Having a flea problem can be enough to drive even the sanest person crazy.
The good news is that fleas can be removed, and it is even a project that you can take on yourself. However, you want to make sure to take all the steps to ensure that your rid your home, yard, and pet of flea problems for good!
How Can I Be Sure I Have Fleas?
There are a few different ways that you can check for fleas:
1. Check your pet!
Your pet is the first place to look, this will give you a positive yes answer in most cases where a flea infestation is present. Look for any bugs on your pet. It is best to check around the legs, underside of the belly, and around the head and neck. Often these are the areas where fleas are most prevalent.
Petmd.com states “The best way to check for fleas is with a flea comb.”. They also warn that fleas can cause tapeworms, itching, and even anemia in your pet.
2. Check your home.
If you have been getting bitten you may have already seen a flea or two. If not you can put on a pair of white socks and walk through your house. Fleas are attracted to white and you can spot them easily on a pair of socks.
Once you are sure that you have a flea infestation it is important to treat it quickly. Fleas multiply quickly.
A female flea lays about 20 eggs after they have consumed a meal, and they can lay as many as 2000 eggs in their lifetime. It is easy to see how this problem can escalate quickly.
Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas
Step 1. Removing Fleas From Your Pet
Removing fleas from your pet is first on the agenda. There are several different ways that you can accomplish this.
Talk To Your Vet
Talking with your vet is always a good start.
They can recommend flea treatments that you can buy. There is a pill called a Capstar that starts killing all adult fleas quickly. However, it does not do anything to kill the eggs.
That being said you need to use a method for prevention also. Your vet is likely to recommend a treatment that you apply on the back of your pets neck or an oral pill that they can take once a month.
Killing Fleas Naturally
For those who want to stay away from medications, there are some natural ways that you can kill the fleasthat are on your pet.
- Use a flea comb to remove fleas. This method will not remove the flea eggs. You need to do this each day for new fleas that may have hatched. Also, make sure after combing you place the comb into a cup of water with soap to kill the fleas you are removing.
- Bathe your pet using soapy water. This should remove adult fleas, but can also dry out the skin of your pet. You won’t want to do this too often.
- Use a lemon and water combination spray. Spray this on your pet but avoid getting it into their eyes.
- Use lavender oil on the neck as well as the base of your pet’s tail, this helps with repealing fleas and also keeps your pet smelling great.
- Products made using cedar oil are great for eliminating fleas and ticks. This oil is not only effective but it is completely safe for humans and pets. However, since some pets could have an allergy to the oil you should test a little spot before you put it all over your pet.
Step 2. Flea Control For Your Home
There are many different brands of foggers available for flea control of your home. These are flammable so you will need to ensure that all your pilot lights are off before using them. Also, all animals and humans need to be out of the home.
The house will need to be left undisturbed for a number of hours, check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are gone long enough. Finally, remember that you need to air the home out before re-entering.
A few companies make a powder that can be sprinkled on the carpet.
If using this method you need to make sure that you sprinkle under dressers and all places that the fleas could be hiding. In other words, don’t miss anything.
After allowing it to set for a while you simply vacuum it up and carry on. You should repeat this process a few times over the coming weeks. Just to make sure all the fleas and eggs are removed.
Create a flea trap using dish soap. You will need the following:
- Warm Water
- Bowls or Plates
- Dish Liquid
- Tea Candles
What you should do:
- Place a bowl on the floor in the middle of each room.
- If using a bowl fill partially full with the warm water, for a plate filled to the brim.
- Use about a capful of liquid dish soap and place it in the warm water.
- Place the tea candle on the plate in the center. If you have used a bowl you may need to set the candle beside the bowl and not in it, but be sure it is sitting on something that won’t damage the flooring.
- Light your candle.
Fleas are attracted to light. When they are jumping towards the light, from the candle, they will get stuck in the liquid and will die.
In the morning you can dispose of the water and dead fleas. You can do this night after night until you are no longer finding fleas.
Caution: Don’t leave the candles burning while you sleep. Stay awake until the candle has gone out or been blown out.
You also want to make sure that children and pets are not roaming free with the candles lit and the soapy traps in place.
Herbal Spray To Rid Fleas From Your Home
A herbal spray is a great alternative to the harsh chemicals found in flea bombs. This pray is safe for your kids and your pets. Here’s what you need:
- One gallon of vinegar.
- A ½ gallon of water.
- Two cups of lemon juice.
- One cup witch hazel
- One sprayer that can hold at least 7 liters
What to do:
- Gather all items that cannot be vacuumed and wash them on your hottest washer setting. This kills the eggs and larvae of the fleas.
- Vacuum all that you can. Make sure to get corners, upholstery, and all crevices.
- Mix together the ingredients.
- Add mixture into the sprayer.
- Use the heavy spray setting.
- Spray floors, window sills, the pet bedding, all furniture, your carpet, and every corner or nook that you can find.
- Do this for at least one week.
- Once you aren’t noticing the fleas much you can move to doing this only once every 4 days or so.
Step 3. Treating Your Yard
Treating your yard could be the hardest of all. However, it is important when treating an ongoing and difficult flea problem.
There are a number of options for chemical treatments that you can buy which will remove and repel fleas from your yard, as long as they are used correctly. Depending on the size of your yard this could end up being a somewhat costly project but will be well worth it.
After using the chemical of your choice to remove the fleas, you can flood the yard to remove the offspring. Larvae and eggs are not able to survive if you flood your yard.
You don’t need to overdo it here. Use your hose on areas where you feel the fleas are breading. Just spray until it is slightly flooded.
Using Nematodes For Removal Of Fleas
If you are looking for a non-toxic, natural defense then this could be the answer you have been looking for.
These worms are microscopic and are harmless to pets and humans. They will not damage your plants, bushes, trees, or grass in any way.
They do however feed on the larvae of fleas and attack other pests that could be found in your yard, such as termites.
You typical find nematodes in a spray form and should spray areas that are shady where fleas tend to be most present. Fleas are not able to handle the hot sun so you shouldn’t need to treat areas with no shade.
Step 4. Prevention Going Forward
Once the majority of your flea problem is gone you need to work on preventing it from occurring again.
Prevention On Your Pet
To prevent fleas on your pet you can get an over the counter flea medication. You could also look into more natural methods of flea prevention that will include treating your pet each day. However, remember it is important not to miss any treatments in order to keep the fleas away.
Preventing Fleas In Your Home
- Keep your pet indoors as much as possible. This will aid in keeping them off your pet, and therefore prevent the pet from bringing fleas into your home.
- Clean the bedding regularly. You should always wash pet bedding on the hottest setting, washing at least once a week.
- Clean all flooring and carpets regularly.
- Provide your pet with a diet that contains yeast and garlic. This not only helps in boosting the immune system of your pet but it can cause your pet to taste less flavorful, in turn reducing your pet’s appeal to parasites. You should talk with your vet to see how much yeast and garlic is right for the pet, this is based on the weight and the breed.
- Keep your yard dry. Fleas enjoy moist environments, so you should avoid over watering the yard.
- Cedar chips can be used decoratively. Fleas do not like cedar and will avoid it at all cost. Decide on places that you can place these cedar chips for decoration and flea repelling purposes.
- Think about planting pennyroyal. Fleabane is another name for pennyroyal. Once this has been established well in the yard it will repel fleas naturally. You need to be cautious with this, however, because it is toxic if ingested by cats, and it is not recommended around any animals that are pregnant.
- Mow, trim, and prune regularly. A yard that is sunny is not ideal for fleas. They are not able to tolerate long periods of time in the sun. If you mow regularly it helps to expose the soil to the sunshine, as well as keep it flea free and dry. Pruning bushing and trimming trees aid in increasing sunshine, keeping more fleas out.
Following these simple steps for checking for a flea problem, treating the problem, and preventing a re-infestation will help you remove fleas quickly from your home and keep them gone permanently.
Fleas are not just a nuisance to you but your pets as well. A flea free home is a happy home!