Will Fleas Die in a Hot Car?

Fleas can find their way into your car through pets and passengers. And once they’ve laid their eggs in your vehicle, getting rid of the bugs can be pretty cumbersome. Some people claim that turning up the heat can kill the fleas in your car, but is this true? Fleas will die in a hot car if the interior temperature exceeds 95 °F (35 °C) for at least four to six hours. It’s best to leave your car out for at least two days, so the interior stays at this temperature for a considerable time. While fleas can’t withstand temperatures beyond 95 °F (35 °C) , it’s possible for them to make it out alive from a heated car. In this article, we’ll explore why fleas would die in a hot car and elucidate a few other methods to get rid of them.

The Ideal Car Temperature for Fleas

Will Fleas Die in a Hot Car
Adult fleas prefer humid settings, with temperatures ranging between 46.4 °F (8 °C) and 95 °F (35 °C). While some fleas can survive slightly lower climates, temperatures higher than 95 °F (35 °C) are lethal. As such, whether fleas will die in a hot car depends on the time of year and geographical location, as temperatures differ based on these factors. While vehicles heat up quickly when left in the sun, the temperature needs to rise above 95 °F (35 °C) for fleas to start dying. Additionally, fleas need to be in this temperature setting for hours over the course of two days for any real impact. This two-day period will ensure that the heat will eliminate fleas at all stages of their life cycle. Flea larvae can continue to grow and even form a cocoon when the temperature is around 95 °F (35 °C). Only if the temperature stays that high will the fleas begin to die as they develop in the cocoon. However, if the temperature setting becomes tolerable again, fleas may develop in the cocoon and even hatch from it when the environment is idle. So if you’re planning to kill them with a heated car, you’ll have to keep the temperature settings on max for at least two days.

Why You Shouldn’t Heat Your Car

While a hot car will probably eliminate your flea infestation, it’s best to avoid heating your vehicle to prevent other issues. When the temperature of a car rises, the engine gets heated up as well and driving your car even a short distance can cause damage to the internal parts.
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Of course, you should let your car cool down before driving it, but perhaps the timing isn’t ideal. In that case, it’s best to use alternative techniques to get rid of fleas in your car.

Techniques To Get Fleas Out of Your Car

You’re probably quite familiar with the ‘hot car’ technique by now, so let’s look at other ways to get rid of fleas from your car.

Wash All Cloth

First, remove all bedding, sheets, and seat covers from the car – anything with cloth that the fleas can latch onto. You may also want to remove the floor covers in case there are fleas buried deep in the fibers. Wash all the pieces in warm water (preferably hot) with detergent and leave them in the sun to dry. As mentioned earlier, fleas are resilient, but the warm-water wash, detergent, and drying should be enough to kill them. It’s best to leave these covers out in the sunlight for a few days just to be sure.

Vacuum the Interior

Once you’ve washed all the bedding, vacuuming the interiors is the next step. Ensure you get the sides, under the seats, and any cracks and crevices you can think of. While vacuuming the interior will get rid of a few fleas, the main aim is to use the suction as a trigger so the cocoons hatch. Without this step, you may keep eliminating fleas from your car, but new ones will infest your vehicle once more.

Use a Flea Spray

Once you’ve vacuumed the interiors and forced the fleas out of their cocoons, use a flea spray to finish them off. Your best bet is the Novacide Flea and Insect Killer, which you should find in your local store. Here’s a YouTube video on the effectiveness of Novacide’s flea killer:
Novacide is a powerful insect repellent that will instantly get rid of adult fleas. Moreover, this spray also disturbs the life cycle of fleas, preventing their eggs from hatching and stopping larvae from growing into adults. Be sure to spray even those hard-to-reach spaces. Keep the can away from your face while spraying and move it in a windshield-wiping motion to ensure you spray a large enough surface area. As a safety measure, it’s best to ensure your seats are completely dry before you re-enter your car. Repeat this process in about two weeks as any leftover eggs or cocoons will hatch during this time. Missing the second spray can cause the car to get infested all over again.
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Consider sprinkling salt all over the interiors when leaving the car to dry. The salt will act as a dehydrating agent and kill any adult fleas that survive the spraying.

Clean Your Pet

If you have a pet on board when you travel, the fleas are likely resting on its coat. So take your pet for a flea bath before reintroducing them to your car. Only allow your pet back into the car when you’re sure all the fleas have been removed from its coat. After the initial treatment, continue to ensure your pet is flea-free with the help of Vet’s Best Bath Foam (available on Amazon.com). This waterless bath foam is ideal for fidgety pets, who can be difficult to bathe.

Final Thoughts

While a hot car will eventually get rid of your flea problem, the process isn’t as straightforward as you’d imagine. Don’t be afraid to try it out, but if it doesn’t work, opt for one of the more thorough cleaning options mentioned in this article.

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