- Eliminating Pests
Easy 3 Step Guide For Getting Rid Of Fleas In Your House
I have a flea problem!
Everybody who ever had to deal with a flea problem, knows that fleas can be a real pain in the neck. Fleas are the cause of several diseases among them are cat-scratch fever, typhus and plague to people (Wikipedia).
If you don't know what to do at all or doing it the wrong way they will stay forever!
Knowing about the life cycle of fleas is crucial information and your key to successfully eliminate these insects.
Please stay with me, while I talk you through some important background information. You will thank me later.
The life cycle of fleas
There are four cycles:
If you are able to stopp or interrupt any cycle, you will find success.
You need to prevent the fleas from going to the next stage, because after laying about 20 eggs, each single of this little pests will reproduce and lay another 20 eggs. As each transformation series from an egg to the adult state takes around two weeks, you will have 8,000 uninvited guests within a month! After two months you will be a host to a mind boggling amount of about 3.2 million of them.
Whenever your find out you have fleas in your house, you have to act fast, because in average you will have one week before the next generation comes to say "Hello".
Environmental conditions fleas love
Fleas need heat and humidity to develop well.
Optimal for their ambitious family planning is a high temperature and an average humidity.
That said, they do not like temperatures above 103 F degree.
One way to get rid of them would be shutting down a room on an already hot day for half a day and heat it further up. Another or better additional path to success would be drying out the air - along with the eggs - with a dehumidifier.
This would deprive the flea eggs from the necessary H20.
The 3-Step-Approach to get rid of fleas
If you want to get rid of your uninvited neighbours for good, you need to act on three areas at the same time:
- Your beloved pets
- Your house - every room
- Your yard
They will come back for sure, if you leave out just one of these areas.
Step One - Treat your pets
Washing the natural way
If you want to use as little chemicals as possible, try to wash your pet with shampoo.
It turn out, that it does not have to be any special flea shampoo, though.
You can try even a shampoo intended for humans. My wife for example swears on baby shampoo!
Controversial flea products
The opinions about flea products varies widely among people.
Here is what I found so far:
- It is said, that a flea comb can help to comb out 10-50% of the adult fleas from the animal's fur.
- Some say a flea collar is poison on a rope. Even if you do not share this opinion, keep in mind that they work only from the neck to the head anyway. You still have to find a solution for the body, like the for mentioned flea comb.
- Flea powder is effective against the fleas, but can also dry your pets skin.
It is up to you to decide what you prefer to use here. If you are in doubt ask your vet. If you do go for a specific flea product, make sure you follow the instructions as stated on the box. Otherwise it will not have the effect you wish for.
Step Two - Prepare and clean your house
One of the most popular places for fleas to hang out is your carpet or rug.
It almost sounds like they have a relaxing life, but they need to find their personal host within seven days or they die. Therefor you can be sure they are very ambitious reaching their goal.
They will wait for their prey walking by and then jump up to 7 inches high on them like survivors on a rescue boat. That is equal to you jumping 110 yards high!
Besides carpets you will find fleas most likely in your pet's bedding. Don’t think you are done when you cleaned the sleeping place. You need to check on all spots where they like to hang out! Get all your pets stuff - blanket, pillow, cushion and plush toys - and put it in the washing machine. Keep on doing it at least every other day, while you are on your cleansing mission.
Provide your pet with a spare blanket in between.
Suck them up
Vacuum every other day will get rid of the majority of the adult fleas. You won't be successful with fleas that are in their prior stage of life, though. Fleas need food in order to survive, anything on an organic base will do for them. The trick is to break their food chain. If you are really thorough with the vacuuming and get in all the corners, under and behind all the furniture, at all your pets hang-outs, then you will starve them out. Make sure, that you take care of every little spot!
Do not forget to remove the bag of the vacuum cleaner!
Using Detergent against fleas
If you want to go chemical, here is a tip I found: Borax Laundry detergent. This stuff does not kill a flea in a direct way, but by depriving it from moisture, which - as you learned earlier - is essential for them. This will also help with the eggs.
Apply as follows:
- Get everything - which has no fleas on it - out of the room which you want to treat.
- Cover everything else.
- Make sure that your pets are out of the room - as they would step on the borax and lick it off their paws. It is detergent after all, and not food.
- Trow some Borax on the floor and vacuum it. It may sound silly at first, but this way you will have some Borax in the vacuum bag and any fleas you vacuum afterwards will be welcomed by the Borax in the bag.
- Then vacuum your carpet. This may sound again a bit stupid. But this way you get the fibers stand up and let the Borax get deeper in the carpet.
- Sprinkle the Borax evenly and massage it deep into the carpet by walking over it or using a broom.
- Let it do its work overnight, but not longer than 24 hours to prevent fading! Keep the room shut.
- Vacuum the carpet thoroughly on the next day.
- Repeat with the next room.
Step Three - Take care of your yard
Here you can try with something that is called Diatomaceous Earth or DE (Wikipedia).
Diatomaceous Earth is 100% organic and kills household and garden pests like cockroaches, ants, slugs, fleas, beetles and many other crawling insects within 48 hours of contact.
You can apply it with an old flour sifter.
Be aware that it washes away after a stronger rain, so reapply after rain.
The return of the fleas - rinse and repeat
Fleas will likely reappear after your cleaning session, that's not really a surprise, as you usually don't get all the younglings. Don't worry, just vacuum the spot where you discovered them and apply your treatment on your pet and all the areas your treated before. Continue doing it for a month or more if necessary.
This way you will cleanse also the rest of the breed.
Garfields method to get rid of fleas ￼:-)
© 2014 TheAndy