Fleas are parasites that spread disease and can cause harm to pets and people. Fleas can survive on very little food, can hide well, and can go a long time without food, so they can endure many conditions. These survival characteristics, coupled with a fast and efficient reproductive cycle, can make it extremely difficult o get rid of a flea infestation once it has begun. As the weather warms up, fleas become more active and are more likely to hitchhike into homes to find hosts, so it is a good time to take steps to keep your home flea free.
1. Treat and Check Pets Regularly
Pets are major carriers of fleas, so treating pets regularly will help to keep the home flea free. Flea treatments may be applied topically, orally, or in the form of shampoos. Different animals may vary in the way that they react to flea treatments, so pet owners may wish to try several methods before deciding on the treatment that is best. Treatments differ in the effectiveness of killing fleas in different life cycle stages, so owners should be wary of treatments that only kill fleas in certain stages. Checking pets with a flea comb will help owners to ensure that flea treatments are working effectively.
2. Clean the Home Thoroughly
Fleas opt for areas that are dark and less trafficked, so it is important to thoroughly clean the home to eliminate flea eggs, larvae, and adult fleas. Closets, spare rooms, garages, and other areas that are not regularly used make great hiding spots for fleas, so vacuuming and dusting these areas can help to get rid of fleas. Vacuuming and cleaning pet beds, couches, chairs, and beds will also help to eliminate any flea eggs that may be in the home.
3. Keep the Yard Clean and Treated
Fleas are attracted to warm-blooded animals and yard trash and debris can attract animals such as rats, rabbits, and raccoons that may harbor fleas. Keeping the yard raked and neat will eliminate hiding spots for these animals and make the yard less attractive to fleas. Treating the yard may help to eliminate existing fleas that live in the sand while discouraging other host pests from nesting.
4. Hire a Pest Professional
Professional pest exterminators will treat homes and yards periodically, helping to eliminate fleas in all life stages and prevent infestations for a flea free home. Pest professionals often use green treatment methods that may be safer for pets, children, the environment, and other home residents than DIY treatments and over-the-counter-flea products. Exterminators can help to keep a flea free home year round.