Every year, pet lovers dread the return of warmer weather because with it comes flea season. The nasty biters can drive cats, dogs, and even some people frantic with the incessant itching they cause. These bites are not a mere nuisance; they can trigger allergies and cause serious infections for both pets and humans. Thankfully, you can stop dreading the return of warmer weather when you learn how to get rid of fleas for good. Although it won’t be easy as there are many facets to the fight, winning this battle is well worth the effort.
Understand the Stages of the Flea Life Cycle
Understanding the flea life cycle is critical to learning how to get rid of fleas in the home. The four-stage life cycle makes ridding your homes of fleas seem like a never-ending battle. Only 5% of the flea population in your home are adult fleas that are visible to you. The other 95% cannot be seen by the naked eye. So, treating just the adults does little to abate the problem. You also need to learn what kills flea eggs and larvae and use it to reclaim your home.
Female fleas can lay up to 50 tiny eggs a day and over 2,000 in their short lives. The eggs are laid on your pets, who then innocently transfer them to other animals and cozy spots in your home. Flea eggs hatch in 1-10 days, which means a new population is not far off.
Flea larvae are hatchlings that grow up to ¼ of an inch, feeding on “flea dirt” or pre-digested blood produced by adult fleas. They avoid sunlight, living in dark areas deep in your carpet, bedding, shaded locations in the yard, and upholstery.
After 1-6 days, a larva spins a thick, sticky cocoon around itself. Pupae are challenging to get rid of as they stick to their surroundings. They also attract dust and debris, which means they blend in easily and are difficult to see. In addition, the cocoon protects the pupa from most home flea sprays.
In 8-12 days, the pupae emerge from their cocoons as voracious adult fleas who must begin feeding immediately. They find a host, like your cat or dog, and suck their blood. After the first feeding, adult female fleas are ready to breed and lay eggs in just a few days. Adult fleas live primarily on a single host, feeding on blood and laying eggs for weeks to a couple of months.
Now that you understand the lifecycle of the flea you will be better equipped to rid them from your home. Understanding how to get rid of fleas includes obtaining information on how to kill flea eggs and larvae as well as adults is vital to success. Here are some successful strategies to eradicate fleas.
When Is Flea Season?
Fleas are a year-round problem across the southern and western United States. Elsewhere, flea season, or the time of greatest flea activity, can last for 6-9 months, from early spring through fall.
How Do You Get Fleas in Your House?
The most common way fleas enter the home is by hitching a ride on the family dog or cat. But they can also come in on an old piece of furniture or carpeting. They can also arrive by way of mice, rats, or other mammals that enter the garage or attic. So before you bring something into your home, give it a thorough inspection to ensure it’s not hiding any unwanted guests. It’s also important to make sure your pets receive regular flea treatments.
From the Backyard
Fleas can live and reproduce in shaded spots outdoors, ready to jump onto passing animals or people. As small as a flea may appear, they can jump a significant distance and are very good at hitching a ride on any animal or human that passes by. So, if you want to know how to get rid of fleas in the home, don’t overlook your yard.
From Other Pets Entering Your Home
Hosting playdates for your pup is a great way to socialize your dog and ensure their happiness. But having other pets in your home is another opportunity for fleas to come too.
From Your Pet’s Exposure to Other Animals
Whether at the dog park or your own backyard, when your pet is outdoors there is a good chance they will be exposed to other animals. Even in your fenced yard, you may have visits from wildlife such as skunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, possums, etc. These other animals carry fleas that may drop eggs to hatch in your yard, and then adult fleas leap onto your pet.
Fleas can be a nightmare to control because even once you rid your home and property of these biters, new ones can come in from the neighborhood. So if your neighbor is experiencing a flea problem, there is a good chance that you will too.
Effective Flea Fighting Strategies
Yes, you can learn how to get rid of fleas. Unfortunately, if you share your life with pets, there is no way to rid your home of fleas forever. However, integrating the following strategies into your lifestyle will help you enjoy a flea-free home.
When figuring out how to get rid of fleas, you’ll quickly discover that sanitation is key. Thoroughly clean areas of your home where fleas often breed. Wash your pet’s bedding, your bedding, and your rugs. Then sweep hard surface floors and vacuum the carpets, upholstery, and curtains. A steam cleaning of the carpets and upholstery is helpful for treating severe infestations. Use the hottest water possible and plenty of soap as you clean. This process is what kills flea eggs and larvae.
Every pet in your home must be treated for fleas. Bathe your pet with flea shampoo, paying careful attention to the face, neck, belly, and around the tail. Use a fine-toothed flea comb to remove any remaining fleas. A flea collar or a monthly topical flea treatment is highly recommended for all cats and dogs, whether they reside in or out of your home. These topical flea treatments kill flea eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas.
Hiring professional flea control services to treat your home and garden is the best way to completely disrupt the flea’s life cycle. If you are vigilant with keeping surfaces and furnishing in your home clean, you might only need an outdoor service to get rid of fleas around the exterior of your home.
Fleas are tenacious pests with a complex life cycle. During the pupae stage, they are resistant to a broad range of flea control products. So sanitation, pet treatments, and home spraying will have to be repeated to get rid of fleas. Plan on at least two or more follow-up treatments within 5-10 days of the initial treatment. Together with continued and vigorous sanitation, this gives you the best chance to break the flea life cycle completely. But if you have pets, you’ll need to continue these practices to keep your home free of these nasty biters.
We Can Help You to Get Rid of Fleas
Fleas are exceptionally fit for survival, but Mosquito Joe can help you to get rid of fleas in your home and yard. Our comprehensive pest control solutions are available across the country. If you’ve tried every home remedy to get rid of fleas and are making no progress, don’t worry—we’re here for you! We offer barrier sprays, natural treatments, and perimeter control services that effectively keep pests away for up to thirty days. Learn more about how to get rid of fleas with our services, request a quote online, or give us a call at 1-855-275-2563.