If your pet has already had fleas and you've just applied anti-flea medication to kill them, you're off to a great start. Unfortunately, fleas can still be a pest and keep biting humans and pets alike, due to the high speed with which they reproduce. Follow these steps to eradicate the fleas in your home and keep them off you and your pets once and for all.
Why Fleas Keep Coming
Fleas can be difficult to get rid of once you have them because they can potentially survive for days without feeding. Studies have found that adult fleas that have previously fed can survive for about a week, and newly-hatched fleas can survive anywhere from 15 days to a whopping 70 days depending on their environment. What this means for you is that fleas can keep biting you and your pets and survive long enough to lay new eggs which can hatch somewhere other than your pet. Most anti-flea medications and collars kill larvae before they ever hatch, but that can't protect your entire home from laid flea eggs.
If you have carpets or rugs, there are probably fleas living in them and flea eggs laid in them. While it's disgusting to think about, the carpet fibers emulate fur, making a cozy habitat for fleas. Regular vacuuming can help to suck up flea eggs and prevent them from hatching in your home, but you must maintain a regular schedule to be effective. In addition, make sure to completely dump out the bag or canister every time you vacuum. If you leave the full vacuum bag or canister in your home, the eggs will hatch and the fleas may be able to get out and into your house once again.
In addition, anti-flea powders and sprays can be applied directly to your carpet, killing fleas and preventing them from laying eggs.
Furniture generally doesn't provide as cozy a home for fleas as a carpet or rug, but they can still hide between and under cushions. While you clean your carpet, make sure that you thoroughly vacuum out your couches, chairs, and other furniture each time.
If your pet goes outside at all or comes into contact with other animals that come and go, you should regularly comb your pet for fleas. While the fleas that hitch a ride on your pet should die fairly quickly if they've been adequately treated with anti-flea medication, they can still hop off your pet and lay their eggs in your home.
Before your pet comes inside, or if need be, immediately after they come in, use a flea comb to catch and remove any fleas from their fur. This will help to prevent re-infestations in your home, and it'll help you to monitor whether your pet is flea free. When you not only don't see fleas, but you don't see so-called "flea dirt," or flea droppings, you'll know that you're in the clear.
Fleas are disgusting pests that can spread tapeworms and diseases and leave you and your pet itchy and miserable. Thankfully, with these steps and regular applications of anti-flea treatments to your pet, you can get rid of them once and for all.
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