Fleas are a bothersome pest if they appear in your home. They are parasitic insects that affect people and animals alike, and removing them from your home can be a tedious and difficult process. The only way to eliminate fleas from your home is first to eliminate them from your pet. To treat your pet, provide him or her with either topical or oral flea prevention medication. Once your pet no longer has fleas, you'll need to clean your house thoroughly to remove the pests from bedding, carpeting, and other furnishings.
If your dog or cat has fleas, you can generally tell because they scratch excessively. Pets that spend time outside should be treated with a flea collar and flea prevention topical medication. If the pet is an indoor animal and you suspect fleas, inspect your animal and home carefully.
Odds are, if your dog or cat has fleas, they will be in your home as well. The best place to look for fleas on an animal is behind the ears and on the abdomen, especially in the crooks around their hind legs. Fleas are jumping insects, and though they may have found a suitable host in your pet, they will often jump off into bedding and carpet in search of new ones.
Whether sold by a veterinarian or a pet store, medication should be used to break the life cycle of the fleas. Not all treatments kill eggs and larvae; some only kill the adult flea. If you need help figuring out what to give your pet, ask your veterinarian.
Once you have treated your pet, you can begin to eliminate fleas from your home. You can try any number of practical ideas, but diligence is necessary for success. You should first wash all of your pet’s bedding in hot water, using bleach if possible.
Treat furniture and carpet by thoroughly vacuuming and then dumping the collection bag or container outdoors to get rid of any living fleas hiding in the bag. If you are comfortable using flea spray in your home, there are many different types that can be used on furniture and carpet. Though not as effective as repeated and thorough vacuuming, flea spray may help kill any insects that are hiding in the home.
Keep in mind that, if you have not successfully treated your pet, you will be fighting a vicious cycle. Many people mistakenly believe that fleas are prevalent only in the spring and summer, but your pet can get them in the fall, too. If you prevent your pet from becoming a host to the bugs with oral or topical medication, you may not ever have to eliminate them from your home. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and nothing could be truer when it comes to fleas.