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Controlling Fleas

magnified photo of two fleas

Learn how to prevent and deal with flea infestations.


Fleas live and reproduce on dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and other mammals. They feed by sucking the blood of various mammals, including man.

  • Controlling fleas on pets is the key to preventing an infestation.
  • If you have an infestation, use the tips below to get rid of the fleas.

Indoor infestation

If you suspect that you have a flea infestation:

  1. Verify that there is an infestation by wearing white flannel knee-high socks or booties through the infested area. See if fleas are entangled on the white flannel surface.
  2. Vacuum carpets thoroughly, especially along baseboards. Steam clean carpets, if possible. Also vacuum furniture, furniture cushions, and any place a pet spends time. Place the used vacuum bag in a plastic bag.
    • Discard the vacuum bag to an exterior trash dumpster, or
    • Store it in the freezer to kill the fleas.
  3. Bathe pets and wash all of their bedding, frequently. If possible, use a veterinarian-approved flea growth inhibitor, such as Advantage or Frontline.

If the problem persists, repeat the above steps to eliminate the pest infestation.


  • HDH Residential Housing (HDHfixit) ticket system, or Customer Service Center (858) 534-2600.
  • Emergencies
    • Environment, Health & Safety:
      (858) 534-4534 weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Campus Police: (858) 534-4357 after business hours
  • Non-emergencies (Typical response time: 1 working day)
For more information, contact EH&S Pest Management, (858) 534-4534.
Notice: Environment, Health & Safety does not provide pest control advice or help to individuals or agencies outside UC San Diego. Area residents should contact their local animal control agency or exterminator for assistance.