User Reviewed

How to Make a Flea Trap

Five Methods:Lamp trapCup trapCandle trapsTV trapBorax trap

Instead of spending extra money on commercial flea traps and dealing with their chemicals, consider using a homemade solution. You can make a flea trap by simply filling a dish with soapy water and placing it near a lamp, window, candle, or television; the fleas will be attracted to the light and get trapped inside the solution. While homemade flea traps won't eradicate a large flea population, they can help you control and monitor a dying infestation. For best results, use these suggestions with the information in How to Get Rid of Fleas to completely rid yourself of your flea problem.

Method 1
Lamp trap

  1. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 1
    Get a stable desk lamp with a warm, bright bulb.
  2. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 2
    If placing along a wall, a downward facing nightlight in an outlet immediately above can be effective in a dark room if shining directly into the bowl.
  3. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 3
    Fill an aluminum pie pan or better still, a low sided white bowl 3/4 full with water first, then add some dish soap (to cause the fleas to sink instead of floating atop the water.)
  4. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 4
    You need to add enough dish soap to cause the water to color. You can use 1 teaspoon of Ajax (or another dish soap) for about 2 cups of water and it looks like Lemonade when set at the proper concentration.
    • Note, more soap is better than less. Many swear by Dawn since it's a very highly concentrated dish soap, so you may be able to use even just few drops per cup.
      Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 5
  5. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 6
    Swish it around gently to mix evenly without creating bubbles.
  6. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 7
    Place the bowl of water directly under the lamp and turn on the light. Fleas will gravitate towards the warmth and light, then fall into the soapy water.

Method 2
Cup trap

  1. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 8
    Fill several cups or bowls halfway full with the soapy solution described in the previous method. Some suggest bleach but there are many added risks to children, animals and carpets/furniture/clothing when using this chemical. Soapy water is just as effective without the risks.
  2. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 9
    Place the cups on warm window sills. The warmth and light will lure the fleas and they'll sink and die screaming in the solution.

Method 3
Candle traps

  1. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 10
    Light a thick candle where you won't have to leave it unattended. The fleas will jump into the liquid wax and get stuck.
  2. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 11
    Alternatively, float a tea light candle in a bowl of the soapy solution. This is a combination of the desk lamp and candle methods.

Method 4
TV trap

  1. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 12
    Fill a 13x9 pan half full of water.
  2. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 13
    Place on floor in front of TV before going to bed.
  3. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 14
    Turn on TV and turn off sound.
  4. Image titled Make a Flea Trap Step 15
    Wake up in morning and be amazed at the number of fleas that die during TV commercials!

Method 5
Borax trap

  1. Image titled 68901 15
    Use a flour sifter to distribute borax in a rug. Sprinkle borax across a rug.
  2. Image titled 68901 16
    Use a firm bristle scrub brush to rub the borax into the rug.
  3. Image titled 68901 17
    Let sit for a minimum of 2 hours. Do not let pets, infants or children into the room.
  4. Image titled 68901 18
    Vacuum the rug thoroughly. Empty the contents into an outside trash bag. The fleas should now be dead.


  • Place a number of these traps in different locations in your home at the same time.
  • Place a cup of seltzer water or a combination of warm water, sugar, and yeast (to create carbon dioxide) into a tray or Tupperware with the soapy water. This lures the fleas, as well as bed bugs that are in the home.
  • Remember to place one close to where your pet sleeps--unless you think the pet will drink the water (see Warnings).
  • Since fleas are also attracted to carbon dioxide, using seltzer water may be more effective.
  • Be sure to empty and replace the water every day.
  • Set the temperature high for half an hour so it's hot (the fleas come out if its hot) and place a flea bomb off! You can get them in the big pet shops such as pets at home or Walmart!
  • Use a sugary juice such as orange juice in a cup. The sugar attracts bugs and they will drown.


  • Follow the guidelines offered by the desk lamp manufacturer as to how long you can leave it on.
  • Do not hang electric light over water.
  • Watch carefully when a flea falls in and/or you drop a flea in the soapy water. Fleas may float, swim to the side, and crawl out!! Fleas have been known to sink to the bottom, swim to the top, go to the edge, crawl out, and hop away! Adding too much soap to break the surface tension is better than not enough.
  • Dogs and cats may be tempted to drink some of the water. This is bad because the soap might cause a little indigestion. Adding mint,vinegar or citrus oil to it may repel cats, but it's uncertain what that would do for the efficacy of the trap. You can also put some sort of screen barrier over the trap, like half of a fan cage.[1]

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Flea Control