Ridding Your Home Of Fleas
Ridding Omaha, Nebraska area homes of fleas can be a frustrating and costly endeavor. Unlike some pests encountered around the home such as bed bugs, fleas cause discomfort and irritation to both pets and people.
For successful flea control, the home, pet and oftentimes, the yard must be treated. Yet the manner in which these treatments are performed can greatly influence the results. The following information will help frustrated pet owners effectively rid their Omaha area homes and pets of fleas.
Essential Facts About Fleas
– Adult fleas (the biting stage seen by pet owners) spend most of their time on the animal, not in the carpet. This is why treatment of the pet in conjunction with the pet’s environment is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas.
– Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.
– Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated.
Treatment Of Premises
If you neglect to treat the pet’s environment (the premises), you will miss more than 90% of the developing flea population — the eggs, larvae and pupae. If the pet spends time indoors, the interior of the home should also be treated. Before treatment, the pet owner should:
- Remove all toys, clothing, and stored items from floors, under beds, and in closets. This step is essential so that all areas will be accessible for
- Remove pet food and water dishes, cover fish tanks, and disconnect their aerators.
- Wash, dry-clean or destroy all pet bedding.
- VACUUM! — vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home. Vacuuming also stimulates pre-adult fleas to emerge sooner from their insecticide-resistant cocoons, thus hastening their contact with insecticide residues in the carpet. By raising the nap of the carpet, vacuuming improves the insecticide’s penetration down to the base of the carpet fibers where the developing fleas live. Vacuum thoroughly, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep. Don’t forget to vacuum along edges of rooms and beneath furniture, cushions, beds, and throw rugs. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag in a garbage bag and discard it in an outdoor trash container.
Once fleas become established in a home, insecticides are almost always needed to control them.
Treatment Of Pet
It is important that the pet be treated in conjunction with exterminating the premises, preferably on the same day. Adult fleas spend virtually their entire life on the animal — not in the carpet. Untreated pets will continue to be bothered by fleas. They may also transport fleas in from outdoors, eventually overcoming the effectiveness of the insecticide applied inside the home.
Treatment Of Yard
Most flea problems in the midwest can be eliminated by treating the pet and the interior of the home. In cases where pets spend most of their time outdoors, it may also be necessary to treat the yard. One way to determine if the yard is infested is to walk around the property wearing white athletic socks, pulled to the knee. If fleas are present, they will be seen against the white background of the socks.
Outdoor flea treatment should focus on areas where pets rest, sleep, and run, such as doghouse and kennel areas, under decks, along fences and next to the foundation.