Fleas are some of the most annoying pests to deal with. They’re small, jumpy, and multiply quickly.

A flea problem can be exhausting. These small insects move about very fast and can make your pet very uncomfortable. If you notice your pet is beginning to scratch its fur a lot or is developing sores, you should suspect fleas.

So how do you handle a flea problem or flea invasion and get them off your pet and out of your home? What if you are not ready to call a pest control specialist?

This guide is your one-stop solution as we see going to be dealing with everything from trapping, eradicating and preventing fleas in your home.

What are fleas?

Fleas are blood sucking insects who love to feast on a warm blooded animal.

In fact, they also bite humans too! Did you know that the bubonic plague or Black Death was primarily caused by fleas?

Yup. That deadly disease was spread by those miniature insects you are seeing on your pet.

Flea bites would rarely appear on open places like your arms or your face. Instead, you would rather see flea bites on places like your ankle or inner elbow. These flea bites are red dots grouped in threes or a straight line. They can also spread diseases like typhus, which is rare, and tapeworms.

However, you do not need to worry. Fleas would generally prefer to live in your furry friends fur than your own skin because the latter would give them more hiding space and is much warmer.

Fleas, usually 2-4 millimeters in length, have a brown, transparent body and about 6 walking legs. They love to stay in warm, moist environments where they can breed easily and multiply very quickly.  It’s more common for you to see them in the summer than in winter.

What’s a flea’s life cycle like?

Fleas lay eggs. Do you wonder why they multiply so fast?

Well, the answer is in their females. A female adult flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs in about a week or two in ideal conditions. Imagine 5 female fleas laying about 10,000 eggs in a fortnight! That’s extremely huge!

life cycle of flea

 

The eggs would not hatch immediately. Rather, they would start becoming adults from 3 weeks to a month.

The larvae may also be in your home without your knowledge for example during winter when the weather is too cold for them to hatch, or when there is no pet in the home at that time.

How long do fleas live?

Although some fleas can live for up to 3 months, most usually spend just 2 weeks as an adult before they die.

As they suck the blood of the animal they land on, they become fully mature and ready to hatch the next generation of fleas. Everything happens so fast.

How do I know my pet has fleas?

It is uncomfortable seeing your pet uncomfortable, moody or even in pain. If you have noticed any of these signs in your pet but are not sure they are caused by fleas, then you can check for any of these additional signs:

  • Increased general body itching that does not seem to be caused by anything in its immediate environment.
  • Red, irritated skin caused by excessive itching and scratching.
  • Fresh scabs or wounds on different body parts.
  • Significant hair loss or bald patches of fur.
  • Flea excrete which is usually dark and tiny deep in your pet’s fur.

These are signs you can easily see with a casual examination of your pet’s body. If you want to go even a step further, you can comprehensively check your pet for fleas and other tiny insects using the method below.

How to check for fleas in pet fur

To check your pet’s for comprehensively, follow these steps:

  1. Look for flea eggs:

    You will likely spot a couple of eggs on your pet’s fur. These are tiny, whitish things that look like fine powder. Once you see these eggs, you can be sure your furry friend is suffering from a flea infestation. Be careful not to let this fine powder land on your carpet.

  2. Observe flea larvae:

    Flea larvae are another telltale sign that your pet has fleas. They look reddish brown and are a bit bigger than the white eggs.

  3. Pay particular attentionn to moist places:

    Just like in humans, fleas love to congregate in pets around places that can provide them with continuous moisture, like their armpits. Lay your pet down on the floor and carefully check all those not-so-exposed areas for fully grown fleas or their eggs.

    It is best to carry out this inspection with flea combs as you might not be able to handpick all those eggs and flea products like excrement without good flea combs and a flea spray.

How do I use a flea comb?

This comb is a must-have tool for combating fleas.

Not only are they able to cover more ground than your fingers, but they also eliminate fleas and their eggs much faster. When looking to purchase a comb, look for one with fine, metal teeth as these types are more efficient in dealing with flea matter.

Of course, you can’t use flea combs alone. You have to use it with a flea spray or topical creams because it’s not enough to manually remove fleas, you have to get rid of fleas and make sure they don’t feel comfortable in your pet’s skin.

Most flea combs are hand-held, so you would need to wear gloves while grooming your pet so fleas don’t get on to your own skin. You can use these combs on young pets too, as they are even more gentle than flea-elimination substances.

It’s best if you groom your pets in a bathtub full of soapy water, so you don’t move fleas from your pet to other parts of your house.

When you are done thoroughly combing your pet, you can rinse the comb in soapy water to remove any fleas. Essential oils are good after a bath too. Just pat your pet with a suitable one.

Should I finger comb my pet?

Yes, be sure to finger comb through your pet’s fur to remove any tangles or matte.

If you don’t do this, the flea comb may encounter these tangles and it would not be so pleasant for your dog. Always comb along the fur and not against. Use a flea shampoos and a flea spray afterwards to kill fleas that would still stick on your pet.

How do I deal with a flea infestation?

You have to be consistent in eliminating fleas inside your home. Fleas inside can be tougher to deal with than those outside.

They are very persistent creatures. If you are not aggressive in your elimination tactics, the fleas would not go away and continue to trouble your pet and household. As far as your pet has fleas, your house will continue to serve as an excellent breeding ground and the infestation will continue.

The first thing you need to do is try to eliminate the fleas on your pest while reducing their population in your home.

You have to use an assortment of methods to achieve this: remember, you have to be quick and aggressive in your approach.

How long will it take me to eliminate fleas?

This question does not have one particular answer.

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on how bad the flea infestation is, the size of your home/property, and where you stay.

But using the right methods, you should see significant changes in a week.

How do I get rid of fleas in my house fast?

Fleas are hard to get rid of, not just because of their super short life cycle, but because you are dealing with all their life stages at one.

To make our point clearer: you can not just focus on methods that get rid of adult fleas alone, your method has to deal with their egg and larva stages too.

To eliminate fleas quickly from your house, do the following:

  1. Treat your pet:

    It is pointless trying to get rid of fleas in your home if they are hundreds of fleas hiding in your pet’s fur. Use a flea comb and other flea ointments to remove as many of these biting insects as you can from your pet. These products will also reduce your pets itch and repel fleas.

  2. Use a vacuum:

    Using a vacuum to go around your home is probably the second best decision you can make when eliminating fleas. Vacuum your house completely, concentrating on carpets, mattresses and rugs that might serve as hiding places for these bloodsuckers.

  3. Search for and cover cracks:

    Remember fleas are so small, they can hide in the tiniest of cracks so you have to look for these cracks and cover them up as soon as possible. You can put pesticides or boric acid in them before you cover them up, or choose to pass a vacuum over them to suck out any fleas before you cover them up for good.

  4. Dispose of ALL of your pet’s beddings:

    Yes, your pet might have a favorite blanket or pillow, but when it comes to flea control, you can take no chances. Inspect all pet beds. Tie up pet bedding in a disposable bag and throw them away immediately.

    If you can, you could also burn such pet bedding to make sure the fleas die. Also, inspect places your pets spend time in: there is every chance that fleas could be hiding in such places too. Thoroughly treat such places with warm water and soap.

  5. Clean up your lawn:

    Did you that fleas can survive for about 13 days without a blood meal? Yes, fleas can have a field day on your lawn, especially inside tall grasses and clutter, waiting to land on the next pet they see.

    Trim your tall grasses and clear up as much clutter as you can on your lawn. If there’s anything that attracts fleas on your lawn such as mulch, have it properly ridden of fleas, or do without it for the meantime altogether. You can also use diatomaceous earth as a pest control method. Diatomaceous earth can prevent fleas as diatomaceous earth is a natural pest repellent.

  6. Spray your home with insecticides:

    Insecticides can also help you get rid of fleasin your home quickly, but if used incorrectly, they can harm you and your pet. When choosing an insecticide to ward off fleas, you should choose aerosol sprays. They will be able to rather specific areas and reduce the harm the insecticide would cause in your home.

    Again, you should follow all safety tips while using these insecticides such as wearing gloves during application and making sure no one is in the area while you are spraying.

    Ensure the aerosol formula contains permethrin to deal with adult fleas, and methoprene, an insect growth regulator. You can use lemon juice or boric acid instead if you prefer home remedies. Home remedies are always safer.

  7. Use Thanos Flea trap

flea trap

Conclusion:

When trying to get rid of fleas, please do not buy a flea collar for your pet. They are usually ineffective and will just make your pet uncomfortable. Instead, choose a flea control method and follow it judiciously.

Be careful to avoid anything that will attract fleas like piling up damp things in your house and yard. Flea control takes time so if you want to get rid of flea infestations, then you have to be patient.

Call a pest control specialist if you are unable to get rid of fleas yourself. Floor this guide and say yes to no more fleas in your home!