Pest Spotlight: How To Treat Fleas

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • November 19, 2019

Got Fleas? Here’s How To Get Rid of Them

At Killingsworth, we deal with a lot of pests. Cockroaches, spiders, rodents, bed bugs, ticks… You name it, we’ve handled it. But fleas? Now those pests are the worst!

Just like you (and your pets), we can’t stand fleas. These minuscule, blood-sucking pests can hide just about anywhere and survive for months without a meal, making them difficult to find and eliminate without professional help

However, if you’ve got fleas in your home, we want to help you get rid of them. Below, you’ll find our expert secrets for eliminating fleas from your home once and for all! 

Are fleas dangerous?

Many homeowners that discover fleas on their pets or in their home wonder if fleas pose a threat to their health. While uncommon, flea bites can transmit diseases to humans such as typhus and the plague. Additionally, their bites can cause severe itching, which may lead to an infection. 

A flea’s saliva can cause an allergic reaction in your pet too, which could be harmful to your pet depending on the severity of their allergy. Pets that are infested with fleas also run the risk of becoming anemic due to the amount of blood loss. 

This is why it’s so important to treat your animals for fleas. Check with your veterinarian to verify that your pet is up to date on its flea and tick medicine. This preventative measure will not only protect your pet, but also your home and your health from flea infestations. 

How To Treat Fleas in Your Home

Now let’s get to the good stuff! Here are seven steps to treat fleas in your home. 

Step 1: Start With The Source

It’s likely the fleas originated from one of your furry family members. Prepare a bowl of hot, soapy water and grab a flea comb. Start combing through your pet’s fur, especially around the neck and tail — this is where fleas like to hide. Drop any fleas that you find into the water to kill them. 

It’s important to treat all of your pets for fleas. Fleas can jump from one pet to the next, so you’d be doing your pet and your home a disservice to only treat the source.

Once you’ve finished combing your pets, talk with your veterinarian about next steps. They will be able to recommend the ideal flea treatment specific to your pet and region. 

Step 2: Prep The House

Now that you’ve identified and treated the source, it’s time to treat your house. Pick up as much as you can from the floor, even move furniture if possible. The more surface area your vacuum can reach, the better. Remove items from under the bed and in the floor of the closet as well. This is an important task to effectively treat fleas in your home.

Step 3: Clear Out

Remove any pets, not just cats and dogs, from the home before you start cleaning. This includes birds and reptiles that can also be affected by fleas. 

Ideally, fish tanks and reptile enclosures should be removed from the home as well. If the tank is too large, cover it and turn off any filtration systems and turn off any heat sources in the reptile tank.

Next, throw out any pet bedding. If the infestation isn’t severe, you may be able to wash the bed in hot, soapy water once a week for a few weeks to make sure the fleas are eliminated. The safest bet, though, is to throw all pet bedding away.  

Step 4: Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Now that the house is clear and you have visibility to all areas of the carpet, take a walk through your home and look for signs of flea infestations and flea larvae. Fleas like to congregate in low traffic areas and near places where your pet sleeps. 

Fleas in the carpet will resemble small, dark specs that seem to disappear as quickly as you spot them. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for “flea dirt”. Flea dirt is a combination of dried feces and blood that fleas leave behind. Flea larvae feed on this before maturing, so it’s crucial you remove these spots from your home as quickly as possible. 

Step 5: Get The Vacuum

To treat fleas in your home, vacuum your entire house. Get in the corners, under the bed, in the closet, under the couch — if you can reach it, you need to vacuum it. Pay close attention to spots where you and your pets sleep because fleas will likely be nearby. 

Vacuuming doesn’t only get rid of adult fleas, but also flea larvae, pupa and flea dirt. It also forces fleas to leave their cocoons prematurely, allowing insecticides to penetrate through the carpet and kill the fleas.  

Step 6: Keep Cleaning… And Then Clean Again

Scrub hardwood floors, linoleum and tile to make sure everything is clean and flea-free. Vacuum all upholstery, chairs, beds, pillows, etc. Repeat this process every other day until the flea infestation is gone — this could take up to one month. 

For more serious infestations, you may need a steam treatment prior to vacuuming. If you’re daring, you could attempt to tackle this on your own, but we recommend calling in an expert. 

Step 7: Take It Outside

If fleas are in your yard, you’ll need to clear out shrubs, remove any low hanging branches, keep the lawn maintained and check the crawlspace for wildlife that may be attracting fleas. 

While these DIY treatments may eliminate most of the fleas in your home, we can’t guarantee it will eliminate them all. Fleas are tricky pests to get rid of, especially once they’ve infested your home, so it’s in your best interest to call the professionals to treat fleas in your home. 

At Killingsworth, we promise to treat your home, your family and your pets like they’re our own. Contact us to schedule an inspection today!

Before you go, download our free guide, The Killingsworth Way, to learn more about our team and our unique approach to pest and wildlife control. 

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