Posted on September 6th, 2020
If you have a pet that is not confined to a cage, you may have often struggled with fleas in your home. This problem is especially tricky if your pet goes in and out of the house. If your pet is indoor only, this problem may not be as significant, but fleas in your yard may increase the likelihood that they come inside. When cleaning your house to remove the fleas, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you get rid of them and prevent them from returning.
Heavy Duty Vacuuming
You will want to make sure that you get all of the fleas that you can out of furniture and carpeting. Using a powerful vacuum can help to extract them from the crevices and fibers of the carpet. Vacuuming can help to clean up any contaminants that may host fleas and disturb eggs and larvae. You can prevent a new generation from popping up as soon as the adults die. Don’t stop at the carpet. Upholstery, tile, hardwoods, and any floor or furniture surface may benefit from a good vacuuming.
Once you have vacuumed your floors and upholstery, consider using a steamer or washing coverings in hot water. The heat will kill any additional fleas that may have been left behind. Other surfaces such as countertops and tables can also be cleaned with hot water. This idea is especially helpful if you have also used chemical flea killers such as foggers or sprays. You will want to disinfect surfaces, and hot water can help to do just that. You may choose to use additional disinfectants, but hot water is phenomenal at killing fleas.
Get Rid of the Kids and Pets
No, I am not suggesting that you kick out your children and sell off the pets. However, remove them from the home or area when cleaning for fleas. Children will often cross-contaminate surfaces, and your pet may need a bath or treatment before being allowed back into the spaces you are cleaning. Move them away from your clean surfaces until they are verified to be flea-free.
If you are using chemical treatments, you must move children and pets away until the area is completely dry. If the treatment is a fogger, you may also need to be out of the house during this time. Follow all instructions on the chemical treatment to keep from harming your family or pets.
Get under furniture, in corners, closets, and other dark corners and crevices. Fleas love these places, and you must vacuum, steam, or wipe in these areas. Any commercial or home remedy that you are using will require that you get in these areas too. Don’t forget to look under the bed, behind the dresser, and under the couch. You do not want to spend a few days cleaning the entire house and ridding it of fleas only to find that they are back in a week because you neglected the hard to reach spaces.
Don’t Forget the Cat’s Belongings
If your cat has a bed, pillow, scratching post, or toys that he or she uses, you will need to make sure that those also get a thorough cleaning. If the toys can be washed with soapy water, make sure that the water is as hot as you can stand, to kill any larvae or eggs that may be present. Feeding bowls should also be cleaned and disinfected. Some experts suggest apple cider vinegar be added to water bowls or your cat’s coat, but some animals will not drink the water if it contains anything other than water. You should also check with your vet before adding anything to your cat’s diet. However, you could clean around the feeding area with apple cider vinegar for similar results.
Get Some Plants
Plants clean the air, which is good for the environment, and they can help repel fleas. Mint, rosemary, and lemongrass can all repel fleas and other pests. If your pet and family members are not allergic, consider bringing a plant or two indoors or planting near your home to prevent fleas. Mint can be a bit intrusive, so give it plenty of room.
Wash bedding, removable furniture covers, window treatments, towels, and any other cloth materials that are exposed, especially. You may consider washing clothing in closets and dressers as well. You would not want fleas returning because they were hiding in forgotten coats or sweaters. While this is less likely, if your pet regularly lays on you or your belongings, the fleas may have spread to clothing.
Get Rid of Junk
This tip includes the home and yard. Anything that may harbor fleas should go, pets excluded. Make it harder for fleas to thrive in your home environment. Clean up your yard and home to make it less appealing. Clutter and junk create more areas where fleas can hide. There is less to clean this way too.
Treating your pets for fleas is not enough. You must also treat your house and prevent future attacks. Fleas are tiny creatures and can thrive in the smallest spaces. Regular cleaning and disinfection of areas can eliminate and prevent fleas. You cannot keep them from showing up in your yard, but you can actively work to prevent them from staying. Planting the right flowers and plants, maintaining clean spaces, and treating your lawn with flea repellent can all be great ways to prevent fleas, but if they make it into your home anyway, you will need to work to remove and prevent them there too. Rather than undertaking a major cleaning and purge of goods, prevent fleas by regularly cleaning surfaces where fleas may thrive. It is a fact of pet parenting that fleas will be a concern, but they do not have to take over your life. What’s your favorite flea cleaning tip? Do you use any of these? How do they work in your home?