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Got Fleas in your house? It’s likely because you have a dog or cat in your home that spends time outdoors. For many pet owners a flea infestation is very possible. Fleas are tiny pests with a big impact on your pets’ health and the sanity of you and your family. There are steps you should follow if you plan to control fleas in your home. While it can be daunting, home flea control is very effective.
At DoMyOwnPestControl.com we carry professional indoor flea control products that are safe to use around children and pets. Since the professional flea killer products we use are the same flea control products used by professionals, you will not only achieve the same results but save a ton of money while doing it.
Flea Biology Makes Control Tricky
The flea life cycle is what creates the difficulty when trying to rid your home of fleas. When flea eggs are laid on their hosts, they fall off into carpets and furniture. The eggs hatch into larvae, and the larvae then burrow into cracks and crevices and into carpets and fibers, avoiding light. They feed on organic matter before spinning a cocoon. While forming into adults, they can remain in their cocoons for a few weeks or a few months. They wait until they sense a suitable host is near by vibrations, body temperature, and air movement. This is often why you will notice a flea infestation after a vacation, where the fleas remain dormant until they sense you are near.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House
Indoor Flea Control
If you find fleas in the house, the control methods depend a lot on patience and perseverance. Follow these tips for getting rid of fleas in your house, and you’ll be able to get rid of fleas on your own.
Start with pets. Since most of the time the fleas enter your home via your pets, treating them first is paramount to your flea control success. Talk to your vet about possible medications and treatments available for your pet. Putting your pet on a regular flea treatment can help to prevent any future flea outbreaks. There are soaps, dips, sprays, and even oral treatments available through your veterinarian or pet supply stores or right here. Grooming your pet with a nit comb can help to rid your pets of live fleas.
Treat areas pets frequent. Fleas like moist, warm environments, so fleas tend to congregate in the areas pets spend the most time like their beds and other resting areas. Wash these pet beds with hot water and dry them on a hot cycle. Vacuum all these areas very thoroughly. It is very important that you vacuum before you use any chemical treatments so you can dredge up any eggs or larvae that may be buried in the fibers. This also allows the adults and larvae not affected by the vacuum to be affected by the chemicals. The various intervals of the life cycle is what makes it so tricky to get rid of fleas in your home.
Treat all other areas. After you have treated these areas, move on to the rest of your home, focusing on rooms or areas where your pet has access. Wash all bedding if pet shares any beds with family members.
Use chemical controls. Insect growth regulators are a very key part of flea control. These chemicals inhibit fleas from being able to reproduce, stopping the life cycle in its tracks. This can be combined with a chemical with a residual effect, helping to affect both adult and larvae stages.
Continue treatment. Do not get discouraged if you see fleas after your initial treatment. You will have to reapply your treatments about a week later, and maybe even after. Continue to vacuum at once a day or every other day until you do not see any more fleas.
Additional Indoor (Home) Flea Control Information:
*An effective indoor control program for fleas includes a combination of both non-chemical and chemical methods.
Step 1) Non Chemical Methods of Indoor Flea Control
The following non-chemical control measures should be completed before applying any pesticides to your carpet or furniture. Completion of these steps will increase overall chemical performance and the overall success of your control program. Vacuuming before applying the chemical is essential to remove eggs, larvae, and feces, and to stimulate flea pupae to emerge from the cocoon so that it can be exposed to the pesticide.
Linens that have been in contact with the animal host, including pet bedding, blankets, and throw rugs, should be washed and dried at hot temperatures.
Vacuum pet sleeping and resting areas (including pet carriers, windowsills, and shelving).
Vacuum furniture including the back and undersides, all cushions, and in the crevices of sofas and chairs.
Vacuum the entire carpet surface area, removing items as needed to cover every square inch.
For heavier infestations, or just for a double measure of assurance, the carpet may also be steam cleaned before chemical application. The heat from the steam will kill a greater number of fleas.
Control of fleas on Pets:
Pets must be treated to stop reinfestation of the premises. This factor is critical in long-term relief.
Treatments of pets should be completed the same day the home is treated. The treated pet should then remain outside until the pesticide application has dried.
Step 2) Chemical Methods for Indoor Flea Control (Pesticides)
To conduct a complete chemical application for flea management, you will need a one gallon sprayer (we recommend the Chapin Premier 1 Gallon Sprayer), a liquid residual pesticide, and an IGR (insect growth inhibitor).
Recommended Chemicals for Flea Control:
Demize EC- Liquid insecticide for flea and tick control
Precor IGR Concentrate -Contains the insect growth regulator methoprene to stop pre-adult flea development - and future infestations. Not for ticks.
Ultracide- Provides immediate kill of adult fleas and prevents formation of new adults.
Suspend SC- Our best selling liquid insecticide concentrate. Suspend SC is excellent for almost all types of insect control.
Tips for Pesticide Application:
Apply the pesticide only after the entire area to be treated has been vacuumed. Otherwise the treatment will not be as effective.
Focus application on the areas most frequented by pets and in areas where eggs may accumulate, such as cracks in floor boards, behind baseboards, and under carpet edges.
Always make sure you have read and understand the pesticide label before applying the chemical.
The liquid residual and IGR should be combined together in a gallon hand sprayer for easiest application.
Step 3) Continue to vacuum as often as possible (every day to every other day) for 2 to 3 weeks following pesticide application, in order to remove eggs, larvae, and expose newly emerged fleas to the chemical.
Step 4) Be Patient. Complete control generally takes about 3 to 5 weeks.
Once the carpet and other surfaces have been treated, adult fleas will die immediately, but flea pupae will continue to develop and emerge from their cocoons for the next 2 to 4 weeks or longer. As soon as these newly developed fleas emerge from their cocoons, the chemical will begin working on them. However, the flea will likely survive for several hours before it finally dies. This emergence is called the "pupal window". So if you happen to notice flea or two, or find a flea bite in the weeks following pesticide application, you should not assume your efforts have failed. If proper control is taking place, you will notice a significant reduction in the number of fleas and flea bites each week following treatment. Complete control generally takes about 3 to 5 weeks.
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