Pest Control
Min Read

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Say goodbye to your flea problems! Inside you'll learn how to get rid of fleas effectively with our expert tips and proven methods.

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Coleman Spaulding
August 4, 2023
Last Updated:
November 6, 2023
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Coleman Spaulding
August 4, 2023
Last Updated:
November 6, 2023

Identifying a Flea Infestation

Fleas can be troublesome pests that not only affect our pets but can also bite and irritate humans. By learning to recognize the signs of a flea infestation, understanding areas prone to infestation, and differentiating flea species by their signs, you can take prompt and effective measures to get rid of fleas and protect your home and pets from these pesky pests.

Signs of Flea Infestation

  • Frequent scratching and grooming in pets.
  • Presence of small, reddish-brown insects jumping on pets or humans.
  • Tiny dark specks (flea feces) on pet bedding or areas where pets rest.
  • Red, itchy bite marks on humans, often around ankles and lower legs.
  • Flea eggs and larvae in pet fur or carpets, appearing as tiny white ovals or worm-like structures.

Areas Prone to Flea Infestation

  • Pet Resting Areas: Fleas prefer warm and cozy spots where pets rest, such as pet beds, sofas, and carpets.
  • Outdoor Spaces: Fleas can thrive in yards, especially in shady and humid areas where pets frequently play or rest.
  • Wildlife Habitats: Fleas can hitch a ride on wildlife like raccoons, squirrels, and rodents, leading to infestations near their habitats.
  • Moist Environments: Fleas thrive in moist and humid conditions, making basements, crawl spaces, and areas near leaky pipes susceptible to infestation.

Differentiating Flea Species by Signs

  • Cat Fleas (Ctenocephalides felis): Most common flea species infesting both cats and dogs, and often found in homes with pets.
  • Dog Fleas (Ctenocephalides canis): Similar to cat fleas but more commonly found on dogs
  • Human Fleas (Pulex irritans): Prefer biting humans but can infest other mammals; less common in homes with pets.
  • Oriental Rat Fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis): Primarily infest rodents and can transmit diseases to humans; common in areas with rodent populations.

Remember, early detection and accurate identification of flea infestations are crucial for effective flea control. By being vigilant and familiarizing yourself with the signs of flea presence, you can take proactive steps to eliminate fleas and prevent their return.

Removal of Fleas

When dealing with a flea infestation, effective and safe removal methods are crucial. In this section, we will explore various approaches to get rid of fleas, focusing on both non-toxic and chemical methods. We understand the importance of using eco-friendly and safe solutions to protect your home, family, and pets while effectively eliminating these pesky pests.

Safe Flea Control for your Home

Fleas are a pest that should be addressed immediately by a pest professional, as they reproduce at rapid speeds. Our services include a service checklist that will outline the steps you will have to take to ensure full eradication of the fleas. It usually takes 2-4 days to complete the checklist before you initial treatment. Additionally, all pets in the home must have flea prevention, and we recommend reaching out to a licensed veterinarian for recommendations.

At your initial treatment, we will start with a thorough inspection to understand the full scope of the infestation. From there, we will treat all affected rooms, including all furniture. We return 2-3 weeks later to break up reproductive cycles.

Flea Prevention for Your Pets

  • Using flea & tick medication prescribed by a veterinarian will be safest and most effective method for preventing fleas
  • If your pet has fleas, medicated flea baths will be required to kill active fleas and eggs
  • Flea collars are another type of flea prevention, but should be used in addition to, not replace, vet-prescribed flea preventative medication

Dealing with Specific Flea Species

Each species may require unique approaches for effective removal. Understanding the characteristics and habits of these fleas will empower you to take targeted actions to control their infestations.

Cat Fleas (Ctenocephalides felis)

  • Description: Cat fleas are the most common species found on both cats and dogs. They are reddish-brown and approximately 1-2 mm in size.
  • Habits: Cat fleas prefer feeding on the blood of cats, dogs, and other small mammals. They can also bite humans, causing itchy red welts.

Control Methods:

  • Regular grooming and bathing of pets to remove fleas and eggs.
  • Use of flea collars, shampoos, or topical treatments specifically designed for pets.
  • Vacuuming carpets, upholstery, and pet bedding frequently to remove flea eggs and larvae.

Dog Fleas (Ctenocephalides canis)

  • Description: Dog fleas closely resemble cat fleas in appearance, size, and color. They are commonly found on dogs, foxes, and other wild canines.
  • Habits: Dog fleas are blood-feeding parasites that infest dogs and occasionally bite humans, causing discomfort and itching.

Control Methods:

  • Regular grooming and inspection of dogs for fleas.
  • Use of flea preventive products recommended by veterinarians.
  • Laundering pet bedding and blankets in hot water to kill fleas and eggs.

Human Fleas (Pulex irritans)

  • Description: Human fleas are smaller than cat and dog fleas and have a more flattened appearance. They are reddish-brown and about 1.5 mm in size.
  • Habits: These fleas prefer feeding on humans but can also infest other mammals. They are usually found in areas with poor hygiene conditions.

Control Methods:

  • Maintaining a clean living environment, especially in areas where humans rest or sleep.
  • Frequent washing of bedding and clothing in hot water to eliminate fleas and their eggs.
  • Use of insecticidal sprays or dusts in areas where human fleas are suspected.

Oriental Rat Fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis)

  1. Description: Oriental rat fleas are dark brown and approximately 2-3 mm in size. They are primarily found on rats and other rodents.
  2. Habits: These fleas are vectors for diseases like bubonic plague and typhus, which they can transmit to humans through their bites.

Control Methods:

  1. Proper rodent control measures to reduce flea hosts.
  2. Sealing entry points to prevent rodents from entering buildings.
  3. Regularly inspecting and treating areas where rodents may be present.

Remember, effective flea control involves a combination of preventive measures and targeted treatments. Understanding the specific flea species you are dealing with will aid in implementing the right control strategies.

Prevention Measures for Fleas

Preventing flea infestations is crucial in maintaining a healthy and pest-free home. By implementing proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of flea problems and protect your family and pets. In this section, we will explore various prevention strategies that focus on regular cleaning, natural solutions, and professional pest control subscriptions.

Regular Cleaning Practices

  • Vacuum your home regularly, paying special attention to carpets, rugs, and pet bedding.
  • Dispose of vacuum bags immediately to prevent fleas from reinfesting your living spaces.
  • Wash pet bedding and linens frequently in hot water to eliminate flea eggs and larvae.
  • Keep your home clutter-free as it reduces potential hiding spots for fleas.

Flea-Repellent Plants

  • Plant flea-repellent herbs and flowers around your home's perimeter, such as mint, lavender, and marigolds.
  • These plants help deter ants, which can disrupt the flea life cycle.

Natural Solutions

  • Use diatomaceous earth in your landscaping(food-grade) in flea-prone areas as a natural and safe insecticide.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on carpets and pet bedding and leave it for a few hours before vacuuming.

Regular Property Inspection & Maintenance

  • Conduct routine inspections of your property to identify any potential flea infestation early on.
  • Address any areas of standing water, as they can serve as breeding grounds for fleas.

Pest Control Subscription

  • Consider subscribing to a professional pest control service for regular inspections
  • A pest control expert can implement preventative measures and respond promptly to any emerging flea issues.

By incorporating these prevention measures into your routine, you can significantly reduce the chances of flea infestations and enjoy a comfortable, flea-free home. Taking proactive steps is key to effective flea control and safeguarding the well-being of your family and pets.

How to Choose a Flea Control Service

  • Homes with heavy Boxelder Bug flea activity need recurring pest control. 
  • Choose a service that is a start-to-finish approach and includes a service guarantee and checklist.
  • Check Google, Bing, and NextDoor for reviews
  • Call and speak with a friendly member of the team

The Different Species of Flea

Understanding the characteristics and habits of each flea species is essential in devising effective strategies for flea control. By identifying the specific species infesting your home or pets, you can take targeted actions to get rid of fleas and prevent future infestations.

Cat Fleas (Ctenocephalides felis):

  • Description: Cat fleas are the most prevalent species and can infest both cats and dogs.
  • Size: Approximately 1-2 mm in length.
  • Habits: Cat fleas feed on the blood of their hosts and can cause discomfort and itching.

Dog Fleas (Ctenocephalides canis):

  • Description: Dog fleas closely resemble cat fleas and are commonly found on dogs and other canines.
  • Size: Similar to cat fleas, approximately 1-2 mm in length.
  • Habits: Dog fleas are blood-feeding parasites that infest dogs and occasionally bite humans.

Human Fleas (Pulex irritans):

  • Description: Human fleas are smaller and more flattened compared to cat and dog fleas.
  • Size: About 1.5 mm in length.
  • Habits: These fleas prefer feeding on humans but can infest other mammals as well.

Oriental Rat Fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis):

  • Description: Oriental rat fleas are dark brown and larger than other flea species.
  • Size: Approximately 2-3 mm in length.
  • Habits: These fleas primarily infest rats and other rodents, and they are vectors for diseases like bubonic plague and typhus.

Remember, accurate identification of the flea species is crucial for effective flea control. Each species may require different approaches for eradication, so understanding their characteristics will aid in devising the most suitable strategies.

Everything you should know about Fleas

In this section, we will delve into everything you should know about fleas, including their life cycle, foraging and feeding habits, seasonal behavior, and their role in the ecosystem. This knowledge will empower you to take effective measures for flea control and maintain a pest-free environment.

Life Cycle of Fleas

  • Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis, consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
  • Understanding the life cycle is crucial for targeting different stages during flea control efforts.
  • The flea life cycle can take as little as a few weeks or up to several months, depending on environmental conditions.

Foraging & Feeding Habits

  • Adult fleas primarily feed on the blood of their hosts, which can be cats, dogs, or other animals.
  • Fleas are ectoparasites, meaning they live on the outside of their hosts and require blood meals to reproduce.
  • Fleas use their specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin of the host and consume blood.

Seasonal Behavior of Fleas

  • Fleas can be active year-round in warmer climates, but they are particularly active during the warmer months.
  • Warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels create favorable conditions for flea development.
  • Flea populations may decrease during colder months, but they can still be present indoors.

Fleas in the Ecosystem

  • Fleas play a role in the ecosystem as both parasites and prey for other animals.
  • They are a food source for certain predators, such as birds and small mammals.
  • However, when flea populations grow unchecked, they can pose health risks to their hosts and spread diseases.

Having a comprehensive understanding of flea biology and behavior is essential for effective flea control strategies. By knowing their life cycle, feeding habits, and seasonal patterns, you can implement targeted prevention and removal measures. Additionally, understanding their role in the ecosystem helps maintain a balanced environment while safeguarding the health of your pets and family.

Impact of Flea Control on the Environment

As a pest control expert focused on flea removal, it is essential to consider the impact of flea control on the environment. While our primary goal is to eliminate fleas and protect your home and pets, we also understand the importance of using environmentally responsible methods. In this section, we will explore the environmental footprint of chemical pesticides, eco-friendly pest control methods, and sustainable practices for flea control. By adopting sustainable approaches, we can effectively manage flea infestations while minimizing harm to the environment.

Sustainable Practices for Flea Control

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable approach that combines various methods for effective flea control.
  • IPM involves inspection, identification, and targeted treatment based on the specific flea infestation and its lifecycle.
  • By using IPM, we can reduce reliance on chemical pesticides and promote long-term pest management solutions.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Methods

  • Eco-friendly flea control focuses on natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic alternatives.
  • These methods are designed to be effective against fleas while being safe for the environment, pets, and humans.
  • Examples of eco-friendly flea control include diatomaceous earth, botanical insecticides, and nematodes.
  • These methods are best applied on the exterior, as an interior infestation will require the use of a pest control service.

When dealing with flea infestations, it is crucial to consider the impact of flea control on the environment. Chemical pesticides, while effective, can have detrimental consequences on ecosystems. By adopting eco-friendly pest control methods and implementing sustainable practices, we can achieve effective flea control while safeguarding the environment and promoting the well-being of our homes, pets, and the surrounding ecosystem.

How can I prevent fleas from infesting my home and pets?

Preventing flea infestations requires a proactive approach. Here are some effective measures:

  • Regularly clean and vacuum your home, especially areas where pets spend time.
  • Wash your pet's bedding and toys frequently.
  • Keep your pets on regular flea prevention medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • Maintain a well-groomed lawn and trim vegetation around your home to reduce flea habitats.
  • Use flea-repellent plants, like lavender and mint, in your garden or near pet resting areas.
  • Seal entry points and cracks in your home to prevent fleas from entering.
  • Consider using eco-friendly flea control methods to minimize environmental impact.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of flea infestations and protect your home and pets from these pesky parasites.


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