Homemade Flea Trap

All flea traps have very simple designs, even the ones that you purchase from the store. If you are looking to save money you can build your own homemade flea trap. This can easily be done with common household items.

How Flea Traps Work

Essentially all flea traps work by having a light, and beneath it a capturing device. The light will attract in the adult fleas with light and warmth. All insects are attracted to light, and 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. Then beneath the light, you place a device to capture in the fleas. With store bought traps this is usually replaceable sticky pads. However, with our homemade flea trap we will be using a water bowl. It is as simple as that!

Part 1: Light Source

The easiest thing is to just find a small desk lamp, and place it on the ground. Make sure it is 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 heat 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.
The key to making this 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 is a surfactant. This means it will reduce the surface tension of the water. This makes the fleas instantly sink down and drown. Without the wish soap the fleas would simply stay on the surface, work their way to the edges, and escape.

Where to Set Up the Trap

Place the homemade flea trap in a location where you have noticed a lot of fleas. Good locations are typically near pet areas, bedding, and corners of carpets. Rooms where people and pets spend a lot of time, will usually be places 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. Read our article about flea traps for more information.

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