How Do You Stop a Flea Infestation Before it Starts?
Perhaps you’ve noticed your pet scratching and biting at itself more frequently lately, or worse, maybe your pet is starting to look “mangy” (fur starts falling off due to excessive scratching). This could very well mean your pet has fleas. Which means it might not be long before you’ve got a full-blown flea infestation at home. And once these blood-sucking pests get a foothold, it is extremely difficult to get rid of fleas at home.
If you want to get rid of fleas, the best first steps are prevention, and ongoing preventive steps. This can also help prevent them from ever coming back. Read on for some steps to help keep fleas from getting into your home to begin with.
Where Do Fleas Hide in Your House?
Fleas are sneaky, and, like cockroaches, are great hitchhikers. They love hiding in tiny cracks and crevices, and they have the perfect narrow body shape to do it. They will be able to populate more effectively in areas where they can feed on animal blood (including yours, even if you don’t have pets). They love areas like pet bedding, furniture, carpet, curtains, and living rooms. Anywhere they can stay warm and cozy. They also thrive in areas where they can reproduce without disturbance, like areas with less human traffic.
They can hide just about anywhere you can imagine at home, and at any time of the year (they do tend to thrive more in the summer, and in any hot, humid environments).
How Do You Get Rid of Fleas in Your Yard?
If you have fleas in your home, it means they came from outside, most likely from your own yard. A visiting guest in your home who brings an infested pet into your home is another possibility. Fleas hate being in the sun; they always prefer shaded, dark areas. As with all pests, any place you don’t want them to go, just make the area uninhabitable for them, and they will go elsewhere. Try the following:
- Don’t overwater your lawn. This creates a humid environment where fleas love to hang out. They dryer you can keep your grass (without killing it), the better.
- Mow your lawn frequently. Short grass means fewer places for fleas to hide, and it exposes them to the sunlight, which they always try to avoid. Also keep bushes and trees pruned and trimmed. Remove lawn clutter regularly (brush, rock piles, junk, tree debris, etc.). Keep mulch and firewood at least 20 feet away from the side of your home.
- Regularly treat your lawn with a flea control product, especially in areas where your outdoor pets love to play.
- Do what you can to make your yard uninhabitable for rodents and other wildlife. These wild creatures are fleas’ first meal of choice, and they can be brought into your yard by rodents and other animals, like deer, raccoons, squirrels, etc.
- Avoid leaving pet food outdoors.
- Seal up cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home so flea-infested rodents and other pests cannot get inside.
- Keep lids on tightly to cover trash cans.
What Stops Fleas from Coming Into Your Home?
Prevention is always the best remedy. Keeping fleas OUT of your home will be easier than getting rid of them once they’ve moved in. To help prevent an infestation of ANY pest, the first step is always cleanliness. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Fleas can get into even the cleanest of homes.
To help keep fleas out of your house:
- Sweep and vacuum your floors thoroughly and regularly. Vacuum carpets, rugs, and cushions on your furniture. You’re vacuuming for live hiding fleas, but more importantly, you’re vacuuming for flea eggs and flea larvae and pupae.
- Thoroughly launder bedding, and even more importantly, pet bedding in hot water, and tumble dry on high heat. Again, looking to eradicate flea larvae and pupae.
How Do I Prevent Fleas From Coming Into My House?
Dogs and cats are very prone to get fleas, but you can help safeguard them. Remember, even if you don’t have pets at home, you are still able to get fleas at home. To help prevent your pet from getting fleas, here are some steps you can take:
- Be vigilant. Check your pets for fleas frequently. Pay attention to their behavior (excessive scratching, etc.)
- Ask your pet’s veterinarian about the best flea control products for your pet.
- Treat your pets for fleas all year-round so you can kill adult fleas and help prevent eggs from hatching.
- Always follow product recommendations.
- Bathe and brush your pets often, using a flea control shampoo as needed.
- Wash pet bedding thoroughly and regularly.
- Limit the amount of time your pet spends outdoors (keep in mind that even indoor pets can get fleas from another pet that frequently plays outside).
- If you do find a flea or fleas on your pet or elsewhere in your home, start treating your pets as indicated above and also clean, launder, and use flea control products in areas your pets frequent (like where they sleep and play).
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You can take many effective steps to help prevent and control fleas in your home, but realize that sometimes fleas can just become overwhelming. Even in the cleanest of homes! If you see flea activity, know that these pests reproduce quickly. Call our friendly pest control experts today at 832.898.0190! Or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation. We can help you, your family, and pets enjoy life at home, without worrying about fleas.