How To Get Rid of Fleas
Get Rid of Fleas With This 9 Step Guide
Dealing with fleas can be unpleasant, to say the least. Fortunately Pest Control Everything's 9 Step Guide to Total Flea Control provides a step-by-step outline for how to execute an effective flea treatment program. If you have pets, be sure to have them adequately treated and follow the advice of your pet care specialist for ongoing flea protection. And when applying any pesticide, please be sure to follow all label instructions.
Step 1: Clean, Launder, & Vacuum the Flea Areas
Upon discovering fleas, it is imperative to begin modifying the environment. Start by decluttering and discarding any non-essential items in the area, including trash and other debris. Begin vacuuming like crazy with a vacuum with a disposable bag. Over the next several days, you'll want become a vacuuming addict. Vacuum carpets, furniture, rugs, upholstery, floors, baseboards, and crevices in the area in an effort to remove adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae. Start laundering things as well, particularly items that may have been laying on the floor or furniture in flea infested areas, including pet bedding, blankets, pillow covers, and other such items.
Step 2: Assess, Groom & Bathe the Pets
Assuming you have pets, which is typically the case with an outbreak of fleas, give them a thorough examination and a flea bath from a qualified professional. If you prefer doing your own pet bathing, there are several effective fleas shampoos available on the market. Also be sure your pets are on a consistent flea control program as recommended by their veterinarian. Flea prevention products range from topical ointments or droplets to pills, collars, and more. If you don't have pets, it's possible the flea infestation came from previous occupants with pets or were introduced on guest pets, or a presence of wildlife in, above, or beneath the home may be contributing to the problem.
Step 3: Select Your Flea Control Products
Choosing the best flea treatment products for your particular situation and environment will be a critical factor in the effectiveness of your flea program. There are many, many flea control products available, most of which work quite well when used according to label instructions. Most essential is making sure whichever products you choose incorporate BOTH of the following components. Several ready-to-use flea aerosols have both these combined into one simple formulation:
1. Flea Adulticide: The adulticide insecticide will kill adult fleas in the treatment zone, but may have limited impact on the other life stages;
2. Flea Larvicide / IGR: The larvicide is necessary to impact the immature stages of fleas, preventing them from ever becoming live, biting adults.
Step 4: Acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Included on the pesticide label of whichever flea control products you choose to use will be any necessary personal protective equipment or safety gear. Be sure to review this section carefully to ensure that you and those around you will be adequately protected before, during, and after the application.
Typically safety equipment for flea applications might include chemical resistant gloves, protective eyewear, long pants and shirts, closed-toed shoes, and a pesticide resistant respirator, among others. Do not proceed with any flea treatment until you have all of the required personal protective equipment.
Step 5: Prepare for the Flea Treatment
If you've cleaned, decluttered, laundered, and vacuumed, much of the necessary preparation has already been done. Additional steps will include extinguishing any sources of open flames such as pilot lights in the treatment zone, removing pillows and cushions from flea infested furniture or bedding, and pulling furniture away from walls in areas susceptible to flea activity.
It is important to create as much treatable surface area within the treatment zone as possible to allow the treatment to cover as much as possible. Having large areas in the impacted zone shielded from treatment is likely to minimize the effectiveness of the upcoming application and slow down results of the flea elimination program.
Step 6: Perform the Flea Treatment
Application instructions for each of your flea control products will be included on the product labeling, and should be followed in the interest of effectiveness and safety. When using ready-to-use flea aerosols, be sure to apply at a rate consistent with what is required. Over-application of flea pesticides can lead to health and safety hazards, and under-application is unlikely to resolve the flea problem.
Although most ready-to-use flea aerosols are easy to apply, following the nuances laid out on the label can be an important difference in the quality of the application. Pay special attention to the manner and methods of application recommended. Many of them have a tendency to leak or drip from the nozzle during application, so a disposable towel or rag may come in handy during application. If applying on surfaces such as tile, porcelain, or wood, some flea aerosols may leave a slippery residue upon application. Proceed with caution when applying on such surfaces.
Step 7: Prepare for Re-entry
Included on each product label will be instructions for how long to remain out of the treatment zone before re-entry, and any instructions to follow before returning. Be sure to follow these instructions. In most instances, it may be important to ensure the property has been adequately ventilated, with additional time being allotted in instances of health concerns or chemical sensitivities. If a slippery film resident remains on certain floor surfaces, mopping or cleaning the impacted areas may be advisable upon returning.
Step 8: Vacuum Again...Vacuum Some More
In the days immediately following your first flea application, vacuuming should be a consistent and regular part of your daily routine. When possible, vacuum multiple times per day. In addition to removing any remaining live fleas, vacuuming the fibers of rugs and carpets will help bring larvae to the surface and instigate the flea pupation process, thereby speeding up the elimination.
Remember, getting rid of all the fleas in the environment, particularly in situations of advanced populations, may not happen immediately or with just one treatment. A second application should be made according to the label instructions of your flea control products.
Step 9: Make Another Flea Treatment
A second flea treatment application should be made according to the re-application instructions on the product label, with a continued focus on vacuuming and pet care throughout the process. In most instances, when product label instructions are adhered to and potential pet hosts have been rendered unsuitable for flea habitation, fleas should be eliminated from the area shortly following the second application. In some instances, additional flea applications may need to be made in order to achieve total eradication.