If you own pets, you might be at a risk of having fleas in your house. The chances are even further increased if those are outdoor pets such as cats, dogs etc. The problem with fleas is that they are almost microscopic in size which makes it really difficult to eliminate them. You need to fully know your enemy (fleas) if you want to get rid of them.
A flea bite usually causes itching and irritation, as well as redness on the skin and for some people it even causes other allergic reactions such as dermatitis. Dermatitis is a condition which is caused by flea saliva and it is common among pets.
Dangers of Fleas
Generally speaking, fleas are not as dangerous as mosquitoes due to the reason that mosquitoes can easily spread diseases from far away. That being said, we still shouldn’t consider fleas as harmless. Once fleas get into your house, they would start multiplying rapidly. An adult female flea usually lays somewhere around 200 eggs a month. These eggs would fall off your pet and will spread all around your house. Once they dominate your house, it can even take up to 6 months to totally get rid of them.
Life cycle of fleas consists of 4 different cycles:
- Larva (maggoty-like-thing)
- Pupa (in a cocoon)
You must remember that getting rid of fleas on your pets isn’t enough. You also need to get rid of the entire house environment of fleas so that you could totally eliminate their existence forever.
It’s not an easy task to get rid of fleas so prepare yourself for this daunting task and get started on the steps mentioned below.
Bathing your Pet
Your first step is to bathe your pet in warm and soapy water (preferably using Dawn) to remove them from fleas that are stuck on their body. Completely dunk their body to the neck (don’t dip their head) and let it remain that way for 5-10 minutes. This would drown the fleas, flea poop and their eggs. To remove fleas from your pet’s head, you need to use flea comb. It would remove the surviving fleas on your pet’s head, ears and eyes.
Your next step is to gently towel dry your pet for few minutes. No need to spend much time on this part since your pet (assuming dog and cat) would finish drying themselves by their own means. Make sure your pet is completely dry before jumping on to the upcoming steps. It’s advisable to start with the remaining tasks after waiting for at least 12 hours. Next, you need to apply topical flea protection medicine on your pet. Preferred brands change yearly, as certain flea populations become immune over time. You can easily find this item from the nearest pet shop or online, if you want to save some money.
To make sure you don’t go through similar trouble again, you need to apply flea protection products on your pets without lapsing to maintain proper defense.
Eliminating Fleas from your House
After you have successfully followed the steps mentioned above, 95% or more fleas would still remain in your household environment. Unless you have totally protected your pets and house, there is no chance to completely get rid of fleas. They can still lay hundreds of eggs every month and all your efforts would be wasted.
Basically you need to get rid of these 3 components:
- Flea eggs
- Flea larvae
- Flea pupa
For eggs and larvae, any simple flea killing spray would do the job but as far as pupa is concerned, it pretty much survives anything. To get rid of pupa, you need to wait for it till it becomes an adult flea then use flea protection. It would break this cycle and prevent them from laying more eggs.
Your final step is to spray your house with high quality and safe flea spray such as knockout spray which really fulfills the job. The second most recommended product you might want to try is flea bomb. Save the bomb for absolute worst-case scenarios with family members who are extremely allergic to fleas.
Make sure you clean all the fabrics in your home by using soaps and anti bacterial solutions. These fabrics include items such as bedding sheets, carpets, curtains and the areas where your pets sleep and play.
Once you have successfully completed all the steps mentioned above, you will surely be able to permanently get rid of fleas in your house. Remember, fleas can go into hibernation for over 6 months, so don’t feel discouraged if you see them pop up after all your efforts.