How to make your own flea trap

Long ago (it seems like forever) before the introduction of Precor and products like Advantage or Comortis, flea work ranked right up there with getting your teeth pulled; without anesthesia.

We used to use Ficam W by the barrel full back then and as soon as we were finished servicing the account we immediately pulled out our pocket calendar to schedule a 14 day follow up. Needless to say we as an industry needed serious help in flea control.

Somewhere along the line, and I’m not sure who taught me this trick but I learned how to make your own flea trap. It was primitive to say the least but at this point anything that could help was a welcome in my opinion.

This trap will not solve all of your flea problems and is not a complete home flea treatment but; it can give some relief to frustrated homeowners and gives your sadistic side a little satisfaction when you see all those pesky fleas dead in your contraption.

The most important element of the trap is a light to put directly over the trap. Night light, lamp, a flashlight you name it. The softer the glow the better and if you can get a green colored light bulb, that is the best bar none. Why? You ask. I have no clue. If you have the answer to this that would be great, I’ll be happy to post it or you can just comment below. Blue lights are second and any color except white and yellow from there on.

Next you’ll need a landing area that will serve as your trap. I’ve seen all kinds of variations here and all seem to work just fine. The main thing is you want the fleas to jump into the trap and not able to jump out. Soapy water is what almost everyone uses and it works great. Just place a shallow cooking pan or cookie sheet under your light with a little bit of dish washing soap. Fill with water and wella, one flea trap ready to go. If you have nosey pets they usually will sniff around your trap but one drink of the soapy water and they’ll leave it be. The one downside I warn everyone about is if you use a lamp or other such light; you must be careful to secure it so that it won’t tip over and into the water. This could be a problem and someone could get shocked.

Using sticky traps can be very effective for you as well but curious pets this time may get a glue board stuck to their nose or paw. If need be use a pair of soapy scissors to cut away the glue without harming your pet. If you use stickies you should also put them in a pan so that the entire bottom is covered and then put a section of 1/4 inch hardware cloth over top. This will keep ‘fluffy’ out but allow the fleas in.

Vacant houses can be a do it yourself pest control nightmare. Fleas don’t hop all around when there isn’t any activity and if you’ve treated the whole house properly it still won’t do any good if they don’t get into your chemicals. This is why you can spray a vacant home but still come back to a whole host of flea activity even months later. The fleas simply stay put and can even go dormant for up to 2 years. When someone finally shows up and begins walking about, they wake up and go stark ‘hopping’ mad. It’s as if you did nothing at all. Flea light traps can help in this instance. The light gets them to hopping and the trap will do its job. You will also have the added bonus of fleas hitting your pest control treatment and many will die off before even hitting the trap. If there is no electricity you can use a 6 volt battery powered lantern or even an upside down ‘glow in the dark’ Frisbee.

You’ll need at least one trap per room and perhaps 2 or 3 for big infestations. They can work outside but you’ll end up with 1000’s of different kinds of bugs in your trap besides fleas. If making one is not for you they are available at almost all do it yourself stores and on line. So be creative, be careful and happy trapping.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • RMW

    Interesting that you say green and blue work bests for the light traps. Most commercial traps use regular white night light bulbs.

  • Green works best–but in a pinch, any light will attract at least a few.

  • Eric

    1. Could you use Green Glow Sticks over the traps? They’ll each last up to 10 hours. And coming to change them would stir the fleas. 2. What about replacing lights in a house with green lights and then having traps spread out all over the floor? Or does it need to be right above the trap to attract them to it?

  • The whole room idea won’t work as well as just one light source. The glow stick idea might though.