Make a Natural Flea Trap in Under 60 Seconds

If you have been trying to remove fleas from carpets and other places in your home, chances are that you have come across people recommending the use of flea traps. However, many of them can be fairly costly and since you often need more than one, the total amount that you will need to spend can start adding up fairly quickly. Are these products just another attempt to take your hard earned cash, do they actually work and if so, how can I use the same concept to make 10 of these traps in 10 minutes for only a couple bucks?

Simple Answer, Do Flea Traps Work or Not?

Simply put, flea traps do work but only for removing them in certain areas (e.g. the lounge). They need to be used as part of an overall flea control plan that involves killing flea eggs, putting preventative measures in place to keep them away and treating your dogs for fleas (or your cats, etc.) Just to make things perfectly clear, these traps will not solve any fleas that may be lurking on your pets. In fact, they will completely ignore them!

Since there are a few options, let’s have a quick look a few different types to see what they offer. After this quick summary, I am going to show you how to make a homemade trap that has helped me solve flea problems in my house a number of times :)

  1. Electric traps – These products have a small housing that contains a sticky mat. This sticky surface holds fleas in place when they land on them. Most of these traps lure their pray by providing warmth and light and thus its best to use them in a dark room to have the best result. Depending on your choice of brand, some even emit an odor that attracts fleas! Do these electric flea traps work? Well despite the fact that you will need to change the mat (that catches the fleas) on a fairly regular basis, this option is fairly hands off and is effective for getting rid of fleas in the house (especially on your carpets). In fact, some products even promise to lure fleas from up to 25-30 feet away!
  2. Light bulb, water and soap traps – These traps are often homemade and since fleas are attracted to light, we can use this to our advantage. The basic process is to suspend or lean a light source (such as a small bedside lamp or an electric bulb) over a shallow pan or bowl that is full of water and soap. When the adult fleas come and investigate the light, they hop right into the bowl (to get closer to the light) and drown. I have used this method before and while I have found it to be fairly effective, I find that the fleas don’t always land in the bowl (unless the electric bulb is extremely close to the water, which of course is fairly dangerous) and while and it’s actually the basis for my own brand of flea trap, I would advise you to rather use my homemade flea trap that we will discuss shortly.

I have found a few other methods on the internet such as honey traps, etc. but other than the ones listed above, I haven’t found them very effective but if you have had any good results, please let me know in the comment section at the bottom of this article and I will be sure to test them and list them here if they are decent :) I just don’t want you to waste your valuable time and thus only want to recommend what has good results.

Homemade Flea Traps – A DIY Trap That Works

Here is the exact trap that has worked very well for me in the past. It may look too simplistic but I have had great results and I am sure that you will as well! The best part? You can have about 10 of these up and running within about 10 minutes as I suggested earlier! The only expense is the purchase of a couple tea light candles. You will need one per trap that you make but since you can usually grab about a dozen of these for a couple bucks at your nearest grocery store, this will hardly break the bank. ;)

STEP 1: Fill a couple bowls with water and mix a two tablespoons of dish soap into each one. You will need one bowl per flea trap. The best type to use is ones that are fairly wide with low sides as this gives a higher chance to catch a leaping flea. I have had a few readers suggest the use of large plates or pie dishes and I am happy to say that after trying it, this works very well! (Thanks Andrew!)

STEP 2: After mixing the soap into the water, carefully place a single tea light candle into each one, place it in areas where you are having the highest concentration of fleas and light the wick. Simply repeat this process for a number of other traps and place them in key areas. This entire process should take you about 60 seconds per trap, making it one the fastest methods for combating fleas!

Flea Trap Intro ImageAs previously mentioned, since you want fleas to be drawn to the trap, its best to put them in place before you go to bed at night. Once the lights are out, they will be a shining beacon of death for those pests. After some reader feedback, I have been told that this trap isn’t as unique as I thought it was but regardless, it’s the one that I have used for the past couple years with excellent results so it has my stamp of approval. Please also remember to empty the water in each trap in the morning and to put out the candle (if it’s still burning) to keep things hygienic, you definitely don’t want your pet drinking from this water! ;) Combine this with a decent flea treatment for your pets and a few other flea infestation home remedies and this will help you get rid of a flea problem quickly.

WARNING: While this is fairly obvious, be careful where you place this trap as it can be a potential fire hazard. However, with a little common sense, this trap is completely safe and is extremely affordable.

Want to Rather Purchase a Trap? Here Is Some Unbiased Advice

Based on research and feedback from a number of sources, I recommend making a choice between the “Victor M230 Flea Trap” and the “Springstar S102 Flea Trap”. Both of these use a sticky pad to trap the fleas and the refills are very affordable. These two brands also have great reviews and can usually be found at Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes for under $20. While there are other options, try and find one of those to be sure that you will get results. Recently, I have found a product called “myfleatrap” and if anyone has any experience with it, I would appreciate feedback in the comment section.

Well there you have it! Flea traps definitely work and you can easily create your own from the comfort of your home. If you are still finding fleas around the house, it’s likely that your pet is the cause and it will need to be treated separately. I have a few great articles on this subject (such as treating cat fleas) and I encourage you to check them out on this blog. If you have any feedback or would like to ask a couple questions, feel free to leave a comment comment below! Thanks for staying to read my entire article and I look forward to hearing from you!

Natasha Anderson

Natasha Anderson

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I would like to thank you for reading this guide. If you have any concerns or would like to ask a question about this article, I encourage you to leave a comment below and I will provide a reliable answer within about 24 hours. Remember, all this information is provided at absolutely no cost and if you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. I look forward to helping you!
Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson
Please note that the contents of this guide is for informational purposes only. If you would like to receive professional advice to diagnose a pest control related problem, please contact your local exterminator immediately.


  1. Jamjaeger says:

    Do you have a photo of your homemade trap with tea light? Does the tea light need to be in a holder? If out of holder, does it float on the water? It seems like there could only be an inch or a bit of water to not put out the tea light. This site is awesome! My mom’s 16 year old cat had to be euthanized this week, vet discovered severe fleas on her, and of course house is INFESTED with them. I flew here to deal with this (mom is 90) and have fogged the entire house, every room with flea specific hot shot diggers, but it actually made it worse..jumping and biting everywhere. Hence, research and this site. Only have a week to get the worst of this under control, plan on trying EVERYTHING you recommend

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! I will drop you an email with the image, just need to find an example of one tomorrow morning :) In the meantime, yes its basically just a small tea candle that you float on the water on the bowl. Fleas are attracted to the light and then they die a watery death ;) I also use these traps to check if a room has a flea problem. If I leave one overnight and find a couple fleas in it, I know that I need to take steps to get rid of them in there as well. Glad that you have found my articles to be useful, let me know if you need any more assistance! Cheers!

      • Phyllis says:

        My son had a bad flea infestation from some kittens his daughter found and brought inside. He tried flea bombs to no avail; so, my mother had given him a “piano lamp”, we put the lamp on the floor and then a cookie pan under the light with dish soap in it. Left it on all night and the next morning the water was full of fleas floating on the top. Took us a few nights, and lots of vacuuming, but we did conquer the fleas. Needless to say, the kittens went back outside in a hurry. Also, I just wanted to let you know I found some fleas on my dog today. Gave him a “Dawn dish soap” bath and it sure killed the fleas he had on him. Found dead ones in the tub and when I was combing him found some dead ones on him. Thanks for that tip, Natasha :)

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hey Phyllis! Glad to hear that you had such good success with the tips you found on my blog and thanks for taking the time to share them with us! Hope to see you back again soon! Cheers! :)

  2. Bethany Perry says:

    My husbands hates the thought of using poisons b/c we have small children, pets, gardening, etc. So, I’ve been looking all over for other option in the yard, house and on our pets. I would be concerned about leaving a candle overnight~especially w/ little ones, but at least it’s surrounded by water. Despite using monthly flea drops on all 4 critters we have a huge infestation and have to do something. I am ordering some daily flea killer that has some of the same same ingredients as Cap-Star. That one supposedly also helps 90% of fleas in carpets after a few months of use as it exits through the pets’ skin. I’ll probably be using “borax 20 mule team” today or tomorrow and spending the night elsewhere with the kids. Lastly, for the yard, I have come across larvae of nemotodes that you spray across with hose/water and they eat the flea larvae . . the longer they remain over the months, the more they eat! Okay for veg. gardens, children and pets. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Bethany! Yes, it sounds a bit dangerous but given the tiny flame and being surrounded by water, its very safe. I highly recommend that you give it a try, even if its just to check if a room has any fleas in it (leave it overnight) so you can take alternative steps. Beneficial nematodes work well but they are a bit costly, especially where I live but if you can get them then that’s great :) Let me know how that borax treatment goes!

      • Stacey says:

        Hi, I have been treating my home for a week now after finding my cat being infested. I am consistently vacuuming, washing floors, etc. The Vet recommended a spray treatment which does’nt seem to have addressed the entire issue. From what I understand there are several stages to flea life and with one stage being the most difficult “pupa” how long before I am free on this frustration?

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hey Stacey! That is correct, there are many stages to the flea life cycle but its actually rather easy to combat that problem. I recommend using something called “Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade” on your carpets, etc. (completely safe and natural, check out my article on this subject) and a IGR spray (insect growth regulator). First use the DE (please follow my guide) and then after a few repeats, use the IGR as directed on the product packaging. Good luck!

        • Stacey says:

          We are currently treating our cats with Diatomaceous Earth (just started a few days ago), but are beginning to treat carpets, floors, as well as beds next. I hate chemicals and hope this helps!

  3. jimbo says:

    how do i get rid of fleas with a lazy roomate and how do i get rid of fleas in clothes how long does it take, i have no pets

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jimbo. I cannot give you an exact time frame as it really depends on how far along the infestation is but you should be able to remove them within a couple days if you use the tips in my flea articles. Do me a favor and read over a couple of them as they will pretty much outline exactly what is needed. If you have any questions afterwards, please feel free to contact me :)

  4. Christy Langman says:

    I have my first flea issue. Does the tea lights method work to get rid of all of the fleas? I gave my kitten a bath and thought I had them all killed but today she has more in her again after being shut in our bathroom. How do I get rid of them cheaply?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Christy! You will still need to treat your kitten (as it seems you are) so a combination of that and the tea light traps can usually get you the results you desire. Otherwise, there are a couple natural (and very cheap) powders you can use called borax and DE, check out my guides on these for more info. Good luck!

  5. Grammy says:

    Hi.. Been reading all the info about homemade flea traps and using tea light that you have to light the wick, in the water. What about using a battery operated tea light? Also, most sights do recommend “blue” dishwasher liquid be added to the water.. do you find that to be true? I found your site to be very informative and your responses well written.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Grammy! If you can get a small battery powered one, that will definitely work. You can add any dish washing liquid to the water (around the light), it just serves to make the fleas drown on contact instead of potentially getting out. Sorry for the late response and good luck!

  6. too says:

    Hi Natasha, Thank you for all the great information. I too have an infestation of fleas and have been getting rid of anything the critters have been hiding, washing anything I can get my hands on, flea combing the animals and waiting to get Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade supply to put on my carpets, etc. My question is I have fans on the floor from the summer and bookcase with lots of books from school. How would I get rid of any fleas that have landed or stayed on these items? Thanks a bunch.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Too! Its a pleasure, glad you have enjoyed them :) DE will work great in those areas as well so you shouldn’t need any other products. You can take a look at borax (I have a guide on this subject) but DE does pretty much the same thing. Good luck!

  7. Joe in Charleston says:

    My room has a flea infestation from the dog. We laid down Seven without success, and then used two bombs with a bit more success. We then did the home made trap above and the next morning found dozens of fleas and other bugs in it. Already there are fewer fleas attaching themselves to me. I will keep this up for a while, til I no longer see fleas in the traps.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Joe! Fantastic, glad you seem to be having good results. Its expected that the trap could attract other insects that are lured by light so that’s nothing to worry about. Good luck!

  8. Susan Cuylle says:

    I was searching for DIY Flea remedies and came across your site and I’m so happy I found you! Such wonderful information and lots of tips and tricks to try to eradicate this problem! As I sit here reading all the comments, it appears that everyone is suffering from these nasty little bugs! My two cats Mickey Mouse and Chico the man, have been progressively getting worse, itching, biting and licking (I’ve noticed a lot more hairballs) and I’m at my wits end. I have vacuumed, bathed, flea combed, sprinkled and washed everything in my house to no avail! I have a ton of tealite candles, so before bed I’m gonna set up some traps for the little blood suckers! I have also heard good things about food grade diatomaceous earth, so this is my next step. Tomorrow I am going in search of this wonder powder and a push broom! Wish me luck! Thanks again for a great site!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Susan! Agreed, fleas are a very frustrating pest to deal with and I am glad that I have been able to help others find relief :) Thanks for your kind words! DE is great for your indoor carpets, beds, etc and combined with those tea light candles, I am pretty confident that you are going to kill those fleas fast. Let me know how it goes and drop me a message if you need any further help :)

  9. MIssy says:

    Set up flea traps in my house last night. I caught a few fleas. Problem was, the tea lights only lasted about an hour before burning out. May try to find some larger candles (votives?) and try again tonight.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Missy! Yeah you can definitely use those or perhaps find a couple larger tea light candles. Good luck, looking forward to hearing how it goes :)

  10. Stacey says:

    Has anyone tried this with cats that wander the room? I have several and would be afraid they would try playing with the flame!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Stacy! I highly recommend that you keep the pets out of the rooms when using this trap. While it is not a requirement, its always good to be extra cautious. While burning down the house would get rid of the fleas, its not one of my recommended treatment methods ;)

  11. El Devino says:


    Thanks for the tips! I have set up a flea trap after my son woke up with a rash. It’s suspected chickenpox but I also seem to have bites/spots and it’s making me suspicious.

    I’ve treated my cat and I’m ordering diatomaceous to treat my carpets. Keen to see the bowl in the morning and even if it isn’t a flea infestation, and my son has chickenpox and I shingles, it’s certainly worthwhile giving the place a once over.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey El! I agree, it would be good to go over the place once more. It seems that you have the situation under control, let us know how everything goes and if I can help you further, please just shout :)

  12. Nubia Kai says:

    I have had a fleas infestation for three months now and I am about to go crazy. First of all, I have never had a pet in my life, so how did I get the infestation? The exterminators who have been out to treat the problem claim you don’t have to have pets, they can hitch hike a ride from someone else’s house or yard. But the point is I have had professional exterminators out to my apartment five times and the infestation just seems to have gotten worse. I have used Diatomaceous Earth, Lavendar Oil, Hot Shot and Raid Flea Killer, 91% rubbing alcohol, Clorox Clean Up Bleach and a dehumidifier set at 20 % for a week and that didn’t kill them. Two vacuum cleaners have been broken in the process of vacuuming the floors. I’ve washed and dried clothes in the hottest water and heat and these fleas came out of alive and well. I believe these fleas must be from another planet. They just seem to appear out of mid air and no one can figure out where they’re coming from. I need help! HELP! HELP! HELP!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Nubia! Fleas can be transferred into your house from neighbours dogs (via the yard) or maybe even brought into your place from a friend. Since you have tried all those things, please take a moment to read my flea trap article as I think that it would be your next step. I have used it and its completely DIY. Let me know what you think.

  13. Debora Jolley says:

    Hello, I have been reading everything on your articles about fitting rid of fleas. I am excited to try several of the methods. I have some cats and want to try the lemon juice on them. I could not find where it was mentioned in these articles, but my question is, is there a certain ratio of water to lemons or lemon juice to use? And did u say to bathe the cats in it or can I use a spray bottle to apply the treatment? I am so happy to have found this site. I had a severe bout of chemical pneumonia and I can not use regular sprays. Although, before finding your site, I have sprayed my floors and set off two separate rounds of bug bombs only to come back home and find the fleas bouncing around larger than ever. It was like I put Miracle-Gro on them. My cats are outside and I have to treat them. I am going to put cedar around all my entrances and inside the dog house. I am also going to make sachets of cedar for each room in my house. I am spending my whole weekend aggressively tackling the problem. I am trying several methods that you have written about and will try more if necessary. Thank God, we can stay at my mother’s house till we get this under control. Thank you once again, Debora Jolley

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Debora! I usually just chop a couple fresh lemons in warm water, if you are looking for a specific number I reckon that 4 would be sufficient. You can use a spray bottle but make sure you dretch the fur and skin. Also, don’t do this too frequently if you cat has sensitive skin. Glad you have found my blog useful, its really the community and people like you that keep me going lol.

  14. avi says:

    Hi Natasha,

    From past few nights I have been having itchy skin with blisters every morning. I thought it was scaly skin until I just now discovered a tiny bug which flew away. I live in a small studio room which has not been occupied by any pets from past 2 years,as I know previous tenants. Do you think its a flea? And that attack only during night time. Hence I am confused as you mentioned that they are attracted to light.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Avi! It could be a number of bugs, I would need a bit of a better visual description before I can help you. It might have been a bed bug, check out the pictures that I have on this blog and tell me if they look familiar :)

  15. Emma says:

    Hi Natasha. Last nite I read about ur DIY flea trap and did three sets before I went to bed. The cat wandering about at nite worried me and I was also worried about burning the place down… So what I did was I placed the tea candles inside drinking glasses so they were protected and put it in a flat soup plate filled with soapy water. This morning there were about 40 fleas dead! I’m so relieved that I can finally do something so simple to rid those fleas. I’m sending the cat to the vet over the weekend while I clean my place up. I’ve even purchased some hospital grade antiseptic to wipe down the place.
    Thank you so much for ur effort in helping other find solutions. God bless.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Emma! That’s a fantastic suggestion, thank you very much! Its a pleasure, I love knowing that I have helped someone :)

  16. Amy Rowland says:

    I have 3 cats, a kitten, and a bunny, but all are strictly inside pets. So I am very frustrated to find an infestation in my home! It is so bad in the bunny room, you can hear them bouncing off the hard floors (no carpet in there, small rug)! I’ve put the tea light trap in there, and can’t wait to see what happens! Thank you for the idea, and hopefully after a few of those, and treating the animals, our problem will be solved before summer!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Amy! Its a pleasure, let me know how it goes!

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