All flea traps have very simple designs, even the ones that you purchase from the store. The simple design of flea traps makes them easy to build. If you are looking to save money, you can build your own homemade flea trap. This can easily be done with common household items. Building your own flea trap can be a lot of fun, and makes a good project for kids as well.
Here we will go over everything you need know about building your own flea trap.
How Flea Traps Work
As mentioned, flea traps have very simple designs. Essentially, all flea traps work by having a lamp and capturing device beneath it. The light and warmth from the lamp will attract in adult fleas from over 30 feet away. All insects are attracted to light, but fleas have special infrared sensors to detect heat. They are attracted to warmth because they think it is a warm-blooded animal, and they are looking for a blood meal. Underneath the light, there is a way to capture in the fleas. With store bought flea traps, the capture device is going to be replaceable sticky pads. However, with our homemade flea trap we will be using a water bowl. That is all there is, just 2 components!
Part 1: Light & Heat Source
Using a common desk lamp is the easiest way to create a heat and light source. Simply place the lamp on the floor. Make sure it has a traditional incandescent or florescent bulb. If you use an LED light it will not work as well, because LED lights produce hardly any heat. The warmth is the most important factor in attracting fleas.
Part 2: Capture Mechanism
An easy way to catch and kill the fleas is to drown them in water. Get an aluminum pie tin or a bowl. Aluminum is best because it will heat up the water, thus attracting fleas. Fill up the pie tin about 3/4 of the way with water. Warmer water is better, but it doesn’t really matter since lamp will heat up the water.
Part 3: The Secret Ingredient
The key to making the trap work is to put a little bit of dish soap in the water. A couple drops is really all you need. The soap itself won’t kill the fleas, but the soap works as a surfactant. This means it will reduce the surface tension of the water. This makes the fleas instantly sink down and drown. Without the dish soap, the fleas would simply stay on the surface, work their way to the edges, and escape. Dawn is the best dish soap to use.
Where to Set Up the Trap
Obviously the place the homemade flea trap in a location where you have noticed a lot of adult fleas. If you do not know where to place the trap, good locations are typically near pet areas, bedding, and corners of carpets. Keep in mind that rooms where people and pets spend a lot of time, will usually be rooms where fleas spend a lot of time.
While this is a completely safe and non-toxic flea control method, there are some things you need to be careful of. If you have children or pets, they could end up knocking the trap over and spilling water all over. In these cases, it might be better to purchase a flea trap. Store bought traps are usually more stable, use sticky pads instead of water, and have grates to cover the pads. This makes them much more friendly for rambunctiousness kids and pets.