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June 28, 2019 6 min read

Fleas do not only constitute discomfort and inconvenience around the house, they are also capable of inflicting certain health problems on you and your pets. Dealing with a flea infestation entails more than just a one-time activity such as washing up your pets or sweeping out the infested area; it requires consistent treatment which could take a long time to become successful. Given the characteristics and life cycle of the pest, getting rid of them can prove quite difficult.

As brought home by my dog!

Tackling Them from Their Roots

In most flea infestations, pets are usually involved as carriers. Fleas can spread from one pet to another whenever a number of pets are together in transit or during recreational activities. You’d only be running in circles if you decide to treat the whole of your house without treating your pets first because they (your pets) will only end up bringing them back into your thoroughly-cleaned home.

To rid your pets of fleas, you need to first and foremost discuss pest control techniques with your vet so that you can be informed on the treatment – depending on the species of the flea and the weather condition of your residence – that would be most effective for your pets. You can choose from oral, body wash, aerosols, dusts, dips, spot and topical treatments for your pets and whichever treatment you choose should be applied regularly.

With a flea comb, brush up your pets while focusing on their tails and necks; and then each time you remove fleas, wash the comb in hot water to which soap has been added so that you kill the pests.

Extend the treatment to every one of your pets if you happen to have more than one pet else the others would likely spread the pest to the already-treated pet and you’re back to square one.

Also bear in mind that treatment for fleas requires different times for application and also take different times to be visibly effective. While most treatments require only one application every month or every other month, topical and oral treatments are effective in safeguarding your pets before the infestation becomes full-blown and hence require frequent application.

However, you should bear it in mind that preventing a full-blown infestation is far better than eliminating it.

Getting Your House All Set For Treatment

While getting your house ready for cleaning, ensure the entire carpet space (particularly where your pets use most often) is fully exposed so that your vacuum cleaner can adequately reach it. Remove items that are beneath your beds and furniture. Also remove the beds and furniture if feasible. Only items that are impossible to be penetrated by fleas should be allowed to remain.

Take out Pets during Cleaning

While your family members are away from the house, also ensure that your pets are not anywhere near your house. Fish tanks, birdcages as well as water or food containers should be properly closed during the process and aquarium aerators should be turned off as well.

Wash your pet’s litter in hot soapy water to kill mature fleas and their eggs if what you’re experiencing is a mild infestation. Repeat the washing up to five times every month until you can no longer find signs of the pests in your home. However, if it is a severe infestation, you may want to burn the litters as washing may not be helpful in this case.

As soon as you’ve put things in order ready for treatment, it is important that you thoroughly check your entire house for their presence so that treatment can be as effective as possible. Be on the lookout for unstable tiny dots as signs of the fleas or their eggs. Check for them, particularly on the spot where your pets sleep as well as areas that do not usually get sunlight and are not in frequent use in your home.

Congealed blood and feces (collectively referred to as flea dirt) should be quite easy to spot on pet litters and carpets with bright shades. Flea larvae are usually found not very far from flea dirt as they live on it before their transition to the next phase of their cycle. When you successfully identify and get rid of flea dirt, you kill their larvae by starving them to death.

Cleaning Fleas out of Your Carpet

Having taken items off the surface of your carpet, vacuum your entire house thoroughly and ensure the carpets under your furniture and bed are also vacuum-cleaned. Cracks on the floor and wall, as well as baseboards, vents, edge between carpet and wall and the various corners in each room should be cleaned with the corner attachment of your vacuum cleaner.

Try to identify the exact spot where your pets stay more often – especially the places you spot lots of your pets’ furs and vacuum them properly. Also, inspect the places where you and your family sleep or sit most of the time so that you can simultaneously keep your family free from fleas and the diseases they spread.

Vacuuming is important in curbing a flea infestation because it does not only kill the adult fleas but also prevents further infestation by eliminating their eggs, larvae and pupae. During vacuuming, congealed blood and feces are also cleaned out. Hence, growing fleas (larvae) have absolutely nothing to feed on.

Furthermore, insecticides alone are not effective against fleas especially when they’re in their cocoons. However, the suction from the vacuum cleaner makes them scamper out of their cocoon and once they are out of their cocoons, it becomes easier to kill them. Also, vacuuming makes the woven section of carpets and rugs easily penetrable by insecticides so that flea larvae can be easily reached and killed.

Vacuuming Your Carpet Isn’t the End

Your carpets and rugs aren’t the only items you should vacuum if you want to completely rid your house of fleas. Vacuum your wooden floors, your tiles, and linos. Your furniture, cabinets, beddings and cushions shouldn’t be left out as well. Do not forget to dispose of vacuum bags immediately after vacuuming or keep them tightly sealed if they must be kept among the garbage. Repeat the entire process every two days until there are no more signs of the infestation in your home.

When the infestation is severe, heat may be required to kill the adults of those annoying pests. It may therefore be necessary to steam-clean before you proceed with the entire vacuuming process. While the steam kills most of the adult fleas, regular vacuuming gets the larvae and eggs out of their cocoons and makes them hatch earlier than they should. Premature hatching makes fleas vulnerable to insecticides, hence chemicals can become effective as a treatment after steam and vacuum.

The entire treatment process is quite demanding and requires much work which may not be as effective as that of pest control experts. Nonetheless, it would certainly yield results provided your pets have been treated before the process and you remain consistent in your applications.

Eliminating Fleas from Your Yard

Areas in your yard with an intense shield from sunlight and a high probability of being occupied by stray animals are usually prone to a flea infestation. You can spot the pests in your yard by taking a stroll around your yard wearing long white socks. Ensure to walk around shades and areas where there’s little passage. You’ll discover tiny black spots on your socks if your yard has been infested by fleas. Repeat this severally on a weekly basis and at all times of the day to establish their presence.

To rid your yard of fleas when you discover them, expose more areas of your yard to adequate sunlight and ensure that bushes are brought very low. You can apply insecticides to your yards afterward or better still hire the services of pest control experts. Repel the animals that bring fleas and ticks into your yard, and try a natural insecticide that really works. Best of all, it’s safe to use around family and pets.

It would be much more effective to treat your pets, house, and yard for fleas on the same day or around the same period so that there is no transfer of the pest from an untreated area to a treated one.