Both home and pet owners know how horrible a flea infestation can be. Fleas are not only disgusting and irritating, they are also vectors, meaning they can carry pathogens and infect humans with viral, bacterial and other diseases. The good news is that there are ways to get rid of fleas in your home and garden without using pesticides or herbicides. Two key things to know: what causes flea infestations and best practices for flea control. Let us begin.
Fleas at a glance
Before I can begin to remove fleas, it can be helpful to understand what fleas are and what causes a flea problem. Here’s a closer look at why flea populations develop and best practices for flea prevention.
What are fleas?
Fleas are small insects that travel on mammals and birds and take a blood meal to survive. That’s why pet owners are advised to use flea prevention methods, such as flea collars and topical and ingestible flea control medications, to reduce the risk of flea infestations.
How do fleas get into your house?
It is especially important to address a flea infestation in your garden the moment you notice it. This is because flea infestations develop outdoors and are then transported from flea dirt into your home via your pet’s fur. Unlike pests like lice, fleas do not appear on human hair. Instead, they are attracted to the ends of the lower extremities. If you notice bites and irritation around your feet or ankles, you most likely have a flea infestation in your home or garden. While animals are among the most common vectors for fleas, these pests can also enter the home through furniture and fabrics. After shopping, always wash bedding before use and inspect all new or used sofas, chairs, and other fabric-covered furniture brought into your home. If you notice stains on your upholstery, check for fleas right away; if you diagnose an infestation, begin the flea removal process immediately.
Why do we not want fleas in the home?
Fleas tend to travel in large populations, with each flea carrying pathogens that can cause disease in humans. Many mammals are actually allergic to flea bites, and itching and scratching Flea bites can cause hair loss and skin inflammation. Fleas can also make your pets more susceptible to tapeworms and anemia.
How to get rid of fleas
The good news is that if flea prevention fails, there are several ways to rid your home of fleas and address their root causes in your yard and home. These are just a few.
1. Wash your pet
If you notice fleas on your dog or cat, wash them right away. This will help reduce the irritation and itching caused by flea bites. Start with mild soapy water. (This will suffocate many of the adult fleas.) Then, slowly move through your pet’s fur with a flea comb to catch any remaining fleas and remove them. If you need something stronger, talk to your vet about flea shampoo options so you know you’re using the best product for your pet.
2. Wash all bedding
One of the most important steps in flea treatment is washing your bedding. Even if your pet has been thoroughly cleaned, it’s important to prevent reinfestation by removing pests from the space they occupy. This starts with a thorough cleaning of their bedding and all the fabrics they sleep or wear on. Wash both your bedding and your pet’s bedding in hot water with detergent. Be sure to inspect bedding and fabrics when you remove them from the wash to confirm that they are free of fleas. You may need to do this several times. For more severe infestations, simply replacing the pet’s bedding may be the best option.
3. Use a vacuum and steam cleaner
In addition to cleaning the bedding and blankets where your dog sleeps, you’ll also need to clean around the affected area. Use a combination vacuum and steam cleaner to remove fleas that live on floors and carpets. Vacuuming ensures the removal of fleas at all stages of the flea life cycle, including flea eggs, flea larvae, and adult fleas. Vacuum all areas of the home regularly as long as the infestation persists, especially areas that show obvious signs of flea activity and areas where your pet spends a lot of time. A roller brush is best for penetrating the surface of the carpets where fleas hide. You’ll also want to use your hose attachment or brush to get into baseboards and corners, where fleas like to congregate.
In addition to vacuuming, steam clean carpets, rugs, and any furniture that cannot be machine washed. Fleas lay dozens of eggs each day, so be sure to clean cloth surfaces daily to prevent reinfestation.
4. Make flea traps and sprays
You can buy or make homemade flea sprays and treatments. To make homemade flea traps, put soapy water on surfaces near incandescent lighting. (This light attracts fleas.) Make homemade flea sprays with vinegar and lemon juice. Pour them into a spray bottle for a spot treatment on sofas and rugs.
5. Treat the garden
One of the most effective ways to kill fleas in the garden, before they can enter your home, is with a flea treatment process. Herbicides and pesticides can be very effective in controlling infestations. Be careful though, as its harsh chemicals can harm pets and family. DIY sprays and treatments made with vinegar or dish soap are pet-friendly and can be sprayed regularly throughout the garden, starting in the evenings.
6. Clean your lawn
One of the best ways to prevent fleas is to mow the lawn and clean brush and dead foliage. Also, get rid of standing water, as fleas need water to survive. By cleaning your lawn, you will create an environment in which fleas cannot survive. To prevent bites and irritation, wear high socks while cleaning your yard and applying any flea treatments.
7. Add a barrier
Another effective way to get rid of fleas in your garden is to create a barrier that prevents fleas from penetrating and penetrating your lawn. Cedar mulch works well here, as fleas and other bugs are repelled by the smell of cedar. Simply spread cedar mulch all over your lawn and around the perimeter of your garden. you can also use diatomaceous earth, a type of powder that kills fleas by damaging their exoskeleton and causing dehydration. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of fleas in your yard, and can even be spread to specific indoor areas if needed.
Fleas, go away!
Fleas are nasty pests whose bites cause itching, irritation, and even illness. The good news is that there are numerous ways to combat a flea problem, whether it’s in your home or in your garden. These start with washing pets, bedding, furniture, and floors. While it’s especially important for pet owners to be careful when it comes to flea prevention and pest control, fleas can also enter the home on upholstery, so inspect all furniture deliveries for signs. of fleas
However, most flea infestations begin outdoors. That’s why it’s helpful to treat your yard for fleas with flea sprays, yard management, and the use of barriers like cedar shavings or diatomaceous earth. Unfortunately, you are not alone when it comes to combating this and other home ownership blunder However, the good news is that these treatments are effective and fast.