An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted Fleas.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas
People think of fleas as only being a problem if you have pets, but these pesky insects can actually affect any house, whether or not there is a furry friend in residence. Whether or not there are fleas on your pet, you need to completely eliminate them from your home to be sure you are in the clear. Just a handful of missed fleas can quickly turn into a full-blown problem so take care. Although you will see results more quickly if you have a professional remove the fleas for you, it is possible to take care of it yourself. Just be sure you get every single flea or the problem will repeat itself.
How To Tell There Are Fleas
While it is possible to have fleas in your home without having a pet, it is much more likely that you will have them if you do indeed own a dog or cat. In fact, if you suspect fleas in your home, check your furry companion first. If you part their fur, the fleas should run in the other direction and go into hiding. You may need to use a flea comb to confirm that they are there. To find fleas on you, furniture, or carpet, you will have to look closely. These insects are easier to spot against a light background. You can recognize fleas as they are reddish brown with shiny bodies.
You should also be on the lookout for potential signs of a flea infestation. The most obvious is your pet scratching and grooming repeatedly. You and other humans may also experience bites with itchy marks or you may spot flea dirt, which is the adult feces and looks very similar to common coarse ground pepper.
Get The Fleas Off Your Pet First
The first place to start with getting rid of fleas is your pet, but be prepared for this step to have to be repeated multiple times. There are a range of flea-killing products on the market from collars to shampoos to powders. The most effective method of getting every last flea will always be to use a flea comb and run it through your pet’s fur. Have a bowl with some water and liquid dish soap sitting nearby and dip the flea comb in it between uses. The soapy water should kill the fleas, although you may need to squash one or two that resist. Remember that as long as there are fleas in your home, you will need to repeat this process, possibly even multiple times a day. Giving your pet a flea bath can also be a great method, although dogs tend to behave better with this method than cats.
Getting Rid Of Fleas In Your Home Without Chemicals
As soon as you notice the fleas, you need to start working on getting them out of your home. Change all of the bedding, washing and drying it. If you take it in for dry cleaning, let the laundromat know about the fleas. The good news is that fleas don’t typically live in bedding; they just use it as a stopping point between hosts; even so, this cleaning step shouldn’t be skipped. Get some flea powder to sprinkle inside your sofa cushions and by the wall perimeters as well as on the floor. You can also vacuum any furniture with upholstery. Be sure to vacuum all of the rugs and carpet in your house and consider brushing it as well before a second round of vacuuming to get rid of stragglers. Afterwards, get rid of the vacuum bag. Repeat the vacuuming several times a week.
It is always preferable to avoid using chemicals when getting rid of fleas, but it does sometime become necessary. If you plan on using a fogger, know that you will need to apply it in each room and turn off pilots since they are flammable. Don’t breathe in the fumes and always leave the home for a few hours afterwards, giving the home plenty of time to ventilate before returning.
Getting Rid Of Fleas In Yard
An even more challenging issues is how to get rid of fleas in your yard, something which is very important if you let your dog loose in the fenced-in area. You obviously can’t section off your entire backyard, but there are products designed to take care of fleas outdoors. Most work with your garden hose, simply attaching to the end so you can spray them everywhere. Never spray these products by the vegetables or flowers as they can be harmful.
Prevent Fleas By Controlling Pests
In addition to entering the home on your pet dog or cat, fleas can get inside by hitching a ride on any other type of wild animal that makes its way inside, like a mouse. If the host dies or the flea reproduces, you have a problem on your hands. To prevent this potential cause, make sure that it isn’t possible for potential hosts to get inside the house.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.