Chances are if you have ever owned a pet you have had a face-off with fleas. Though not all pet-owners experience a flea problem the chances of having fleas in your home if you have an animal is significantly higher than if you do not own furry creatures. Still, since fleas feed and immediately get off the body of their prey it is possible that you can have a flea-infested house or yard even if you actually do not own a pet.
While the most aggravating part of a flea problem is when it occurs inside your house, an infested lawn can lead to internal invasion quickly. If you discover fleas in your house, on your lawn, on your pet, or on your clothing it is best to take action on all fronts with fleas there is no such thing as over-reacting.
The first step in combating fleas is to eliminate them off your clothing, your body, and any pets you have. A special flea-comb is available on the market for the easy removal of fleas on dogs, cats, and human hair. The next step is to cleanse your entire house. Takedown and wash the drapes, wash and dry all your clothing and bedding, and vacuum the whole house.
Make sure you vacuum under the furniture as well. When you are finished with the vacuum you should dispose of it immediately, as it may contain fleas or flea larvae. Remember to clean your cushions thoroughly. There is a good chance that nestled with loose coinage, lost remote controls, and stale crackers is a group of stowaway fleas.
Once you have sterilized your entire house the mission is not yet complete. It is advised that you simultaneously take action on the exterior of your house. Fleas live in the dirt and grass outside of your home. The best way to get rid of these pests is to spray insecticide on your lawn.
This method, however, can be harmful to pets. Using products that have combinations with organo-phosphate pesticide chemicals such as Carbaryl, Malathion, or Lindane is a bad idea, as these are toxic. Pyrethrum extracted from Chrysanthemum flowers is a natural pesticide that won’t hurt Fido.
If you are anti-pesticide you can use diatomaceous earth on your lawn. These small particles of earth are microscopic plants. When they are dried they assume a sharp shape. When you spread the diatomaceous earth in a flea-ridden region it coats the fleas, cuts them, they dehydrate and then they die.
It is a natural way of eliminating unwanted pests from your lawn; however, diatomaceous earth can stick to the surface of your soil and cause irritation problems. Additionally, this substitute earth does not break down when the lungs inhale it. This is generally not a problem for humans who are tall enough for the earth not to interfere with breathing. Animals that are low to the ground may suffer breathing problems associated with the use of diatomaceous earth.
While there are ways of exterminating fleas once they have established themselves in your house or on your lawn the best method, as always, is preventative care. Always check your animals for fleas before they enter the house. When you go out in flea-friendly areas like tall grass or woodlands be sure to dress properly. Wearing long-sleeve shirts and tucking your pants into your boots is always recommended when you are hiking.
You can also fortify your lawn by putting cedar chips along your fence line. This will block the fleas from other people’s yards out of your yard. Other experts urge that the use of eucalyptus leaves will deter these unwanted pests. Fleas, for some reason, can’t stand the smell of this pungent leaf.
Eucalyptus leaves are not toxic to pets or humans so this is a safe method to use for families and animal lovers. Borax is also great for ridding fleas. It is non-toxic and you can spread it on your carpet or lawn. Letting it sit for a few days and vacuuming it up will eliminate fleas inside your home. On the lawn, a few days of Borax treatments are enough to do the job in most cases. Intermittent Borax treatments on your lawn will also serve in a preventative manner.
Getting rid of fleas in a safe and natural way is possible but sometimes the problem is so big that chemicals are needed. It is best to flea-proof your house using the safe ways listed above cedar chips, eucalyptus leaves, and Borax before there is a flea problem so you will not have to rely on dangerous chemicals later. If you must resort to chemicals be sure to read the instructions and warnings as these items can be hazardous to the health of your family and pets.