How to Make an Effective Homemade Flea Trap, 3 Ways

Fleas are a common problem for pet owners. These tiny pests can quickly infest your home and cause major irritation for both you and your furry friends. While chemical flea treatments have improved, they can still be costly and expose your family and pets to harsh toxins.

Luckily, there are several highly effective homemade flea trap options that allow you to get rid of fleas without using dangerous chemicals. Homemade flea traps are inexpensive, safe, and when used properly, can significantly reduce or eliminate a flea infestation.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the top 3 homemade flea trap methods that really work. Follow these proven DIY flea trap instructions for best results.

Why Homemade Flea Traps Are Effective

Before we get into the specifics of building different homemade flea traps, let’s look at why these DIY options are so effective for controlling fleas:

  • Traps Target Adult Fleas: Flea traps are designed to catch adult fleas. By capturing adult fleas, you stop them from reproducing and laying more eggs that lead to further infestation.
  • Prevent Biting and Itching: Trapping adult fleas prevents them from biting and feeding on your pets and family members, providing fast relief from irritation and itching.
  • Natural and Non-Toxic: Homemade flea traps avoid the use of harsh pesticides and chemicals, making them safe for people, pets, and the environment.
  • Inexpensive: Building your own flea trap costs a fraction of what you would pay for commercial flea control products. Materials are cheap and easy to find.
  • DIY Convenience: You can build a homemade flea trap tailored to your specific needs and using items you already have at home. No special tools or skills required!

Now let’s dive into the top 3 homemade flea trap designs and how to construct them properly for maximum effectiveness.

Method 1: Candle Trap

The candle trap takes advantage of fleas’ attraction to heat and light. With just a few supplies, you can make a powerful flea-catching device.

What You Need

  • Plate or shallow dish
  • Tea light or votive candle
  • Water
  • Dish soap

How It Works

Fleas are drawn to the heat and light of the candle. The soapy water traps and drowns the fleas when they jump towards the flame and fall into the water. The dish soap also helps break the surface tension of the water, making it harder for fleas to escape.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to make a simple but highly effective candle flea trap:

  1. Fill the plate or shallow dish with water about 1/2 inch deep. Add a few drops of dish soap and mix gently to break surface tension.
  2. Place a tea light or votive candle in the center of the dish. Make sure the candle is short enough that the flame remains below the dish rim.
  3. Light the candle and place the trap on the floor in an area where you’ve seen fleas. Try under furniture, on carpeted areas, or where pets sleep.
  4. Leave the trap in place overnight or for several hours at a time. The candle will attract and drown the fleas.
  5. Check the trap and dump out the water each day, refilling with soapy water to continue trapping fleas.

Tip: For best results, place several candle traps around infested areas. Use unscented candles, as fleas dislike strong odors.

Method 2: Lamp Trap

Similar to the candle trap, a lamp trap also exploits fleas’ attraction to light and heat. This trap is slightly more complex but can catch fleas in greater numbers.

What You Need

  • Desk lamp or floor lamp
  • Metal mixing bowl
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Duct tape

How It Works

The lamp shining down on the metal bowl filled with soapy water generates heat and light that lures fleas. The slippery surface causes fleas to fall in and drown once they jump towards the light.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps carefully when constructing a lamp flea trap:

  1. Fill the metal mixing bowl about halfway with water. Add several drops of dish soap and stir to break the surface tension.
  2. Tape the mixing bowl securely to the neck of the desk lamp or floor lamp. Position the bowl close to the bulb so it receives maximum light and heat.
  3. Angle the lamp so the bulb shines down into the bowl of soapy water. Make sure no other light sources interfere.
  4. Place the lamp trap on the floor in a room where fleas are present. Turn on the light and leave it on overnight.
  5. Check the bowl each morning for drowned fleas. Remove flea bodies and replace the soapy water daily.

Be very cautious when positioning the bowl to avoid water spilling onto the lamp and causing damage or electrical hazard. Place the trap in an area secure from pets and children accidentally knocking it over.

Method 3: Sticky Trap

If you want to trap fleas without using liquids, a sticky trap is the way to go. This trap uses adhesive to snare adult fleas as they jump onto the trap surface.

What You Need

  • Shallow pan or pie plate
  • Double-sided carpet tape

How it Works

Fleas jumping up towards the heat signature of the pan will land on the super sticky double-sided carpet tape and become trapped. The adhesive is strong enough that fleas cannot escape once stuck.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to make a simple sticky flea trap:

  1. Take a shallow pan or pie plate and line the inside bottom surface with double sided carpet tape, sticky side facing up.
  2. Trim any overhanging tape edges so they don’t stick to the sides of the pan.
  3. Optional – Place a night light or tealight candle in the center of the pan to generate additional heat and light.
  4. Position the sticky trap on the floor in a heavy flea area. Leave overnight or up to 24 hours.
  5. Check the trap and count trapped fleas. Remove flea bodies and re-position the trap to continue catching fleas.

Note: Sticky traps lose effectiveness once covered in dead fleas and debris. Replace the double-sided tape after a few days of use.

Tips for Maximizing Homemade Flea Trap Effectiveness

Follow these handy tips and tricks to get the most out of your DIY flea traps:

  • Use multiple traps in heavily infested rooms to catch more fleas. Combat the infestation from multiple angles.
  • Position traps near pet rest areas, under furniture, and on carpeted areas where fleas congregate.
  • Leave traps overnight when fleas are most active for best results.
  • Maintain the traps by changing water, removing debris, and replacing sticky tape regularly.
  • Use traps continuously until the flea problem is under control, at least 2-3 weeks. Fleas can rebound quickly from just a single breeding cycle.
  • Combine trapping with thorough vacuuming to remove flea eggs and speed up eradication.
  • Treat pets with an effective flea control product to stop the infestation at its source and prevent re-infestation.
  • Enlist a professional exterminator for severe flea infestations. Traps alone may not completely eliminate a major flea issue.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Flea Traps

Homemade flea traps are a safe and affordable option for flea control, but you may still have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most common homemade flea trap FAQs:

How often should homemade flea traps be checked and maintained?

Check and empty traps daily for best results. Fleas caught in traps will die quickly. Remove all flea bodies, debris, and replace water/sticky tape every 24 hours.

Where is the best place to position homemade flea traps?

Focus traps in areas where pets sleep or rest, under furniture, along baseboards, and in infested carpeting. Spread traps out around the whole room for thorough coverage.

How many homemade flea traps are needed?

For a serious infestation, use at least 3-5 traps in each heavily infested room. Trapping fleas in multiple locations is more effective than using just one trap.

How long does it take for homemade traps to work?

Traps begin working immediately but consistent trapping over 2-4 weeks is needed to gain full control. Follow up with continued maintenance trapping. Monitor pets closely.

Are homemade flea traps safe for pets and kids?

Yes, non-toxic traps are safe for use around pets and children, provided they are positioned securely out of reach. Supervise closely when traps are in use.

Can homemade flea traps get rid of an infestation completely?

Traps are highly useful for reducing flea populations, but thorough cleaning and treating pets is also needed for complete control. Call an exterminator for severe cases.

How often should the soapy water or sticky tape be changed in homemade traps?

Change out the soapy water or sticky tape every 24 hours for optimal effectiveness. Flea debris reduces trap effectiveness over time.

What household items work to trap fleas?

Candles, lamps, soapy water, double-sided tape, pie plates, mixing bowls, and plastic containers can all be used to make homemade flea traps.


Homemade flea traps are an inexpensive, convenient way to tackle a flea problem without using harsh chemicals. Methods like candle traps, lamp traps, or sticky traps allow you to leverage flea behaviors against them in order to reduce biting and reproduction.

Position multiple homemade flea traps in infested areas and be diligent in maintaining and replacing traps as needed. Combining trapping with thorough pet treatment and vacuuming can help you gain control of a flea infestation.

While homemade traps alone may not completely eliminate a major flea issue, they are still a non-toxic and helpful tool to reduce flea populations. Used continuously and as part of an integrated pest management plan, these DIY traps can help provide effective and affordable flea control.