- It’s no secret that fleas aren’t the most welcomed guests in our houses. These tiny bugs bite, leaving people’s and pet’s skin itchy with small, discolored bumps, which may even show signs of bleeding.
- How to resolve the problem of these annoying pests for good? Keep reading to get familiar with our thorough flea removal action plan!
- Diatomaceous earth, aerosol sprays, or flea foggers? The article below discovers how to get rid of flea infestation in your house forever.
To start realistically, we’ve got some bad news: fleas were designed by nature to be practically indestructible—notices Barney’s Ranch.
It means that getting rid of them forever won’t be the easiest job.
But it’s possible!
Just prepare for a lot of work and equip yourself with a great deal of patience.
Before you discover how to get rid of fleas in the house forever, let’s find out how to recognize them.
Fleas are minute insects, external parasites of mammals and birds, which means they feed off their blood.
The bodies of all the fleas are flattened, which enables them to move through their host’s fur or feathers.
Adult fleas don’t grow much larger than the tip of a pen (about 1⁄8 inch long). Their color ranges from light brown to black.
Most fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa (in a cocoon), and adult fleas who lay eggs. The fleas’ life cycle can be quick or last many months or even years, depending on the environmental conditions.
Although fleas don’t have wings, their strong claws prevent them from getting dislodged, and their hind legs are well adapted for jumping.
They’re hard to track down because they not only jump skillfully but also often hide in the cracks and crevices of
- carpets and
How to tell that fleas inhabit your house?
Tip: If you suspect you might have fleas in your house, act quickly. These insects spread rapidly—they can lay thousands of flea eggs within a month. As a result, a flea infestation can become a huge issue in a blink of an eye.
Here are the signs that you may be dealing with flea infestation:
- Check your pet’s fur.
Finding fleas in the pet bedding or on your pet’s skin is a sure sign that fleas moved into your house. Fleas may also be the reason for your pet often scratching its skin, even if you don’t see them. Search for fleas on your pet’s fur, especially in the upper part of the legs, beneath its tail, and around the neck. Flea combs from a local pet store can help find these insects
2. Another sign you want to look for are small black spots and flea dirt.
Other signs you want to look for are small black spots—flea poop is actually the dried blood of the host. Not sure if you’ve found them? To check it out, put these droppings in water. If it’s flea poop, it will turn reddish-brown. Look for these droppings on the pet’s bedding, pet’s fur, on the floor, carpets, furniture, and other exposed surfaces in the entire house. Keep in mind that your dog is a really effective walking carrier of fleas.
3. Fleas lay eggs
Another sign is small whitish eggs that you can find on your pet’s body.
4. If fleas live in your house, you’ll likely get bitten eventually.
It’s a classic sign of flea infestation. Such bites are red, itchy welts typically concentrated in a particular area. Watch out also for allergic reactions.
Get rid of fleas
How to get rid of fleas in the house forever and prevent future infestations?
Clean up your yard
Fleas love shaded, humid, and warm places. That means you can not only find them in your bedding or on your pet’s fur but also in the shrubs, leaf piles, and trees or high grass in your yard.
Start with the yard—this is where you can spot fleas hiding before they jump on your pet to be carried inside the house.
Tip: To determine whether there are fleas in your garden, put on high, white socks or long, white pants and stroll around your yard. Fleas will stand out against the white material.
To tackle the flea problem in your yard, use the following tips. They will help you remove fleas from your yard and prevent them from entering your home:
- do yard work—trim hedges and shrubbery, remove any debris piles or downed trees, dead leaves, and twigs, from flower beds and from under any bushes, and cut away any low-hanging tree branches; fleas prefer shaded areas, so try to reclaim direct sunlight for your yard, exposing as much of the shady areas to sunlight as you can;
- consider using chemical solutions—insecticide or insect growth regulator will help you kill fleas effectively;
Important: Follow instructions carefully—many chemical solutions are toxic to pets, children, and adults. You can also consult a veterinarian if you aren’t sure about any chemical remedies.
- call a professional if you own a large yard with too many potentially flea-infested areas to handle. A professional will save you time and ensure the task is complete.
Mow your lawn regularly and rake the exposed surfaces thoroughly.
Nematodes are tiny worms that can eat insect larvae. Ask at your local gardening center about them.
If you’re dealing with fleas, it’s good to avoid over-watering. You want to avoid creating humid conditions for fleas to thrive in.
Animals like squirrels, opossum, and mice can carry fleas. Make them leave without trapping or killing them, by
- setting up barriers in the yard,
- putting up bright lights,
- playing loud music, or
- leaving rags soaked in cider vinegar;
For more tips, go to our article “How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Raised Garden Beds.”
Treat your pet for fleas
When your yard is clear from fleas, have a closer look at your pets fur and pet beds.
Getting rid of fleas on your pet will not only help relieve any itching or discomfort but also prevent the population from growing in your house.
Here’s what you want to do in steps:
- wash your pet
Bathe your pet using a mixture of a few drops of liquid detergent and water.
Using a bath of lukewarm water and a pet shampoo with natural insecticides is an excellent way to repel fleas for good.
Important: Follow the product instructions carefully. Some pet shampoos require you to wait 5–10 minutes before washing them off. Then, dry your pet with a towel.
- clean accessories
Washing your pet is one thing, but you’ll also need to wash toys and pet bedding to remove flea eggs.
Place all of your pet’s toys, bedding, and towels in the washer and run it with the hot/cold cycle using ample laundry detergent.
The best thing you can do at this point to ensure your pet gets the best flea treatment is to use a fine-tooth flea comb.
Flea combs help to dislodge any remaining fleas.
Tip: After brushing, promptly remove the fleas from the comb and dispose of them in hot, soapy water.
Vets recommend initially brushing your pet with a flea comb to remove any fleas, paying extra attention to the neck and the tail’s base. You can also ask your pet doctor about the safe ways to medicate pets to prevent fleas or get rid of fleas.
- apply a spot treatment
Use spot treatments or similar products designed to getting rid of or keeping fleas away from your pet.
The most effective ones are sold on a prescription from your vet. To treat emerging flea infestation and prevent future infestations in your house, consider using:
- topical treatment,
- oral products,
- flea collar;
Important: Some vets claim flea collars can be highly toxic and irritate your pet’s skin.
Insecticides became outdated since topical flea treatments for pets appeared. They are able to kill an infestation rapidly.
If you prefer natural remedies, you’ll make a strong solution by adding two cups of rosemary leaves to the hot water. Let the mixture cool down and use it to spray, rinse, or soak your pet.
Head to Hills Pet to read more about various oral and topical treatments and their effectiveness.
Clean your house
It’s time to tackle the flea problem in the house from all angles to make sure there is no sign of the flea in our bed sheets and nowhere else around the house.
- Use a powerful vacuum on floors, upholstery, and mattresses. Fleas hide in cracks and other tight spaces. Use a vacuum with a vacuum bag you can dispose of without coming into contact with its contents. The good news is vacuuming kills 100% of eggs, larvae, and pupae and 96% of adult fleas.
Tip: Use vacuum bags—it’s a real flea trap. Vacuum bags will kill adult fleas, starving them and depriving them of air.
2. Employ a steam cleaner to include steam cleaning of carpets, upholstery, and pet beds in your cleaning routine. Fleas hate high heat and soap in all stages of life.
Pay special attention to locations where your pet usually spends time.
- Wash all bedding (your and pet bedding, but do it separately) in hot water and detergent. Then, dry it at the highest heat.
Important: In case of severe infestations, you may want to consider getting rid of old bedding and purchasing a new one.
- Spray rugs, drapes, floors, furniture, and any place your pet sleeps with a chosen insecticide. You can use a flea bomb, fogger, or aerosol spray, but it’s essential to make sure it kills flea eggs, their larvae, and emerging adult fleas.
A commonly used flea extermination solution is flea foggers, also known as flea bombs. They are helpful, as you can direct the spray them under beds or other places that other solutions may be unable to reach.
Important: Remember that you should proceed with caution every time you use insecticide or other chemical cleaning treatment. Many of those flea sprays are toxic to humans, pets, and the environment. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves when you apply the spray.
Now that you have washed your pet and purged the house, it’s time to learn about flea treatment methods that we haven’t talked about yet
One good idea is to spread cedar chips on the areas where your pet likes to lie down, for example, under the bushes and on flower beds. Fleas hate the smell of cedar chips.
You can also use lemon spray for flea prevention or to kill fleas.
Another solution is sulfur in powder or liquid—it will repel fleas and prevent hatching.
It may sound surprising, but dish soap and warm water effectively deal with fleas.
Natural remedies known to be fleas repellents are baking soda, salt, diatomaceous earth, rosemary, and plants such as Penny Royal chrysanthemums, lavender, and spearmint.
You can make a natural flea repellent by adding six or seven drops of the essential oils of rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and citronella to a cup of water. Then, shake it well.
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