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How to get rid of fleas
I got four cats. They go in and out of the house. I live in Orange County, CA, but the cats have a mind of their own, and they like to bring in fleas from all over the neighborhood.
Yes, my house is infested with fleas.
Fleas are my worst enemy in life. These creatures are amazing. They are so small that you can't see them. They seem to travel at a speed of light. And to make the case even worse, fleas are indestructable. You can't crush it to death even if you're lucky enough to catch them since they are so small, flat as my wallet, and made out of steel.
Fleas suck. Especially between the months of late-April to early-October, where they enjoy the hot weather to keep reproducting its amazingly well made bodies.
I've been struggling to keep fleas out of my house for the past 3 years. Over the course of 3 years, I've tried numerous remedies, spending countless hours researching, and spending a ton of money trying out different products. I want to share some of my remedy methods, since I know for a fact that people have the same flea problem around the world.
If you think fleas suck, and wake up each morning with nasty bites, read on to see what you can do to try to get rid of them.
Vaccuming the House
Once you suspect that you have a flea problem in your house, the first thing you need to do is become a neat freak. Prior to getting fleas in the house, I hated to vacuum. I'm a guy. This is pretty natural.
But once you have a flea problem, you really don't have the luxury to use the "I'm a guy" excuse. You need to become a clean freak.
Once I suspect that my cats brought in another batch of fleas into the house, I have no choice but to start vacuuming the room where I was bit, and out of fear, eventually the entire house. And the bad news is... you need to do this everyday.
It sucks. I hate to vacuum. But your choices are get eaten alive, or vacuum everyday.
I must choose to vacuum everyday. Fleas suck.
Clean your bedsheets
If you thought vacuuming the entire house everyday was enough to get rid of fleas, well.. I guess you're still new to this flea thing. Bad news. You need to do much more to get rid of fleas!!!
This is why fleas suck. You really have to make this your second occupation in order to get rid of these pesky creatures.
So, the next thing you need to do after you vacuum your entire house is to change all of your bedsheets. Fleas love to hang out with you in your bed. And they like to get you when you're sleeping. Easy target.
This is such a drag. Just imagine the thought of having to sleep with 5-10 fleas a night. Yuck.
Unfortunately, in reality, this is what is happening. And worst case if you don't do anything about it is that fleas will start to make your bed into their home. They will start to live there, mate there, and start to breed right on your bed. How's that for a romantic night?
So what you need to do is to clean your bedsheets. Again, I hated to do this before I had fleas. I probably changed my bedsheets once a month when I was single, and back in college.
Now with fleas around, I need to change it every 3 days or so. And this is after I get eaten alive. It's probably recommended to change it everyay or every other day.
Changing the bedsheets pains me because of all the water resource I need to use. I live in Southern California, and we have a water shortage. These sheets are pretty clean aside from the fact that they've got a few fleas living in them. Thanks to these 2-4 fleas, I need to do the entire bed. This sucks.
But again, your choices are: get eaten alive at night and risk making your bed a place for fleas to breed in; or wash the sheets.
I choose to wash the bed sheets. Again, fleas suck.
Treat your cats or dogs with Advantage or Frontline
So now that you have your place of residence free of most fleas, you really need to get to the source of it all. In most cases, it is your dogs or cats that like to bring in fleas into the house. You need to treat these guys with flea medication so that you can prevent them from brining fleas into the house in the first place.
I usually buy fleas medication online, since the medication they sell at pet stores or drug stores are too weak to do anything. Advantage and Frontline are the two big flea remedies for pets. These work pretty well.
The crappy part of this is that these flea medications will cost you $50-60. It's $50-60 that you'd rather not spend, but it's something that is necessary. You can buy them at Petmed or Amazon.com for about the same price.
I have been using Advantage in the past 3 years. I've never used Frontline, since I've heard that you need to get this from a vet. But I do see it selling on Amazon and Petmed. Maybe I'll try out Frontline next time.
Each box of Advantage contains four doses of flea medication. They have medication for cats under 5lb., cats over 5lbs., small dogs, and large dogs. The medication must be applied once a month or so, but in my case it's more like once every 2-3 weeks.
What I do, since I have four cats, is to get the Advantage box for large dogs. Since the medication content is all the same, I actually get more for my money by buying the Advantage box for a big dog. I then empty the medication in a small plastic condiment cup (like the one you get at El Pollo Loco to grab your salsa) and use a syringe to apply it equally to my four cats.
Since the medication content is the same, doing this will save you a lot of money if you have multiple cats or dogs.
Of course, cats hate this stuff, so they will run away, scratch you, and tries to avoid getting medicated at all cost. You'll also be down about $50-60 for the medication.
All this sucks. But your choices are to let your cats bring in fleas freely into the house, or make an attempt to prevent fleas from coming in the house.
I choose to prevent the fleas from coming in. All in all, fleas suck.
Spray your yard with insecticide
Now that you've got your house covered, your pets covered, it's time for you to start trying going on the offensive. You will now go buy an insect killer - one that will kill fleas - to start spraying the yard with. You are now attempting to kill the source of trouble outside where they usually reside.
As I said before, at this point, this flea thing is becoming an occupation. Or you can call it an obsessive intervention to rid these guys out of your life.
Unfortunately, spraying the yard with insecticide has brought me limited success. Why? Because your cats and dogs will get fleas other than your yard, and will re-introduce them into your yard. And because fleas seems to be stronger and harder to kill than other insects.
I recently sprayed my front yard and back yard. I saw a ton of rolly pollies dead in my front porch. Some spiders, ants, and beetles died too. But my I still get fleas clinging on to my feet as I walk through the yard. And my house is still infested with fleas.
Fleas are tough. They are hard to kill.
Does this mean that you shouldn't spray the yard? Probably not. The insecticide will set you back about $10 at a Home Depot. But it's probably worth your time and money to treat your yard with. You do get to clean up on some of the other insect problems like ants, spiders, and beetles as yo do this. So there are some additional benefits of trying out this method.
Your choices here are: Go on an offensive to try and kill some fleas outside vs. not doing anything for you to defend your castle.
I choose to go on the offensive.
Of course, the time, the smell, and hassel involved in this isn't something you would prefer to do on a weekend. But fleas suck. And they make your life miserable.
Other Flea Remedies - Flea Trap, Garlic Pills, Rock Salt, and Planting Pennyroyal
So what I've described above is basically, "Beginning - How to Get Rid of Fleas."
I have had some success with the methods above. If I continue to do them everyday, I do notice a reduction in flea bites. Of course, I get lazy and start to procrastinate as I see a reduction. And that's when a new wave of flea infestations occur.
I am now in the process of trying out, "Advanced - How to Get Rid of Fleas."
Here are some of what I am trying out.
As I was browsing through Amazon.com, I came across a flea trap. This is basically a trap that has a light with a stick pad on it. You plug it up somewhere, and set it up. Since the fleas are attracted to light, they will hop on to it, and get stuck on the sticky pads. Some reviewers said that they've caught 18 fleas just in the first night.
This does make a lot of sense. I've tried home made traps where I use soapy water in a flat tray container, alongside a table lamp at night. It's a home made trap, where some people swear by. Personally, setting up the trap each day was a hassle for me, and I risked spilling the soapy water as I moved it, so I didn't like to do it all that much. But thanks to this manufactured flea trap, it will become much easier to set up traps around the house.
These retail for about $10-15, and on sale at Amazon. I've never seen these at home improvement stores, so maybe they're a rare item. I'm going to try them to see if they help at all.
A reviewer said that it helps to move the trap every week or so to a new location. Also buying multiple traps will help too.
I've read somewhere that fleas don't like the smell and taste of garlic. I guess fleas have a preference on who they like to bite since my wife rarely gets bit, where I get eaten alive. Frequently, I'll wake up with over 15 bites just in one nigh's sleep.
So I have now purchased garlic pills. I don't mind eating a ton of garlic each day, but cooking it and smelling like garlic may make my friends repel me alongside the fleas. So I decided to go with garlic extract pills to see if they will do any good.
They do have the natual ability to lower blood pressure and high cholestrol, so I guess I'll get the health benefit even if fleas still like to get a bite of me.
I bought some garlic pills today on Amazon for about $9. I'm sure you can find garlic pills at your local pharmacy, grocery store, or supplement store.
Placing rock salt in little containers underneath sofas and beds is said to help repel fleas in the area. I'm not exactly sure what it is about rock salt that fleas don't like, but if it worked for some, it may work for another.
I'm going to try out the cheap remedy starting today to see if this will work or not.
Fortunately, rock salt is pretty cheap. You can buy it for $2-3 from most grocery stores.
Hey, whatever that may work.
I've only known of Pennyroyal from a Nirvana song. Pennyroyal is a plant in the mint family. It is said that planting them will help to deter fleas from living in that area.
So, since I am into gardening lately, I'm going to try this as well. I've never seen, or looked for Pennyroyal seeds, so I don't know if you can get them at a local nursery or not. I will continue to look for them so that I can plant 72 pennyroyal plants using my seed starter.
So here is my 3 years of research and experience on How to Get Rid of Fleas. Fleas suck. I hate them. And it is too bad they are so fast, so small, and so strong.
I hope this will help you to get some ideas on combating your own flea problems. If you also have ideas or remedies that worked for you, please use the comment box below to share them with us.
We all should make the goal of making fleas go extinct. Fleas really suck!!!!