Does Hot Water Kill Fleas And Their Eggs?

A flea infestation can be a nightmare as these critters spread fast and can reach any area of your home. They will survive on bedding, in cracks, and on you and your pets, so wiping them out before you need to fumigate your own is a must. Adult fleas on your pet are the first pests that you should identify and target using a flea comb or other finding products. 

Key Points:

  • Hot water is an effective way to kill fleas as they can’t survive temperatures above 100°F.
  • Soapy water combined with hot water will trap and kill fleas, making it more efficient.
  • Different temperature ranges of water will have different effects on fleas, like killing mature females or preventing them from hopping off.

Once you have seen the signs of fleas, like flea dirt, flea eggs, flea larvae, or even adult flea feces, you will want to act fast. Naturally, having a flea shampoo and conditioners for fleas on hand would be ideal, but if you want to wipe out all flea life cycles without leaving the house, you can try hot water.

Read on to see how hot water will kill a flea and just how hot that water needs to be.  

Does Hot Water Kill Fleas?

Hot water kills fleas as they are parasitic insects and can only survive in a narrow temperature range. Cold temperatures below 40°F and hot temps above 100°F will wipe out these pests, and this is easily within the range of most home plumbing capabilities.

Since, most likely, your pet likes warm baths, we will look at using hot water to stop a flea infestation from spreading and ensure we destroy any potential pathogens from flea waste or the development of flea allergy dermatitis.

Hot water, either in the tub or the washing machine for bedding and fabrics, as well as soapy water, is all that is needed to treat a minor flea infestation. Any chemical treatments to rooms and furniture can be done while the linens are not in the rooms, increasing the effectiveness of the treatment.

For a severe infestation, hot water can still be used as an initial control, but the chemicals in flea products that have a systemic effect on pests will need to be used to completely eradicate the pests. 

How Does Hot Water Kill Fleas?

Conditions for fleas to survive are pretty narrow, and this helps to control their spread. Cold and heat are both the enemy of fleas and create factors for fleas to experience heat, which also cleans and sterilizes and is very effective to wipe out pests. Heat can enter common flea hiding spots as water or steam, killing both mature fleas and flea eggs immediately. 

Unlike some cockroaches and other strong pests that need temperatures over 130°F to wipe out, fleas will die in hot water that is 95°F or hotter, which is about 10 degrees cooler than the average shower temperature.

That means a regular warm bath for your pets, especially with soapy water or topical flea medications; you can wash pets with fleas clean and wipe out the majority of fleas living on them. 

 During the washing phase of cleaning pet bedding, you can also use hot water to get rid of any fleas and flea eggs that cling to it. Flea-infested bedding should be soaked in hot water from washing machines with detergent and chemicals to treat all fabric surfaces. Dry the bedding in the sun to protect your pet against fleas returning. 

Water Temperature and Effects on Pests

Different water temperatures will do different things to fleas and other pests, and knowing the right temperature to wipe them out is key to ending a flea infestation quickly. Mature female fleas can survive temperature ranges and conditions harsher than male fleas and adolescent fleas.

The number one factor in getting rid of these pests is to remove any shelter for fleas by using water temperature as a first-time treatment for fleas. Check out the following water temperatures and their effects on pests.

TemperatureEffect On PestUseful Application
32°F – 44°FKills all flea life cyclesExposing fleas to cold by opening a window in winter can be enough to kill them and allow you to remove bedding without risking further infestations
45°F – 55°FTemperature can kill flea larvae,  flea eggs, and weaker adult males but may not kill females who are hardier and slows all fleas down greatlyThese temperatures are achievable with powerful airconditioning and can stunt flea spread and slow them down, giving you time to treat the area and making it harder for them to escape
56°F – 94°FThe danger zone for flea spread and reproduction the higher the temperature, the faster they will spread up until the point where the heat sans humidity kills themKeeping flea-infested areas either above or below this temperature range can help you naturally slow or kill the pests and increase the likelihood that flea-elimination methods will be successful
95°F – 140°FAt these temperatures, fleas begin to die, and as it increases, they die faster and more reliablyUsing steam, heat, or hot water to expose fleas and their ilk to these high temperatures can get rid of them without the need for soap or chemicals 
140°F+ Not only will these temperatures kill all fleas and most other hardy pests, but the high heat will also sterilize the areas and create a clean surface preventing the transmission of pathogensWashing flea-infested objects and areas at this temperature will kill all pests and clean surfaces, making them safe adding soap can make sure nothing transfers back to your pet’s skin and fur after the washing

How To Use Hot Water to Kill Fleas?

Using hot water to kill fleas is a great solution, but adding soapy water will increase the effectiveness of the control method. If you want to make sure that the fleas are subdued and killed, then soap and hot water are the perfect combinations.

Washing your pet with soap will trap fleas and prevent them from hopping off as soon as the temperatures get high. This combination will allow the water to penetrate the fleas on your pet’s skin and soothe any allergic relations they may be experiencing. 

After you clean your pet and dry them off, make sure to wash all bedding and fabric in the flea-infested areas, as well as any towels used to dry your animal, into a washing machine with high heat and flea-killing borax containing detergent.

Follow with drying your bedding or drying it in the sun, and your pest problem should be a thing of the past. Using hot water to kill fleas is a great addition to your pest control program.