No one wants a flea infestation. They are annoying, painful, and can make our pets sick. Fleas have to be treated immediately or the problem will simply get worse. There are preventative methods to help you get rid of fleas. Unfortunately, once you have them in your home, there isn’t much you can do.
Thoroughly cleaning your house is the first step:
1. Vacuum/sweep/mop/steam clean (empty the bag or pail outside)
2. Wash all linen (bedding, clothing, etc)
3. Use a chemical treatment throughout the house
Of course, many people don’t want to use chemicals, especially around young children or animals. After all, you don’t want to expose them to the chemical treatments to get rid of fleas. Luckily, there are natural solutions to get rid of fleas in your home.
3 ways to get rid of fleas in your home
These methods can be used after an infestation has started or as a preventative method to reduce the risk of infestation:
1. White Vinegar
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Essential Oils
- Tea tree
Mix any of the above with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly on the infested areas (including your yard and your pets). You’ll want to make sure you’re spraying the eggs as well. White vinegar works the best to kill the eggs, while essential oils work the best on the moving targets. You need to take care of the eggs. Only 5% of fleas actually come into your home. The other 95% are born from the eggs.
If you don’t have pets, there are addition essentials oils that will work. The ones listed above are the only safe options for both cats and dogs.
Again, you can spray this mixture onto infestations or around your house to prevent them.
How to treat flea bites
Flea bites are annoying and often painful. There are rarely health issues associated with minor bites, but that doesn’t stop them from itching. There are many methods to treat flea bites, including Polysporin and other ointments. There are also natural alternatives, such as:
- Using an ice pack to reduce itching, swelling, and redness
- Applying aloe vera gel to the bites
- Applying tea tree oil to the bites
These methods are ideal as they can be used on your pets as well, unlike over-the-counter ointments which are often chemically enhanced. Of course, you’ll also have to treat your pet for fleas. If you don’t know how to do this, follow these steps:
1. Wash all of their bedding.
2. Set up a flea bath (you can use: shampoo, white vinegar, tea tree oil).
3. Wash your pet, starting from the neck down.
4. Brush your pet thoroughly with a flea comb to remove the dead bugs.
5. Let your pet air dry.
If your four-legged friend has a bad case of fleas, you may want to consider buying a de-worming tablet from your local pet store. Worms are a common result of fleas and can lead to digestive issues. Alternatively, you can go to your vet and ask for a tablet to ensure the highest quality.
How to prevent flea bites
The best way to prevent flea bites it to avoid fleas getting into your home. Of course, that’s not always easy or possible. If you’re a dog owner, this is a persistent issue given that dogs can catch fleas from the backyard and passing dogs that may have an infestation. The good news is that it’s not hopeless. There are methods to prevent fleas or at least reduce them.
The best way to prevent flea bites on yourself and your pet is to treat them during high-risk months (spring-summer). Applying a flea treatment before there is an infestation limits your chances of getting fleas at all. Plus, it will keep your pet happy. These treatments can be bought at almost any pet store.
Another method to prevent fleas is keeping your yard(s) clean and tidy. Debris creates a perfect hiding place for pests and gives them an area to breed and lay eggs. By keeping the yard clean, you can reduce your risks.
- Regularly mow the grass
- Rake up the remains
- Remove any type of debris (fallen branches, leaves, etc)
- Spread cedar chips around your yard
- Spray vinegar all around the property on a regular basis
- Plant a few eucalyptus bushes around your yard.
Please note: If your infestation is really bad, or it seems to keep coming back, you may need to call a professional service. There’s a chance you’re missing eggs somewhere and the whole house should be sprayed by a professional.