Fleas are the most feared parasites by pet owners. There are more than 2,000 different types of fleas in the world, a staggering number. The fear of having a flea infestation in your home is completely normal: evicting these parasites once they have taken up residence can be really difficult. Flea bites can trigger allergic reactions in dogs and also in humans, as these parasites do not distinguish between different species. Getting rid of fleas from your home is very important so that you and your dog can enjoy an existence free from unpleasant itches.
Eradicating a flea infestation is not a losing battle from the start. There are many ways to get rid of fleas in your home and some are proven to be better than others. From the moment you notice the first flea, timing is of the essence. Even though you can only see a few of them, flea infestations spread very quickly – the more of them, the harder it will be to get rid of them.
Determine the origin of the infestation
Before looking for a solution to your flea problem, it is important to find out what is causing the infestation. If the fleas are coming from your dog or other pets (you can be sure if they scratch constantly) it’s time to go to the vet to give them flea treatment and prescribe some topical prevention medications. Dogs can get fleas from other animals that already have them. Humans may also carry these unsightly parasites on their clothes. If the fleas come from some family member or friends, it is important to let them know so that they can deal with the problem in their own home as well.
A simple way to determine where a flea is concentrated in the presence of their droppings. This black or dark red coloured substance can be found in the place where there is a high concentration of fleas. To add an extra note of disgust, the more flea droppings there are, the more fleas will be around your home.
Wash everything before starting flea treatment
Once the infestation is discovered, it is understandable that you want to get rid of the fleas as quickly as possible. After giving flea treatment to your dog and other pets that may have flea treatment, it’s important to focus on how to get rid of fleas in your home. The first stage is to do a complete cleaning. Fleas love to be in dark, dry, and warm places, such as dog houses, furniture, and your bed if your pets are allowed to sleep on them. The best way to deal with this is to wash anything that may have come into contact with your dog, including kennels, sheets, and any washable fabric that is part of the furniture. These items should be washed in very hot water (check the labels first!).
Vacuum all floors and anywhere else where fleas might lurk. Empty the dust container into the garbage bag and take it outside to prevent fleas from spreading back into the house. Once the cleaning is done, it’s time to get rid of the flea eggs and any other fleas still present.
How to eradicate fleas
There are several products to eliminate the fleas that infest your home, both chemical and natural. The use of chemical or natural products depends only on your preferences. If you use chemicals you should take all necessary precautions, especially if there are birds or small children in the house.
Electric traps attract fleas and continue to kill them for several weeks. This may be a slow and not always effective method, as it does not kill the eggs and the fleas must be close enough to be lured into the trap.
Pyriproxyphene is a recommended alternative to anyone looking for an effective but non-toxic solution to mammals. Pyriproxyphene should only be applied once a week. It is a substance that stimulates the hormones of young fleas, thus preventing them from becoming adults and the eggs from hatching. It is considered a safe method for birds and other pets although it could pose a danger to the fish in the aquarium.
Insecticide and Chemical Sprays
For some severe infestations, it may be the only solution. If the infestation is so extensive that you need to use chemicals, the best thing to do is to seek professional help. They will treat the home with chemical compounds to get rid of fleas faster than natural methods. The chemicals are dangerous to birds, reptiles and fish, as well as dogs, cats and children. It is a good idea to find temporary accommodation while pest control is taking place, especially for family members with fur and feathers.
As for animals, there are a lot of products that can be used to kill fleas. These products include shampoos, sprays, topical medications, and more.
Natural remedies for fleas
Lavender, rosemary, and other essential oils are believed natural flea fleas and are non-toxic to pups when utilised the correct way. A few drops can be applied to some areas of the house such as skirting boards. There are also various herbal sprays that can help you get rid of fleas. Cats can be more sensitive to essential oils, so be sure to inform yourself so as not to harm the felines living in your home.
It is the fossil residue of microscopic algae of the diatom family. Diatomaceous earth is a white powder that kills adult fleas and breaks their eggs. Purchase this product to eradicate flea infestation in your home and at the same time protect yourself and your pets from the chemical additives used for pest control. To get rid of fleas, sprinkle the dust on furniture and carpets. Leave it on for 12-24 hours and then vacuum it up.
Note: Although the dust is non-toxic, both dogs and humans should not breathe it. Keep children and pets away from the treated area until the necessary time has elapsed and the dust has been vacuumed up. We recommend that you use a vacuum cleaner without a filter, as the dust could block it and therefore damage the whole device. It is recommended to repeat the operation until all the fleas have disappeared.
This natural concentrate can also kill fleas! Dilute 60ml of vinegar in 180ml of water and pour it into a spray bottle to make your own homemade flea spray. Use it on any water-resistant surface where you have noticed fleas. You can also add vinegar to the laundry when washing dog beds and blankets.
How to keep fleas away
It is important to get rid of all fleas in your home as even a few live fleas remain, they could quickly generate another infestation. There are several ways to avoid a new flea infestation, even if your dog brings home some traveller bugs back from your adventures.
Make sure you vacuum often and wash your dog’s bed and blankets once a week with warm water. Buy preventative flea treatments for animals. These treatments are usually applied once a month and are also important for killing other parasites such as ticks.
Getting rid of fleas in your home can be a daunting task, but you can do it. With all the alternatives present for pest control, everyone can find the flea remedy that’s right for them. In a flea-free home, you and your dog will be able to live happier, more comfortable and parasite-free lives.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.