When you find fleas in your home, you want to get rid of them quickly. The longer the fleas remain, the more they reproduce and the worse the infestation becomes. Although flea bombs quickly get rid of the pests, you have other options that are less toxic. Knowing a few safe and fast alternatives for killing fleas in your home lets you choose what is best for you.
Using the crevice attachment on your vacuum, clean around baseboards, in corners and between couch cushions. Vacuum all carpets and upholstered surfaces, such as couches and mattresses. For an added measure, sprinkle all surfaces with diatomaceous earth before vacuuming. Diatomaceous earth, the ground fossils of marine organisms, cuts the surface of the fleas, causing dehydration and death. Leave the powder on the surface for four to six hours before vacuuming. Empty the contents of the vacuum into a sealable bag and discard outside. The trip through the vacuum kills most fleas and those that survive suffocate in the sealed bag. The fleas that escape the vacuum die because of the diatomaceous earth. For best results, vacuum daily.
Fleas and their eggs find it hard to survive past 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can use to your advantage. Use a steam cleaner for your carpets and hard surfaces once a week. Mixing in distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the clean water reservoir adds additional killing power. Another way to use heat is regular laundering of bedding. Wash your bedding, your pets bedding, curtains and any other washing machine safe materials once or twice a week. Use the highest heat setting possible in both the washer and dryer to kill adult fleas and their eggs.
Setting up flea traps at night is another effective method of control. Fill a baking dish with 1 to 2 inches of water and one squirt of dish soap. Set the dish in the middle of a carpeted room with a light source 6 inches from the water's surface. Turn all the other lights off and leave the dish overnight. The heat of the lamp attracts the fleas. When they jump to reach it, they land in the water. The soap breaks the surface tension and the fleas drown. In the morning, empty the entire contents of the baking dish in the toilet. Repeat nightly for maximum effectiveness.
Part of killing fleas in your home is treating your pets. Daily grooming with a flea comb removes fleas and their eggs. To pick up more fleas, coat the comb in petroleum jelly. Place any fleas you remove from combing into a cup full of soapy water to drown them. If your pet is a dog, bathe it weekly. For cats, monthly. Use a commercial flea shampoo to kill the fleas. Another option is topical or oral flea medications from your vet's office. Both treatments kill fleas within hours and only require monthly dosing. Check with your vet for the right choice for your pet.
- Science Daily: Cat Fleas' Journey into a Vacuum is a 'One-Way Trip'
- EarthEasy: Natural Flea Control
- Pet Love Shack: Safe, Effective Flea Control; Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- Allergy Consumer Review: Vapor Steam Cleaner -- Kill Dust Mites, Fleas
- Dog Health Handbook: Vinegar Kills Fleas
- Doctors Foster and Smith: Topical and Oral Flea and Tick Control: General FAQs
- Photo Credit Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Do Flea Bombs Really Work?
Flea bombs, also called flea foggers, spray a dense cloud of insecticide, which quickly kills adult fleas and other insects. These foggers...
A Safe Way to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House
Fleas are small, parasitic insects that thrive on the blood of warm-blooded animals. These insects will feed from household pets and humans...
Safe Ways to Kill Fleas on Animals
A flea infestation on your animal is often a nightmare to deal with. The tiny brown insects multiply quickly and can cause...
Does Hot Shot Kill Bedbugs?
Hot Shot is a brand of products that quickly kills household pests, including bedbugs. The Hot Shot bedbug products are available as...
The Best Ways to Kill & Eliminate Fleas Indoors
Did your cat or dog fall victim to a flea or two ... or a dozen? Once your pet becomes infected with...