Fleas can become a serious problem if they infest a house. There are many treatments available, but the best thing to do is never let them get in your home in the first place. This will save you a lot of time and money, and you will not be scratching at any itchy bites.
Here we will go over some useful flea prevention tips. Following these tips will also help prevent a re-infestation after eliminating a flea problem.
How Fleas Get In Homes
If you want to prevent fleas from getting into your house, you need to how they get in. You can read our full article on how fleas get into homes, but here is a quick breakdown:
- Fleas jumping on pets
- Fleas jumping on people
- Moving into a new home that has fleas
- Having other people’s pets inside your home
- Friends and family who have fleas
- Dog parks
The invention of the vacuum cleaner has really helped to prevent and control flea problems in homes. Three out of the four stages of a flea’s life cycle is spent in carpeting.
In a home, adult fleas will prefer to lay eggs in carpeting, the flea larvae will hatch and feed on organic material there, and then the larvae will pupate into cocoons. When you vacuum regularly, you will be sucking up and killing all of these fleas. This disrupts the the fleas’ reproduction cycle, and it will stop that entire generation from ever maturing into adults.
So, if fleas get into your house and start laying eggs, you will be sucking them up with your vacuum cleaner. You will be preventing a flea infestation without even knowing it.
Read our full article on vacuuming fleas.
Wash Bedding Regularly
Along with carpets, your bedding can also be good breeding grounds for fleas (and bed bugs). The heat, detergent, and motion from washing machines will kill all fleas in bedding. Make sure you wash sheets, blankets, pillow cases, sham cases, throws, quilts, and comforters. You should be washing your bedding at least once a week, and comforters at least once a month.
Wash Clothes Regularly
Clothes should also be machine washed with frequency. If you have piles of dirty clothes lying around, fleas can get into them and start laying eggs. Keep your dirty clothes in a laundry hamper, and do your laundry at least once a week. You should be doing this anyways, but preventing fleas can give you extra motivation.
Talk to Other Dog Owners
If your dog comes in contact with another dog that is suffering form fleas, your dog could get contaminated. This can happen when going on walks, at the dog park, or when watching a friend’s dog. Before letting your dog near other dogs, make sure they are flea-free. Ask other pet owners if they have checked and treated their dogs for fleas.
Wash Pet Bedding & Kennels
Since fleas like dogs and cats so much, they can end up laying eggs in their bedding. Washing pet bedding will remove fleas, pet hair, and debris that flea larvae feed on. Sheets, blankets, and towels can be machine washed. Larger beds will usually have a removable cover that you can take off and machine wash as well. To clean kennels, use an all purpose spray cleaner and wipe it down.
Make Sure No Friends or Family Have Fleas
Sometimes your friends or family could be fighting a flea problem. In these cases it might be a good idea to stay out of their house, and not allow them to come in yours. This might seem cold, but it is better safe than sorry. You don’t want to be dealing with the same problem as them.
Check Pets for Fleas
If you have dogs or cats that spend a lot of time outdoors, take some time every week and brush them with a flea comb. The flea comb has very small teeth that are spaced closed together. The flea comb will remove any fleas from your pet, including eggs. This is a good preventative measure. By being proactive you will detect fleas early, and quickly stop a flea infestation before it starts. Learn how to use a flea comb.
Keep your lawn maintained to help keep fleas out of your backyard. Outside, fleas like to live in dark damp locations. Long grass can create these ideal flea environments. So, make sure you are mowing your lawn regularly and use weed whackers along fence lines. It also helps to rake up any dead leaves and debris. Learn more about fleas in yards.