Pets, on the whole, are pretty great. They keep us active, they provide entertainment, and they don’t judge us too much when we watch crappy reality television. However, between the litterbox and possible parasites, it’s not all lavender and roses. Fleas, specifically, that have gotten into the house, are a pain.
Once they’re indoors, destroying them can be trying. The flea isn’t stupid, and will always try to live on a living animal (human or pet) first. If they can’t find one, they’ll hunker down in cracks or carpets, and will then cause issues from there. To help get rid of fleas, it’s helpful to understand their life cycle.
Stages of Flea Growth
Adult. These wingless bugs have six pairs of legs which is why they can jump higher than a tall building. They’re shiny, evil, and hard-bodied.
Larvae. These are disgusting worms that actively crawl around to feed. If you see these, they’ll soon become adults in roughly 5 to 18 days.
Pupae. This is basically the cocoon stage, which will last anywhere from three days to a year, dependent on what’s going on in its tiny bitey brain or environment.
Eggs. Eggs are tiny off-white or white ovals and they’re not sticky. That makes them a pain to find, since they can fall willy-nilly all about the place. It may take two days to two weeks to hatch.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Fleas in the House
Treat your pets. If you are infested with fleas, chances are pretty high that your dog or your cat brought them into the welcoming arms of your home. Consequently, isolate your pets. Herd them into a room, and then treat them. For information on how to rid your pets of these blood-sucking menaces, check out How to Get Rid of Fleas or How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs.
Scorched Earth your Pet’s Items. Fleas can’t be completely cotten rid of unless the environment is treated, too. Bedding (anything your pet has slept on, including your stuff), should either be thrown out or washed and dried in high heat mediums to kill the fleas. Check rope or fabric toys as well. No mercy!
Vacuum daily. Fleas tend to get confused by fabric since it’s similar to hair or fur (to their tiny tiny brains). They can survive a few days without a living host, but they can live in carpets/furniture at all stages of life. Vacuum. Everything. Often. Every day for at least a couple weeks.
Dispose of the vacuum bag carefully and immediately. Since you’re probably sucking up fleas in all stages when you vacuum, get rid of the vacuum bag. I’d recommend burning it. If you have a bagless, immediately empty it out and seal the contents in a bag. Obviously keep it away from your pets. Do that each time you vacuum until you’re sure you’ve decimated the fleas.
Flea Killing Insecticide. If you go this route, make absolutely certain you’ve got an indoor-use type. That will make it a little safer for you and your pets. Maybe try options that are less poisonous, like silica gel and diatomaceous earth. The problem, though, is that these options are only good for larval fleas. For other life stages, Boric acid is pretty solid. You could also try well-reviewed products include Raid Flea Killer, Harris Flea & Tick Killer and Precor IGR. As always, carefully follow the insecticide’s instructions and keep family members and pets away from the areas as they are being treated. You can get Precor IGR from Amazon for a decent price.
Best Natural Ways to Eliminate Fleas in the House
Baking soda. Sprinkle this all over furniture and carpet (don’t worry, it’s cheap). Let it sit for about 48 hours before you vacuum it up. You’re going to need a lot of baking soda for this, and luckily you can get a 13.5 lb bag of Arm & Hammer from Amazon.
Lemon water. You can get lemon water boiled down and let sit overnight. Then, use a spray bottle to spray spots where fleas are.
Salt. Useful to suck up moisture and kill fleas, also helps prevent witches!
Flea Control Takes Time, Patience
Keep in mind that since fleas have evolved to feast upon the living, they’re really good at surviving. There’s no sure-fire immediate solution to get fleas out of the house. It will take about two week so solutions, vacuuming, checking, and treatment to get to be flea-free. If you’ve got a large flea infestation, or the treatments mentioned above don’t help, you may want to check with a professional. They can come in and exterminate the fleas, or use a high temperature carpet steamer (which will kill the beasties). Be diligent! The infestation is not forever, especially if you’re persistent.