If you’re an experienced pet owner, you’ve probably master the safe and natural ways to prevent and treat your dog or cat for fleas. But if you feel like you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle, the problem may not be your pets, it might be your house itself. Fleas don’t only live in your dog or cat’s fur, they also live and multiply in pet bedding, carpet, furniture, drapes, and even your yard. Follow these foolproof tips to fight fleas in and around your home this summer.
Clean the carpets
If you have carpet in your home, even an area rug, those pesky little parasites can hang out, getting all cozy and warm, laying eggs and wreaking havoc on your home. Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and use a broom to work it beneath the nap of the fibers where the fleas and eggs like to nestle snug as a, well, bug in a rug. Let it sit for an hour and then vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Be sure to keep your dog or cat off the carpet until you’ve removed the baking soda so as to avoid them accidentally ingesting it.
You’ll want to vacuum any cloth furniture and window coverings just like you did the carpet. If the flea problem is really tough to tackle and you feel like you’ve been losing the battle despite your best efforts, you can use the same baking soda treatment on cloth furniture but it can be more challenging to get out of the cracks and crevices and possibly discolor furniture, so beware.
Once you have removed the existing problem, treat your furniture and drapes with a vinegar solution (see below) twice a week to scare them away.
Kill it with fire, as they say. If you can wash it, be relentless. Hot water, long wash cycle and into the dryer with a temperature that rivals the fires of Hades. If it’s too big to put in the washer or dryer, vacuum it as thoroughly as possible and spray with the vinegar solution.
Treat your yard
Keep any bushes, shrubs, vines, and the like well trimmed and under control. Be sure not to let weeds turn into a jungle and if you have a lawn, trim the grass regularly to keep flea under control and your HOA happy. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled in your lawn or garden will create an inhospitable environment for fleas and other pests. Diatomaceous earth is safe to use around kids and pets, given that many types are even safe for ingestion, so that’s a big reason to take this route as opposed to dousing your yard in insecticides and poison.
Dehumidify the house
Turns out fleas are fickle little guys. They need a very specific humidity level to thrive and reproduce. Buy or rent a dehumidifier for each room where the fleas are flourishing. Crank them up to get the humidity below 50 percent and keep it there for 2-3 days. All the fleas, larvae and eggs will literally shrivel up and die, then you can laugh maniacally as you vacuum them up like the flea-fighting master mind that you are.
Flea haven hot spots
- Pet bedding
Homemade Flea Spray
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. dish liquid
Mix ingredients well in a spray bottle. Spray fabrics 1-2 times per week to prevent re-infestation.