What is the best vacuum for fleas?
Bill wrote in to ask:
"Hi, I have fleas in my small studio apartment(with carpet) and have no animals. Must've brought them in myself. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best brand model/make of vacuum cleaner to invest in? I am looking for a 12 amp canister vacuum with disposable bags and no hepa filter. thanks for any help."
If you don't have pets, regular vacuuming can be a good way to get rid of fleas in your apartment. Vacuuming is usually not all that effective with pets because while you'll get a lot of them, they'll just be more in a few weeks when they hatch from the eggs and they'll get right back onto the pet. It's not that uncommon to get fleas even when you don't have pets, though, because all it really takes is one or two to get into your house and they can lay hundreds of eggs.
If you want to get rid of them by vacuuming, getting one with disposable bags is probably the way to go. Sucking up fleas in a vacuum doesn't usually kill them. If you leave the bag in the vacuum, they will be dazed for awhile but they'll crawl right back out in a few hours. You will also have eggs hatching in the bag or vacuum chamber. You need to remove the bag from your house entirely, or if it's a bagless vacuum, then you should empty it outside into a secure container like a trash bag (and probably wash out the inside as well).
Vacuuming has to be done regularly for a week or two, because the heat and vibration will cause the flea eggs in your carpet to hatch earlier. It also can't pick up larvae from the carpet because they generally attach themselves to the fibers. However, it gets many of the adults and eggs. You should also think about putting something in the vacuum bag to kill the fleas: cut up bits of flea collars are often recommended, and you could also just spray a bunch of bug spray in there after you use it, or dump some flea powder in.
Finally, wash your bed sheets every day or two while you're doing this. You are the only source of blood in your house, and they will usually bite you while you're asleep. That means adults and eggs in your bed.
As far as which vacuum brand is best: I've searched around for awhile trying to find somebody talking about which vacuum is particularly good for fleas or which ones don't work, but haven't been able to find specific commentary. The best vacuum I found that sounds like what you want is this:
Hoover U5145-900 Widepath Upright Bagged Vacuum Cleaner - Available Here Online for about $70
This one might be what you're looking for. It got very good reviews from people using it to deal with asthma problems. It's good for people looking to vacuum without paying through the roof for it - it doesn't have HEPA filters (which can be $20-25 every month or two to change if you vacuum often). It uses bags, which a lot of people prefer for sanitary reasons because the dust doesn't go everywhere when you take them out. I don't know specifically how it will perform against fleas, but the reviewers suggest it's got very good suction, which is important so you can get the adults even if they try to crawl or jump away.
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