What Happens in a Home Flea Infestation How Fleas Can Multiply in Your Home


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A flea infestation can happen before you even know it. This video shows how fleas get inside and how quickly they can become a problem.

When fleas get on your dog or your cat, it's only a short ride to inside your home, where the fleas will lay eggs, multiply, and quickly become a huge problem.

How does it all happen so fast? Take a look at this video from the makers of Advantage II about how a home flea infestation starts, and how quickly it grows. 

Make sure fleas are never a problem by finding the right flea and tick protection for your pet! If you do have to fight off fleas, check out our infographic on how to Get Rid of Fleas in 8 Steps

7 Steps to Flea Control in Your Home

Once youโ€™ve gotten rid of your petโ€™s fleas, you should be home-free, right? Unfortunately, no. When it comes to flea control in your home, getting the pests off your pet is just the first step.

Follow these 7 steps to flea control in your home and you and your pet will be living the itch-free life again in no time.

1. Bathe Pets Regularly

Even though only about 10 percent of the flea population that is now infesting your home lives on your pet, those pests are creating the main cause of home flea infestations, eggs that grow into larva and eventually into adult fleas. These eggs, which are laid in the petโ€™s coat, can be transferred to carpets, furniture, bedding -- pretty much wherever your pet rests, sleeps, or spends most of their time.

Itโ€™s best to give your pet a bath every two to three weeks, and not more often since you donโ€™t want to strip their coat of necessary oils. For every other bath, use a flea shampoo containing Precor, an Insect Growth Regulator, as well as natural moisturizers like oatmeal, coconut extract, lanolin, and aloe. Just be sure to read the label carefully. Certain products are made specifically for cats, dogs, kittens, or puppies. In severe cases, you can use a flea dip but you should speak with your vet beforehand.

2. Accessorize

Weโ€™re talking about everything from collars to lotions to combs. Once youโ€™ve given your pet a bath, grab a flea comb. Combing out fleas is actually one of the best ways to control fleas since the fleas get caught in the comb's teeth and are removed from your pet's coat. But thereโ€™s still the issue of the eggs, so youโ€™ll want to choose lotions, powders, and collars that contain an Insect Growth Regulator to prevent eggs from hatching.

3. Medications

Oral tablets and other medications control fleas on pets for longer stints, typically one to three months. These medications contain an Insect Growth Regulator such as Lufenuron that causes the female fleasโ€™ eggs to be unable to hatch. Just be sure to check with your vet before pairing collars, flea baths, and medications, or any combination thereof. You donโ€™t want to overdose on your pet.

4. Clean Carpets and Floors

The same day you bathe and groom your pet, be ready to clean house, literally. Adult fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day and the majority of them will fall into your carpet and hatch into larvae that can burrow deep into carpet fibers. There they feed off the dry blood found in flea feces that has also fallen into the carpet.

Youโ€™ll want to shampoo your rug and wash your floors, as well as use an insecticide containing both an adulticide such as permethrin and an Insect Growth Regulator such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen. Zodiac Fogger is one of the few great home flea control products that are effective and produces no residual odor. Be sure to let the carpet and floors dry before allowing your pet back on them.

Regular vacuuming is also necessary since it will pull the fleas, larvae, and eggs from the carpet. Just be sure to empty the bag regularly; if not, the eggs may hatch and cause re-infestation. It also helps to drop a flea collar into the vacuum bag as a preventive measure. When it comes to hardwood floors, youโ€™ll want to focus on the roomโ€™s corners and beneath moldings.

5. Clean Bedding and Upholstery

This includes not only your petโ€™s bedding but also your bedding and any furniture your pet likes to lounge on or near. Youโ€™d be surprised how many eggs are hidden, and larvae nestled, beneath couch cushions. Dry cleaning is a great option for bedding and removable furniture covers.

Again, use a product containing both an adulticide and an Insect Growth Regulator, and be sure to let all surfaces dry before letting your pet come in contact with them. Some people prefer to use an insecticide in the form of โ€œfoggersโ€ or โ€œbug bombsโ€ that include those active ingredients.

6. Clean the Air

Speaking of โ€œfoggersโ€ or โ€œbug bombs,โ€ aerosol sprays are available that kill fleas on contact. Spraying them in entrance areas and under and behind beds, furniture, and other places your pets like to hang out is very important, since these are areas in which the infestation will thrive. You can choose one with natural active ingredients such as peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, thyme oil, and eugenol or an Insect Growth Regulator.

7. Clean the Yard

Keeping a clean home also entails keeping an eye on whatโ€™s being tracked into it. If your pet is an outdoor pet, thereโ€™s the chance they are bringing the infestation in from your yard. Common areas of infestation include patio furniture, under decks, fencing, shrubs, and bushes your pet may like to rest under, and doghouses. Using an insecticide containing chlorpyrifos or permethrin in these specific areas can be effective. You can purchase these as either a pump-up sprayer or a container that can easily be hooked up to your garden hose.

It can take two to four weeks for an infestation to be completely removed.

More on Fleas and Ticks

Is Cat Flea Control Necessary?
The Flea Life Cycle
Your Flea and Tick Questions Answered

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