It is important to kill fleas as quickly as possible once you detect them. If you do not, they can multiply rapidly and the infestation can get out of hand. Luckily, there are many over-the-counter products you can use to kill fleas in your home, in your yard, and on your pets.
Find out what kills fleas in this article. Read about the various products you can use, the active ingredients, and how they work.
What Kills Fleas in Homes
The majority of a flea infestation is going to be in your carpets in the form of eggs, larvae, and cocoons. Killing fleas in your house is probably the most important way to end a flea problem. Here are some common treatments:
A simple solution to kill fleas in your house is to vacuum. It you find fleas in your home, start increasing the frequency that you vacuum to at least twice a day. This will suck up the adults, eggs, larvae, and cocoons. Many flea treatments will not kill cocoons, but vacuuming will. Read more about vacuuming to kill fleas.
Flea Sprays for Homes
One of the most effective ways to kill fleas in your home to use insecticidal flea sprays. These will contain two kinds of active ingredients; one to kill adult fleas (pyrethrins) and one to prevent larvae from pupating in adults (insect growth regulators). These will completely disrupt a flea’s reproduction cycle. Learn more about flea sprays for homes.
Flea Powder for Homes
Flea powder can also be used to kill fleas in your carpets. It is not quite as effective a flea sprays, because it will only kill adult fleas. Most of these powders will contain borate salts as their active ingredients. You can simply sprinkle these powders on your carpets, and brush them in with a broom. Read more about flea powder for carpets.
Diatomaceous earth works like borate powder, but is an all natural solution. It is simply powdered sedimentary rock composed of a hard-shelled algae. The powder will cut into fleas’ exoskeletons and then absorb the liquids from their body. They die from dehydration. This will only work on adult fleas. Read more about diatomaceous earth for fleas.
Flea traps can be set up around your home to kill adult fleas. The adult fleas will be attracted to light and heat from a lamp, which simulates a blood meal. As the fleas jump towards the heat source, they will land onto a sticky pad. These devices are cheap, simple, and easy to use. Read more about flea traps.
Sometimes fleas will lay eggs on clothes, sofa covers, bedding, and pet beds. You can throw these items into a washing machine to kill the fleas on them. Use the highest water temperature that clothes can handle. Drying clothes in a drier or outside in the sun will further ensure that all fleas eggs are dead. Read more about killing fleas in washing machines.
What Kills Fleas on Pets
Sometimes fleas will live on pet’s fur. So killing them is important in ending a flea infestation. Plus, you will be giving your pets some relief from those itchy flea bites. Here are some common flea treatments for pets:
Using a flea comb is a good first action to take when your pets have fleas. It is non-toxic and effective in removing fleas of all stages of life from your pet’s fur. The closely spaced teeth (tine) of the comb will pull out even the smallest fleas. It is also an effective method for early detection and being proactive. Read about using a flea comb.
If you want to kill the fleas on your pet’s and give them some soothing relief from bites, flea shampoo is the way to go. However, most are not intended for lasting prevention. You will be able to find a variety of shampoos for pets, some will contain insecticides and some will be all natural. Read more about flea shampoos.
Topical treatments, such as Bayer Advantage and Frontline, are probably the fastest and most effective ways to kill fleas on your pets. This is because they target both adult and pre-adult fleas. Plus, they are intended for lasting flea prevention. The reason some pet owners might not like to use them is because of the toxic chemicals. However, all the active ingredients are thought to be safe for humans and pets. Read more about flea drops for dogs
You can find over-the-counter oral medications for pet flea control. Novartis Captstar makes the most popular oral med, and it will kill all adult fleas that may be biting your pets. This will only kill adult fleas, so you will need to find another method to the pre-adults (eggs, larvae, cocoons).
What Kills Fleas in Yards
Many times a flea infestation will start outside in your backyard. Your dog or cat will pick up fleas there, and then bring them into your home. To ensure you have completely eliminated an infestation, you will want to kill fleas in your backyard. Read more about killing fleas in your yard.
Permethrin (or pyrethrin) is a common insecticide used in flea sprays for homes. It is generally safe for humans and dogs, but should be kept away from cats. It targets a flea’s nervous system, causing death from excessive nerve firings. It will only kill adult fleas. Outside, spray down moist, dark areas or where pets hang out.
Insect Growth Regulators
You will also need to find a way to kill flea eggs and larvae in yards. Insect growth regulator sprays can be used for this. These chemicals will prevent flea larvae from ever pupating into adults. Instead, they will simply re-emerge from cocoons as larvae again. This will cut off a flea’s life cycle.
Diatomaceous earth can be used outside as well as indoors. Sprinkle it around areas where pets frequent or in shaded areas. This will kill adult fleas that it contacts.