Do Fleas Drown in Water? | Information and Facts

Written by Paul Hayes

If you ever wondered how you would eliminate fleas from your home or your pets there are many options. But you may be thinking about a treatment, which will cost you less or can be done naturally.

Do fleas drown in water? Fleas can be drowned in water, but it takes time. Normal water’s surface allows fleas to float and survive for 7 days, but if submerged they will be drowned after 24 hours. Combining dishwashing soap and water will accomplish it more quickly.

This article will discuss some of the facts about utilizing water to eliminate fleas and bonus tips for the best flea treatments.

Can You Drown Fleas in Water?

Can You Drown Fleas in Water

You can drown the fleas, but it requires a longer period of time. Fleas can float in normal water and can survive in it for hours. They can even escape from drowning by jumping out of the water.

How Long Does It Take for a Flea to Drown?

When fleas are in normal water, they can survive for up to 7 days. Fleas take at least 24 hours to drown when submerged.

They can’t breathe underwater, but they have a respiratory mechanism that allows them to survive without oxygen for a day.

How to Drown Fleas?

A flea must be submerged for an extended period to drown. Submerging fleas in a cup of water mixed with dish detergent is faster and more efficient to eliminate them through drowning. Fleas will be trapped by this solution, which will prevent them from jumping or escaping from the water.

Can You Drown Flea Eggs?

Can You Drown Flea Eggs

Fleas, including adults and eggs, do not easily drown in water. The flea eggs are made to resist drowning. Flea eggs have a particular structure called “plastron” that allows them to survive even when buried beneath the water’s surface. It’s a mesh-like gas layer within the egg’s shell that helps the egg to obtain oxygen from the water while also preventing water from entering the egg.

Do Fleas Drown in Rain? 

Rain can harm growing fleas, and it can even kill them. If the soil becomes wet, immature stages such as flea eggs will drown. On the other hand, rain does not eliminate fleas effectively, as adult fleas prefer to stay on their host and thrive in carpets, beddings, and other warm environments.

Do Fleas Drown In Soapy Water?

Fleas can be eliminated by soaking with soapy water. To do this, you need to add soap to the water, such as dish soap. The flea will break the surface of the water and dish soap solution, sink to the bottom, and die as a result.

Can You Drown Fleas off Your Dog?

Can You Drown Fleas off Your Dog

Simple bathing your dog with warm water might help get rid of some fleas from your pet’s body and hair. But fleas can’t get rid of effectively with just warm water. You’ll need to use a shampoo that has anti-flea chemicals.

Following the bath, apply a cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, or citrus-infused shampoo to keep fleas at bay. Cedar has also been proposed as a flea repellent in locations where dogs sleep, and the use of fennel leaves rubbed into the dog’s coat has also been suggested.

Can You Drown Fleas off a Cat?

Bathing your cat is good hygiene, but once their fur dries out and they start roaming about, there is a tendency that fleas can infest your cat. Using a flea comb is one of the best approaches to get rid of fleas.

Pay special attention to your cat’s neck, tummy, and base of the tail, as these are the areas where fleas are most prone to live on your pet. After brushing your cat’s fur, dip your flea comb into a jar of water with a thin layer of dish soap on top. The fleas will be drowned as a result of this.

Will Submerging a Dog in Water Eliminate Fleas?

Fleas cannot be drowned by simply submerging your dog in the water. While it is possible to drown a flea, don’t decide to fill a tub with water and plunge your dog in it to get rid of fleas. While a flea submerged in water will eventually die, it would take at least 24 hours for this to happen.

Can Fleas Drown In the Washing Machine?

Fleas and their eggs will be eliminated by the detergent powder, heat treatment, and turbulence caused by your washing machine. In all phases of life, the fleas can be eliminated during the washing process or will end up in your drainage and sewer system. 

Should You Use Dishwasher Soap to Bathe Your Pet?

It is strongly discouraged by experts. Dish soap is designed to remove fats and oils, and it may irritate your pet’s skin. Your pet’s natural skin oils may be rinsed away. It may also be harmful if it gets into your pet’s eyes or if they ingest it.

Fleas may be treated using homemade pet shampoo. The secret to this is to use lavender essential oil, which has anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial components.

Does Hot Water Eliminate Fleas on Dogs and Cats?

Fleas alone can be eliminated by hot water and soap. On the other hand, regular bathing is one of the simplest methods to prevent fleas from spreading throughout your pets. Fleas can be eliminated by giving your pet a thorough wash with regular pet shampoo  and warm water that is not too hot for your pet.

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Proceed by filling the tub with warm water and diluted soap. Wash around your pet’s neck to prevent fleas from climbing onto the pet’s head and escaping the bathwater. On the other hand, cats prefer grooming over bathing, but bathing is a better control method for dogs or long-haired cats.

Best Flea Treatments 

Dishwashing Soap

Using dish soap and water, you can make a flea trap:

Step 1: You must fill a plate or bowl with a solution of hot water and dish soap.

Step 2: Distribute it in the areas of your home where fleas are most active.

Due to the high viscosity of the solution, the water and dish soap combination acts as glue and trapping the fleas. But be careful as your pets may ingest it.


Vacuum all floors, upholstery, and mattresses. Fleas and their eggs, larvae, and cocoons prefer to hide in cracks and other confined areas. Use a vacuum with a bag that you can dispose of without coming into touch with the contents.

Wash All Beddings

All beddings, including your pet’s bedding, should be washed in hot water and detergent. If the infestation is severe, consider getting rid of old bedding.

Related: Does the Dryer Kill Fleas? | Step by Step Removal Guide Included

Spray of Herbs

To do the spray:

Step 1: Add two sprigs of rosemary leaves to boiling water to make a strong solution.

Step 2: Let the liquid cool down before spraying, rinsing, or soaking the coat of your pet.


In normal water, fleas may live for up to 7 days, while it takes at least 24 hours underwater to drown the fleas. The procedure can be sped up by adding a few drops of dish soap to the water. Some of the best flea treatments are vacuuming hideouts of fleas in your home, washing your linens, including your pet’s bedding, and using herbs like rosemary as a pet treatment.

Related: How To Kill Fleas? Best Flea Killers

List of Sources 

Controlling Fleas and Ticks Around Your Home. United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Vail, K. (2006). Chemical and Nonchemical Management of Fleas. University of Tennessee.

Drlik, T. (2002). Less-Toxic Pest Management: Keeping off Your Pets and Out of Your Yard. City of Santa Monica.

Paul Hayes
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