How to help remove fleas in your home.

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A flea infestation can irritate everyone in your household, as flea bites can be painful and uncomfortable for both your pet and your family. Here are some helpful suggestions to help tackle a flea infestation in your home. 

It’s bad enough to find a few fleas in your home, but it’s even worse when you realise there may be a lot more. In fact, by the time you actually see a flea, there’s a good chance you have a full-blown flea infestation and flea bites can be both painful and uncomfortable for your family and your pets.  

The adult fleas you see around your home or on your pet make up only 5% of a flea infestation. Flea eggs, flea larvae and pupae hiding in your home and in your back garden account for the other 95%, so the adult fleas we see are actually just the tip of the flea iceberg! 

Here are some helpful suggestions to help tackle a flea infestation in your home. 

How to get rid of fleas on your pet 

First, treat all of your pets for fleas all year round with a quality flea treatment, such as Advantage™, Advocate™ or Seresto™. These flea treatments all kill fleas through contact, which means fleas don’t have to bite your pet to die, which your pet will love you for. 

Once applied, the active ingredient, imidacloprid spreads across the skin and coat of your pet and is not absorbed into their bloodstream. 

Adult fleas are killed by coming into contact with the skin or coat of your treated pet and the active ingredient, imidacloprid is also shed with the natural shedding of your pet’s skin and fur, killing flea larvae in the environment (thereby treating two stages and helping to break the flea life cycle.)   

Even if you’ve only seen fleas on one of your pets, there’s a good chance your other pets have picked them up too. That’s why it’s important to treat all of your pets for fleas all year round, as getting rid of any fleas hitching a ride on your pets will help limit their spread around your home, even if you have an indoor-only cat or a homebody dog. Plus, keeping your pets on a year-round flea prevention schedule can help prevent flea infestations before they happen. 

How to get rid of fleas in bedding 

Separately wash your family’s and your pet’s bedding, including duvet covers and inserts, in hot water. The hot water will help kill fleas, flea larvae and remove flea dirt (a food source for immature fleas). Be sure to wash both your family and pet’s bedding on a regular basis until the infestation has cleared. 

Also make sure to wash bathroom rugs and throw blankets and any other fabrics which your pet likes to sleep or lounge on. This is an essential step to help break the flea life cycle. 

How to get rid of fleas in carpet

Regularly vacuum floors, carpets and rugs especially in areas which your pet frequents, until the infestation has cleared. After each use, immediately empty your vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bag to prevent eggs from possibly hatching inside, which could lead to future flea infestations. 

How to get rid of fleas on furniture and upholstery

Thoroughly and regularly vacuum all of your furniture and upholstery, especially furniture and upholstery which your pet frequents, until the infestation has cleared. 

How to get rid of fleas in hiding places

Fleas can also hide in cabinets or even cars, but people often forget about these spaces.  

Treat cabinets by vacuuming and following up with a flea bomb. 

Remember to vacuum any fabric surfaces inside your car, and make sure your pet sits on a blanket which can be changed and washed regularly.  

Ensure you also clean all of your pet’s soft toys. Even your dog’s beloved squeaky plush or your cat’s toy mouse could be home to flea eggs and larvae. If these toys can’t be washed, they may have to be thrown away.  

Use a flea bomb 

After you have treated your pet, cleaned the house and washed all the bedding, use a flea bomb in your home. Choose a bomb which kills multiple flea life cycle stages, and always follow all directions on the label. Before using, you may need to move indoor plants outdoors, unplug all electronic devices and make plans to be away from your home for the time indicated by the directions on the label. Asking your vet clinic for their recommendation on a flea bomb is also a good idea. 

How to get rid of fleas in the garden 

And don’t forget about your garden, which is also a place where the flea stages develop. A tidy garden discourages wildlife (including rodents) which can carry fleas and allows less favourable areas for fleas to develop. Leaf litter should also be removed from areas where pets like to rest. 

Animals often pick up new infestations outdoors, even in their own garden, e.g. under the house access, in garden borders, bushes... and places where other animals (stray cats or dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, possums, rodents etc) could have passed through without you realising and shed flea eggs many months ago which have now developed and are waiting to jump on your pet. 
Stop the flea stages developing by preventing your pets and stray animals from entering crawl spaces, foundation vents and garages. 

How to know if the fleas are gone 

Your house is finally clean, but how can you tell if all the fleas are gone? There’s no sure-fire way to know, but you can monitor your pets for scratching, chewing, hair loss and touch sensitivity as signs that fleas may have returned.

How to help keep an infestation from coming back 

You may have worked hard to get rid of fleas in your home, but the entire cycle can easily repeat itself and it may take a few months to stop the infestation. Stay vigilant, but above all be patient! All of your hard work could be undone by wildlife entering your garden, a puppy play date or unhatched eggs which survived the first round of cleaning. Repeat the above steps as necessary until you no longer find fleas in your home. 

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