- Pets and Animals»
- Dogs & Dog Breeds»
- Dog Health
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home in Few Easy Steps
Everything We Know About Fleas
It is my strong believe that, if one day this planet will experience some kind of destruction or catastrophe, everybody will die but fleas. There is just no way will the fleas ever go extinct, because they are like some kind of supernatural beings that never die. It has been scientifically confirmed that fleas have roamed this planet for over 100 million years. This can lead us to only one conclusion - they are indestructible! As of today, there are over 2,000 different species of fleas. The ones that mostly invade the United States are the Cat Flea type, also called Ctenocephalides felis. They equally live on dogs and cats and continue to annoy us all year around.
It takes a lot of patience to get rid of fleas. One of the reasons maybe because of their size and great surVivaldi skills. Fleas are very tiny insects without wings that show amazing flexibility when they jump around. Their bodies are covered with very tiny hairs which are invisible to human eye. These hairs help them hold tight on the host like an anchor. The flea body is surrounded by hard shells which are constructed in layers to protect the flea from the animal bites. The hard shell on flea's body also gives fleas the advantage of slipping away every time you try to squeeze them. Fleas possess a set of very sharp teeth and are well known for their painful bites to both humans and animals. Fleas do have a small tube in their mouth which is used for sucking up the blood from the host. Fleas have 3 pairs of legs and, believe it or not, they can jump up to 13 inches.
How do the Fleas Reproduce and Survive
The average lifespan of a flea is about 2-3 months. During this time the female flea may produce up to 2,000 eggs multiplying the flea population with the astounding speed. The reproductive cycle of the flea is very similar to the one of the butterfly. The female fleas will lay about 20 eggs at one time. The eggs will hatch and turn into larvae. There are 3 stages of larvae development which are basically characterize by three different sizes of larva. It grows from the smaller to the bigger during these stages and then turns into pupae. After this, the adult flea will hatch and begin to reproduce. It takes about 12-14 days for the flea eggs to hatch and they need to be in the warm environment with the temperature of about 70-72 °F. The newly born adult fleas need to eat within a week of their birth in order to start laying eggs.
Fleas will lay their eggs on their host, mostly dogs and cats. Some eggs get mixed up with the fur and will stay on the host, but some will fall out and land about anywhere the animal goes - carpets, backyard, car, couch, your bed. The eggs are surrounded by hard shell around them just like the flea body. If the eggs hatch on the carpet or anywhere else, they will start looking for the host immediately and this is how people come in handy because fleas are hungry and they would bite anyone.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Pet
Now that we know how the fleas reproduce and what they need to survive, we can determine which is the best way to kill them. To begin with, you need to completely eliminate the fleas on your pet and this can be a difficult task. For some time you will feel like you're going in circles, because you treat your pet and the fleas jump of the pet into the environment. After that, they will try to find their way back on the pet, because they need to eat. And then it goes in circles again...
During my struggle with the fleas, I have tried a lot of things and many of them were a waste of time and money. There are few solutions that worked for me and gave me good results.
To kill the fleas on your pet, use Capstar flea medication or any other oral flea medication containing nitenpyram. This active ingredient helps to kill all adult fleas on the pet but would not kill the flea eggs or larvae. Within 30 minutes after administration of this pill, the fleas that bite the pet will start dying. Nitenpyram is extremely effective and will basically allow your pets get their life back. The problem is, you will still have larvae and eggs left behind by fleas. After a long time of experimentation, I found a simple solution for this problem that helps to kill all of the eggs and larvae.
The next day after treating your pet with Capstar, wash your pet with Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats. Apply the shampoo to wet coat and let it sit on your pet for 3-5 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. This shampoo will kill all of the flea eggs and larvae and completely free your pet from the fleas. Unfortunately, your hard work will not stop here because there are many more things that need to be done.
For better results, you will need to treat your pet with the Capstar flea medication every two weeks. You will need to continue washing your pet with the Adams Flea and Tick shampoo every week to check if any fleas beginning to appear.
I don't recommend using any other products like flea collars or flea sprays because they simply don't work. I have experimented with different brands and different ingredients and none of them worked.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House
Meanwhile, you will need to treat your whole house to get rid of the fleas on your carpets, on your bed, in your backyard, in your car and everywhere else the fleas can possibly be. This is a very time consuming task but it will pay off because you, your family, and your pet will be free of painful flea bites and you will not be afraid to be close to your pet.
Simple solutions for treating the carpet:
- Vacuum your entire house with no exceptions. Make sure to touch every corner and every piece of carpet. Vibrations and noise from the carpet will draw the fleas outside and this will be a great opportunity for you to suck them inside your vacuum cleaner. Be careful when you empty the vacuum cleaner after you are done, because he fleas will start jumping off. The best way to do this is to immediately put the plastic bag over the vacuum cleaner dust collecting container and close it tight as soon as you are done emptying it inside the plastic bag. You will need to vacuum clean your house every day until the flea problem is resolved.
- Vacuum cleaning may not be enough and some fleas may still remain in the carpet. The best way to kill the remaining fleas is by dehydrating them and the best and most natural solution for this is salt. Using salt will completely dry out the fleas in the carpet and also dehydrate their eggs as well. Using a finely ground salt and a salt shaker, sprinkle the salt all over your carpets and other areas you want to treat. Leave the salt until next day when it's time for you to vacuum clean your house. Sprinkle the salt into the flea affected areas after vacuum cleaning again. You should be able to see good results in about a week.
- If you don't like using salt, you may prepare a simple lemon solution. Use about 5-6 lemons for a pint of water. Slice the lemons, boil the water and add the lemon slices to boiling water. Boil for about 30 minutes and cool the solution. You may keep the solution overnight and use it the next morning for the best results. Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to your lemon solution and place it in a bottle to spray all over flea infected areas. Let it dry and vacuum clean again. Lemons don't kill the fleas, but they do repel them from the treated area. This may be a great solution for drawing them out from their hiding places.
- Set up the flea traps in your house. I suggest using paper or plastic plates filled with a bit of oil. Oils such as olive oil, canola oil, or corn oil will attract fleas and make them get stuck in the trap. Set up few traps all over the house and you should be able to see some flea trapped the next day. You may change the oil in your traps every few days. This trap can also catch some other unwanted parasites.
- Treat your backyard and all the areas surrounding your home. You may purchase chemicals for killing the fleas and their eggs in a hardware store. If you have experienced the flea invasion once, chances are, it will come back again. So, treat your yard and the area around your house at least once a month. This will insure the proper control of the flea population.
- Make sure to wash your linens few times a week. Fleas can be easily carried into your bed which will result in painful bites when you are asleep.