How to Prevent Fleas
Understanding how flea infestation works and how to prevent fleas is important to any homeowner, and there are a number of ways a flea infestation can be prevented or managed. Although very tiny, fleas are a fairly common nuisance known to pets and people alike, and knowing how to prevent fleas or manage a flea infestation means your pets will be more comfortable, and you won’t have to deal with bites from the unwelcome visitors.
How to Prevent Fleas:
- Understand their Life Cycle
- Housekeeping and Sanitation
- Chemical Flea Control Products
Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
There are four life cycle stages of a flea, called egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Understanding more about the flea life cycle is important step in deciding how to prevent fleas in your home most effectively. Most of a flea population is made up of eggs and larva. In addition to keeping all fleas away from your pets and home, another way to combat a flea problem is to prevent the eggs and larva from maturing into adult fleas. Although a single flea may not seem like a big deal, many take flea infestation seriously because a single female flea may lay hundreds of eggs. Once fleas have infested your home, it is too late for preventative measures and more aggressive tools must be used to combat the infestation.
Housekeeping and Sanitation
Good sanitation and housekeeping practices, including regular vacuuming and lawn care, can help to prevent unwanted animal visitors, such as stray pets or deer, which may carry ticks or fleas. Regular vacuuming can help pick up debris and “flea dirt” which the fleas hide in during the larval stage. Flea dirt is another term used for flea droppings, which is made up almost entirely of blood eaten from the host of adult fleas, and is left behind for the flea larva. Regular deep cleanings of the areas of your home your pets frequent will help to remove the debris material the larva need for development. Regular lawn maintenance will also help to eliminate hiding places for unwanted wildlife that may bring fleas into your lawn.
Chemical Flea Control Products
There are a number of flea control products on the market, using the best flea control products to stop a flea problem before it starts is going to be less costly and time consuming than trying to control an outbreak of flea infestation. There are a variety of topical products available for controlling fleas on pets- shampoos, collars, and drops, and cats and dogs which go outdoors should be treated according to package directions. If over the counter flea treatments don’t work for your pet, there are also prescription products available from a veterinarian. Regularly washing your pet is also an important step in how to prevent fleas, and you’ll also want to wash their bedding, blankets, or clothes in the hottest water possible.
If you are trying to prevent fleas or control a minor flea problem on a pet, some say that washing the pet with dish soap, and then massaging their skin with olive oil will cause fleas to drown or jump from the pet. Lawns and walkways can also be preventatively treated to prevent fleas. Flea powders and sprays are also available for carpeting and home areas. A local pest control company or exterminator would be the best and easiest option for controlling a recurring or more persistent flea problem.