How To Clean Your House From Fleas 2020 Guide

How To Clean Your House From Fleas

The worst thing about fleas is how good they are at hiding. Many pest control experts say that the fleas you see on your pet or any other area of your home are only 5 to 10% of the total flea population in your home.

So if you find that your pet has a flea infestation, even if it is a mild one, get ready for some serious extermination work. You’ll need to hunt down the tiny critters in corners, under furniture, in vents and every other nook and cranny they can fit into or under.

If you suspect there are fleas in your home, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them.

Start with Your Pets

Most flea infestations are caused by pets. Your dog could have picked up the pests from the yard or from another dog at the park.

If your pet is the source of the fleas, you’ll need to treat it first before you even get started with the house. Start by physically removing fleas from his skin. You can do this using a flea comb. Focus especially on the neck area between the shoulder blades where fleas love to hide. A bushy tail is also likely to harbour a lot of fleas.

Drop any collected fleas into hot soapy water to kill them.

Next, give your dog a thorough wash using flea soap. After you completely lather the skin, let it stay that way for around 10 minutes. This gives the soap time to kill any fleas and larvae present. Then rinse the skin off. Repeat this process at least once every fortnight until the fleas are gone. You can also apply a flea-control product on the dog’s skin as directed by your vet.

Additionally, experts recommend using flea prevention products to prevent re-infestation. These products come in form of topical meds or pills that keep larvae from growing into adult fleas.

Vacuum Your Home

Next, you need to tackle the fleas inside your home. If you check around and find that the infestation is severe, I recommend getting a professional exterminator to make sure your home is completely rid of them. But in most cases, there are things you can do yourself to get rid of the pests.

Start by vacuuming your home. Clear away as many things as possible including movable furniture, toys, baskets and anything else covering the floor. You want to reach as much of the floor as possible. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any adult fleas and larvae. Fleas are especially fond of carpeted flooring as it gives them a lot of hidden dark places to hide.

You also need to vacuum inside vents, in hidden corners and any out of the way spot that could be a home for fleas. For this, handheld vacuum cleaners are better. They are more flexible and using attachments, you can reach deep inside tight spaces.

If your vacuum cleaner uses a bag, throw it away after every cleaning. If you just need to empty a receptacle, do it over hot soapy water to kill any fleas and eggs you have collected.

Use an Insecticide for Serious Infestations

If the infestation is serious but not at the level where an exterminator is necessary, an insecticide spray can help get rid of the pests. Make sure you follow all the manufacturer instructions for maximum effect and for your family’s safety.

In many cases, you need to remove any pets from the house and adequately protect water and foods from contamination. Your family will also most likely have to stay away from the house for around 12 hours.

Treat Your Yard

Finally, work on your yard which could be the main source of the fleas. Areas like under the deck, around the pet house and in bushes tend to be most vulnerable to fleas.

Simply clearing away bushes and low hanging branches can significantly reduce flea population since they have fewer places to hide. To completely remove them, treat your yard with an insecticide.

Focus on areas that are likely to harbour fleas and make sure you follow all the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Keep checking your yard for any re-infestations (walk around with knee-high white socks) and repeat the treatment if necessary.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bedding

Getting rid of fleas in bedding is quite a tough task and require persistent efforts. Read this article to gather some valuable information related to how to get rid of fleas in bedding.

Getting rid of fleas in bedding is quite a tough task and require persistent efforts. Read this article to gather some valuable information related to how to get rid of fleas in bedding.

When you have pets in your house, then flea infestation in the house is a common occurrence. At first, fleas attack the pet’s body, live on its skin surface to draw out blood from their body. Within a short span of time, they multiply in numbers and the entire house get infested by it. You can find these tiny brown, wingless insects everywhere, particularly in soft fabrics. Fleas prefer to lay their eggs on carpet, bedding, drapery, cushions, etc. Fleas on bedding bites the humans sleeping on them. Red skin bumps when you get up in the morning is the first indication that there are fleas in your bed.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas in Bedding

When it comes to getting rid of fleas from the bedding, you obviously look for safe methods of treatment. This is because the commercial flea repellent sprays available in the market contain harsh chemicals which when comes in contact with human skin can cause harm to them. Here, we have discussed some simple methods that can help you to get rid of fleas naturally:

Vacuum Cleaning

This is an excellent technique mainly because the vacuum cleaner can pick up fleas from some of the most hard to reach hidden corners. Before you start using the vacuum cleaner, put some moth balls into the vacuum cleaner bag for better results. Now, vacuum clean the mattress, box spring, bed seams, headboard, cushions, pillows, rugs, carpet of the bedroom and other soft fabrics thoroughly. Do not forget to vacuum clean your pet’s bedding as well because you will find maximum fleas on them. After you have finished the job, detach the vacuum bag from the device, pack it up in a plastic bag and dispose off in a trash can outside the house. This step is a must because the bag may contain live fleas which can attack the bedding all over again. You have to vacuum clean the bedding on a daily basis until you have gotten rid of the fleas completely.

Steam Cleaning

The fleas that are left behind after vacuuming the bedding can be eradicated by steam cleaning. The fleas trapped in the fabrics cannot tolerate the high temperature of the steam and will die. If you have steam cleaner at home, then you can do this task yourself. Otherwise, you have to hire professionals for this purpose.

Washing with Soapy Water

Soapy water destroy adult fleas, larvae as well as the eggs of fleas. Put all the washable items of bedding that include sheets, throw pillows, linens, scatter rugs, blankets into the washer, set it at highest temperature and wash them in hot soapy water for half an hour. If required, you can wash them two or three times. After washing the bedding items thoroughly, put them into the dryer and again set it at a high temperature so that if any fleas are still alive will be killed by the heat. Alternately, you can keep the washed items under the sun for drying so that the heat can kill remaining fleas and larvae.

Homemade Flea Repellent Powder

The main ingredients of this powder are diatomaceous earth, baking soda, cornstarch and a few drops of essential oil. Here, I would like to tell you that you should buy diatomaceous earth which is available in the pet stores as it is safe for the pets and do not use the one which is added in swimming pools. Mix 2 parts of diatomaceous earth with one part each of baking soda and cornstarch and add a few drops of essential oil into the mixture. Sprinkle this powder generously under the bed, cracks, seams and corners of the bed. This powder will dehydrate the fleas and thus they are killed. Let this powder sit on the bedding for the next 2 days and then vacuum those areas.

Borax and Table Salt

These two ingredients used together is an excellent remedy for flea removal. Mix one part of table salt with one part of borax and ground them into a fine powder by putting them in a blender. Use this powder on the mattress, pet bedding, rugs, soft fabrics, bed stand, headboard and so on. When the fleas and their eggs come in contact with this powder, their body becomes dry and weak and eventually die. Allow the powder to sit on the flea infested bedding for a day and then vacuum clean them.

Once you have eradicated fleas from the mattresses and other bedding items, do not allow your flea infested pets to sit on them for the time being. Treat them first as per the guidelines provided by your veterinarian and then you can let them sit anywhere they want to.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas or Chiggers in the House

Things You’ll Need

Fog bombs geared toward fleas and chiggers

Treat any house pet that has a flea problem. Once the animal is treated, do not take them back to the house before treatment of the house.

If there is heavy infestation, it might be beneficial to bomb twice and stay out of the house overnight.

Warning

Do not stay in the house while it is being bombed.

Chiggers and fleas alike are both unwanted house pests. They typically start as an infestation on a house pet and reproduce quickly. Before you know it, there is not a single room you can walk into without getting bitten by one or the other. There are ways to treat these obnoxious and somewhat painful pests.

Step 1

Empty cabinets in the kitchen. Cover dishes and food with sheets. Cover all decorations and anything else you do not feel like cleaning when you get home.

Step 2

Leave furniture exposed, particularly cloth furniture where fleas might live.

Put on a face mask or hold your breath as the fog starts going off.

Step 3

Start at the back of the house, farthest away from the door. Set off one bomb in a small- to medium-sized room. Put two or more bombs in larger rooms.

Step 4

Leave the house for at least four hours.

Step 5

Spray insecticide around the perimeter of your house to ensure the fleas and chiggers do not return.

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How to Clean Your Home After Flea Bombs

Things You’ll Need

Regular household cleansers

Liquid dish detergent

Remove bedding, toys, dishes, pet food dishes and any exposed utensils used in food preparation before using the flea bomb. Put them in a closed closet well away from the area where you are using the flea bomb. Always clean countertops and other surfaces before replacing the items.

Warning

Leave your home and take your pets with you when you’re using a flea bomb. Read the label on the product carefully to know when it is safe to reenter your house — usually within two to four hours.

Extinguish any flames, such as a pilot light, before activating the flea bomb. This is to prevent explosions or other fire hazards in your house.

When fleas invade your house, it is often impossible to get rid of them unless you use a pesticide fogger or «bug bomb.» The fogger sprays aerosol droplets that are suspended in the air. They settle onto surfaces and in cracks and crevices of your house to kill fleas or other annoying insects. A disadvantage of the flea bombs is that you must carefully clean the surfaces where the aerosol settles.

See also:  4 Common Flea Diseases in Cats

Step 1

Remove any bedding that you left uncovered while the fogger was releasing its contents. Wash and dry the bedding according to the care label instructions. This is particularly important with bedding of small children, infants, or anyone who suffers from asthma, respiratory ailments or severe allergy conditions.

Step 2

Clean countertops in bathrooms and kitchen areas with your regular cleanser. This removes any pesticide residue remaining on food preparation surfaces or areas where family members may set down a toothbrush or other personal hygiene product.

Step 3

Place all washable toys in a sink or other basin and wash them with mild dish detergent, a dishcloth and warm water. Rinse the toys, then dry them well with a towel. Infants and small children tend to put toys in their mouths, or may get residue on their fingers from handling exposed toys.

Step 4

Wash your pet food bowls thoroughly with a mild dish detergent and warm water. Dry them with a towel or allow them to air-dry. This prevents your pets from ingesting pesticide residue.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

You don’t have to be a pet owner to find yourself wondering how to get rid of fleas naturally. These parasites bite humans, too.

This guide explains how to identify fleabites and what you must clean to get rid of fleas naturally. There is also a natural flea killer spray to protect your pet and your home.

Do You Have Fleas in Your Home?

You can get fleas in your home even if you don’t own pets. Surprised? Many people are, especially after suffering through itchy nights and unexplained rashes.

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Fleas are wingless parasitic insects that are a few millimeters long. (2-3 mm) Their colors range from reddish to dark brown. They have flat bodies with six legs. Their flat bodies enable them to move more easily through animal hair (and carpet fibers).

Flea legs feature tiny hairs on their legs that help them hang onto their hosts. Their back legs are longer and stronger, which enables them to jump surprisingly long distances in search of hosts.

What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?

Fleas are tiny and their eggs are even smaller — they’re less than 0.5 mm in size! When first laid, flea eggs are transparent though shortly before hatching they become white. To many people, they look like grains of sugar or salt. This tiny size makes them very difficult to see.

Flea eggs shouldn’t be confused with “flea dirt” — those patches of black, dusty-looking matter you may see in your pet’s fur. Plainly put, those clumps are flea poop — the digested remnants of blood that makes up the flea’s diet.

What Do Flea Bites Look Like?

On dogs and cats, flea bites look like tiny red bumps, often surrounded by the “flea dirt” described above. One of the first indications your pet has fleas is, of course, scratching. Although fleas often hitch a ride by jumping onto your pet’s legs, they typically travel to the fur on their stomach or around their ears — places where they’re less likely to be disturbed.

On humans, flea bites are typically raised, red dots with a paler halo. Bites often appear in lines — a sign the flea has been feasting as it travels on your skin. Most often, flea bites appear on feet, ankles and legs as fleas jump from the ground or carpet onto their human host. For hairier individuals, though, they can show up anywhere.

How Long Do Fleas Live?

Fleas go through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This cycle typically lasts 60-90 days, but fleas can go dormant and live without blood for as long as three months.

Understanding the flea life cycle makes it clear why efforts to get rid of fleas in your home needs to be an ongoing effort once you’ve found them.

The Flea Life Cycle

Flea eggs are laid by adult females after eating, and can take two days to two weeks to hatch. Warmer, more humid conditions make this cycle much faster. That’s why fleas appear more often in the summer, though they’re really a year-round problem.

When the flea eggs hatch, they become larvae. Around one-third of the fleas in a home are in the larval stage, meaning they’re preparing to spin cocoons and become pupae.

When a flea larva spins a cocoon, it becomes a pupa. Pupae survive in their cocoon for several months while it waits for optimal conditions (75-80° F temperatures) to emerge. These cocoons are made of sticky strands which hold onto carpet and fabric fibers that even light vacuuming doesn’t dislodge.

Adult fleas emerge from pupal cocoons and feed on a host’s blood then begin breeding and laying eggs within a couple of days. A single adult female flea lays around 40 eggs per day and lives up to a couple of months. In other words, that female flea can lay a couple of thousand eggs in her life and the females of those, in turn, can lay thousands more.

Fleas Can Cause Health Problems

Fleas aren’t just a nuisance that causes extreme itching and discomfort for you and your pets. They can also pose serious health risks.

People with compromised immune systems due to cancer, HIV, certain medications, or pregnant women and infants, are highly susceptible to such complications.

Flea Bite Allergies

For some pets and humans, there’s also a risk of flea allergy dermatitis. In pets, this can lead to “hotspots” and hair loss from incessant scratching. It can also lead to other health complications.

Even without an allergic reaction, flea bites increase the risk of secondary bacterial skin infections from scratching. These infections require medical treatment to avoid sepsis (blood poisoning).

Flea-Borne Diseases

Fleas are more than just an irritant: they can carry some serious diseases, too.

  • Bubonic Plague — yes, THAT one. Although rare, this disease spreads when fleas bite an infected wild animal. Once your pet comes indoors, those fleas will look to other residents in the home as blood sources. The result is an infection that causes large sores and abscesses. As the bacteria multiply in the host’s lymph glands, the disease spreads elsewhere in the body, leading to organ failure and eventual death.
  • Cat-Scratch Disease is a bacterial infection caused by Bartonella henselae, which is transmitted between cats by fleas. If one neighborhood cat has it, other unprotected indoor/outdoor cats in the area will get it, too. Then they go indoors where their fleas infect people.
  • Typhus is transmitted by fleas, too. This potentially fatal disease can also cause hepatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a decrease in blood volume. Although most infants and children receive vaccinations to protect them from typhus, many do not get the recommended booster shots and lose their protection.
  • Flea Tapeworm is transmitted when children accidentally come in contact with an infected flea or ingest one.
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In other words, those tiny little fleas are big deals. Still, with attention to detail and some hard work on your part, you CAN get rid of fleas naturally.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home

Isolate Your Pet to Start

Bathing your pet before performing the following steps won’t solve the problem — indoor fleas will jump right back on. Put your pet in a crate or bathroom while you work.

If you are using the Natural Flea Killer Spray below, keep your pet confined until the spray has dried.

Wash Your Pet’s Bedding

Launder pet beds, toys, and blankets using your machine’s hottest, longest setting. Add 2 cups of white vinegar with your preferred detergent. Do not use fabric softener, which can help flea eggs cling to fibers. Use the dryer’s hottest setting. Do not air-dry indoors or fleas may just jump back on it.

If you can’t machine wash and dry your pet’s bedding or toy, it needs to be thrown out. Otherwise, flea larvae and eggs living in the stuffing will reinfest your home.

Clean Your Bedding and Mattress, Too

Even if Fido or Fluffy don’t sleep on your bed, it’s possible fleas have hitched a ride on you and are now settling into your bedding.

  • Strip your bed and wash your mattress pad, sheets, pillowcases, and bed cover in the hottest setting allowed on the manufacturer’s label.
  • While your bed is bare, give your mattress a deep-cleaning.
  • You should also wash your pillows, including any decorative ones.

Vacuum All Floors and Upholstery

Light or improper vacuuming won’t separate the flea larvae in their sticky cocoons from carpet fibers. You’ll also need to move furniture, so you can clean the floor beneath it.

Vacuuming to kill fleas is even more effective if you first sprinkle soft furnishings and carpets with diatomaceous earth (DE) and then wait at least 8 hours. DE works by dehydrating flea eggs, larvae, and pupae and cuts through adult flea exoskeletons before drying them, so the fleas come right up.

Once you’re done, clean your vacuum thoroughly.

Use this Natural Flea Killer Spray

The Natural Flea Killer Spray below combines salt to dehydrate any remaining flea larvae or pupae, vinegar to kill any remaining adults and eggs, and essential oils that control and deter fleas. The oil also counteracts the vinegar smell, for those of you who dislike it.

Use this daily on soft surfaces throughout your home for two weeks. Do not use it on pet bedding, or on fabrics like silk, suede, or other materials that might be damaged by water. If in doubt, spot test fabric in an inconspicuous area to find out if it’s water-safe.

Natural Flea Killer Spray

KEEP YOUR PET CONFINED UNTIL THE SPRAY HAS DRIED. DO NOT SPRAY THIS ON PET BEDDING.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 5 drops each rosemary and lavender essential oils
  1. Combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle, add the oils and shake well.
  3. Spray carpets, sofas, and soft surfaces daily for three weeks, shaking well each time before use.
  4. Store any unused portion in a dark, cool spot away from the reach of pets and kids.

How to Get Rid of Fleas On Your Pet

In addition to getting rid of fleas in your home, you also need to get rid of fleas on your pet. Treat your dog or cat for fleas before releasing it from isolation.

Use a Flea Comb

A fine-toothed flea comb helps remove most fleas and their eggs. Do this in the bathroom over a sheet, repeatedly dipping the comb in a bowl of water to dislodge fleas and their eggs.

Put the sheet into a plastic trash bag before you release your pet into the rest of your home. Immediately carry the plastic bag to your laundry room and dump its contents into your washing machine. Right away, launder the sheet using hot water then run it through the dryer for at least 40 minutes when you’ve finished.

Use an Ongoing Flea Treatment

If your pet has flea allergies or you live in an area with mild winters, you should consult your veterinarian about prescription flea treatments. There are a number of flea medications that last for an entire month and which also repel ticks, too. Be careful about combining over-the-counter flea and tick medications, though!

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How To Clean Fleas from Cats & Carpet

Severe infestations may require a visit to the vet.

A flea infestation affects your entire home, not just the cat. If she’s infested, your home could be welcoming in millions of tiny bloodsucking parasites. Treat your kitty and your home at the first sight of fleas to keep things from getting out of hand.

Scrub that cat down with a feline shampoo formulated to target fleas. You’ll likely have to wash, rinse and repeat once or twice. Afterward, give her a good brushing with a flea comb to yank out any lingering parasites.

Wash whatever you can get your hands on, particularly linens that your cat favors. If she has a favorite pillow, blanket, pet bed, anything, put it through the wash.

Vacuum. A lot. Paying special attention to your cat’s favorite hangouts, vacuum the carpet every day and empty the vacuum outside every day. Cats shed fleas, flea eggs and flea pupae everywhere, so if you want to walk around barefoot without getting skeeved, vacuum that floor.

Treat your cat with a topical flea medication. Available from your vet or the local pet store, these squeeze-on treatments soak into your cat and inhibit flea infestations. After the medicine has taken effect, according to the instructions, continue with her bathing and combing regimen.

Attack your house with pesticides. While you could call an exterminator for heavy-duty flea killing, plenty of over-the-counter foggers and sprays will also do the trick. Always read the label, as you and your pet will most definitely have to vacate the area while the chemicals are doing their work. You’ll also have to reapply these chemicals every week or two, as many of them don’t affect unhatched eggs. When the new ones hatch, you reapply the chemicals, and so on until there aren’t any more fleas.

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