HELP! How do I rid my home of fleas?
Fleas are a nuisance that invades households worldwide. If you are a pet owner you know exactly what that statement means. Now you may be thinking -HEY! I don’t have any pets- well that may be true but that does not mean you are safe. It is very rare that you would have an infestation, but it is possible. Mostly, pet owners are much more susceptible for fleas invading their home because they have a purrfect ride indoors! Keeping your home free of these pesky blood suckers is not as hard as you would think. There are a couple precautions you can take to prevent fleas from taking over your home.
Know your enemy!
First you need to know a little about the flea, so you can understand how and why these ways work best. There are many different types of fleas found in Florida, but the most common type is called the cat flea or Ctenocephalides felis. Although this pest has cat in the name it can also live on dogs, rabbits, squirrels, chickens, and other domestic creatures by jumping from animal to animal. Humans can become affected by coming into contact directly with infected material such as pet bedding.
Adult fleas need to feed on blood to survive so long as there is a host they can thrive and reproduce. Their eggs are tiny, white and can be found attached to hair loosely. A female flea can lay up to 18 eggs at a time. Eggs hatch between one day to two weeks from when they were laid and feed on flea feces until they reach adulthood.
If you have a pet they need to be on prevention!
This is one of the main ways pet owners can make sure their home does not get infested. All pets should be put on a proven method such as a prescription from your veterinarian (highly recommended) or a holistic approach (also a good option). There are prescriptions nowadays for 12 weeks at a time! Veterinary advice, and heavy research, is advised with holistic medication for pet and human safety. Flea shampoos are also a great way to keep your pet clean- but again veterinary professionals should be consulted- there are many products that can be more harm than good.
No Pets? No Problem! Treat your home directly.
If you are having a problem and do not currently own a pet then this is the option for you! Even if you have a pet there are products that are pet safe. Treating inside is needed for current infestations and reoccurring. Outdoors should be treated more often to keep fleas from getting inside your home. Call a local pest control expert and ask about their options for managing fleas by chemical application. Consistency is key, so make sure you always ask about future protection and how often you need services. Most local and commercial companies provide various prevention plans to fit your needs.
Along with one of the above options you should also keep your home clean. I know everyone is busy and just the idea of cleaning after a long day sounds tiring but trust me- you will benefit greatly. Sweeping vacuuming frequently is the top advice there is especially if you have carpets. Adult fleas need a blood meal and can not live long without a meal, so they are able to hide in materials until you or your pet comes along. Gross…right? Washing clothing, bedding, and furniture is also a great way to prevent fleas from hiding in your home. Make sure your washer is on hot water and you steam clean furniture.
Use multiple options.
Any or all of the above methods is a sure way to keep fleas from infesting your house, lawn, and family. Treating your pets, if you have them, is an important and main way to keep them out, but that does not guarantee a home free because they can travel. It is much less likely that you will have a major problem in the future. If you do not have a pet- they can travel around outdoors from stray animals so calling a pest control expert to spray around your house is ideal. They can still jump on to you and attached to furniture which is why cleaning is also important. Vacuuming, sweeping, and steaming furniture and clothing will keep them at bay. Remember some prevention is better than none!