Having fleas in house can be much more than a nuisance. Not only do these bugs cause painful bites that can leave you itching and distracted. Worse, some people can have severe allergic reactions to these bites and come down with a rash. If you discover that you, your pets and your whole home have been exposed to fleas, you should take immediate measures to get rid of these pests before they cause you any more grief. They are not something which you can merely decide to tolerate because anyone who visits you will also be saddled with this problems when they go back home.
Fleas are wingless crawling insects that attach themselves to mammals and drink their blood. They are very small, often measuring no more than an eighth of an inch in length. They can travel from host to host by jumping with their unusually long legs. Though they are tiny, fleas can jump more than seven inches into the air and can cross 13 inches in a horizontal leap.
Fleas tend to congregate in the hairy areas of their hosts, so humans typically find them on their head or near their genitals. Unlike other bugs that drink blood, these creatures do not depart for their nest when they are done. Household fleas will actually live on their host and even lay their eggs on them as well.
Effects of Their Bites
Besides itching and rash, these bugs can cause a number of other problems for their hosts. If you have read any history, you know that it was fleas which brought the bubonic plague to Europe in the middle ages. They also spread bacteria that can cause diseases. Among the maladies that these creatures can inflict are typhus, myxomatosis and tapeworm.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
In order to remove fleas from an environment such as a house or an apartment, you first need to quarantine any infected pets. It will not do you any good to clean up while your flea-ridden pets are moving around. With the pets out of the way, collect all bedding, garments and rugs and wash them simultaneously in warm, soapy water. The soap will kill the fleas, including their eggs and larvae. If possible, you should vacuum while the wash is underway. Vacuum every carpet and piece of furniture.
Break out the vacuum accessories and reach into those corners that you normally do not reach. If you let just one breeding pair survive, all your efforts will be for nothing. When you are completely done, remove the vacuum bag and seal it inside plastic. The bets move at this point is to throw away the bag. If you must use it again, put it into the freezer for a few days to kill the fleas before reusing the vacuum bag. Have the carpets steam cleaned when you have accomplished all this.
In order to remove these invasive pests from the pets and people in your home, you will need to take the following steps while you are cleaning or immediately after and then maintain these habits for a few days.
- Take a bath every day, or even twice a day. If you can, get a special shampoo with an insecticide in its ingredients.
- Buy a flea comb and comb your hair with it every day. This comb, properly used, will drag fleas out of your hair. Capture them when you see them and either crush them between your fingernails or dump them in a basin of soapy water.
- Give your pet baths in soapy water as well. Use a similar but separate flea comb to brush your pet’s hair and remove fleas and eggs.
- Only allow your pets into areas that you can clean easily. Keep them out of basements, bedrooms, etc.
- Vacuum your carpets daily.
- Use bedding for your pets that is also easy to clean.
- There are some flea control products on the market that will inhibit the survival of these pests. Review their toxicity to ensure that you are not endangering yourself as well as the fleas. These include popular flea bombs for the house but there are also a number of home remedies you can try.
The presence of fleas in house will change your mind about a lot of your hygienic habits and the way that you treat your pets. Hopefully, you will never have to resort to these measures. If you do, you will never be careless again about the possibility of a flea infestation. While these insects may not cause many problems for some people, getting rid of them is tiresome and irritating.