Fleas But No Pets: What’s the Deal?

Are you noticing fleas around your house, even though you have no pets? Unfortunately, fleas don’t always need a furry host to make their way into our homes, there are several other ways that they may have wandered in. 

What can you do if you’ve got fleas but no pets?

In this article, we’ll look at some of the reasons you may be dealing with a flea infestation even though you have no pets. 

  • If the previous tenant had pets, those animals might have brought fleas into the home. 
  • Stray animals can also bring fleas to your yard, where they can then latch onto humans and enter the home. 
  • Wild animals like rats, squirrels, opossums, or raccoons can also harbor fleas. 

Read on for more about fleas and why they hang around, even if there are no pets present.

Can You Have Fleas But No Pets?

Unfortunately, yes – you can experience a flea infestation even though you don’t have any pets.

If you are worried that fleas have somehow managed to enter your house despite you not owning any animals, there are a couple of signs that you should look for:

  • Flea bites – Flea bites look like small, red bumps that swell up slightly. They can sometimes have a red ring around them and appear in clusters or rows of several at a time. Often they’re on the ankles.
  • Finding fleas – Be sure to check places like carpets and hardwood floors throughout your home. Fleas also love to hide in bedding, so you may want to consider giving your sheets a thorough wash. Be sure to dry your bedding on the highest heat setting.
  • Check your carpets – Try walking over your carpets while wearing white socks. Once you’re done, examine the socks. Any little black bugs you might see on your socks are fleas. Fleas will infest carpets!

How Fleas Enter Homes, Even Without Pets

Fleas that have lived on wild animals are able to make it to your yard under the right circumstances. They are able to jump incredible distances. And when you walk through your yard, they can end up jumping onto you as you walk past.

They might even jump through your front door, though this is a very unlikely scenario.

If you know that wild animals, like squirrels, raccoons, or deer, live around your home, then you should be mindful of fleas. If your neighbors have pets, those pets might be carrying fleas, which can also make their way onto your property. 

Even the briefest visit from a flea-carrying neighbor can bring fleas into your house. Unfortunately for us humans, fleas are very good at finding ways to move around and will waste no time settling down once they’ve found a suitable host. 

Even the briefest visit from a flea-carrying host can bring fleas into your house.

Fleas As a Sign of Larger Issues

Other than their annoying capacity to reproduce, another major concern with fleas, particularly for people who don’t own pets, is that an infestation of fleas is representative of a larger issue.

Rodents are common hosts for fleas. And when rats find a home to settle in, they tend to spread fleas around during their searches for food. 

If you find fleas around your home even though you have no pets, you may want to investigate a potential rodent infestation. Rats have their own set of issues and, in combination with fleas, can be quite harmful to your health. 

Exterminating Fleas

Thankfully, whether you have pets or not, there are a number of ways to quickly get rid of fleas.

Because fleas have multiple life stages, when you find adult fleas, you’ll have to assume that there are fleas in your house that are currently in the other stages. So, to truly eradicate the problem, you’ll have to approach it from all angles. 

This means that you must treat your living environment comprehensively. Here’s how:

  • Use a steam cleaner – This works well for upholstery and carpets. The combination of soap and intense heat makes quick work of fleas no matter their life stage. Pay careful attention to any nooks and crannies in your home.
  • Use a powerful vacuum – Vacuums are particularly effective at removing fleas from mattresses, floors, upholstery, and carpets. Fleas like to hide in tight spaces like cracks, so if you can, try to use a vacuum with a disposable bag and narrow attachment to cleanse your home. 
  • Wash and dry your bedding – Do this using hot water and detergent, and be sure to dry your bedding using the highest heat setting on your dryer. If it’s a really bad infestation, you may want to throw out your old bedding altogether in favor of getting a new set. 

If you want to be slightly more thorough and use a chemical cleaning treatment, we can’t stress the importance of caution enough. Many insecticides are also toxic to humans, pets, and the environment. 

Know what you’re doing when you’re using flea bombs and the like. They’re generally not a great choice, as they do nothing to the eggs!

How Long Does Extermination Take?

The time that it will take to rid your home of fleas will depend on how long the fleas have been there, as well as a few environmental factors. 

Thorough cleaning and using chemical flea treatments can get rid of most of the flea population in a matter of days. But, it might take up to a few weeks for all of the fleas in your home to die, even when you take the most comprehensive approach. 

Fleas can lay a lot of eggs very quickly, and some have even developed resistance to insecticides and medications. If you live on a large property, it might take you longer to eliminate the infestation entirely. 

Persistence is the key here – you need to be persistent and consistent with your treatments if you want to be able to rid your home of fleas. Refrain from bringing any pets into your home until you are certain the infestation is gone. 


Fleas can be a problem, even if you don’t have pets. They don’t commonly infest humans, but if you’re seeing fleas without any pets around, it could be a sign that other animals like mice, rats, or squirrels have hidden out in some nook of your home.