Fighting Fleas In Your Home

With rain, there is usually an influx of people combating fleas on their pets and in their homes. These particularly nasty insects love wet conditions and it’s very usual to have an increase after wet weather events.

Cat sitting in front of shadow of a flea

Because of the long life cycle of the flea it takes at least three months to get rid of an infestation - this is why your animals should be on a regular flea preventative all year round.

Fleas generally prefer animal hosts where the population numbers will build up. They will then transfer and feed on any warm blooded mammal - that includes you!

The best flea control approach for your home and pet is to interrupt the flea life cycle. Low impact methods for controlling adult fleas, eggs and larvae include regular vacuuming and laundering, along with pet bathing or grooming.

Heavy rains, storms can actually help fleas to thrive. Too hot or too dry, and these parasites are unlikely to survive, but rain creates the perfect breeding ground for the insects. Colder months do not always present a huge problem with infestations, however after periods of long, dry and hot spells followed by wet weather events, fleas tend to rapidly reproduce and can quickly pose a significant problem to households.

Fleas go through a complete metamorphosis, meaning you have to fight all 4 lifecycle stages at the same time. If your approach is unsuccessful and misses one of these stages, these fleas will continue to spread. It is estimated that only 10% of the entire infestation consists of adult fleas, while 50% consists of eggs and the other 40% consists of pupa and larvae. Due to that reason, it’s notoriously difficult to kill fleas in the yard.

Eggs, larvae, and cocoons are also spread throughout your house, rather than just on your pet. This means that you have to tackle the problem from all angles in order to truly eradicate the infestation.

To do this, you must treat your pet and its living environment at the same time. Depending on your pet’s boundaries, this may include your whole house or yard.

Here’s how to start eliminating fleas from your home:

  1. Use a powerful vacuum on any floors, mattresses and upholstery. Cracks and other tight spaces tend to be common hiding places for fleas and their eggs, larvae, and cocoons. Use a vacuum with a bag you can dispose of.
  2. A steam cleaner is recommended for carpets and upholstery, including pet beds. The combination of high heat and soap will eradicate fleas in all stages of life. Pay special attention to any hot spots where your pet usually rests.
  3. Wash all bedding, including your pet’s, in hot water. Dry it at the highest heat setting. If the infestation is severe, consider getting rid of old bedding and starting fresh.
  4. Call a professional pest management company who can employ the use of specialised fleas and tick pest management pesticides that are safe for your pets and fatal for pests.

Find out more about some of Queensland’s most common pests here:

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