6 Steps to Remove Fleas in the Home

Say Goodbye to Fleas For Good

Dog scratching in house

 

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Your pet is a member of the family, but sometimes it can unknowingly invite an unwelcome guest that puts you on flea removal patrol. Fleas jump on and off animals from the ground, so if your dog or cat goes outdoors, chances are it will bring them indoors. Fleas are one of the most annoying insect infestations that can occur in a home, especially because they bury themselves in carpets, couches, and seemingly every corner of a room. Here's how to get rid of fleas in the house fast and keep them from coming back.

Tip

The key to successfully getting rid of fleas fast is consistent treatment of your pet and home. The typical length of time it takes to get rid of fleas depends on the treatment you use, but it can take weeks or months to interrupt the life cycle of every flea. There are some flea treatment products and sprays for the house and pets that kill fleas on contact or in a day, but that might not stop the life cycle of emerging fleas.

What You Need to Remove Fleas

  • Flea treatment for pets
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Washing machine
  • Commercial flea products or services

Rid Pets of Fleas First

Treat the cause of the fleas first; usually, an infestation occurs because of a pet. Your pet can transfer fleas onto furniture and beds, so it's important to take this step first. Treat your pets for fleas, including a prevention flea collar or medicine, before you go to all the work of ridding your home of fleas. Ask your vet if a treatment called nitenpyram (the brand name is Capstar) is right for your dog or cat because it can usually get rid of fleas within 24 hours.

Vacuum

Vacuuming is one of the best ways to remove fleas in your home because it will kill the major percentage of adult fleas, young fleas, and eggs. Move furniture and vacuum thoroughly. Don't forget to use your vacuum cleaner attachment to vacuum the edges of the room and hard-to-reach corners. Remove the bag or dump the bin and throw out the trash when you're finished.

Wash Linens

Use the warmest water that can be tolerated for the clothing, washing any pillows, bedding, or other fabrics that may have been exposed to fleas. You can use a normal liquid laundry detergent and dry thoroughly.

Vacuum Again

A repeat vacuuming of the carpet, floor, and any other areas will help get rid of any remaining fleas. Be sure to continue vacuuming thoroughly over the coming days. Be aware that this will take some daily effort for the foreseeable future to remedy the situation.

Home Remedies

Borax, a natural mineral, sodium tetraborate, which has been mined and used for thousands of years, has been known to be an effective home remedy. Sprinkle it over the affected area and then vacuum it away to help bring a speedy death to fleas. Beware; pets or children who ingest borax will become ill.

A homemade flea trap can be made by filling a small bowl with water and a few drops of dish soap. Place the bowl on the floor near a nightlight. With other lights around off, fleas will jump towards the light landing in the bowl and drowning.

You can also consider making a homemade flea repellent for your pet that you can use to prevent the problem from happening again.

Consider Hiring Pest Control Help

If your infestation is severe, you may need the help of a professional product or pest control company that offers a flea removal service. Be sure to use caution and follow meticulous directions if this type of intervention is needed. Take care to protect your pets and family by thoroughly reading the company's instructions and following them diligently.

Article Sources
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  1. Controlling Fleas. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

  2. Fleas. University of Maryland Extension.

  3. What is Nitenpyram? VCA Animal Hospitals.

  4. Flea Control and Prevention. Entomology at the University of Kentucky.

  5. Boric Acid. National Pesticide Information Center.