When your home seems like it is a breeding ground for fleas, it’s time to take action!
Most households will have a pet or two (or more), the most common of which are cats and dogs. It’s not difficult to see why—having an animal as a family member brings more joy, compassion and love to any home. Unfortunately, your pets could also be bringing other unwanted problems into the house—pest problems that can find their way into practically every corner of the property, feed and multiply several times over in just days, and effectively take over your home.
That’s right we are talking about, fleas.
Fleas are wingless insects that measure only about 1/16 of an inch in length. As tiny as they may be, they can seriously infest your home because all they do is feed on the blood of any host it has found (your pet’s or your own), and then breed. Female fleas can lay more than 25 eggs a day, which results in hundreds of new fleas over the course of several weeks.
From your pet, fleas can find their way onto the animal’s bed, the sofa, the carpet, your pile of dirty laundry, and your bed.
What to do if your home is a breeding ground for fleas
There’s no simplifying the matter: Once you discover that a room in your home (and pretty much every other area of your house frequented by your pet) has become infested with fleas, you need to perform a full-scale treatment.
Flea treatment for your pets
Your first action step should be to rid your pet of fleas. If you don’t have flea treatment products at the moment, the best thing you can do is give your pet a thorough bath. Any liquid soap (even dishwashing liquid) with glycerine can kill fleas if you leave the soap on the pet’s fur for five minutes. A 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar will also work.
Alternatively, you can use over-the-counter flea treatments like Frontline or K-9 Advantage. For less toxic solutions, there are pills or capsules with Nitenpyram which you can add to your pet’s food; in about 4-6 hours, fleas on your pet will fall dead. Massaging food-grade lavender oil into your pet’s skin will also make it unpalatable to fleas.
Purge pests from your house
- Remove all beddings from your bed (including mattress pads) and wash them using hot water. Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to kill fleas, larvae and eggs.
- Wash pet beddings in the same way.
- Take all beddings from your laundry hamper out and wash them as well, and clean the hamper itself with water and white vinegar.
- Sprinkle salt or food-grade Diatomaceous Earth all over your mattress, let it sit for 4-6 hours, vacuum it all up, and then dispose of the vacuum bag.
- Be diligent about vacuuming all carpeting throughout the house every day for the first 30 days.
- Fleas are highly likely to have come from your yard, so keep the bushes trimmed and the grass cut to discourage flea infestations. Diatomaceous Earth on grass will also work in dry and hot areas. You can also try applying nematodes (microscopic worms with toxins that can kill fleas, but are harmless to pets and humans) to your yard using your garden hose’s sprayer attachment.
Fleas in Northern CA can be a real problem, and if things have gotten out of hand, you can always call up reliable pest control professionals to assess the problem and provide a long term solution with monthly visits.
For more information on fleas, click HERE.