How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House and Yard
April 5, 2018
Fleas are one of the most feared pests for most homeowners. If you have pets, you are at risk for fleas. Even if you don’t have pets, fleas can enter your home on rodents that get into your attic or crawlspace. The fleas can jump off their wild hosts and fall into your home through cracks, floorboards, and even light fixtures. And the fear of fleas is for good reason. Fleas are a tough pest to beat. If you’re facing a flea infestation, you need to know how to get rid of fleas in the house and yard.
How Did the Fleas Get In?
If you have pets, chances are the fleas hitched a ride on your pets. That means that killing the fleas once and for all needs to start with your pets. Of course, the best way to avoid fleas is with consistent and careful prevention. Make sure that your pets are receiving regular doses of oral or topical flea prevention medications. You can talk to your veterinarian about the best options for your pet.
Remember, it’s not just dogs that can get fleas. Cats can also get fleas and carry them into your home. Other furry pets that spend any amount of time outdoors can also be susceptible to fleas. Make sure that all of your pets are treated, since fleas can easily jump from host to host.
It is possible to get fleas without pets. Any furry mammal can be infected with fleas. If you have an attic or crawlspace, rats, mice, squirrels, and other rodents may find their way in. Once an infested rodent is in your home, fleas can fall off of the animal and into your home. Fleas are tiny and can easily fall through cracks in an attic floor. They may even fall through light fixtures in your ceiling.
Where to Start With Getting Rid of Fleas
The most common source of fleas is pets. So if you have fleas and you have pets, it’s pretty obvious how the fleas got in. You will have to start by treating your pets. There are some options for how to rid your pets of fleas.
One method is to use a flea comb. This fine toothed comb is made to collect fleas from your pet’s fur. Start by running the flea comb through your pet’s fur against the growth pattern. The comb will collect fleas, but you need to act quickly to kill them before they have a chance to hop off. Prepare a dish with liquid dish detergent mixed with a small amount of water. After each pass of the comb, quickly dip it in the detergent solution. This will kill the fleas on the comb. Continue with the brushing for as long as your pet can stand it. Use treats, praise, and any other method you can to get your pet to spend as much time as possible with the comb.
Another option is to take your pet to a professional groomer or veterinarian. Many grooming services and veterinarians offer special flea removal services. Since these services specialize in flea removal, they may be more successful than trying to do it at home. However, any flea removal, whether you do it at home or through a service, will have to be followed by some kind of treatment.
Speak with your veterinarian about treatments to protect your pet against further infestation. There are a wide variety of treatments, including topical, oral, dips, and sprays. Your veterinarian will have advice about how to best protect against the type of fleas most common in your area.
Preparing to Treat Your Home
Once you’ve treated your pet, you can turn your attention to treating your home. Before you start, you should be warned that this process can take weeks or even a month or more. There is no quick trick to get rid of fleas in your home. The quickest and easiest way to beat fleas is to call in a professional pest control service. People’s Pest Control specializes in controlling pests like fleas. We can help get rid of fleas in the quickest and most effective way possible.
If you are determined to do it yourself, you will need to prepare your home for cleaning. This means clearing your floors of any loose items and as much furniture as possible. You will be starting by trying to rid your floors of fleas, so you need as much access as possible. This includes the floors of pantries and closets, too. Everything needs to be clear.
Getting Rid of Fleas in a Carpet
Once your floor is clear, start with a strong vacuum. Vacuum all carpeted areas, making sure to get the entire surface of your floor. Use a corner extension to get around baseboards or under furniture that could not be moved. The vacuum will help suck up adult fleas as well as eggs, larvae, and pupae. In addition, the vibration of the vacuum will cause the cocoons to prematurely hatch, making the fleas more susceptible to insecticides. After you cover all of your carpeted areas, move to wood, tile, and other non-carpeted areas.
Proper disposal of the vacuum bag is vital to avoid reintroducing the fleas you worked so hard to remove. If you have a disposable vacuum bag, remove the back and quickly place it in a plastic garbage bag and seal the bag. You will have to repeat this intense vacuuming regimen every other day until the fleas are gone. This could take anywhere from a week to a month, though at least 10 days is standard.
For a particularly tough infestation, you may need to steam clean the carpets before beginning the vacuuming regimen. For anything more than a very mild infestation, the cleaning regimen should be followed up by the application of insecticide.
Getting Rid of Fleas in Your House
Once you’ve treated your carpets, you will need to move on to the rest of your house. This means all of your furniture and any upholstery, cushions, or pillows, including your bed. Even cabinets, bookcases, and other non-upholstered furniture can hide some stray fleas. You will have to vacuum all of these areas thoroughly every other day, just like the carpets and floors. Pet bedding should be washed in a washing machine on high heat or hot soapy water and detergent. If the infestation is severe, it may be best to dispose of pet bedding altogether.
Getting Rid of Fleas in a Yard
Completely eliminating fleas from your yard is not really possible. For that reason, it is important to make sure that your pet is routinely treated to prevent fleas and other pests (like ticks and heartworms). However, there are ways to reduce the number and concentration of fleas in your yard. To determine the extent of your flea problem, you can do a quick test. Put on a pair of knee high white socks and walk slowly around your yard. Fleas will jump onto the white socks, where they are easy to spot in contrast to the white color of the socks. If you see a large concentration of fleas, you may need to treat your yard.
Fleas like to hid in dark areas with little foot traffic. They tend to avoid areas of direct sunlight. One way to make your yard less appealing to fleas is to open it up to sunlight as much as possible by trimming back bushes and low tree branches. Ultimately, insecticides will make the most difference in the flea population in your yard.
The Best, Easiest Way to Get Rid of Fleas
As you can see, getting rid of fleas is a labor intensive, time consuming, and slow process. The quickest, best way to get rid of fleas is to call in a professional exterminator. The professionals at People’s Pest Control are experts in flea treatment and removal. If you have a flea infestation, don’t wait for it to get worse. Contact People’s Pest Control right away to get your infestation under control quickly.