We’ve seen it too many times. Homeowners and their pets are entrenched in a battle with hundreds of blood sucking invaders. It can happen to unsuspecting pet owners because fleas find their hosts in public places such as parks or sidewalks or even in their own back yard. In North America, more than 90 percent of fleas found on both cats and dogs are the cat flea. Because one flea can lay one egg per hour on its host, just one flea can quickly amass an army to infest a home.
Once a home has been invaded by fleas, pets and their environment need careful treatment. Treatments need to begin as soon as possible because in addition to causing irritating itches, fleas have been known to carry and pass tapeworm to pets and humans. A pest control professional can recommend a treatment plan and establish a way to get rid of fleas in the home.
Tips for Getting Rid of Fleas in Your Home
- Vacuum the carpeting to remove flea larvae. Using a beater bar will help dislodge fleas from the base of the carpet.
- Bring pet food indoors so wildlife can’t get to it. Wildlife can carry fleas and you don’t want them around.
- Cover or block openings to areas where animals can live. This includes decks and crawlspaces. Again, you don’t want wildlife bringing fleas to your home and pet.
- Wash all areas where your pet spends any time, such as pet bedding, rugs, pet carrier, blankets, and toys. Don’t forget the doghouse!
- Clean under beds and in closets – those favorite spaces where your pet likes to relax.
- Discard vacuum bags when vacuuming is complete.
When using insecticides, it is crucial to follow all label instructions. A pest control professional will focus on areas where your pet spends the most time and areas where eggs will build up. Special attention will be given to carpeting because some treatments have difficulty reaching the base of the carpeting where the larvae are found. Sometimes it seems that flea treatments fail when, in fact, it may take 3-5 weeks for the treatment to be effective because of the different life stages of the flea.
Your pet needs to be treated on the same day as your home. There are many over-the-counter products that a homeowner can use and a veterinarian can advise.
Learn more about fleas and how to prevent pest infestations at HomeTeam Pest Defense.