If your dog or cat has been scratching a lot lately, there is a great chance that your furry friend has fleas. They are tiny black or dark colored insects that feed on blood of your pet. In addition to causing severe itching, they can also transmit various infectious diseases. Dog and cat fleas don’t feed on humans, however, they can bite which means that they also pose a health concern for humans. For that reason it is extremely important to react immediately if your dog or cat has fleas. But besides treating your pet, you should also treat your home.
The Majority of Fleas Live Inside or Outside Your Home
Believe it or not but the fleas that live on our pets account only for a tiny minority of the entire flea population. The majority live inside your home in various stages – eggs, larvae and pupae. They can be found in carpets, bedding, furniture, low traffic areas… And if not dealt with promptly, they can cause a heavy infestation that can be very difficult to eliminate.
Many fleas also live outside, waiting for a host hiding in shrubs, trees, leaves, grass cuttings and other shady and moist areas. They also like to hide out in dog houses and other outdoor structures, while avoiding sunny areas.
Eliminating Fleas from Your Home
Treating your pet won’t eliminate fleas that live inside your home. If not dealt with, they won’t only re-infest your pet but they will also “take over” your home. In a very short period of time. Obviously, it is a lot easier to get rid of them before you have a bad infestation although it takes some time and a lot of persistence to eliminate the last flea.
To get rid of fleas in your home, you are advised to:
– Vacuum on a daily basis. Be particularly thorough when it comes carpets, upholstered furniture and your pet’s bedding. According to some studies, vacuuming kills fleas in all stages but just in case, empty/discard the bag after vacuuming or put a small piece of a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bag.
– Wash your pet’s bedding, removable furniture covers and other washable cloth items every week. The idea is to get rid of fleas that managed to escape the vacuum cleaner.
– Use an insecticide. Unfortunately, you will probably have to use an insecticide to effectively eliminate fleas from your home. If you don’t like the idea of using toxic chemicals inside your home, you may try with natural products. But if you have a bad infestation, you will probably have to use harsher chemicals or even call a professional exterminator.
– Ask your vet for flea prevention treatments for your pet. If you don’t want your pet or home to get infested with fleas again, ask your vet to help you choose the best flea prevention treatment for your pet. Many products that provide protection against fleas also offer an effective protection against other parasites such as ticks and worms. They is one that you only give a oral, chewable tablet to once every three months!
– Don’t forget about your yard. If you don’t want any fleas inside your home or on your pet, you are highly recommended to cut the shrubs, remove the leaves and grass cutting from the lawn, and try to eliminate as many potential flea-habitats as possible. Also, make sure to keep your garbage bins securely closed. Otherwise, they may attract rodents, wildlife and stray animals which can drop flea eggs in your yard.
In conclusion, make sure to treat all areas together to get the best results.