What is a flea ?
Fleas are small insects that survive by feeding on animal or human blood. Their bites can cause discomfort, itchiness, and irritation. Sometimes, fleas can infect people or pets with the germs that cause flea-borne typhus, plague, or cat scratch disease.
FLEA FREE HOME:
Vacuum all rugs, carpets & furniture
Seal & dispose of the vacuum bag outside
Clear & clean all floors, including closets
Sweep & Mop tile & vinyl floors
Check under beds & furniture – remove items
Remove pets; Wash or dispose of all pet bedding; Be sure to know where pets sleep, rest & eat
Resume normal vacuuming 24 hours AFTER home has been treated
Getting Rid of Fleas
Getting rid of fleas is a difficult process due to the long lifecycle of a flea. Moderate to severe infestations will take months to control and require a four-step process for complete elimination:
1. Sanitation. Thoroughly clean areas where fleas frequently breed. This includes washing bedding, rugs, and pet bedding, and thoroughly vacuuming and sweeping floors and carpeted areas and along the edges of walls.
2. Pet treatment. Every pet in the home must be treated. Thoroughly bathe pets with soap and water, then comb them with a flea comb. Pay careful attention to face and neck regions, and the area in front of the tail. Soap will act as a gentle insecticide to kill adult fleas. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing the right flea control product for your pet.
3. Home treatment. Begin home treatment at the same time as pet treatment. This keeps all treatment on the same timeline and helps disrupt the flea life cycle. A licensed commercial pest control applicator can help you determine which products are best for inside your home and in the yard. In general, focus outdoor treatment on shady areas and places where pets spend the most amount of time.
4. Follow-up. Fleas have a complex life cycle. At some stages of their life cycle they are resistant to insecticides and other flea control products. In order to get rid of fleas in all stages of the life cycle, two or more follow-up treatments within 5-10 days after the first application are needed. Additionally, vacuuming and sanitation practices should be ongoing throughout this period to pick up all remaining eggs and juvenile fleas.
Preventing Fleas in your yard
Fleas prefer habitats with shade, as they cannot tolerate the sun for long periods. To prevent flea infestations, make your yard as unattractive to fleas as possible by:
· Mowing frequently. Mowing exposes the soil to the sun, which fleas try to avoid.
· Avoiding over-watering. Fleas thrive in humid environments so keeping the yard dry makes it less inviting.
· Treating dog runs with insecticides to make it less prone to fleas.
· Raking thoroughly to remove any debris. This increases flea exposure to potential insecticides and removes any shaded and humid breeding places.
· Keep rodents and animals (e.g. opossums) away from your home:
· Store food, including pet food, in tight sealing containers.
· Remove brush, rock piles, junk, and cluttered firewood outside of your home.
· Seal up holes in your home where rodents can enter.
· Keep tight lids on compost and trash cans.
· The CDC’s rodents website offers helpful suggestions on rodent control during and after a rodent infestation.
Additionally, wild and stray animals commonly carry fleas. Put away pet food to discourage stray animals from hanging around your home and limit your pet’s contact with wild and stray animals.