If you are a pet owner, flea control should be a part of your weekly – if not daily – routine. The process of flea removal can be very labor-intensive, not to mention dirty, but time spent tending to your pets and lawn could keep you from ever having to wage a full-scale war against fleas.
Step-by-Step Flea Control Routine
- Let your pets roam freely in areas that are easy for you to clean. (That means dusty garages and dark, crowded basements are off limits.) No point in going to all the trouble of pest removal to place your pets back into the line of fire.
- Vacuum your floors regularly to remove any eggs that might have found their way into your home. If your vacuum has attachments, then use those to get into tight corners and underneath furniture. For ultimate flea control, use those same attachments to vacuum the upholstery on a regular basis.
- Only allow your pet to sleep on bedding that is easy to clean. Towels or a simple blanket can make a soft bed for your pet and they are very easy to toss in the wash. When washing bedding, be certain you do not accidentally spill any eggs or larvae off when you pick it up. If you find something that resembles coarse salt and pepper, then you likely have a spill and more pest removal to deal with.
- Daily flea control involves the regular use a special flea comb for your pets. For proper flea removal, start combing through the fur coat of your dog or cat, giving extra attention to the face, neck and tail areas. Then dip your comb into a bowl of soapy water and drop any wayward fleas into the bowl as well. The soapy water will kill the insects instantly. Also, try to track your flea removal daily so you will know when the fleas are starting to decrease in number.
Going to Extremes
Hopefully the above suggestions are enough to provide you with more than adequate flea control. But in the case of numerous pets or a previously large flea infestation, you may require some more extreme pest control measures.
- Steam clean your carpets regularly, and consider alternating between using a disinfecting shampoo for one cleaning and then steam-only for the next. Whatever the steam doesn't kill, the disinfecting shampoo will.
- Flea control often leads to some type of collar or medicine for your pet. Before going into a pet store to purchase a product, even one that claims to be all natural, please discuss this with your veterinarian first. Know that even flea powders and shampoos made for animals could be hazardous to pets with certain conditions.
- Regularly clean or replace your pet's outdoor bedding. Soapy water is fine if you chose to simply wash the bedding.
There are many flea removal products available for your home and lawn. Natural remedies, organic flea control products and professional grade chemicals are all effective methods. Take your home life, like pets and children, and level of infestation into account when researching pest control products. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Sorptive dusts – This family of dusts kills fleas by dehydrating them. Sorptive dusts should be applied to carpets and even animals but can irritate the lungs so wear a dust mask. Diatomaceous earth is a popular and effective natural variety.
- Insect growth regulators (IGR) – IGR's inhibit the natural growth of insects and can last for up to 200 days. But, IGR's only affect developing fleas, or non-adults, so you will need to combine this treatment with another.
- Citrus peel extracts – To be an effective flea control product, you need a citrus extract with both limonene and linalool. Great for spot-treating, but not to be used in large quantities or directly on pets or people. If in doubt, contact a doctor or veterinarian.
- Flea traps – These pest control products are not enough to completely eliminate a flea infestation. But used in conjunction with other methods, they can be a helpful remedy. Fleas are drawn to the light of the trap and then get stuck to a gooey surface pad. Flea traps are an easy-to-use weapon in your flea control arsenal.