Not sure which flea control product you should be using? With so many out there for combatting fleas, it can be unnecessarily difficult for those who simply want whatever gets rid of fleas the fastest.
Flea control products are categorized by which life stage of the flea they kill. Some products target adult fleas, while others only eliminate the larvae and eggs; others products attack the pupa stage because it is considered the most difficult stage of fleas to destroy.
Most flea control products are chemical-based pesticides, but natural and organic products are also available for homeowners who prefer to avoid chemicals. In the end, you should choose a product that gets rid of the fleas in your home at the stage they are at.
Although adult fleas are the least common stage of fleas found in homes, they can still create problems due to their ability to lay eggs. They can also pose a risk to pets and people, as they are capable of biting.
Products that kill fleas in the adult stage include:
- Conquer Liquid Insecticide: Using a one-to-one ratio of liquid insecticide and water, Conquer can cover up to 1,000 square feet and last for about three days.
- Archer IGR: Kills fleas and roaches across 1,000-1,500 square feet using a pyridine as the active ingredient. This can be combined with Conquer Liquid Insecticide to get rid of adult-sized fleas.
Eggs and Larvae
Fleas in the egg and larval stage comprise the majority of flea problems and infestations in homes. They will need to be eliminated with insect growth regulators (IGRs) to stop them from advancing into the adult stage.
- Precor IGR: Free of odors, this product helps prevent indoor flea infestations for three months or more. Mix one ounce of Precor with a gallon of water and spray on baseboards, furniture, and carpet.
- Nylar IGR: Also the active ingredient in Archer IGR, Nylar can be used indoors and outdoors to stop the growth of fleas. It works for three to six months indoors and around 30 days indoors. Available in liquid and aerosol forms.
For products that eliminate both adult and young fleas, try the following that work at any stage of the cycle:
- Precor 2000: Available in spray form, Precor 2000 is an IGR that helps control fleas, ticks, ants, and cockroaches. It works for two weeks against adult fleas and seven months for flea eggs. Vacuuming should be done every two days for several weeks after treatment to further prevent growth.
- Ultracide Aerosol: Targets the larvae, eggs, and adult stages of fleas across 2,000 square feet. Dries quickly and claims to eliminate flea problems for up to seven months. Unlike Precor, it kills fleas almost instantaneously. Contains Nylar as an active ingredient.
Biological Flea Control
One of the most effective ways of preventing flea infestations from entering the home is adding nematodes to the lawn outside.
Nematodes are bacteria that destroy fleas at virtually every level of the life cycle. They are harmless to humans, plants, and pets, as they solely target insects. Nematodes work by entering the fleas during the larval stage and releasing bacteria that kills them from the inside out, increasing the production of nematodes through the flea.
Once the flea population has been decimated, the nematodes will naturally degrade. They can be purchased at pet and garden stores and applied to the soil in moist and shady areas via spray bottles. Keep in mind that fleas generally go dormant during colder months, so your best bet in using nematodes effectively is during the spring or summer.
Final Words in Using Flea Control Products
There are a number of flea products available, and by doing a little research, you can determine which product is best for your individual situation.
With any product, follow the directions on the label carefully. Use precautions during application by avoiding areas where children or pets are often present, by wearing protective eyewear and clothing, and reading reviews of products before purchasing.
With dedication and persistence, flea control products help get rid of flea problems in your home for good.