal results.
- The vacuum features an enhanced HEPA filter that effectively traps 99.97% of dirt and allergens, ensuring cleaner air quality by containing the dirt inside the vacuum.
- The motorized pet Powermate attachment efficiently lifts stubborn pet hair and dirt from surfaces, while the Pop-N-Go brush prevents hair from tangling around the brush, making it a valuable feature for pet owners.
- The design allows for easy storage of attachments and accessories within the vacuum, reducing clutter and ensuring that all components are readily accessible when needed.
- The lightweight aluminum telescopic wand can be adjusted to extend up to 10 feet, enabling users to reach and clean difficult-to-access areas.
- This vacuum is heavy at 22.6 lbs (or 10.25 kg), which could cause strain or fatigue during prolonged cleaning sessions.
- It contains a bag that will need to be replaced regularly, which could be an additional ongoing expense.
- From time to time, the vacuum hose may require cleaning. Learn how to keep it spick and span with our comprehensive guide on How to Clean a Vacuum Hose.
- Suction power: 183w
- Filter: HEPA cloth
- Bagged or Bagless: Bagged
- Accessories: Floor Brush, Dusting Brush, and Crevice Tool, Pet PowerMate™, Handle & Hose, Telescoping Wand.
- Weight: 22.6 lbs / 10.25 kg
Backpack: Atrix Ergo HEPA Backpack
- ERGONOMIC BACKPACK VACUUM – The backpack vacuum weighs 10.3 lbs with dimensions of 12″ x 9″ x 20″. Easily convert to right or left hand. The belt loop contains storage for the accessories to easily…
- COMMERCIAL OR RESIDENTIAL APPLICATIONS – Use the lightweight backpack vacuum for hotels, schools, janitors, JAN/SAN, offices, warehouses, stairs, entryways, and hard to reach corners.
- HEPA FILTER – The 8-Quart HEPA filter safely captures smalls particles
Put on your best flea-buster apparel with this backpack vacuum, and you’ll look like a professional! The novelty ghostbuster style of this vacuum aside, this is an extremely convenient way to carry a vacuum as all of the weight is dispersed across your back.
At an initial glance, I didn’t think this would be particularly comfortable, but on closer inspection, the backpack is ergonomically designed, lightweight, and has an adjustable belt loop and shoulder straps, which ensures good back support while vacuuming.
For added flea-buster attire, the belt loop even comes with storage for all the tools you’ll need for the task.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit I love it! The reviews speak volumes for this product, too.
- Great for Ghostbuster geeks.
- Weighs only 10.3 lbs and is compact and efficient, making it easy to maneuver and transport on the user’s back, ensuring mobility and comfort during extended cleaning sessions.
- Comes with a range of useful accessories, including a 6′ hose, blower adapter, extension wand, multiple nozzle sets, crevice tool, various brushes, HEPA bag, shakeout bag, filter sets, belt loop, and a set of hose and filter plugs.
- Easily converts for left or right-handed use.
- Powerful 1,400 Watt cleaning power with 106 CFM suction power.
- A little more maintenance is involved with this vacuum due to the reusable shake-out bags, which must be cleaned out properly and left to dry for 24 hours before use. It is ideal to clean this once per month.
- The hose will need cleaning from time to time. Check out our guide on How to Clean a Vacuum Hose on how to do this.
- The HEPA dust bag must be replaced when it is worn, but if you buy the Premium model, you get ten bags, which should last you a while before needing to buy any more.
- Suction power: 106 CFM
- Filter: 8-quart HEPA filter
- Bagged or Bagless: Bagged
- Accessories: 6′ hose, blower adapter, extension wand, multiple nozzle sets, crevice tool, various brushes, HEPA bag, shakeout bag, filter sets, and a set of hose and filter plugs.
- Weight: 10.3 lbs / 4.67 kg
Considerations When Choosing a Vacuum for Fleas
Look for a vacuum with strong suction to remove fleas and their eggs effectively. A high-powered suction is the most critical aspect of successfully removing fleas using a vacuum.
Researchers have theorized that the brush roll action of vacuuming plays a significant role in eliminating fleas. Therefore, choosing a vacuum with a brush roll will contribute to eradicating a flea infestation.
Opt for a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to trap fleas and their eggs. According to Doctor Sniff, this will prevent the chance that fleas escape.
Bag or Canister Quality
As previously discussed, bagged and bagless (canister) vacuums are equally effective. What is most important is to choose a vacuum with a well-sealed bag or a canister that can be quickly emptied and cleaned.
Crevice Hose Attachment
Ensure the vacuum has a crevice tool or attachment to reach tight corners and crevices where fleas may hide, such as under your sofa!
Consider the weight of the vacuum to ensure it is manageable and easy to maneuver while vacuuming.
The Dyson V15 Detect Absolute weighs just 3kg and quickly transforms into a handheld vacuum, enabling you to get into those harder-to-reach places.
Determine your budget and find a vacuum that perfectly balances price and features. If you have pets, I would opt for a vacuum with pet hair removal features, such as the Dyson Ball Animal.
Best Practices for Vacuuming Fleas
Frequency is Key to be Flea-Free
Consistency is key in eradicating fleas because it disrupts their life cycle and prevents them from reproducing.
By vacuuming every 1 to 2 days until the infestation is controlled, you can remove adult fleas, eggs, and larvae, reducing their population over time (Source: Flea Science).
Focus on Pet Areas
Pay close attention to areas where your pets spend most of their time, such as bedding, carpets, and upholstery. The smaller crevice tools of a handheld vacuum can be handy here.
Vacuum Under Furniture
Fleas tend to hide in dark and hard-to-reach spaces, so thoroughly vacuum underneath furniture, such as sofas, particularly if they are in carpeted areas.
Empty the Bag or Canister Immediately
While a properly sealed vacuum canister or bag should prevent fleas from escaping, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and empty them anyway.
Although research suggests that the suction power alone should be sufficient to eliminate adult fleas, it is recommended to empty the bag or canister promptly to prevent any potential eggs from falling out and continuing the flea life cycle.
When Vacuuming Isn’t Enough
Vacuuming alone may not control a flea outbreak in the home. A combination of steam treatment to kill the fleas and vacuuming to remove the fleas might be effective.
In some extreme cases, professional help may be necessary. Treating pets with flea treatment promptly (and regularly thereafter) is also crucial to prevent further infestations (Source: RSPCA).
Flea Vacuum Comparison Chart
According to Flea Science, vacuuming is a highly effective method for eliminating fleas as it successfully eradicates 100% of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae while also eliminating approximately 96% of adult fleas through the use of brushes, fans, and strong air currents that forcefully propel the fleas against the vacuum’s internal surfaces.
However, it is important to note that while vacuuming can remove a significant number of fleas, their eggs, and larvae, there is a possibility that some resilient fleas may survive in the bag or canister.
To minimize the risk of reinfestation, it is recommended to promptly empty and dispose of the bag or clean the canister after each use as a precautionary measure.
You should vacuum your home every 1 to 2 days until the infestation is under control. This is because regular vacuuming helps to remove adult fleas, eggs, and larvae, disrupting the flea life cycle and reducing their population over time.
Consistency is key in getting your home flea-free! If you have pets, make sure to frequently comb or brush your pets too, as this can indicate whether there is still an infestation.
Using a steamer can kill fleas and their eggs in certain areas of your home, such as carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
The high temperature of the steam can help eliminate fleas at various stages of their life cycle. Check out our guide on the 5 Best Upholstery Steam Cleaners for inspiration.
A bug heater is a device designed to heat and kill insects, including fleas, in a contained environment. It provides an additional measure to ensure the complete elimination of fleas and their eggs. While bug heaters can be helpful, they are not a necessity for flea control. Regular vacuuming and cleaning practices should be sufficient.
Robot vacuums can be a useful tool for cleaning floors and help control flea infestations.
However, they tend to have limited suction power and may only reach some areas where fleas and their eggs may be present, such as carpets, furniture, and tight corners that the robot will struggle to access.
While robot vacuums can help with general cleanliness, thorough vacuuming targeting hard-to-reach areas is still necessary.
Final Thoughts on Vacuuming Fleas
With the right tool for the job, a healthy dose of consistency and patience, your home will be flea-free in no time. A good vacuum is essential to removing a flea infestation.
My top choice of vacuum in this list would be the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute due to its laser technology that reveals debris that the eye would otherwise struggle to see. Remember, consistency is key to getting your home flea-free!