5 Effective Ways to Kill Fleas in Your Home and Yard
When you have fleas, you’ll frantically want to know how to get rid of them. These pests multiply rapidly. Females can lay up to 5,000 or more eggs in their lifetime. If you don’t take action quickly to get rid of fleas, they’ll infest your home before the end of the month.
We’re going to discuss how you can get rid of these pests, taking a multi-prong approach and covering all areas of your home.
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How to Get Rid of Fleas in a House
Insecticide is not a flea control you want to cover your home with if it’s not a necessity. Pets, adults and children will be susceptible to most toxins used to kill fleas, and in some cases, this is the only option if the infestation grows out of control.
The best way to get rid of fleas is to start inside the home (not just your carpet).
You can repel fleas and clean using certain cleaners to be able to repel fleas and cause them to leave the home. And while you do want to focus on carpets (more on that next), you need to start cleaning other areas of the home, too.
A few ways to get rid of fleas in the home are:
- Washing: Fleas like warm places. If you have a dog or rugs in the bathroom, you’ll want to wash them (and any bedding you have) often. Remember, all it takes is one flea to produce thousands more fleas. Washing all of your blankets, bedding, garments and animal bedding will help you to get rid of these pests.
- Keep the House Cool: Fleas love warmth. You might not want to lower the heat in the home while it’s the middle of winter, but when you leave, you’ll want to keep your home as cool as possible. An electronic thermostat will be able to adjust the temperature when you’re not home or when you go to bed. When temperatures dip to 37 degrees, it’s cold enough to kill flea larvae, pupae and eggs.
Note: A cold home can repel fleas if it’s cold enough, but if temperatures dip too low, there is a possibility that the pipes can freeze, which can lead to costly repairs.
Something else that homeowners need to consider is that flea removal needs to start with your pets. If you have dogs or cats, there is a good chance that they’re – at least in part – the reason for any flea infestation you may be dealing with right now.
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Animals are great hosts for fleas, and the thick fur that they have is the ideal hiding place for fleas. Even if the fleas came into your home another way, your pets will be one of their go-to targets. You can use your pets as bait (it sounds mean, but they’ll be bait anyway) to get rid of fleas once and for all.
The proper steps to take to help relieve some of the irritation your pet is feeling is to:
- Flea Bath: Fido may hate flea baths, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not good for them. You’ll want to get a flea treatment meant for your type of pet and follow the directions on the package.
- Flea Powder: Powders can be purchased that will kill fleas. These flea killers need to be specifically formulated for your pet, and they can be very helpful. After the bath, rubbing flea powder into the coat of your animal will help.
- Flea Collar: A flea collar will repel fleas and cause them to die or move to the tail and fall off. These collars can last months, and they’re very affordable.
- Flea Control: There are flea control tablets that will work to kill fleas over the short-term, and there are flea treatments that contain a flea poison that will absorb into the animal’s blood stream to kill ticks and fleas. Keep in mind that these are poisons, and while they won’t harm your pet in the majority of cases, this is something to consider.
Just remember to clean all of your dog’s bedding and blankets as necessary. Pets are almost always a target of fleas, so if you can prepare your pet as a flea killer, you’ll notice a major decline in the number of fleas in the home.
Cleaning counters and floors with citrus-based cleaners is recommended, too, as they’re a potent flea repellent.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in a Carpet
A flea or insect that loves warm places will flock to one area in the home that you walk on the most: the carpet. Fleas will make your carpet their home, and if you don’t take the proper precautions to kill the fleas in your carpet, you’ll never rid your home of these pests.
The first step is to vacuum.
- Regular Vacuuming: The floor needs to be vacuumed as often as every day of the week. You’ll vacuum up many fleas and eggs, which will then be dumped into the garbage and discarded. It’s also important to vacuum often to remove any dead fleas that may be in the carpet. If you want to know how to get rid of flea dirt, simply vacuum it up.
- Steam Clean: Not everyone has a steam cleaner, but if you do, feel free to steam clean the carpet. The fleas will die in the process thanks to the cleaner and water. Just remember to do a regular vacuuming afterward to clean up any dead fleas you may have.
If you want to go a step further, you can add the following into your steam cleaner:
- 10 – 20 drops of citronella oil
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 10 drops of lemongrass oil
Citronella is one of the most potent bug repellents in existence. If you use this oil, it will be sure to repel fleas, flies and ticks for an added bonus.
Salt The Floor
This will sound a little odd, but you can sprinkle fine salt evenly across the carpet. The salt will cause fleas that jump on it to dehydrate. This needs to be a very fine salt powder to see results. Keep in mind that the salt needs to sit for 24 – 48 hours before vacuuming the area.
You want to vacuum before reapplying new salt.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural way to get rid of fleas, and it’s not toxic to humans or animals. You’ll need to sprinkle this substance into your carpet after you’ve thoroughly vacuumed the area.
Sprinkle this substance in any areas where you think fleas are present.
You’ll also want to spread diatomaceous earth on your dog’s bedding (don’t worry, it’s safe).
And the process is a lot like the salt process.
Vacuum the floor after 1 – 2 days, and reapply as necessary. The tiny shards will rip through the flea’s exoskeleton and cause it to dehydrate. The shards are far too small to do any harm to humans or pets – an added benefit.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in The Yard
When you have fleas bombarding your home, it’s often good to hit them at their root – the yard. Fleas like to live in sandy areas, and if you have a yard, they’ll surely be fleas there. This is where they may jump on your socks or into your dog’s fur to enter the home.
There are a lot of ways to kill these pests in your yard.
We’re going to discuss how a flea exterminator, or even you, can start killing fleas in the yard.
1. Spray Insecticides
Flea spray can be sprayed in your yard to kill the fleas. This should be an environmentally-friendly spray for best results as you don’t want to damage plants and foliage along the way. If you have a nice yard and put a lot of time into upkeeping your lawn, make sure you do your research so that you find a spray that doesn’t damage your grass.
Note: Make sure not to spray near bodies of water as you can pollute the water and can contaminate it, making it unsafe to drink or for fish.
Spray the entire yard, and if you do have animals, you’ll need to keep them indoors during the spraying, as these sprays can be poisonous.
2. Flood the Yard
It sounds silly, but flooding the yard can help to kill fleas. You can kill the eggs and larvae by flooding the entire yard periodically. This is a sound method to kill the offspring of adult fleas and will work to ensure that future generations of these tiny pests are stopped dead in their tracks.
If you know specific areas where fleas are common, flood the area and see the results for yourself. But don’t be overzealous here – you don’t want to turn your yard into a lake.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
DE, or diatomaceous earth, is a prominent method to kill fleas and a slew of other pests. What we really like about this method is that DE will not cause sickness or injury to animals or humans – just small bugs.
You see, these tiny grains are actually small crystallized pieces with sharp edges.
Think of this as a piece of sand – it won’t hurt you. But you do know that fleas are super small, and as a result, they can be harmed with these small grains of DE. What happens is that the DE will rip through the exoskeleton of the flea.
What this does is cause the flea to dry out and die as a result.
People use this substance inside of their home, and you can use it outside, too. Place thin coatings of the substance all around the yard. Don’t worry, no one else will get sick from this natural flea killer.
If it rains, feel free to reapply the DE to the yard.
It only takes a few hours to a day for DE to kill the fleas.
How to Get Rid of Flea Infestations
If you’ve tried everything to no avail, you have a flea infestation on your hands. This is when you’ll find fleas in the bed and jumping on your socks when you walk through a room. The methods above haven’t really helped you to solve the problem.
We’re not firm believers in going with dangerous poisons immediately to kill these pests.
But when you have no other choice, you may want to choose our first method to kill fleas:
The best flea “medicine” is to kill all of the fleas. And while other methods can kill the fleas, a flea bomb almost guarantees the entire eradication of their population. This is a method that will use a poison to kill the fleas.
And anything else in the home will die, too.
It’s imperative that all living things are out of the home when you set off a flea bomb. People will also want to remove any plants from the home, and furniture that is delicate will also need to be removed.
Pet beds and all bedding can be removed or washed after the event.
You’ll also need to wash clothes and wrap up certain electronics as well as clothes. The goal is to ensure that you don’t get any of the poison on your skin through clothing or bedding. While the toxins may not be bad enough to keep you from entering the home at this point, they’re still able to cause sickness if they’re on clothes, bedding and so forth.
It’s also important to set aside a lot of time to be out of the home.
Most foggers or flea bombs will require a person to be out of their home for 4 – 10 hours in some cases. You don’t want to reenter the home for any purpose at this time, so make sure you have something preplanned.
Once you’ve made all the preparations, you’ll want to:
- Place newspapers on the flooring where flea bombs are placed
- Set off foggers from the furthest room first, moving toward the front or back door out of the home
It’s important to have all of the newspaper in place and to have the foggers placed in the room (do not set off the fogger until you set off the furthest can and work your way out of the home).
If you don’t have anything underneath the fogger, there is a chance that you’ll cause the carpet to become stained, which no one wants.
2. Flea Traps
Flea traps work well, and these traps are primarily electronic. What these traps do is they produce a warm light over the trap, and the goal is to lure the fleas into the trap. Fleas love the warmth and light, so this isn’t a hard feat to achieve.
And this method is the go-to option when you’re first starting to see fleas in the home.
Unlike flea bombs, this method doesn’t use any poisons. Your cat or dog will not have to worry about these traps because they won’t become violently ill or die because of the trap’s presence.
How do electric flea traps work?
The light lures the flea into jumping into the trap. Inside of the trap is a sticky surface that is much like glue. And what happens in this case is that the flea actually gets trapped on the surface of the glue and dies.
Depending on the trap, they may last for 3 months or up to 10,000 fleas.
You’ll need to place these traps in numerous rooms in the home for them to work well.
Making Your Own Fleas Trap
An electronic flea trap can be costly, but what many people don’t know is that they’re modeled after an age-old trap that many grandparents used to use. This homemade trap is just as effective in some cases, but it’s not as easy to setup mainly due to the light.
The goal is to have a safe heat source to attract the fleas.
And some people use candles, but it’s much safer to use a small lamp.
Getting started requires the following materials:
- Dish soap
All you need to do is mix the water and soap in the bowl and place it near the light source. When you go to bed, shut all lights in the respective room except the light you’re using to lure the fleas into your death mixture.
We suggest putting these traps in multiple rooms in the home for best results.
Fleas will be especially attracted to the trap because it’s now the only light source in the room. Most people will set this trap before they go to bed at night, and when they wake up, they’ll find dozens of dead fleas in the water.
Dump the water daily and refill for best results.
This is a process that can be done among all of the other methods mentioned to really get control of the flea population.
Sometimes, the infestation is so bad that no matter what you do, the flea population doesn’t seem to lessen. You’re still be getting bitten by fleas, and your socks have black flea specks all over them. If you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, it may be time to call a professional exterminator to kill the fleas.