Fleas can become a major problem for homeowners, especially if they have pets. Fleas have eggs and larvae that can bond to carpeting, bedding, clothing and furniture. Your pet can continue to be bothered by fleas for months if you do not take steps to eradicate them. If you spot a flea on your pet, it usually means there are others in the home. Effective flea control will require you to treat both your pet and your home to destroy them. Here are some tips on dealing with flea problems.
One of the best ways to reduce problems with fleas is to start vacuuming the home. Fleas and flea larva can live in the carpeting, couches, drapes, blankets, and just about anywhere in the home. Where does your pet sleep? Thoroughly vacuum their bedding (and yours) to get rid of any flea eggs. To kill the flea eggs after you vacuum them up, place the vacuum bag inside a plastic bag and seal it up to throw it away. Vacuuming alone will not destroy the fleas, it only helps to reduce the amount of flea eggs. Shampooing the carpeting is another way to kill the fleas. The soap in the cleaning solution makes it hard for them to move, and it kills them.
To help kill the fleas, it is a good idea to focus on washing your bedding (and your furry friends’ bedding) weekly. You need to use a flea cleaner when you wash their bedding. This cleaner must contain adulticide and an insect growth regulator to kill the larvae and eggs. Wash the bedding at the same time you are treating your pet with the proper cleaner. By cleaning them at the same time, you can reduce the eggs and larvae on bedding from transferring back to your pet.
Fleas are incredibly small, meaning that it is hard to know you are dealing with them until you see the bumps and irritation on your pet’s skin. A great way to help kill the fleas is by setting up some flea traps. These traps are a simple way to kill them as you set up a large plate of soapy water and place a lamp over it. Like most insects, fleas are attracted to light. Seeking the heat and light of the lamp, fleas will climb into the saucer and get stuck in the soapy water. Count the number of dead fleas in the morning to get an idea of how infested your home is. The light trap won’t eradicate the fleas on its own, but it will let you know how dire the problem is so you can pick the most appropriate solution.
Fleas require fairly high humidity to live, so if you live in an environment with high levels of humidity, it is easy to see why you might continue to have problems. Using a dehumidifier inside the home can cut down on the amount of moisture in the air. This can reduce the lifespan of the fleas, as they won’t have access to water.
Another way to destroy fleas is with heat. The flea larvae cannot survive when the temperatures climb to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking the pets bedding outside in a plastic bag can help to kill the fleas as they are trapped inside as the sun’s ray’s focus on killing them. Running them through a high-heat cycle in a dryer (after washing with flea shampoo) is another way to make sure that those pesky pests don’t come back.
Marion Phelps is a freelance writer based in Detroit, Michigan. Marion recommends that readers visit www.bainpestcontrol.com if they’re looking for professional pest control assistance.
Image credit goes to Armed Forces Pest Management Board.