How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House Fast
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- Where Do Fleas Come From?
- Signs of a Flea Infestation
- The Flea Life Cycle
- How Long Do Fleas Live?
- Why Does a Flea Infestation Matter?
- Top 3 Flea Home Remedies
- How to Get Rid of Fleas by Vacuuming
- How to Get Rid of Fleas with Herbal Sprays
- How to Get Rid of Fleas with Dish Soap
- How to Get Fleas Off Your Pet
- Hiring Pest Removal Experts to Get Rid of Fleas
If you want to learn how to get rid of fleas in the house fast, you have come to the right place. There has been a steady increase of households across the United States dealing with a flea infestation.
In 13 years, from 2004-2016, the reports of illnesses from flea, mosquitoes, and tick bites more than tripled. These tiny creatures can multiply quickly, spread diseases, and become a significant nuisance.
Keep reading to learn how to get rid of fleas fast, from your pets and your home (hopefully for good!)
Where Do Fleas Come From?
The three most common areas people find fleas are in their homes, on their pets, and in their yards.
Outdoor fleas thrive in shady, moist, and cool-to-warm places. These fleas will be found in trees, shrubs, and leaves, and will avoid sunny areas. Indoor fleas also prefer humid, cool-to-warm environments and will live on animals or in places where warm bodies frequent, such as dog beds, couches, or beds.
Signs of a Flea Infestation
Look for signs of a flea infestation in the three common spots for fleas.
Fleas Infestation on Pets
One of the first indicators of a flea infestation is changes in behavior in your pet.
Watch for symptoms in your dog or cat of frequently scratching themselves, restlessness, continuously shaking their heads, or losing a lot of hair.
Flea Infestation in the House
Inspect your pet’s bedding, crates, upholstered furniture, carpets, and rugs for fleas. Examine these areas for fleas and flea dirt, which looks similar to coffee grounds.
If you are uncertain if you’re finding flea dirt, simply place the specks into soapy, hot water. Flea dirt will turn red in soapy water.
Fleas on Humans
Check yourself and the other people living in your home for symptoms of flea bites. Flea bites are most commonly located on the lower legs, ankles, and feet.
Flea bites look like a small red dot with a red halo. Some additional symptoms of a flea bite include a rash, hives, and swelling around the bite. They also may be quite itchy.
Some people will experience allergic reactions to flea bites, showing as a magnification of regular symptoms and occasional shortness of breath.
The Flea Life Cycle
Fleas have a life cycle of four parts: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adults lay eggs on a host environment, such as a pet, which then gets transferred into the surrounding environment. For example, when your dog shakes his fur, the eggs get scattered throughout your home.
Next, the eggs will turn into larva. The larva will feed and stay in an environment allowing itself to turn into a pupa and then an adult flea. The larva and pupa stages look for slightly warmer climates to speed along their evolution.
This uninterrupted life cycle typically takes 21 days. However, fleas have the unique capability of being able to pause their life cycle. If conditions are moist, the life cycle process may speed up. If the environment is too cold, the fleas will slow down the process until temperatures increase.
This cycle makes fleas very difficult to eradicate. Some flea products might target adult fleas or eggs, but not pupa. As a result, a homeowner might rid themselves of certain stages of fleas, while unknowingly leaving the next generation of fleas alive and waiting.
How Long Do Fleas Live?
Fleas can live for two to three months.
After an adult flea finds a living host, it feeds on blood and starts the process all over again by laying eggs. The female flea will lay her eggs a short 24-36 hours after feeding and can lay as many as 50 eggs per day. As a result, a few fleas in your home can turn into a massive infestation in less than a month.
Why Does a Flea Infestation Matter?
Fleas are problematic in many ways. They are challenging to get rid of, and they can spread diseases to humans and pets. Fleas bite into living organisms so they can feed on blood.
The most well-known disease spread by fleas was the Bubonic plague, which killed 25 million people. Some other common diseases transmitted from fleas to humans are Murine typhus, tapeworms, Tungiansis, and Tularemia.
Your pets are vulnerable to diseases from flea bites, as well. Some common conditions include Mycoplasma haemofelis (cats), tapeworms (cats and dogs), and Cat Scratch Disease, which can sometimes spread to humans. All of these diseases can lead to serious health consequences if not addressed immediately. The longer you have a flea problem, the higher the risk of yourself or your pet catching a disease.
Related: How to Get Rid of Wasp Nests
Top 3 Flea Home Remedies
If you need to know the best way to get rid of and preventing fleas, we have three top home remedies you should try today. These are simple, environmentally-friendly and natural remedies that anyone can try.
How to Get Rid of Fleas by Vacuuming
Consider vacuuming in two stages. First, vacuum all of your floors, carpets, and rugs thoroughly to pick up any of these creatures. You’ll quickly suck them all up and can empty the dirty bag far away from your home.
Next, do a second sweep of your home with the vacuum brush, rubbing salt and baking soda into the carpet. The salt and baking soda serve to dehydrate the environment for any remaining eggs or pupa. As a result, they die off from the inhabitable conditions.
How to Get Rid of Fleas with Herbal Sprays
Try making your own herbal spray for an organic solution that you can safely spray on surfaces throughout your house, which is effective way to treat your home against nasty flea bugs.
Purchase vinegar, lemon juice, and witch hazel, and mix these with water in a spray bottle.
These three ingredients naturally are highly acidic and can help repel flea populations. Spray the concoction in all areas of your home, especially your rugs, carpets, laundry, and closets.
How to Get Rid of Fleas with Dish Soap
Fleas are too light to sink in water, but they can’t swim either. So, they are permanently left floating at the top of the water barrier until they die.
Take a bucket and add a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap will serve to act as a glue that traps the flea in the water and causes it to die faster.
Leave a small tealight candle in the middle of the water to attract flea pupa with the thermal energy. This serves to be a homemade, cheap trap that can get rid of fleas fast.
If you’ve tried all of these remedies and still notice a flea problem, it’s time to turn to chemical flea sprays or time to hire a professional pest removal service.
How to Get Fleas Off Your Pet
If you see the telltale signs that your pet has a flea infestation, you may be wondering, how do you get rid of fleas on cats and dogs naturally?
There are several methods you can try to eliminate the problem. Using a flea comb on your pet’s fur for fleas is a great temporary solution, but you need to take action that will kill the fleas.
First, consider purchasing flea shampoos. You have to bathe your pet anyways, so washing your pet with flea shampoo can keep them clean and flea-free. Make sure to read the ingredients and reviews on the shampoo to ensure it’s the safest option for your pet.
Next, supplement the flea shampoo with flea-killing drops and serums. Conduct some thorough research into which brands use the most natural ingredients. These drops and serums are typically brushed into your pet’s hair once per month.
Even after the signs of fleas are no longer present, as a preventative measure, keep applying the drops until you’ve run out of the product.
Another preventative measure is a flea collar. Flea collars disperse an active ingredient for killing fleas intermittingly into a dog’s sweat glands. This is an effective, long-term solution as most pet owners have a collar on their pet anyways.
Lastly, if you feel that the flea infestation for your pet is quite dire, you can consider flea pills. These pills release into your pet’s bloodstream and act as poison whenever the flea feeds on your pet. However, it should be noted that while these pills kill fleas, it’s not a preventative measure. Consider pairing flea pills with the shampoos, serums, or flea collars.
Hiring Pest Removal Experts to Get Rid of Fleas
Unfortunately, once you’ve noticed fleas in your home, it’s likely a full-blown infestation.
To remove fleas in your house quickly, you should hire a pest removal expert. Fleas are incredibly difficult to get rid of completely, as they spread throughout the home and multiply very fast. A professional exterminator can identify the source of the problem, the impacted areas, and offer suggestions to prevent future infestations.
Pest removal experts can also tackle the outdoor fleas in your yard that you may be ill-equipped to handle. And, they know which products are the safest to use without disrupting your family life.
Save yourself the time, risk, and money by calling a flea control expert as soon as possible.