How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas in Your Home and YardReading Time: 4 minutes
Dog fleas can be pretty bad for the physical health of our pets, and ourselves. Fear not though, there are ways to get rid of dog fleas in your home or yard! There are also things you can routinely do to help prevent flea infestations. If fleas have managed to get past your best lines of defense, it is important to get rid of them before they cause illness.
Help! My Dog Has Fleas! Can Humans Get Fleas Too?
Fleas are everywhere! If your dog has picked up fleas they may have done so from a walk through the park, or by contact with another dog or other type of animal. These little hitchhikers can also find their way into our living environments in other ways. They ride along on our footwear and clothing from many other sources.
There are dog fleas, cat fleas and yes, there are human fleas as well. Not to mention bird fleas and rodent fleas. The list goes on. In North America, the most common type is the cat flea. However, don’t let the name fool you, or blame the cat! This type of flea looks for both dogs and cats to be their host.
Any type of flea, when they are looking for sustenance, will bite through the skin of a warm-blooded dog, cat, or human. Always be alert to signs of fleas on dogs, cats, and people – anywhere in your house. Flea bites can cause more than itching and red bumps of inflammation on the surface of the skin.
When a flea bites, it injects a little of its own saliva under the skin of the person or pet they are feeding on. This can spread serious diseases to both people and animals.
When Dog Fleas are Everywhere, You Need a Mass Cleanup!
If you’ve got a dog flea infestation it’s time for a targeted approach. You’ll need to make sure you get rid of the dog fleas at every stage of their lifecycle. This means getting to every possible location fleas may be hiding in your house and yard.
A Look at the Life Cycle of Fleas and How They Spread to People, Homes, and Yards!
The full lifecycle of a flea involves four stages – if they have the opportunity to survive! Adult fleas tend to live on their host so they are close to their food source. During the other three stages of development, they can live for days and weeks in other areas. These include carpets, timber floors, and organic matter in your yard.
- Flea eggs fall! Female fleas lay eggs after consuming blood. The eggs don’t stick well so they will usually drop onto another surface. This may be in the cracks in your floor, the pile of your carpet, the fabric of your sofa, your pet’s bedding, or even your own bed!
- Larvae settle in! From there, the eggs take up to 10 days to hatch into larvae. As larvae, they feed on any organic matter such as small food particles, dead skin, insects, and so on. As larvae, they will bury away from light, deeper into the pile, and floorboards. They then spin themselves cocoons, taking anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to reach the pupal stage.
- Pupa lay in wait! The pupal period can last from a week to months. As a pupa, a flea will stay nestled in its cocoon until it senses a food source is available. They do this through vibrations in the environment. This is why if you have ever moved into a home that has been vacant, fleas can suddenly appear as you move about.
- Adults are agile! As adults, fleas are tiny wingless insects. They are capable of jumping both vertically and horizontally. They also move very quickly – as you will know very well if you have ever tried to catch one!
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans!
The good news is that even though there are many types of fleas, humans are less likely to be hosts. This is because we have less body hair than dogs, cats, and other animals. However, if you suspect you do have fleas yourself, there are many over the counter treatments to help. Keep any flea bites clean and apply lotions and ointments as needed.
It is important to know that flea treatments are specific to species. This means flea treatments developed for dogs aren’t for treating cats, and vice versa. The same goes for humans! Don’t use formulas developed for pets on yourself! If you are in doubt about what products to use for yourself, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home
Fleas, in their different life stages, can survive in different areas around your home so this is a big job! Take a systematic approach to the areas of your home that fleas may be hiding, and you will beat them!
- Your pets: Fleas may very well be the reason for the invention of fine-tooth combs. Use one to trap, remove, and destroy any adult fleas on your dog or cat. Apply topical treatments with insecticides (vet approved ones) or safe natural products. Ultimately, they’ll love you for removing these little blood-suckers from their body.
- Your floors and furniture: Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Even after you have no signs of fleas remaining, vacuum at least once a week, if not daily. This helps to remove any eggs, larvae, and pupa buried in the pile of your carpet or other furnishings. Each time you vacuum, empty the canister right away to dispose of the contents. Place any used vacuum bags, sealed, into outside trash. You may want to look into getting a good pet vacuum!
- Consider steam cleaning: If you have a bad infestation consider steam cleaning your carpets and upholstery. The heat and steam clean can help kill fleas and dislodge any waiting to hatch.
- Your bedding, clothes and your pet’s toys: Run all bedding your doggos sleep on through the wash. That includes your bedding if that’s one of their favorite places to chill! Wash your clothes in hot soapy water! Also wash any cushions from your living area or sofa, and your pet’s toys.
- Flea bombs and foggers: If you want to set off a flea bomb, fogger, or another spray insecticide in your home, consider a product that is safe for everyone!
Flea Treatment for House and Home Might Take a While!
Don’t give up if you embark on a big cleaning mission. They are sneaky little things with tough shells. Perseverance is the key to getting rid of fleas once and for all!
Dog Flea Treatment for the Yard!
In winter, outdoor flea infestations aren’t as common because fleas need warmth to develop through the life cycle. Come spring though, they will be jumping!
There are insecticide products to spray outside in flea infested areas of your yard. As with using indoor insecticides, always check the labels for safe use. Follow any rinsing or washing procedures to remove residue in order to keep your pets and plants safe.
Prevention is Better Than a Cure: How to Prevent a Flea Infestation
Making sure you follow a few preventative measures is the best way to ensure you don’t get flea infestations.
- Use preventative flea treatments on your dog and cat regularly. Seek your veterinarian’s advice if what you’ve been doing doesn’t seem to be working.
- Vacuum and clean your floors and furnishings regularly. Pay particular attention to areas where your dog likes to hang out around your home. Get into all the nooks and crannies of your sofa and mattress with the nozzle at the same time.
- Keep your dog’s bedding and toys clean and regularly wash these in hot soapy water. Likewise any of your own bedding and clothing those fleas may be in.
From a Dog Flea Collar to Flea Medication: The Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs!
There are plenty of options for eliminating fleas on dogs. You can use products made with insecticides and/or natural ingredients.
- Spot-on treatments: These are easy to apply to the back of your dog’s neck to treat dog fleas. Look for veterinary recommended insecticide products such as Frontline, K9 Advantix, Advantage, or Revolution.
- Oral Medication: Pills and chewable tablets such as Bravecto can help control dog fleas and ticks. These act internally.
- Flea Shampoos, Sprays, and Powders: These will kill dog fleas in the short term while the product is on your pet. However, they don’t tend to be an effective option for a big infestation.
- Collars: Flea and tick collars release chemicals into your dog’s skin. These are more common and effective as a preventative measure.
- Natural Options: There are many effective natural flea killers for dogs such as apple cider vinegar dilutions.
Tick and Flea Prevention or Treatment is an Important Job for Pup Parents!
Dog fleas can be picked up from anywhere at any time. This means all dog parents and people with pets or emotional support animals need to stay on top of ways to prevent fleas or deal with them once they’ve arrived!
Common Questions on How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas in Your Home and Yard
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