Getting Rid of Fleas
Getting rid of fleas can be a time consuming process, but it can also be done quickly and effectively. Getting rid of fleas in 24 hours is possible, given that you are making an orchestrated effort. I will spend the next few minutes explaining how you can successfully get rid of fleas.
Getting Rid of Fleas on Your Pets
The most likely source of fleas in your home is your pets, so you should focus on getting rid of fleas on your pets to get started. As already mentioned in How to Get Rid of Fleas, you have a number of solutions to address the fleas on your pets. The determining factor in addressing fleas on your pets should be the severity of the flea infestation. If you have only seen an occasional flea on your pet, a with a fine tooth comb and your fingers may be adequate. If you have seen flea eggs (they are super tiny white egg shaped objects, see a picture of flea eggs here) then a full bath is the minimum needed to address the flea problem on your pet.
Common Bathing Mistakes & Helpful Tips
Bath time can be stressful on your pets, but so can fleas, so you should maximize your efforts and bathe your pets the most effective way possible.
Flea shampoos by nature succeed at getting rid of fleas temporarily, so don’t expect one bath to get rid of fleas for good. I have found the best results using an oatmeal based shampoo that moisturizes dry skin while it repels fleas.
Make sure to apply the shampoo liberally and let it soak to be more effective at getting rid of fleas. Talking to your pet and rubbing their lower back will help make the bathing process less stressful and more successful.
Do not get soap or water near your pet’s ears or face. If you’re a human with fine cognitive skills, and you dislike getting soap and water in your ears and eyes, what do you think your dog thinks?
Let the water drain from the tub with your dog still in the tub. You can then dry your dog off without getting the floor wet.
Your dog will shake when they get out of the tub, no matter how much you dry them. I have a towel ready, and cover them when they begin to shake. They still get to shake, and your walls don’t get covered in wet dog water.
Applying Frontline or K9 Advantix
Everyone has heard of Frontline and K9 Advantix, because Frontline and K9 Advantix are the most widely available flea prevention and flea elimination medicines for cats and dogs. Do not apply Frontline or K9 Advantix immediately after giving your dog a bath, because your dog’s skin will be replenishing the natural oils that are removed during the bathing process. Apply Frontline or K9 Advantix 3 days after giving your dog a bath, and then reapply Frontline or K9 Advantix after 30 days or 3 days after your dog’s next bath, whichever comes first.
Getting Rid of Fleas in Your Yard
The fleas have to get on your pets somewhere, and the most obvious place is outside in your yard. Getting rid of fleas in your yard is quite possibly the most difficult challenge you will face, but it is a manageable task given the proper approach.
Spraying the Whole Yard
There are nearly half a dozen flea sprays available for treating your yard. Adams, Bio-Spot, and Sentry are all widely available sprays that do an adequate job. The problem with these sprays is that treating your whole yard can become rather pricey. After the initial whole yard treatment, I suggest spraying a 4ft radius around the perimeter of your property, along with the foundation around your house. This will keep the fleas and pests from getting into your yard, and possibly into your home.
Flea powders are somewhat effective at getting rid of fleas, but they are typically less water resistant. After a few hard rains, you will need to reapply the powders to the perimeter of your property.
Some people have reported having success by using flea traps near patches of dense greenery, because the fleas will be drawn out of their cozy hiding spots to taste the bait in the traps. I’m skeptical of using flea traps outdoors because of the fact the food inside the trap may be water soluble, and will wash away after a rain. In addition to the trap’s water resistance, it fails to address future generations of fleas, larvae or eggs will not be caught in the trap, and can live happily ever after.
Getting Rid of Fleas in Your House
There are dozens of products on the market aimed at getting rid of fleas in your house. The efficacy of each product varies, as do the costs and difficulty involved.
Plain and simple, the most effective way of getting rid of fleas in your home is a good thorough vacuuming or carpet cleaning. Vacuuming removes eggs, larvae, and fleas from your carpets, as well as any dander and hair that may be present. It isn’t typically that time consuming, and it will get rid of nearly all fleas hiding in your carpet.
Remember to take the vacuum cleaner bag out to the trash after vacuuming, because you don’t want any vacuumed fleas to escape from the bag.
I find these to be somewhat of a gimmick, because from my experiences, they aren’t effective at killing fleas. All that most flea carpet powders do is trick you into vacuuming, which is the most effective method of getting fleas out of your house.
Flea bombs and foggers are what most people think get rid of fleas. While foggers may get rid of fleas for some people, they are extremely messy, stinky, and time consuming. They leave a residue and chemical odor, and may not effectively kill all flea eggs. You should still vacuum after deploying a fogging device to remove any residue and dead fleas.