How to Get Rid of Fleas

Flea Treatment Guide

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The Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Fleas

Learn How To Kill Fleas In & Around Your Home
Eliminating a flea infestation will mean treating all places that can be infested, including your pet, your home and your yard. Failing to treat all of the areas will likely lead to treatment failure. We recommend starting with your pets and then treating the home and yard. The treatments should be done around the same time for the best results.

Treatment Area 1

How to Get Rid of Fleas On Dogs, Cats, & Pets

Flea Treatment For Pets
Getting rid of fleas will usually start with pets that live in the home or on your property. As you begin the pet flea control process it is important to take your pet's species, age and health into consideration. Always read the product label of the flea treatment to be sure you can use it on your pet. There are three main treatment options for your pets:
  • Flea drops
  • Flea sprays for pets
  • Flea baths
The best flea treatment for dogs, (or cats) depends on the animal, but will usually include the use of at least one of these three options.


Flea Bath

Flea Bath For Dogs, Cats, & Pets

A flea bath is the most popular and fastest working flea treatment for pets. A bath with medicated shampoo will offer immediate kill of the biting fleas and is the recommended first course of action for pets that are badly infested. Be sure to read the product label of the shampoo you use as many have species or age restrictions that must be followed to insure your pet's safety.

The downside to using flea shampoos is that most cats and many dogs do not like to get bathed and can become stressed out during bath time. It is also important to note that most flea shampoos only offer an immediate contact kill to the fleas present on the animal at the time of the bath but will not stop the animal from becoming reinfested.


Flea Drops

Flea Drops For Dogs, Cats, & Pets

Spot-on products or flea drops are a popular choice because they are quick and convenient to use, and they do not cause much stress or disruption to pets. Most spot-on products offer one product for cats and another for dogs and they cannot be used on animals younger than 12 weeks old.

It is very important that you get the product directly on the animal's skin for it to work properly. Most Spot-on treatments direct the user to part the pet's hair between the shoulder blades and squeeze out the entire contents directly onto the skin. Applying the product between the animal's shoulder blades will usually stop the animal from licking the application spot.

Fleas will start to die within 24 hours of the flea drop application. Please note that you may continue to see adult fleas if the animal wanders into an infested part of your yard or home. The adult fleas will be killed after ingesting the spot-on product on the animal. Most spot-on treatments should be re-applied every 4-6 weeks to maintain control.

Products needed for Treatment Area 2


Pet Flea Spray

Use a Flea Spray For Dogs, Cats, & Other Pets

There are many flea sprays on the market to help eliminate fleas on your pets. Most sprays offer a quick kill of the biting adults and short term protection against reinfestation. Like most other flea treatments, it is important to read thoroughly the spray label before application to check for species and age restrictions.

Pet flea sprays come in both aerosol cans and squirt bottles. Flea sprays are typically fast to apply but most do have a strong odor which some pet owners may find offensive. The odor typically disappears within a few hours.

Products needed for Treatment Area 3

Treatment Area 2

Learn How to Get Rid of Fleas In the House

Indoor Home Flea Treatment Steps
Treating your home for fleas is an important part of a flea control program, especially if you have pets that have been infested. Making sure you treat all of the areas where your pet has spent time resting, playing or grooming will be crucial to your success. Flea elimination indoors can take 2-8 weeks depending on the level of infestation. Indoor flea control will require you to use a mix of insecticides and also mechanical control methods.


Natural Flea Control Options

Non-Chemical Treatment Methods

  • Wash or throw away all pet bedding.
  • Wash, steam treat, or throw away all area rugs
  • Vacuum or steam treat any furniture where your pets spend time
  • Vacuuming is a very important component of a flea control program. You should thoroughly vacuum the entire home prior to flea insecticide applications and you should continue to vacuum once every other day for at least 14 days. Vacuuming pulls fleas and eggs to the surface and also provides the stimulation the pupa (immature flea) need to exit their cocoons and expose themselves to the insecticides that have been applied.

Products needed for Treatment Area 1


Use a Concentrated Flea Spray

Apply Flea Spray Around the Home

There are a variety of flea spray concentrates to choose from and they come in several different formulations including liquid insecticides, aerosol insecticides and flea dusts or powders. We recommend using at least 2 products to control fleas; an insecticide and an insect growth regulator. You can usually find an insecticide and an insect growth regulator together in a aerosol flea product. The addition of a dust to your flea treatment program can help eliminate fleas more quickly and help prevent re-infestations. Do My Own Pest Control has put together an Indoor only Flea Kit and also an Indoor/Outdoor Flea Kit to help make product selection easy. If you decide not to purchase one of the kits it is very important that you select products that can be sprayed in multiple flea infested areas for flea control indoors.

Fleas in Carpet:

  • Spray the entire carpet, rugs, and pet resting areas with a product that is labeled to be sprayed for flea control indoors.
  • Allow the treated areas to dry completely before resuming use of the area.
  • After all areas are dry, apply a very light dusting of a flea dust to carpets, rugs, pet resting areas and along baseboards. We recommend using a hand duster to help make an even application. You can use a broom to help "sweep" the dust into the nap of the carpet. Once the product is pushed into the carpet, regular vacuuming will not disturb it.
  • After 14 days, you should reapply the aerosol or liquid products to the carpets, rugs and pet's resting areas to control any newly emerging immature fleas
  • Severely infested areas may require a 3rd or even a 4th treatment in 14 day intervals.
Pro Tip

Though it is a natural response to avoid the infested areas you should resist this impulse. Flea larva and pupa need stimulation from vacuuming, walking over infested areas and body heat to become active and expose themselves to the products you have used. Avoiding an infested area or leaving the area vacant will only prolong the infestation.
Flea foggers and bombs should only be used when the area does not contain furniture, stored boxes and other obstacles. Flea foggers will not be able to get under and around these objects and will leave many areas untreated.

Treatment Area 3

How to Get Rid of Fleas In the Yard

Outdoor Flea Treatment Steps
A complete yard flea treatment will include treating those outdoor areas that may also be infested with fleas. When you begin the outdoor flea control process you must consider not only those areas where your pet spends time resting, playing or walking, but also those places where wild or stray animals may spend time.

In the outdoor flea treatment process it is recommended that you use two products together to get the expected results, a liquid insecticide to kill exposed fleas and an insect growth regulator to stop immature fleas from reaching sexual maturity. We have put together an Outdoor Flea kit to make picking the right products easy for you.


Remove Yard Debris

Leaf and yard debris should be removed prior to treatment so that the spray can get down to the grass and soil level where fleas are developing.

You will need to apply a liquid concentrate flea insecticide on the infested areas you found in the inspection. These areas could include under decks, under trees, in places where leaves or other yard debris accumulates or areas where dense shrubbery exists. There is little need to spray open, sunny areas, dry and dusty areas or hard surfaces such as patios or driveways as fleas will not be able to develop in those areas.

Thoroughly spray the infested areas with the insecticide and an insect growth regulator for fleas solution using a hand pump sprayer or back pack sprayer.

Pro Tip

Mowing your grass 24 hours after applying the insecticide can help stimulate the immature stages of fleas to become active which will expose them to the products you have applied.
Keeping your lawn too moist can help a flea population grow very fast. Reduce moisture by not over watering, keeping your grass short and cutting back trees and shrubs to allow more sunlight to reach the ground.



Repeat Treatment Every 14 Days

Flea treatments do not work overnight. Over the next couple of weeks you should start to see a reduction in the flea population. We recommend a repeat treatment after 14 days to help get rid of any of the stragglers that may have been missed with the first treatment. Severe infestations may require 3 or 4 treatments in 14 day intervals. If wild animals venture on to your property they can re-infest the treated areas. If you know wild animals frequently visit your property, monthly preventative insecticide treatments should be applied throughout the flea season to prevent infestation.

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