Fleas are one of the most annoying pests you can encounter in your life. They make their way into our homes, making our and our pets’ lives miserable. Despite being almost impossible to eliminate, there are a few effective ways to battle them.
What we need to know about fleas
Fleas are a type of bloodsucking insect that lives on the exterior of a host. They are parasites that carry diseases and can control their growing cycle. Female fleas can lay up to 2,000 eggs in their life. If the environment is not suitable enough for a flea, they will stop their growth until better conditions. For example, fleas will pause their growth if temperatures drop until better times come and hatch.
It is important to say that fleas do not need a host to survive. They can live on your carpets or a couch while your dog or cat is entirely flea-free. That is why a few extra efforts must be applied when dealing with a flea infestation.
How can you use natural remedies
Many people decide to go completely natural when dealing with a pest problem because home pesticide sprays are highly toxic. Those types of pest controllers can easily irritate your eyes, lungs and skin and might cause serious health issues. Needless to say, such intensive treatments are not effective enough most of the time.
That is why you can try to get rid of the fleas naturally.
We are far from believing that a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice will do anything. However, extracts like linalool and D-limonene from citrus peels are very effective for fleas and their eggs. Make sure you read the label when you buy it. Many cats, and some dogs, react badly to citruses, so you need to ensure it is safe for them.
We have all heard that herbal sprays can be the magic we all need when it comes to a flea infestation. Sprays that include peppermint, rosemary and cinnamon oils are known to be more effective than others. However, we should remember that some people, and pets, can be allergic to those ingredients and such solutions are optional.
A powder made out of silica, just like sand, can be the trick for you. It is easy to use and very effective. Sprinkle it all over your carpets and furniture and let it sit for a few hours. The way it works is by drying the fleas out. After the time passes, just vacuum everything up. It is not poisonous, but it can irritate your lungs if you breathe a vast amount of it.
Sulfur is a natural element that needs to be used with care. This element makes rotten eggs stink and is highly deadly to fleas who get to touch or eat it. In the same way, it kills fleas, it might poison or even kill your pet if they eat it. It would be better if you use it outside. Sprinkle any outdoor furniture, grass, shrubs and any place where your pet likes to hang out. Make sure to clean those places after the sulfur does its job.
This is a popular ingredient in laundry detergents. However, unlike laundry powder, this is not poisonous to you or your pets. You can use it the same way you can use Diatomaceous Earth. Keep in mind that, despite not being poisonous to you, it might be toxic to your baby, and if you use it regularly, it might damage your carpets.
Being an active ingredient in insecticide shampoos for pets, it is a good pest control agent on its own as well. In spite of that, it is highly toxic to your dogs and cats, so you need to use it with caution when adding it to your DIY spray.
How can some house chores can really help
Just like most of the pests out there, fleas do not enjoy to comfort of a sparkling clean home. A few chores, however, are highly effective against them.
You can break a flea’s life cycle by doing your everyday house chores. Vacuuming and disinfecting are the tasks that will help you the most. To have even better results, do a deep cleaning of your home with strong solutions when you have a flea infestation. In addition, finish everything by wiping it with hot water so the solution will not negatively affect you or your pets.
Steam cleaning is an excellent method to have fresh and clean fabrics and exterminate fleas. A good addition to this is thoroughly vacuuming all the furniture, pet beds, precipices and under before proceeding to the steam cleaner. Before starting, you can always sprinkle one of the solutions from above or corn starch. That way, the fleas will be dead before vacuuming or will die inside the bag. The steam cleaning will disinfect the areas and take care of any left eggs.
Washing and Drying
As mentioned, fleas like to hide in all types of fabrics. Collect the pieces of fabric you think are infested, along with all your pet’s fabrics and put them in the washing machine. Make sure you wash them at the hottest temperature possible. Continue with drying them in the dryer on the medium hot program. If by any chance you have fabrics that cannot be washed in the washing machine, you can always place them in the dryer for about 10-20 minutes.
Dealing with a flea infestation is a challenging task. Of course, you should always start by treating your pet first. However, always remember that your home needs thorough treatment as well. If you cannot fully trust natural solutions, think about how every living creature is prey to a different predator.