Introduction: Home Made Flea Trap

Picture of Home Made Flea Trap

We had two cats and never had a flea problem til we had gotten our third (a kitten). Well then we ended up getting..super fleas...So while shopping for my assault on them I saw something like this at a store for around $40.00. So I decided to make my own cheaper version and it works. Just put it in an area where fleas are most concentrated..It uses a small light, metal fan housing , styrofoam plate, honey or karo syrup..I found honey more sticky and smears better on the plate (doesnt pool up). I use the fan housing to keep that cats out of the honey covered plate. I placed the small nightlight on the housing. Since fleas are attracted to the light, they land in the plate and get stuck...No chemicals! I had taken a pic of what the plate looked like after a week of it sitting..Gross I know but the cats are fine I got them some, special flea pills and it killed off the fleas..I just had gotten tired of spraying chems and feeling like I was killing my cats in the process!

Step 1: Obtain Styrofoam Plate, Honey, Fan Housing, Nightlight

Its pretty simple to put a lengthy description! Honey on plate, plate under a fan housing, light on fan housing..And leave it alone!

Step 2: Chemicaless Flea Trap

Picture of Chemicaless Flea Trap

To simple for a description..This is the nightlight I rummaged around and found.

Step 3: Its That Simple

Im done

Step 4: Done!

Picture of Done!

The aftermath.


coreyfro (author)2015-03-20

I'm trying a blinking bike light as an attractor. We'll see how that works.

afhales (author)coreyfro2017-06-06

Fleas are attracted to heat and light. An incandescent light may work better.

Nita43 (author)2016-09-01

I've been dealing with fleas for a few weeks now, I can't wait to get home and try this tonight! I'm going out of my mind and if this does the trick, you will have saved my sanity! Thanks for the idea!!

joseph-pest-controller (author)2016-03-28

Great idea! What's the purpose of the fan housing?

benarah89 (author)2015-12-16

I had posted this YEARS ago and glad to see a lot of people found it useful and/or thought it was a good idea.

martigunni (author)2015-11-03

I do a similar thing for gnats. We have tiny gnats that hatch in spring, and are tiny enough to get through the screens. They don't bite, just drive you nuts. Every night I rig a goose neck light low over the toilet, and make sure all other lights are out. In the morning you flush, and that batch is gone! The house is relatively gnat free until someone opens a window for a breeze.
But for fleas? They can lie dormant for ages, and one hatch reinfects the house. 1)Treat all the cats, 2)vacuum daily for a week (to get the fleas to hatch) then 3) treat the house, 4)keep vacuuming daily so any others hatch while the chemicals are still potent.

meowmom1961 (author)2015-07-31

owtogetridoffleasez (author)2015-02-20

very clever. thank you.

sean.ocallaghan.7169 (author)2014-07-31

Since Fleas are attracted to sudden shadow cast in front of a light I made my flea traps using a GU10 colour changing LED lamp since the colour changing is like the casting shadows, it has worked very well. I have also read they are attracted to green light so make a trap using another GU10 green LED lamp, this also worked very well. The advantages of LED lamps is there is no dangerous heat and they use far less power than normal lamps.

Josephine3 (author)2013-07-06

I saw your homemade flea trap and like the way you put it together. I had purchased a flea trap more than 15 yrs. ago from one of those catalogs that come in the mail. It was made of plastic and is now starting to break up. I use to order refills that were sticky that the fleas or any bug that happened to be attracted to the light would get stuck. After a while I got tired of paying for the refills and started to make my own. I made a templet of the refill and traced it on clear contact paper. I would then peel of the paper to expose the sticky surface, just like the refills I would pay dearly for. It worked like a charm. I'm not comfortable useing honey or karo because it would attract bugs and since I live in Florida, no matter how much you do pest control, there are always the threat of bugs in the house. When I use your instructions, I will use a ceramic plate and when I put the contact paper, sticky side up, I will use double sided tape to hold the contact paper to the plate.

robertg62 (author)2013-06-06

Never seen this particular method. Thanks!

sugieann (author)2013-02-26

I have several house dogs.I have been fighting fleas for over a year,your idea sounds good. I am going to give it a try. Thanks Sugieann

nerdner (author)2012-09-11

Thanks for the idea!!... Yesterday after a night of being bitten and discovering a flea in bed. I decided to hoover everywhere twice and wash everything that wasnt nailed down.

Today I saw another flea in my room, so made a make-shift trap with an upturned lamp, hanging over a saucer of vinegar. Within 1 hour there was a lil bugger kicking around in there.

30 mins later and it was still swimming around.. so I've added a few drops of dish soap.. lowering the surface tension. its now sunk and drowned.

Hopefully by tomorrow morning there will be a few more in there.

hcrain (author)2011-06-14

Does it have to be a Styrofoam plate? Or will paper work?

mthomp1 (author)hcrain2012-08-30

Styrofoam plate is better than paper. Paper gets soggy after a while. Glass or china plate works equally well. Fleas are attracted to the heat from the bulb, not light.

reeree1275 (author)mthomp12012-09-01

as far as the light, I got a store bought flea catcher and the light on it was not hot at all but it really did the job. From what I saw they may also be attracted to some light. I had 7 dogs at once so I had to set them up all over the house but when I did all I had to do was to make sure my dogs were well bathed because while they were in the house most of the time they sometimes went outside. and they were big dogs. Now I have one dog barely 10lbs and she is sometimes covered with fleas, a lot more than my other dogs.

Lordsknight (author)hcrain2012-03-02

Use a cheap cardboard glue trap for mice. leave it flat and face up. place under an electric socket with a night light.

doo da do (author)2012-05-16

I had flea infestation in my yard years ago. I used an old baking sheet with a candle raise out of the cooking oil. Never seen so many dead fleas. You could use the oil in the plate also, really kills them. Doodado

pdodkins (author)2012-04-05

recently while being eaten alive at my mums, i noticed the dogs water bowl in front of the tele had quite alot of dead fleas in it.
I just assumed they had jumped out while the dog was drinking. Now that i know they are attracted to the television i'll be telling my mum to leave another bowl of water in front permanetly

lmadere (author)2011-08-18

What a great idea! Wow, I never knew you could catch them so easy. It sure does work well, that's a lot of fleas! Thanks for sharing I don't have a problem, but I like to know what to do if I do get one. And I can pass this info on to those that do have a problem, on my blog. Thanks again!
Smart Moms Saving Money

Lordsknight (author)lmadere2012-03-02

We simply use a cheap cardboard glue trap for mice and place it underneath an outlet with a white night light. The amber lights are not as effective...Works everytime!

doo da do (author)2011-07-18

Years ago had a flea infestation in yard, used old cookie pan and cooking oil. Used candle on raised surface they loved the little light in the darkness. Two days the were finished.

Noras Cats (author)2011-01-05

I actually found this non-expensive flea trap - works really well - and doesn't have any chemicals or anything. Cleared every room I put it in.
I don't have a link, but its called - myfleatrap.
Has been tested by universities and stuff. Should try it out.

star_above_the_clouds (author)2010-11-27

This is SO helpful! Thank you!

My dogs have had HUGE flea problems since I've moved to the country 4 years ago... and we've never had a flea problem before. This will REALLY help!

Let me go subscribe... :D

psyoper22 (author)2010-10-08

aw man! i once had raccoons infiltrate the crawl space in the attic and they introduced fleas into my home, everyone got bit up, everywhere!!!

i bombed the entire house with chemicals, sprays, carpet powders, etc. i even cut small pieces of flea collars and stapled them to the edge of my bed frame...that's how bad it was.

if i knew, i would have definitely used this method!

KillerMermaid (author)2010-01-25

Wow. Are all those black dots fleas? Or are some flea poop?

I got a really bad flea problem for the past few months.. covered in flea bites. I keep a jar of soapy water by my bed for when I catch fleas manually and drown them... never realized that I could simply use a light at night to attract them!


urbanprimate (author)2009-11-12

Awesome!  I did something similar using a candle in the middle of a saucer of soapy water, but this looks a lot safer.  The fleas were attracted to the heat of the flame and either died there or drowned in the water (soap took care of the water tension that normally keeps fleas from drowning.  The pets had moved out, though, so we didn't have to worry about candles getting knocked over.  Great job repurposing the fan housing to keep the animals safe!

botronics (author)2009-08-09

A flea infestation started at my Moms house when she moved out (the cat got out and brought in fleas). So i tried to find one of those lighted flea traps. Couldn't find one locally. So with typical maker philosophy, if you can find one, make one. I learned fleas are attracted to modulated light and heat. I found a electronic candle circuit on the net that uses a Pic MPU. The pic modulates a mosfet to flicker a 12 volt turn signal bulb. I just set it up tonight to test at home to see if it catches anything (no fleas here, but what the heck). If it does catch something, I'll take it to Moms place. Schematic here

benarah89 (author)botronics2009-09-03

Looks good.. I just took the old fan cover and used it as the cage to keep the cats from getting into the honey.... As far as the flickering light effect, I havent tried that.. I have found that a bright constant light seems to attract them better.. If one where to walk into a room with white socks an one with no socks the white socker would get a great deal more flesa.. So I think they are primary attracted to light and heat would be there secondary way for finding food.. Just a theory and little test Ive done.. The brighter the better.. LED lights might work great.. I havent dont much in the way of upgrading because it actually Thanks for everyones positive feedback... Great to see something that actually works for ppl without having to harm the environment, themselves or animals..

botronics (author)benarah892009-09-06

LEDs don't give off heat like a light bulb does.

botronics (author)botronics2009-08-09

Now I remember were I found the Pic program. It was at Mondo Technology. Look up this patent number about modulated light flea traps at your favorite patent site. Patent Number 5,231,790.

botronics (author)botronics2009-08-09

And now the Youtube video showing the flicker effect

botronics (author)botronics2009-08-11

One of the fleas came home with me. I got it! Photonic Technology does work!

rosewood513 (author)2009-06-26

Unbelievable, My senior (indoor) cat got outside somehow and now we have fleas. You make it look so easy I am going to fix this right now. Thanks so much for sharing, ha I just picked one off my arm, not easy since they are rally fast.

Ray-l-l (author)2009-06-03

Thanks for the great Instructable. I tried something similar and used a mixture of vinegar and a small amount of soap.With the vinegar, the cats would not bother the plate.

Cdoodle (author)2009-01-06

Great idea! I took the door off my cat carrier to put over a shallow aluminum pan that has soapy water and was scrounging around trying to figure out what to put over a glass pie plate. The fan housing is such a great idea. I'd feel better about using a night light like you have shown than the 40 watt clamp light i'm using now, it gets kind of hot. Thanks for the great idea!

doo da do (author)2009-01-01

years ago we had an infestation in the yard, I placed cooking oil in an old cookie sheet, placed small block of wood in middle (so the oil would not catch on fire), I used a tea light candle, next morning the whole pan was cover with dead fleas, works great if you have them outside

Cthulu (author)2008-10-30

Tried this and it works better than I would have ever thought. I had no idea how many fleas were in our house (they never bite me for some reason) until I did this. According to meh mom, the fleas are attracted to the heat the bulb is putting off, not the light, so I don't THINK an led will work, but I'm really not sure. Great Instructable.

benarah89 (author)Cthulu2008-11-21

Glad it worked for you..I switched from using styrofoam plates to an old white glass plate..White so I can see the progress of my e-vile trap...Plus it saves on the environment..All I do now is use hot water and the honey and its victims dissolves right down the drain..Dry off the now hot plate and reload with a thin coat of honey...Its been awhile since a caught a flea, now Im catching random flying bugs at night...But you are right it really works..Thanks for the positive feedback.

defiant1 (author)2008-08-21

Cool idea, but you need to read up on an led instructable and make that thing more efficient. Nice though. 5 stars.

benarah89 (author)defiant12008-08-25

I would use an led but I dont know if the fleas are attracted to the light, the heat or both. I found that when its cold (a/c) they werent as active, except by the little light...But I should look into the led setup and experiment with it next season, unless the super fleas return this season!:(..Thanx for the tip.

defiant1 (author)benarah892008-08-26

I was kinda just kidding anyway. Still a cool idea.

nnygamer (author)2008-08-14

Nice and simple. I made something similar but I used soapy water. The soap allows the fleas to drown in the water where if it didn't have the soap they would stay on top.

benarah89 (author)nnygamer2008-08-14

That crossed my mind, but I havent seen one ant...And beleive me they are all over out side...I think its because there isnt away for #1 the ants to get into the honey to take it too there colony #2 If they did Id be looking at ants in the mix with the

Sinner3k (author)nnygamer2008-08-14

And the added bonus of not attracting ants. If I tried something like this with honey or Karo syrup, the plate would be crawling away on the backs of millions of ants.

pyro13 (author)2008-08-14

awsome! good idea!

ikoda (author)2008-08-14

eeeeew, that's gross, imagine the plate turned black....

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