What is the Best Flea Spray for Furniture?

what is the best flea spray for furniture

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Being a multi-pet owner, a wildlife hospital volunteer, and small-time landlord, I have learned a thing or two about how to quickly and efficiently get rid of fleas without foggers and bombs that can cause damage to finer items.  Today, I’m going to share how I’ve found success with friendlier products that specifically target fleas that are hiding out in your upholstered furniture, carpeting, mattress, pet bedding, clothing or car.

And while you still have to take care while using these two products, they do not require you to run out of your home and vacate your premises for 24 hours.  The products I like for killing fleas on fabrics, furniture, rugs, mattresses and all of the above are:

My Top Pick & Link to Product: Steri-Fab (leaves no residue)

Second Place & Link to Product: Virbac Knockout (leaves a residue that continues to kill fleas)

Best flea spray for home and furniture


For my own home which is occupied by humans, dogs and cats, I like the incredible versatility of Steri-Fab and it has never stained my furniture, carpeting or clothing. 

I also prefer the ingredients in Steri-Fab because cats are way more sensitive to the chemicals used for killing fleas.

In my opinion, the only drawback of Steri-Fab could be this: if you are looking for a product that leaves behind a residue that will kill fleas in the future, then Steri-Fab is not able to do that.  Personally, this is exactly why I PREFER Steri-Fab because I like the fact that as soon as the product dries, it’s gone and NOT hanging around my house or my dog or cat’s bedding.

Knockout by Virbac

My second choice is for those of you who want to spray your furniture, clothing, carpeting, drapes, car interior etc., and WANT the product to leave behind a residue that continues to kill fleas in the future.  If this is what you’re looking for, Virbac Knockout will deliver the residual killing power.

And while I prefer Steri-Fab for my personal home, I do like to use Virbac Knockout in my rental property as a precautionary measure in between tenants when they had a pet.

Best flea spray for home reviews

So aside from the no residue formula, there a handful of other reasons why I like Steri-Fab over Knockout.  To me, it’s far more versatile and I’ve found other uses for the product around the house.  Take a look at the table comparison:

Steri-Fab vs. Virbac Knockout Feature Comparison

Click Pics
For Price Check


Approved UsesBathroom
Indoor Homes
Inanimate Hard Surfaces
Upholstered furniture
Pet Quarters
Pet Sleeping
Upholstered Furniture
Pet Bedding
Bed Bugs
Herpes Simplex II
Lice Eggs
Mites (Scabies)
Flea Larvae
Animal SafetyRemove all people
and animals until
product is
completely dry.
Remove all people
and animals until
product is
completely dry.
How it KillsKills on ContactKills on Contact
Does it Kill After it Dries?NoYes
Sold in Gallon or
16 oz Spray Bottles
14oz. Aerosol Cans
WarningsDo Not Use Directly
On Pets!
Do Not Use Directly
On Pets!

Flea Spray for Beds and Furniture

As you can see, both products are approved for killing fleas on bedding and upholstered furniture. If you are still undecided, I would recommend going with the more versatile product. Steri-Fab kills so many more pests like mites that cause scabies and other household pests.

And Steri-Fab is extremely valuable to have around the home because you can spray your luggage after traveling as an extra precautionary measure against the dreaded bed bug….you can even fill a travel-size bottle and take some with you.

How to Get Fleas Out of Furniture, Mattress, Pet Bedding, Clothing, Drapes, Carpeting Etc.

Purchase either Steri-Fab or Knockout and get to work.  Regardless of which product you choose, you’ll remove your pets (birds and fish too) from the area being treated and you’ll keep the area vacated until the product is completely dry. 

Both products have similar application methods.  Make sure you read the label and follow instructions as labels and procedures can change from time to time.  Steri-Fab instructs you to spray evenly and thoroughly dampen whatever you are cleaning.  Knockout asks you to spray a thin, even layer.

After the product dries, even if the label doesn’t say so, vacuum the areas because there will be dead fleas all over.  I would also recommend laundering any loose pet bedding like sheets or bed covers before giving it back to my dog or cat.

Now because these products don’t kill flea eggs, it’s a good idea to repeat the process in hot spots such as your pet’s bedding and any surrounding carpeting or furniture so you stop the flea ­cycle.  And remember, if you have a pet in your home that has fleas, they’ll need an approved product that repels or kills fleas on their body. 

Steri-Fab and Knockout are for killing fleas on furniture, bedding, carpet etc… In other words; household use only and not intended for use directly on animals. 

How Do I Get Rid of Fleas in My Car

People who transport pets or wildlife for a living know all too well what it’s like to have fleas inside the car or van.  When this happens, getting into your car is like ringing the dinner bell for all the fleas that have been desperately waiting for their next meal. 

So, if your dog with fleas went for a ride, or if you were called to pick up a flea infested opossum rescue, no doubt a few fleas or eggs vacated the animal and you’ll need to get them out of your car.  It is NOT recommended to use a flea fogger for killing fleas inside a car because the area is too small and could leave an irritating residue.

Which to choose? Once again, If you want a residual kill, which means the product stays behind and kills future fleas then try Virbac’s Knockout. This might be especially helpful if you regularly transport flea prone animals.

If you don’t want a product that leaves you sitting in a residual kill, you’ll be happier with Steri-Fab.  As soon as Steri-Fab is dry, it has done its job and leaves no residue on your car interior.  

As with inside the home, I recommend taking a vaccum to your car to suck up all the dead fleas and repeat as necessary.

Fleas on clothes in closet – How to Kill Them & Avoid Escape

Is there anything worse than opening your closet door and seeing fleas?  Yes, there are plenty of things worse than that so when this happens, close the closet door and get your game plan.  Here is a helpful guide on how to successfully remove fleas from your closet without spreading them throughout the entire house.

Prepare to Kill Fleas Inside a Closet

Things you’ll need in order to prevent fleas from escaping:

  • All White (or very light) Clothing including socks and gloves
  • A large bowl or container with a little dishsoap and water (not too sudsy)
  • A plastic garbage bag or tote with lid (optional)
  • Steri-Fab or Virbac Knockout

What Flea Killer to Use?

If it were my clothes, I would use Steri-Fab (link to product pricing) because I wouldn’t want the residual kill effect on my clothes, but the choice is yours.  Sometimes the residual kill power comes in handy. 

For instance, if you are an avid camper or hiker, you may appreciate your clothing having a built-in flea and tick killing agent on them.   If this sounds like you, then go with Knockout by Virbac (link to product pricing).

Killing Fleas in Your Closet

Wear White Clothing – Because we want to see every single flea that might jump on us, we put on all white clothing, including socks and gloves.  Tuck pant legs into socks and gloves go over shirtsleeves.   

If fleas do jump on you, pick them off and dunk them into your dishsoap water bowl.  This will either kill them or immobilize them so you can kill them after you’re done with the closet.

Remove Important Items:  Before you start the process of killing fleas on clothes inside a closet, I recommend removing anything precious from your closet such as a wedding gown or other sentimental or expensive clothing. 

While both Steri-Fab and Knockout tout “no staining” I wouldn’t take the chance on such meaningful items.  Do this quickly and shake the clothes in the closet before placing them directly into your plastic bag or tote. 

Start Spraying  – Stand in the doorway of the closet and go ahead and spray your flea killer as per the product instructions. Begin at the closet entrance so fleas jump deeper into the closet and not toward you or the door opening.  You want to trap the fleas toward the back walls of the closet so they cannot escape.  If you start at the back of the closet, you will be covered in fleas and most will escape through the door opening.

Once you have sprayed the opening and clothes nearest to the door, you can spray deeper and deeper until everything has been misted. 

Once you’ve completed the initial spraying of the entire closet, check yourself for fleas and then close the closet door to prevent escapees. 

Repeat – Complete this process as many times as required until no fleas jump on you.

As for the clothes you placed in a bag or tote, take them far away outside and shake, shake, shake until you are confident no eggs could be trapped in your special items.

In Summary

If you are trying to control a flea problem in furniture, upholstery, carpeting, mattresses, pet bedding, or cars, you need to purchase a product that is safe enough for indoor use and engineered to work on fabrics and materials.

You’ll find both of these products helpful:  Steri-Fab and Knockout

My preference is Steri-Fab (link to product & check price) because I’d rather reapply a product than have it leave a residue that kills future fleas. My home has a cat and I know cats are extra sensitive to flea killing chemicals so I don’t like the idea of residuals.

Many people like a product that keeps killing fleas and if that’s what you prefer, Virbac’s Knockout  (check pricing and availability) can be used on upholstered furniture and will leave a residue that kills fleas (not the eggs) for up to 4 months.

Choose the product that suits your needs.

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Related Questions:

I have fleas in my carpet how do i get rid of them?

Buy Steri-Fab or Knockout and use as directed.  Steri-Fab does not leave a residue that keeps killing after it dries.   Knockout leaves a residual layer that kills fleas even after the product dries.  Choose the best product for your individual circumstances and preferred effect. 

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