How to get rid of the itch-monster
Fleas in your carpet, fleas in your bed? Getting rid of them involves more than just keeping your pets clean. Learn how to fix the problem in 4 easy steps.
There’s nothing more annoying than waking up to a cluster of itchy bites first thing in the morning, but pointing bumpy fingers at ol’ Fluffy in his dog box is not enough to rid your home of fleas.
You see, fleas breed. And while your pet may have been the primary carrier, he - or she - is definitely not the last.
Here are ways to de-flea your home
Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.
STEP 1: Wash ‘em
Rally your pets together and scrub them down. Use a good treatment shampoo and try to keep them away from dirt and sand – at least until they’re dry. Invest in a quality flea collar and pest powder, and make sure that you ‘dust’ them down once every two or so weeks.
STEP 2: Vacuum
I know, it’s the worst job on the planet, but it really does help. Pay attention to dark corners and crevices, under beds, mattresses, carpets and for once, move your furniture out the way so you can clean properly!
Why it works? Not only does the vacuum encourage the buggers to emerge from their cocoons, but the flea eggs, larvae and pupae that drop off your pets – and you – have only one place to fall... on the floor!
*Once you’re satisfied, remember to discard of the flea-ridden vacuum bag.
Step 3: Spray
Unless you know of a good natural remedy, use an insecticide specifically designed to combat a flea infestation, on all carpets and surfaces that your pets frequent the most.
Insecticides can be purchased at most supermarkets and they’re usually sold in aerosol cans, flea ‘bombs’ or foggers. If you’re unsure about which is best, read the label and for heaven’s sake, follow the safety instructions. Please.
*Insecticides can be toxic to both humans and animals. Avoid any risk and treat your house when no-one is home.
Tip: Use outside flea-control methods too because the effort you put into ridding your house of fleas is pointless if they can get back in via your backyard and surrounding areas.
Step 4: Maintenance
And finally, the laborious task is over. But wait. Before you get too excited, remember that you may come across the odd flea or two for up to a month after you’ve treated your house. Why? Well, while fleas are still in their pupae stage (cocooned), they’re immune to insecticides.
Your solution? Continue vacuuming and repeat the insecticide treatment on both your animals and home for a few weeks longer.
Fleas not an issue in your home? Are ants the problem? What can you do about cockroaches, mosquitoes and flies who invade your living space? Getting rid of them is as easy as clicking on the links above.
Know of any natural flea-control remedies? Share your secrets in the box below.