6 steps to get rid of fleas in your home – fast

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Reviewed by Dr Sylvia Shortreed BVSc

Don’t let fleas take over your home. Follow these 6 steps to get rid of fleas fast.

A flea infestation can irritate everyone in your household – these nasty little parasites don’t mind who they bite. Fleas are also notoriously difficult to get rid of once they’ve set up home, due to the rate at which they reproduce and the extent to which they can spread throughout the house. You need a solid plan of action to quickly and permanently eliminate them.  

If you discover fleas on your dog or cat, how can you make sure you’re dealing with the whole problem? The secret is a dual approach: treat not just your pet, but also your home. 

How to get rid of fleas from your home 

1. Treat your pet and all other animals

Even if you’ve only seen fleas on one pet, assume your other pets have them as well. Maintain a regular, long-term treatment schedule for each pet to help stop an infestation in its tracks and reduce the risk of re-infestations in the future. There are many effective flea products available to suit your and your pet’s lifestyle, from oral chews for dogs like Credelio PLUSTM, to spot-on treatments such as AdvocateTM, and long acting flea and tick collars for cats and dogs like SerestoTM.

Ever wondered how flea treatments work? Discover the science behind our powerful formulas that keep your pet flea-free.

2. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest possible wash setting

The hot water will help kill any remaining eggs or larvae. This is an essential step for eliminating all the fleas on your first attempt. Wash the bedding in this manner at least once a week for three to eight weeks. Place bedding outside in direct sunlight to dry. If your pet likes to sleep in other places like your bed, make sure you wash this too.  

3. Vacuum all the floors, carpets, rugs and sofas regularly and thoroughly

Remember to empty your vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bag after each use to prevent eggs from hatching inside, which can lead to another flea infestation in the future. Continue to vacuum at least every other day for three to eight weeks. The active ingredient, imidacloprid included in some flea products (SerestoTM collars, AdvantageTM, Advocate and AdvantixTM for dogs) helps to kill flea larvae in the environment, thereby helping to control the flea life-stages off the pet too.

4. Use a household flea spray or a flea fogger throughout your home

Make sure to follow the instructions, particularly on pet safety, and thoroughly treat your pet’s favourite spots. Read the label and instructions to keep your pets safe from any potentially harmful chemicals while you treat your home. The pupae stage of the flea (the stage just before fleas become adults) are notoriously hard to kill. It is recommended you vacuum before using any chemicals, to stimulate the pupae to hatch, so the adults can be exposed to the chemicals and killed.  

5. Don’t forget to address common flea hiding spots

Fleas love to hide in cars and behind and under furniture – but people often forget about these spaces. Remember to vacuum any fabric surfaces inside your car, and make sure your pet sits on a blanket that can be changed and washed regularly. Treat areas behind and under furniture by vacuuming and following up with a flea spray. 

6. Clean all of your dog’s or cat’s soft toys 

Even your dog’s beloved squeaky plush or your cat’s toy mouse can harbour flea eggs and larvae. If these toys can’t be washed, they may have to be thrown away.   

Keep your pet protected against fleas 

By far, the best way to help avoid a flea infestation is to keep all the pets in your household  protected against fleas with a regular flea prevention protocol. Be sure to explore the range of treatment options available to help protect your pets against fleas – after all, keeping up with regular treatment is a lot less hassle than trying to evict fleas. 

Always read and follow product label directions.

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