Fleas are external parasites that feed off the blood of animals and humans. They do not have wings, but travel from jumping from one host to another.

Let’s take a look at how to get rid of fleas in the house.

Finding fleas

They are flat, have reddish-brown bodies, and can fit on the tip of a pen.

Checking Your Pet for Fleas

Fleas enter homes through pets, like your dog or cat. Check your pet to ensure they aren’t:

  • Itching more than usual.
  • Developing pale gums from blood loss.
  • Losing fur, or developing scabs from scratching.

Fleas will mostly feed on animals, but they also bite and infect humans. On humans, bites normally occur on feet and lower legs. Bites on humans appear to be bright red, “rash-like” spots.

Flea bites

With flea bites, you may develop hives, rashes, and swelling around the bite. Any reactions beyond this could mean you have an allergy. Seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or you have trouble breathing.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

It is important to begin with cleaning and taking care of your pet, as they are the source of the infestation.

Dog scratching fleas

  1. Thoroughly bathe your pet with medicated soap and hot water.
  2. Comb through your pet’s fur a flea comb. Pay close attention to the neck and tail of your pet, or in noticeably itchy places. 
  3. Drop any fleas from the comb in hot soapy water to kill them, and follow any other directions from the comb. 
  4. Speak with your vet and use all prescribed treatments, shampoos, and medications as directed. 
  5. Wash all your pets items such as blankets and plush toys. They wash cycle alone may not kill all the fleas. Be sure to put all infected items into the dryer on high for 30 minutes. 

Speak with a veterinarian on other precautions you should take regarding fleas and your pet’s health. 

Cleaning Your Home for Fleas

Thoroughly clean your home and search for signs of fleas. Look for tiny dark spots in curtains, blankets, and drapes. Pay close attention to beds and other places your pet sleeps. Fleas often gather where your pet sleeps.

There are lots of retail flea products you can use to clean your home. Be sure to look for sprays with methoprene, fenoxycarb, or pyriproxyfen in the ingredients.

Go through your home again and spray:

  • Carpets and floors
  • Rugs
  • Furniture
  • Baseboards
  • Along walls and corners
  • Door edges
  • Underneath furniture
  • In cushions, and decorative pillows

Follow the instructions on your chosen spray, then call an exterminator to inspect your home for any other signs of infestation. Fleas get carried from one animal to the next. You may have other pests, such as rats, that gave your pet fleas. 

An experienced exterminator may suggest a fumigation, or another flea treatment option such as a fogger to treat your home. Calling an exterminator can ensure that all fleas, eggs, and larvae are destroyed.