There’s no denying that fleas can be one of the most irritating pests on the face of the earth. They can wreak havoc in the home, making both pets and owners miserable.
They can also be very difficult to get rid of, especially if you don’t know the best way to attack the problem.
If you want to know how to get rid of fleas in your house, and most importantly, how to stay rid of them so they don’t reappear at a later date, please read on.
Or, if you’d like to watch a synopsis of the whole process, please check out this video I made. It takes you through most of the steps involved in effective flea control
The flea life cycle and getting rid of fleas
There’s an important fact to keep in mind about fleas that is critical to effective flea control.
The life cycle of the flea goes through four stages; egg, larva, pupa and adult. Treatments that kill adult fleas may not be effective in killing eggs or larva. If you’ve struggled with flea infestations in the past, and thought you’d succeeded only to see the fleas return, this could be part of the problem.
In order to kill fleas through all four stages of their life cycle, so you don’t just kill the adults and leave eggs and pupa in your carpet, you need to use flea bombs and sprays that contain an insect growth regulator (IGR). We list many of these products in our helpful flea product guide, so be sure to check that out when you’re ready to shop.
But first, let’s break it down. There are basically three steps to effective flea control:
- Get rid of the fleas on your pet.
- Kill the fleas in your home.
- Continue to treat your pet, and follow the program in your home, until you’ve gotten rid of all the fleas, their eggs, larva, and pupa to prevent reinfestation.
How to get rid of fleas on your pets
For the most part, it’s pretty easy to treat your pet. Convenient topical and oral treatments, such as Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix, are very effective at killing the pests on your pet, very easy to apply, and will usually protect them quite well for up to a month.
There are other products you can try, of course, such as flea collars and shampoo, not to mention natural flea control methods. For most pet owners, however, flea drops and oral treatments will be the best solution.
Of course, the first thing to do is determine of your pet has fleas to begin with, or if he or she is scratching for some other reason. There are numerous reasons, such as skin allergies or mange, that your pet could be scratching, so make sure it’s fleas before treating them.
One of the clearest signs that your pet has fleas is finding flea feces on your pet’s skin. This looks like little black dots on their skin. If you see these little black dots, don’t just assume it’s from fleas.
You want to wet the black dots with water, such as from a wet paper towel. If the black dots turn red, that means it’s flea feces, which is mostly blood. That’s the quickest test to make sure it’s not just dirt.
How to get rid of fleas in your house
Treating your home for fleas is quite a bit more labor intensive to do correctly and effectively, but it’s really the foundation of good flea control. Obviously, unless you really get rid of the fleas in your home, you’re just wasting your time.
I will be honest at this point and say that for people with particularly bad infestations, it may be necessary to consult a professional pest exterminator. In some cases, the infestation is so tenacious that the home owner using over the counter products is just not going to be effective. Fortunately, these professional services will usually provide a free estimate, as well as a guarantee.
But, before investing in a professional pest control service, do your best to get rid of the fleas in your home on your own. Not only will this save you a lot of money and inconvenience, but you will learn the skills you’ll need in the future to both identify and get rid of fleas.
It’s not difficult, but it does take consistency and patience. Patience can be hard to come by when you’re fighting a bad, itchy infestation. But, trust me when I tell you that there’s really no way around the need for consistency. Don’t give up until well past the point you think all the fleas in your home are gone.
Since most of us have carpet in our homes, and carpet is obviously a great place for fleas to hide out, that’s where you’ll want to focus.
Vacuuming alone will suck up fleas and also their pupa and eggs, and is very effective by itself. Adding a little powder or diatomaceous earth will enhance the effect, however, and is well worth the time and expense.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to step one – get rid of fleas on your pets.