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Fleas are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they’ve established a presence in your home. A variety of methods are employed to kill these pests, and the use of chlorine is one that often comes up. But does it really work? Will chlorine kill fleas?
Let’s take a look at how chlorine impacts fleas:
Concentrated Chlorine Vs. Chlorine Pools: Will it Kill Fleas?
Chlorine is a strong chemical with disinfecting properties typically used for things like cleaning surfaces, doing laundry, and in swimming pools. When it comes to killing fleas, its effectiveness lies in how concentrated the chlorine is.
Concentrated chlorine in the form of bleach, can be effective at killing fleas and their eggs when used in washing infested clothes and when direct contact is made. Any clothes that can withstand bleach should be immersed with diluted bleach in water. For machine washing, mix one cup of bleach for every 16 gallons of water. This can help disinfect your clothes and remove most flea eggs.
Chlorine pools are a different story. The diluted chlorine in a pool is typically not enough to effectively kill fleas on your pets or your own person. While there’s a small chance that fleas may drown in the water, the chlorine content itself may not kill them and likely won’t drastically reduce a pet’s infestation. As with fleas, chlorine pools are not effective at killing mosquitoes either.
How Long Fleas Need to Be Submerged in a Chlorine Pool
The specific duration that fleas need to be submerged in a chlorine pool to be killed is unclear. Some sources suggest that putting a pet in a chlorine pool for a short swim, around five minutes, could potentially affect the fleas, but there’s no definitive answer about whether this works or not.
Studies have shown that fleas can survive underwater for over 24 hours, and up to 7 days when dropped in water – due to their waxy exoskeleton. And, since the concentration of chlorine in pools is so diluted, the likelihood that fleas will die off when your dog jumps in the pool for a few minutes is pretty low.
Should You Use Chlorine on Pets to Kill Fleas?
Using chlorine directly on pets to kill fleas is not recommended. The safe amount of diluted chlorine in a pool may not be effective, and concentrated chlorine will harm your pets.
The best way to deal with a flea infestation on your pet is to use products that are specially formulated for that purpose, like pet shampoos, soaps, flea collars, or sprays that have EPA-approved chemicals to effectively kill fleas, eggs, and larvae.
Is Chlorine Bleach Safe for Home Surfaces?
While chlorine bleach can kill fleas, it’s important to use it safely and appropriately. Bleach can be harmful or damaging to many surfaces and materials, and it can also pose health risks to humans and pets if improperly used. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and application, and consider alternatives for surfaces that could be damaged by bleach.
We also have a great article on Will Pine-Sol Kill Fleas, if you’re looking for other home remedies.
While chlorine can be used to eliminate fleas in certain circumstances, such as in laundry, it’s not a catch-all solution. Chlorine in pools is not the most effective way to kill fleas, and concentrated chlorine should not be used directly on pets.
For flea infestations on pets or in the home, it’s best to use products specifically designed for that purpose. And as always, it’s essential to use any chemical, including chlorine, safely and responsibly.
Please consult a pest control company if you’re dealing with a serious infestation or if you’re unsure about the best way to eliminate fleas.