Fleas are very fastidious creatures. You may think that you have already gotten rid of them yet come spring and summer, you’d be scratching your head because they’d be back. In some areas of the world, fleas proliferate and menace dogs and other domestic animals all year long. In colder climates, they typically appear in the spring and summer, although this doesn’t mean they’re completely gone in the fall and winter. The good news is that your knowledge of this ‘seasonal’ pattern of flea infestation can help you execute a more effective flea control program that should clear your home of these pests all year round. Here are 5 tips to get rid of fleas in the home.
- Be very methodical in your general cleaning chores
One of the most often neglected aspects of flea control is environmental sanitation. For most of us, we have this notion that flea medications are enough when it comes to getting rid of these pests. You might think that cleaning your dog of fleas will end all your troubles. Unfortunately, this is exactly the same reason why fleas persist even with the monthly application of spot-on flea medications as well as other products. What is needed is to thoroughly clean your home.
Ordinary sweeping can remove flea eggs and larvae that may be present on the floor. However, this will not address those pests that are clearly lurking in deeper crevices. Fleas love to lay their eggs in spaces where they hatch and become larvae, feeding on anything organic. If they don’t cling onto your pooch by this time, they will turn into pupa making them more resilient against environmental controls. They’ll turn into adult fleas in just a couple of weeks.
Cleaning your home starts with the use of very powerful vacuum cleaner to effectively suck every dirt, dust, and debris that may be present in your home. Make sure to pay special attention to cracks and other similar features in your home as these are natural hideouts of both adult and juvenile fleas.
When using a vacuum cleaner for pet hair, it is best to use one with HEPA filter or some other similar technology. If you have a vacuum cleaner that has disinfectant or even steam cleaning features, you might want to use that, too, for good measure.
- Use a steam cleaner for other belongings
While you’re vacuuming and cleaning the various surfaces of your home, you might want to use your steam cleaner to kill those pests. Fleas are very hardy creatures. However, they really cannot tolerate extreme heat for the simple fact that their exoskeletons get easily dehydrated, making them very brittle. That being said, you might want to put everything into your dryer and give it a good spin at the highest possible thermal settings. If not, there are portable steam cleaners that you can use to blast steaming hot air into many of your personal belongings. Don’t forget to include the beddings and other items of your pet, too.
- Consider using natural remedies to kill ‘hiding’ fleas
Did you know that diatomaceous earth is actually a very effective substance to help kill fleas especially those that hide in between crevices? Diatomaceous earth is a natural desiccant which effectively draws out the moisture from the body of fleas. This dehydrates them making them more vulnerable to other environmental controls. You can easily sprinkle diatomaceous earth through cracks and crevices. Give it time to work its magic. Then follow it up with a good dose of vacuum cleaning.
Alternatively you can also douse your home’s floor with scalding hot water. Of course, this is quite messy as you will have to remove all of the items that are contained inside your home. It is a rather controversial method but some dog owners can actually attest to its effectiveness in getting rid of fleas.
You may also wish to read our guide on the best essential oils for dog fleas.
You can also use ordinary table salt and pulverize this finely. Sprinkle onto the floor and other surfaces of your home. Salt naturally draws out water or moisture, too. If you don’t like sprinkling salt in your home, then maybe you can use a variety of herbs to help get rid of fleas. You can try making your own spray of a concoction made of rosemary, geranium, and even lemon.
- Don’t give fleas the environment they need to survive
Flea larvae are dependent on organic material for their survival. What this simply means is that if you have plenty of organic debris in your backyard, there is still a chance that you or your pet will be introducing these pests inside your home. Dead wood, fallen leaves, grass, flowers, and even rotting garbage are a haven for these pests. If you can only extend your cleaning and sanitation measures right down to your backyard, then you won’t have any problems related to fleas and ticks.
Also, you have to understand that even if you have already cleaned your backyard if wild critters like squirrels can still find their way in, then it is still possible to have fleas. So check your perimeter fences and close all possible entryways for these critters so they don’t re-introduce fleas into your home. You can also try a device such as an ultrasonic pest repeller to help unwanted pests.
- Give your pet flea protection that works all year round
Once you have gotten rid of fleas in the environment, both in and outside of your home, then it’s time to put on some flea control medications on your pet. Make sure to treat every single pet. You can use monthly spot-on formulations often in combination with flea collars. Additionally, you can also use medicated shampoos that contain anti-flea ingredients. Alternatively, you can opt for tablets especially if you want rapid onset flea eradication. In choosing the best kind of flea product for your pet it is best to consult with your veterinarian so he will be able to help you decide on what will work best on your pet.
Getting rid of fleas can be very challenging especially if you have neighbours who simply fail to recognize the importance of controlling these pests. On your own, however, you can adhere to these tips to help you get rid of fleas from your home.