Vacuuming Sucks Fleas to Doom

Professor finds fleas' journey into cleaner is a one-way trip
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 2:36 PM CST
Fred Hink's tests were on cat fleas, although an entomology expert employed by an exterminator said he expected the results of vacuuming on dog fleas would be much the same.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – Does vacuuming kill fleas? The answer is yes, according to a retired Ohio professor, the Columbus Dispatch reports. In a study he did years ago for an appliance company, Fred Hink sucked up 100 fleas at a time with a vacuum cleaner and was surprised to find very few of them survived the experience.

Hink thinks the combination of the beater brush and the banging around inside the vacuum fatally damages the fleas' waxy coating. "I can see where that kind of physical abuse would kill most of them," an expert commented. Vacuuming looks like an ideal way of getting rid of fleas without chemicals, although the expert warned that fleas are pretty good at hiding.