Where The Cooties Go To Die

OK, so you are vacuuming the house, and along the way, you suck up a couple of spiders, some spier eggs, a beetle or two, and as the cat or dog walks by, you figure you're probably sucking up some fleas and flea eggs, and so on and so forth.

SO you know all these cooties are now in the vacuum cleaner bag. When you are done vacuuming, you put the vacuum cleaner away. The thought is in your brain... all these creepy crawlers are now going to slowly work their way out of the vacuum cleaner and go back to their crawly creepy business. But you stop yourself from thinking further about it and live your life in denial of what might be a horrific reality.

Well, it turns out that the fleas don't survive the trip into the vacuum cleaner.

Scientists have determined that vacuuming kills fleas in all stages of their lives, with an average of 96 percent success in adult fleas and 100 percent destruction of younger fleas.

n fact, the results were so surprisingly definitive that the lead scientist, an Ohio State University insect specialist, repeated the experiments several times to be sure the findings were correct.

That's funny. That's like washing your hands a hundred times after you accidentally touch the dog poop while scooping up after a pet you are pet-sitting for.

The lead researcher also examined vacuum bags for toxicity and exposed fleas to churning air in separate tests to further explore potential causes of flea death. He and a colleague believed that the damaging effects of the brushes, fans and powerful air currents in vacuum cleaners combine to kill the fleas. The study used a single model of an upright vacuum, but researchers don't think the vacuum design has much bearing on the results.

"No matter what vacuum a flea gets sucked into, it's probably a one-way trip," said Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State and a co-author of the study.


But the spider eggs ... they're probably hatching as we speak...

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But the spider eggs ... they're probably hatching as we speak...

There you go! You have provided peace of mind so everyone can sleep soundly with no dreams of a mile long trial of fleas from the vacuum cleaner seeking revenge! LOL! But somebody is going to have to get on the that spider egg thing right away... LOL!
Dave Briggs :~)

Um just hit the bag with some pesticide before you put it away. I know that vacuming up the ants I occasionally get at my place doesn't kill them so I hit the vac chamber with pesticide just to be sure.

Whew! That is good to know. My place had an infestation of fleas a couple years ago in the summer (no pets, I just live in a miserable, flea-bitten city, apparently), and I vacuumed like mad to get rid of them. The best part was catching some by hand and submitting them to manual waterboarding; the damn things actually revive after being drowned for a few minutes!

I have a central vacuum, with the collector in the garage. So, at this time of year at least, any creepy crawlies that survive high speed transportation through 25 ft of hose (and about the same amount of pipe) then get to be frozen, hopefully to death. (Actually, when not vacuuming, I'm kind to spiders, usually relocating them outdoors instead of killing them.

It works on ants too! I once had an apartment where sugar ants would occasionally trail in to gorge on a leftover morsel of sweet left on a counter. It was amazing they could sense such a small and distant source. Anyway, I set up a chair at the place in the wall they were coming in and put on the TV. Every minute or so I would vacuum up the trail of ants. Almost an hour later they stopped coming in. I am not sure if I vacuumed the whole colony, but I was curious if they would come out of the vacuum later. So I let it sit out and no ants ever emerged from the machine. It was immensely satisfying sucking up all of those critters.

Just a note, if you decide to use a spray pesticide, DON'T spray it up the hose with the vacuum running. Most if not all vacuums use universal motors and it is possible that the combustable propellant from the spray may get ignited by the brushes.

By Eric Juve (not verified) on 18 Dec 2007 #permalink

Simple problem, simple solution: Before you put the vacuum cleaner away, give it a smidgeon of moth crystals to suck down its maw.

Most if not all vacuums use universal motors and it is possible that the combustable propellant from the spray may get ignited by the brushes.

Yea, but wouldn't that be the point? Blow the buggers to Flea Kingdom Come?

I've got a nice Hoover bagless and it does indeed kill all sorts of nasties that get into it. It's really effective at picking up cat hair and dust too, with HEPA filters on the output too.

I don't think much survives that baby.

You can spray insecticide onto a cotton ball and then suck that into the vacuum. Then seal off the hose and let it sit all night. The vapors will kill anything left inside. At least that's the advice I got a few years ago from a pest control expert.

Carpenter ants are large and live in large multi-centered colonies. They're harder to get rid of than other ants. This was one of the techniques.

"It was amazing they could sense such a small and distant source."

I don't think that ants sense distant food. They scout for food. Once they find it, they bring their friends.

"They scout for food."

Damn straight! Intelligence is expensive!

OK, I can understand the desire to control active parasites, but I really don't get this irrational hatred of arthropods. Especially the ants - what have they ever done to deserve this treatment? Why do people feel the need to exterminate them on sight?