Do Bugs Make You FLEA Your House?
A Flea - Luckily They Are Not This Big
25 Years ago I was searching for somebody who was missing. A super of a building opened a room for me to check and said that a dog had died in this room but he was now removed. I walked into the darkened room 5 feet and took a quick look around. Luckily the room was empty and it did not take long to look around and I immediately left. After I got back into my car I noticed small bugs all over my pants. I quickly jumped out of my car and I will never forget that moment, I was covered with fleas! I felt so stupid that I walked into the room in the first place, like I should have known. Luckily I was with someone who ran to the local pharmacy and came back with bug spray specifically for fleas. I will never forgot the moment when he sprayed my legs and the fleas instantly died and just fell off my pants onto the floor. I was itchy and weird for a long time after that and that memory is etched in my brain for life. No one wants to have bugs on them or around them, especially small ones that seem to invade and multiply into the hundredths or thousands.This article will address various different ways to rid your household of these critters.
Treat your dog or cat with a flea & tick treatment. Preventing fleas in the first place is much easier and cheaper on your pocket then once they are there. If your dog or cat is an outdoor pet then this is even more important, especially for those cats that roam off your property. You can treat your yard but not the whole neighborhood. The popular spot on flea & tick treatments seem to work the best. See my other Hub for how to apply this popular treatment and preventive. Keeping our pets flea free is a key to having a house free of fleas. If your pet already has fleas these treatments will kill them off. Ridding your pet is not enough, how do we know the fleas haven't spread into other areas of your home or that your pet got infested from your yard. Treatment of these areas, in addition to your pet, will help you have a flea free environment.
Fleas can be living in our yards just looking and waiting for the next furry friend to come by and jump onto. Fleas prefer cool, shady spots, can be found in the dog house, outdoor furniture and grass. First start by cleaning up your yard by keep the grass trim, remove tall weeds, piles of leaves, stacked wood or rocks or any other clutter. These things are perfect places for fleas to camp out. Once your yard has been cleaned up the next thing to do is treat your grass and yard. There are sprays that can hooked up to a garden hose or powders that can be spread across the grass with a spreader. Don't forget to treat those areas that fleas like to hang out such as mounds or moist, shady areas.
Treat and spray lawn furniture cushions and the dog house the same way you would treat a mattress or inside furniture. Create a barrier between the play areas of your yard, such as patios or play sets, from the rest of your yard with a 3 foot wide area of either rock or wood chips. This will help prevent the fleas from moving into the play areas we like to frequent the most. Heavily water areas where fleas might be hiding. Flooding these spots will drown and destroy flea larvae.
After treating the outdoors keep your yard trim and neat. Whichever treatment you choose please follow the instructions and repeat treatment as recommended, don't waste all that hard work you just completed only to have them return and start all over again.
Does This Song BUG You?
There are a few different options for indoors. One is a fogger. They are popular and easy to use but the problem with them is that they don't get into all the corners, crevices, deep into the carpet or under cushions and everyone has to leave the home for two hours. If using one, also treat these areas that a fog spray may not reach with another kind of treatment such as a powder or spray. A fogger needs to be used in each room and make sure it does not reach any kind of food or beverage. If you have a fish tank it is probably a good idea not to use a fog spray because it is extremely hard to prevent the chemical from reaching the fish tank water. Fog sprays are usually effective for approximately 7 months. One more important fact, make sure there are no open flames when using these sprays. This includes pilot lights on ovens and hot water heaters. I once saw an apartment explode because someone used a fog spray and they kept their oven pilot light lit. It did not cause a fire but it did collapse interior walls and the bugs were still alive because the spray didn't have a chance to exterminate them before the explosion occurred.
Powders can be used on carpets. These powders are spread out over the carpet and then brushed lightly to force the powder deep into the carpet. Wait approximately one hour before lightly vacuuming the carpet to remove the visible surface powder. Immediately bag up, seal and discard the contents of the vacuum debris. Carpet powders will protect for up to 12 months. Fish tanks need to be covered and avoid food or beverage contamination.
Use a household spot and crevice spay for hard to reach areas such as in cracks, around windows and moldings. This spray is usually in a trigger bottle and will get deep into cracks that a fog spray or powder will not reach.
Remove all bedding and wash in the hottest setting on your machine. Dry the bedding on your hottest dryer setting. Pull the bed away from the wall so you can access all the sides of your mattress. Vacuum the whole mattress making sure to use the proper attachments to get in any creases the mattress might have. Immediately bag up, seal and discard the contents of the vacuum debris. Use a spray specifically targeted for fleas and spray the whole mattress making sure to get into all the creases. Replace the bedding when the mattress has dried.
All three areas of your home need to be treated in order to solve the problem, outside, inside and your pet. It is important to monitor your house and reapply treatments as needed until the infestation is gone. After your are flea free continue with a normal routine of treatments as recommended to prevent a future flea problem. So if you have fleas get started and don't flea around.