It’s been said that “for every flea that you find in your home, there are statistically about 80 others hidden from your sight.” Which means you may already be in a full-blown flea infestation before you even see one flea! These tiny, annoying bugs live on the blood of your pets and family members. Once a flea feeds, it can survive up to a year without another feeding—which is why you need to stop them in their tracks before they multiply. Here are our favorite tips for controlling a flea infestation:
Find the Source
Chances are that Fido or Fluffy brought the fleas into your house, so start with them first. Fleas nestle in the hair on your pet’s body and bite your little buddy whenever they’re feeling peckish. And momma fleas love laying their eggs on your darling. You may see fleas skitting through your pet’s hair or crawling over your skin. Your buddy may also be scratching more than usual. Use a flea comb, natural flea-killing shampoos, or any of our options for natural flea control for your cat or dog to eliminate the problem at the source. If you choose a store bought remedy, make sure to buy the correct amount for your pet’s size. Any fleas that jump back on your clean buddy after his treatment should die.
Fleas can jump off your pet and onto your furniture, clothes, and your pet’s bedding. Anything that may have come in contact with your pet during his flea outbreak should be washed in hot water. This won’t necessarily kill the fleas, but they should be shaken up and ejected when the water drains. Dry everything on high heat to kill all the remaining eggs. Sprinkle natural, unrefined, food grade diatomaceous earth on your carpets. This chalky powder is nontoxic for us and our pets, but dries out the skin of the fleas so they die. Just vacuum up the residue the next day. Remember: diatomaceous earth doesn’t work on flea eggs. If you notice fleas a few weeks after your initial application, repeat the process. The dust from diatomaceous earth can be irritating if inhaled; be careful about over-applying or making a mess. Do not buy the diatomaceous earth that’s made for swimming pool filters either; this stuff is too finely ground and can cause chronic inflammation in your lungs. Steam cleaning your carpets and upholstery will also get rid of flea eggs.
Keep Fleas Away
Turn down the temperature in your house—fleas like warm, humid environments. The cold air will make them seek out your pet, and your pet’s flea treatment will eliminate them. Keep the grass in your yard cut short so the sun’s rays warm up and kill flea larvae. Watering your yard also drowns larvae. Fleas also don’t like eucalyptus or cedar mulch. Regularly bathing your best friend and his bedding will keep you on top of a flea infestation before it gets out of hand. Luckily enough, there are plenty of natural options to control fleas so your buddy doesn’t have to suffer from itchy bites any longer.
Here's hoping you control your flea circus!