Complete Guide on How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home: Preventing Infestations and Protecting Your Family and Pets

Updated on May 10th, 2023

Reading Time: 12 minutes

If you’re dealing with a flea infestation in your home, you may be wondering how to get rid of these pesky parasites. While there are many products available on the market, such as insecticides and flea bombs, you may prefer to try home remedies for fleas. In this article, we will provide you with effective and natural ways to eliminate fleas from your home without harming your pets or family members. We’ll cover everything from how to identify fleas to tips for home flea treatment, and treating a yard infestation so you can enjoy a flea-free home once again. So, let’s get started and learn how to get rid of fleas in your home with these simple and safe methods.fleas stuck in a flea comb

What are fleas and how do they enter your home?

Fleas are tiny insects without wings that survive by feeding on blood, and while they can be bothersome, they are not as frightening as they may seem. They can be a significant problem if they infest your home, as they can quickly reproduce and spread throughout the house. 

Fleas typically enter your home by catching a ride on your pets or other animals that visit your property. They can also hitch a ride on your clothing or shoes if you’ve been in an area with fleas. Once inside, fleas can quickly multiply, making it challenging to get rid of them. In fact, they can live for up to three months without a host and lay up to 50 eggs per day.

What causes fleas?

Fleas are usually caused by an infestation on an animal, such as a cat or dog, that then spreads to their environment. Fleas can also be picked up from other animals, such as wildlife or rodents, or from infested environments, such as pet-friendly establishments, or even your friend’s home. They can also be carried on clothing or shoes, allowing them to spread to new locations.

“Knowing what attracts fleas is critical to learning how to prevent them if they haven’t infested your property,” recommends EcoGuard Pest Management. “You can also use attractants to find and treat them if they are already present. Fleas are attracted to light, movement, heat, and CO2, because these elements help them find suitable hosts to feed on. Using these attractants against them is a good way to help get your flea infestation under control.”

What are the dangers of having fleas in your home?

Fleas pose several dangers to both humans and pets. They can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and transmit diseases such as typhus and tapeworms. In addition, fleas can also cause anemia in young or small animals, which can be fatal if left untreated. Furthermore, flea infestations can be challenging to get rid of, and if left untreated, they can spread to other areas of your home and even to your neighbors.

To avoid these dangers, it’s essential to take preventative measures and clean your home from fleas as soon as you suspect an infestation. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively eliminate fleas from your home and protect yourself and your family from the risks they pose.

A vet checking a dog's fur for fleas

Signs of fleas: How to tell if you have them in your home?

Flea infestations can be a significant problem in your home, and it’s essential to know the signs of fleas so you can take action quickly. Here’s how to tell if you have fleas in your home and where fleas commonly hide.

  • Pets scratching and biting: The most common sign of fleas in your home is when your pets start scratching and biting themselves excessively. Fleas feed on your pet’s blood, causing them discomfort and irritation.
  • Flea dirt: Flea dirt is small, black, and pepper-like specks found on your pet’s fur, bedding, or furniture. Flea dirt is flea excrement, and if you put it on a wet paper towel, it will turn red, which is a sign of digested blood.
  • Flea bites: Flea bites are small, red, and itchy bumps on your skin that often appear in clusters. Flea bites are most common on the ankles and feet but can appear anywhere on the body.
  • Flea eggs and larvae: Flea eggs are tiny white ovals, while flea larvae are tiny, white, and worm-like. You may find flea eggs and larvae in your pet’s bedding, carpets, or furniture.

What are the common areas where fleas hide?

  • Pet bedding: Fleas prefer to hide and lay eggs in warm, dark, and cozy areas. Your pet’s bedding is an ideal spot for fleas to hide and multiply.
  • Carpets and rugs: Fleas can easily hide in carpets and rugs, especially in the areas where your pets spend time.
  • Furniture: Fleas can also hide in furniture, including couches, chairs, and cushions.
  • Cracks and crevices: Fleas can hide in cracks and crevices in floors, walls, and baseboards. They can also hide in electrical outlets, light switches, and vents.
  • Outdoor areas: Fleas can enter your home from outdoor areas, such as gardens, patios, and yards, so it’s essential to treat these areas as well.

It’s crucial to regularly check your pets, bedding, and furniture for signs of fleas, even if you don’t suspect an infestation. By being vigilant and taking preventative measures, you can ensure that your home remains flea-free and your pets and family are protected.

A dog watching his toy get washed in the washer machine

How to eliminate fleas in your home

When it comes to eliminating fleas from your home, there are several methods you can use, including vacuuming, washing, insecticides, and flea bombs. However, choosing the right flea treatment for your home and pets is crucial to ensure effective and safe flea removal. Here are steps on how to prepare your home for flea treatment and the different methods to eliminate fleas from your home.

“To create a flea-free environment, it’s important to treat both your pets and home simultaneously,” recommends 24 Hour Pest Pros. “Use a pet-safe, fast-acting flea treatment on your pets, and thoroughly clean your home by vacuuming carpets, washing pet bedding, and treating outdoor areas with natural flea-repellent solutions such as diatomaceous earth or cedar chips.”

Preparing your home for flea treatment

  • Clear the area: Before you start any flea treatment, clear out the area you’re treating. This means removing any clutter, furniture, and toys that could get in the way.
  • Vacuuming: Before applying any flea treatment, thoroughly vacuum your home to remove as many fleas, eggs, and larvae as possible. Pay special attention to areas where your pets spend time, such as carpets, rugs, and furniture.
  • Wash bedding and pet items: Wash all bedding, blankets, and pet items in hot water to kill fleas and their eggs. Be sure to use a pet-friendly detergent.

Methods to eliminate fleas from your home

When it comes to eliminating fleas from your home, there are several methods available, including insecticides, flea bombs, and natural home remedies. Insecticides are the most commonly used flea treatment. Flea bombs, aka foggers, work by releasing a mist that fills the room and kills fleas. However, if you prefer natural solutions, there are several home remedies for fleas that you can use. These remedies are safe for pets and humans but may require several applications to see results and might not be as effective.

  • Insecticides: Insecticides are the most commonly used flea treatment. They come in various forms, including sprays, powders, and foggers. When choosing an insecticide, look for one that specifically targets fleas and is safe for your pets.
  • Flea bombs: Flea bombs are also known as foggers, and they work by releasing a mist that fills the room and kills fleas. Before using a flea bomb, be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid harmful exposure to yourself or your pets.
  • Natural remedies: There are several natural remedies you can use to eliminate fleas, such as diatomaceous earth, cedar chips, and essential oils. These remedies are safe for pets and humans, but it may take several applications to see results.
  • Hire a pest control professional: If your flea infestation is severe or if you have tried other methods without success, it may be time to hire a pest control professional. They have specialized tools and expertise to eliminate fleas from your home or yard safely and effectively. Be sure to choose a licensed and reputable pest control company to ensure the safety of your pets and family members. “

“While DIY efforts may assist in flea control, there is a serious risk of not completely treating a flea infestation,” shares EcoGuard Pest Management. “This is why professional flea extermination is recommended. Professional flea exterminators have access to treatment options not available to the public and are trained in the best practices to get rid of fleas, including identifying common harborage areas, understanding the pests’ reproductive cycle, and determining the treatment frequency necessary for eradication. Companies that specialize in flea extermination will also guarantee their work and offer free re-services until your flea problem is solved.”

Choosing the right flea treatment

When choosing the right flea treatment for your home and pets, consider the severity of the infestation, the type of flea treatment, and your pets’ health. Some flea treatments may not be safe for certain breeds of pets, pregnant or nursing pets, or pets with certain medical conditions. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.

Insecticides and flea bombs are often more aggressive options used for severe flea infestations. They work by killing fleas on contact and can also leave residual effects, killing fleas for weeks after application. As mentioned before, flea bombs work by releasing a mist that fills the room and kills fleas, and natural remedies are less aggressive flea treatment options. Diatomaceous earth works by drying out fleas and their eggs, while cedar chips and essential oils have repellent properties that deter fleas. These methods are suitable for mild flea infestations and can be a good option for pet owners who prefer natural solutions.

Applying flea treatment safely and effectively

Ensuring safe and effective application of flea treatment is crucial in eliminating fleas from your home. It’s important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided with the flea treatment you decide to use. Wear protective clothing and gloves when handling the product to prevent skin contact and inhalation. After application, keep pets and children away from the treated area until the product has dried or settled. It is vital to treat all areas where fleas may be hiding, such as carpets, furniture, and pet bedding. Regular vacuuming and washing of bedding and pet items should be done to prevent future infestations. Repeat treatments as necessary, and consult with your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate frequency of treatment to keep your pets and home flea-free.

a pet owner cleaning common places where fleas like to nest and hide

How to prevent a flea infestation in your home

Preventing future flea infestations is essential to keep your home and pets flea-free. Here are some effective methods to prevent fleas from coming back to your home and common mistakes to avoid when trying to prevent flea infestations.

  • Regularly vacuum your home: Vacuuming your home regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent flea infestations. Be sure to vacuum carpets, rugs, and furniture, paying extra attention to areas where your pets spend time. Dispose of the vacuum bag outside immediately to prevent fleas from re-infesting your home.
  • Wash bedding and pet items: Wash all pet bedding, blankets, and toys regularly in hot water to kill fleas and their eggs. Be sure to use a pet-friendly detergent. You should also wash your own bedding and clothing regularly to prevent fleas from hitching a ride on your clothes.
  • Use flea prevention products: Use flea prevention products such as flea collars, spot-on treatments, and oral medications. These products are available from your veterinarian and can help prevent fleas from infesting your pets.
  • Treat outdoor areas: Fleas can enter your home from outdoor areas such as gardens, patios, and yards. Treat these areas with outdoor flea control products to prevent fleas from entering your home.
  • Avoid bringing fleas into your home: When visiting areas where fleas are prevalent, such as dog parks, be sure to check your pets for fleas and use flea prevention products. Avoid bringing used furniture, rugs, or bedding into your home without thoroughly cleaning them and inspecting them for fleas.

Common mistakes to avoid when trying to prevent flea infestations:

By following these methods and avoiding common mistakes, you can effectively prevent flea infestations and keep your home and pets flea-free.

  • Not treating all pets: If you have multiple pets, be sure to treat all of them for fleas, even if you only suspect one has them. Fleas can quickly spread from one pet to another.
  • Not treating your home: If you only treat your pets for fleas and not your home, fleas will continue to infest your home, and your pets will continue to get re-infected.
  • Using the wrong products: Using the wrong flea prevention products can be ineffective and even harmful to your pets. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which products are suitable for your pets.
  • Stopping prevention too late: Flea prevention is an ongoing process, and it’s important to continue treating your pets and home regularly to prevent future infestations. Stopping prevention too soon can lead to a new infestation.

A cat with fleas leaning on a fence

How to eliminate fleas in your yard: yard flea treatments

Fleas can quickly infest your yard, making it an unpleasant environment for both you and your pets. Keeping your yard flea-free is crucial to maintain a safe and healthy outdoor space. We’ll now explore various effective methods for treating your yard for fleas, including using flea control products, diatomaceous earth, nematodes, flea-repellent plants, and maintaining a clean yard. By following these methods, you can keep your yard flea-free and enjoy spending time outdoors with your pets without the worry of fleas.
“For outdoor areas, focus on maintaining a clean and well-groomed yard to minimize flea-friendly habitats,” recommends 24 Hour Pest Pros. “In case of severe infestations, consult a professional pest control service for a comprehensive treatment plan.”

Signs of a yard flea infestation

Fleas can easily infest your yard and can be detected through various signs, even if your pets are not showing any symptoms of flea infestations. Here are some signs of fleas in your yard to look out for:

  • Flea Dirt: Flea dirt, also known as flea feces, looks like small black specks on the ground or on surfaces. This is a clear indication that fleas are present in your yard.
  • Flea Eggs: Flea eggs are tiny, white, oval-shaped specks that are often found in the soil or grass in your yard. They are usually difficult to see with the naked eye.
  • Increased Pest Activity: If you notice an increase in other pest activity, such as ants or spiders, in your yard, it may be a sign of fleas. Other pests are attracted to flea larvae and eggs and can signal their presence.
  • Unusual Pet Behavior: While your pet may not be showing signs of a flea infestation, they may still be able to sense fleas in your yard. If your pet is exhibiting unusual behavior, such as excessive scratching or avoiding certain areas of the yard, it may be a sign of fleas.

Ways to treat your yard for fleas

  • Use Flea Control Products: Apply flea control products to your yard, such as sprays and granules. These products contain insecticides that kill fleas on contact and create a barrier that prevents new fleas from entering your yard.
  • Use Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized algae. It works by drying out fleas and their eggs, making it an effective and safe way to treat your yard for fleas.
  • Use Nematodes: Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on flea larvae. You can purchase nematodes at your local garden center and apply them to your yard to reduce flea populations.
  • Keep Your Yard Clean: Fleas thrive in dirty, cluttered environments. Keeping your yard clean and free of debris will reduce flea hiding spots.
  • Trim Trees and Bushes: Fleas can hide under bushes and trees, so keep them trimmed to reduce shaded areas.
  • Use Flea-Repellent Plants: Certain plants, such as lavender and eucalyptus, are known for their flea-repellent properties. Planting these around your yard can help deter fleas.
  • Hire a Professional Exterminator: If you have a severe flea infestation in your yard, it may be necessary to hire a professional exterminator to eliminate them.

By using one or a combination of these methods, you can effectively treat your yard for fleas and prevent future infestations.

Tick and flea prevention for a dog

How to get rid of fleas on your pet

If you suspect your pet has fleas, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent the infestation from spreading. While fleas are visible on your pet’s fur, they can also be detected by using a flea comb or looking for flea dirt. Getting rid of fleas requires a multi-faceted approach, including regular cleaning and the use of medication or sprays.

“Implementing an integrated pest management approach is essential for effective flea control. Start by treating your pets with veterinarian-approved flea prevention products,” recommends 24 Hour Pest Pros. “In your home, regularly vacuum carpets, upholstery, and pet bedding to remove fleas, eggs, and larvae.”

Here are some methods to consider:

  • Topical prescription: Select the right formula and follow the instructions to apply the medication directly on your pet’s skin. It will kill adult fleas and prevent new ones from hatching.
  • Oral prescription: This medication gets into fleas after they bite your pet.
  • Pet-safe spray: Use a flea spray that won’t harm your pet, and follow instructions carefully.
  • Wash bedding and use flea shampoo: Wash your pet’s bedding in hot water every couple of days, and use flea shampoo to kill the fleas directly on your pet.
  • Use a flea comb: Regularly comb your pet’s fur to catch fleas and dunk them in soapy water.
  • Regular vet checkups: Your vet can help you manage your pet’s risk of fleas and other parasites, and prescribe a monthly medication.
  • Let your pet groom itself: Grooming can help keep your pet’s fur and skin healthy. If your pet isn’t grooming properly, consult your vet.
  • Natural remedies: You can make a rosemary solution to spray, rinse, or soak your pet.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Holly Hooper

Holly is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about home improvement and lifestyle. Her dream home would incorporate both an industrial and biophilic design.

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