Don’t blame yourself. You did everything you could. You bathed them. You gave them treatments. You kept an eye on them when they went outside. Yet despite all this vigilance, your cat or dog managed to pick up some fleas. Then these frustrating hitchhikers went one step further – they took over your house!
At first, getting rid of fleas inside the home can seem like a daunting task, but don’t give up. With some persistence and the right tools, you can end a flea infestation in just a few days.
Recognizing a Flea Infestation
If you’re worried about fleas in your house, there are a number of ways to detect an infestation so you know to take further action.
- Set Up a Flea Trap – The TERRO® Flea Trap is perfect for detecting a flea infestation. Plug this device in, turn off the lights, and leave it overnight. By morning, check the sticky pad to see if you’ve captured any fleas. The more fleas, the worse your infestation!
- Inspect Pet Beds and Carpets – Look for signs of fleas in pet beds and in your carpets. With a pet bed, the evidence of fleas is usually concentrated in a small area – you will see the fleas themselves as well as flea dirt. In a carpet, pick a few areas and run your hands through the fibers – you want to look for fleas, flea dirt, and eggs.
- Try the White Sock Test – Pull on a pair of knee-high white socks and move slowly through a room. Your body heat should be enough to attract fleas, who will leap on to your socks for a bite to eat. After you’ve completed a circuit of the room, check your socks for any fleas.
Flea Bites in Humans
If the fleas in your home can’t get all they need to eat from your pets, then they turn to the next most accessible warm-blooded mammal in the house – you!
You definitely don’t want to be part of their diet, either. If you get bitten, expect the site of the bite to redden and grow itchy. Even worse, flea bites can trigger allergic reactions in many people, which will exaggerate the itchiness even more.
Look for flea bites below the knees and in clusters as the flea moves around your skin. Ankles and feet are an especially common location for bites. Your forearms may also exhibit flea bites too – they’ll hop on you when petting your cat or dog.
In rare cases, flea bites can also transmit diseases, bacteria or viral infections. The most well-known flea-borne disease, the bubonic plague, is responsible for about 100 deaths each year across the globe. Most scientists also believe the bubonic plague was the disease that caused the Black Death, an epidemic that killed about 50 million people in the 14th century. Yikes!
How to Get Rid of Fleas in the Home
If you’re looking for a non-poisonous and odorless flea killer, then the TERRO® Flea Trap may be the solution you’ve been seeking. Why are fleas so eager to investigate the TERRO® Flea Trap? Adult fleas sense heat, which to them indicates a warm-blooded animal that they typically use as a host. By simulating the warmth of the host, the flea trap attracts fleas from where they live and hide. When the fleas jump toward the heat in an attempt to feast on their “host,” they instead find themselves stuck to the glue board, unable to escape.
This innovative trap is especially useful for luring fleas away from upholstery and out of carpets. Since there are no chemicals and the glue pad is held inside a simple container, the TERRO® Flea Trap is also safe to use when pets and children are present. Leave it active overnight for the best results!
Other options for flea treatment in the home include powder-based insect killers.
- Safer® Brand Diatomaceous Earth – This fine powder is truly devastating to insects. Within 48 hours of coming in contact with DE, fleas and other insects die. Though it seems like a fine powder to us, DE actually contains fossilized algae that scrape through the exoskeleton of an insect. A few hours later, the insect dies of dehydration.
- Safer® Brand Ant and Crawling Insect Killer – The diatomaceous earth powder inside this container functions the same way as the powder we just mentioned. The primary difference is in the amount offered and that it comes in a “puffer” bottle. This bottle helps you easily apply DE in hard-to-reach areas where fleas may be hiding.
Flea Control for Pets
Once you have the infestation under control, it’s time to turn your attention back to the pets who probably introduced the fleas to your home in the first place. Over the years, veterinarians have developed a variety of options for dealing with fleas on cats and dogs. Unfortunately, these options all have their own disadvantages, too.
- Flea Treatment – Available in tiny tubes, this topical treatment repels fleas and other biting insects. You simply apply the treatment to your pet (usually between the shoulder blades), and the substance is absorbed into the sweat and oil glands. The hardest part about this type of flea treatment is remembering to apply it each month. Additionally, some treatments can affect pets with sensitive skin.
- Flea Powder – The powders applied directly to your pet often contain peppermint oil that triggers a central nervous system breakdown in fleas. This powder, of course, lingers on your pet, which means it can spread through your house.
- Flea Shampoo – Most flea shampoos use pyrethrins, an organic compound found in chrysanthemum flowers. This compound may be too strong to use on some smaller pets.
- Flea Collar – These work in one of two ways – either by emitting a repellant gas or by allowing medication to seep slowly into your pet’s skin. Beware! They tend to be quite smelly, and some cats can have a bad reaction to these collars.
- Flea Comb – This simple comb has thinly spaced teeth that pull fleas out of your pet’s hair. These are best for giving your pet some immediate, short-term relief while waiting for another treatment to take effect.
Your Battle with Fleas
Did you just discover the flea problem inside your home? Let us know what you did to get rid of fleas in the house when you visit Safer® Brand on Facebook, where you’ll find a whole community dedicated to living life better, including those seeking organic flea control solutions! For more eco-friendly ideas from Safer® Brand, be sure to subscribe to the E-Newsletter to be the first to know about new products and promotions, plus get helpful articles and advice delivered right to your inbox.