How to Get Rid of Fleas
Fleas are a well-known problem to many people, especially pet owners, and how to get rid of fleas in an important part of managing your home and your pet’s care. Although sometimes almost invisible, fleas and their bites are a fairly common nuisance for both pets and people, and knowing how to get rid of fleas will help you have happier pets and a more sanitary home.
How to Get Rid of Fleas:
- Understand a Flea Problem
- Flea Bathing and Prevention on Pets
- Housekeeping and Flea Control Products
Understanding a Flea Problem
Fleas have four stages in their life cycle, called egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Although most people only see adult fleas on their pets or in their home, most of a flea population is actually made up of eggs and larva, so there are many more fleas in development than are visible to the eye. A single adult female flea may lay hundreds of eggs, and one way how to get rid of fleas is to prevent the eggs and larva from maturing into adult fleas. Since the adult fleas will lay more eggs, this stops the cyclical nature of a flea problem. Many people are able to actually see fleas in their carpets or on their pets, while others may only notice flea bites on themselves or their pets, or notice pets are itching much more than usual. Another telltale sign of a flea problem is “flea dirt”, tiny black specks which is the fecal matter of adult fleas.
Regularly bathing your pet with a shampoo that prevents or kills fleas is an important part of getting rid of fleas, especially if you have detected on or several on the pet. You can use a “flea comb” a very fine tooth comb you can get from a vet to comb the pet, this will help to loosen any fleas of its skin or pull off any “flea dirt”. As part of your pet’s bathing routine, you’ll also want to wash their bedding or blankets frequently, in the hottest water possible. If you don’t want to use a chemical flea shampoo, or you are trying to control a minor problem or just prevent fleas, some say that bathing your pet with apple cider vinegar or dish soap may work, as well as rubbing down their skin with olive oil to drown or deter the fleas. If your pet has a flea problem that doesn’t resolve with bathing, you’ll want to consult a veterinarian or try a stronger flea control product. Regular lawn maintenance will also help to eliminate hiding places for unwanted wildlife that may bring fleas into your lawn.
Housekeeping and Flea Control Products
Vacuuming your home regularly will help to pick up fleas, debris, and the “flea dirt” that flea lava hide in. Regular lawn maintenance will also help to deter and eliminate hiding places for flea-ridden animals (such as deer, rabbits, or stray pets) which are seeking shelter near your home. There are many product options if you need to decide how to get rid of fleas, and there are formulations for both pets and the home. For pets, there are several forms of preventative treatments available- including collars, drops, and shampoos, and pets that go outside or might otherwise get fleas should be treated regularly according to package direction.
There are also many flea control products available for your home, including carpet treatments, or treatments for lawns and walkways. If you are dealing with a serious or recurring flea problem, you may want to call a local pest control company for help, as they will have the most experience and will likely be the most effective way to get rid of fleas.