How to get rid of fleas on(Homes, Humans, Cats, Dogs)

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fleasAbout flea and its growth

Flea are known to be one of the major blood-sucking pests responsible for many health issues in pets as well in humans,  coming in contact with the infested animals.

With over 2000 species and subspecies flea have adapted themselves well in all types of terrains and regions, so their effects are seen anywhere and everywhere.They are parasitic in nature and feast on warm-blooded animals like mammals and birds.

Flea lay wormlike free-living larva that grows in unhygienic places like –pet’s bedding, dust filled carpets and upholstery.

Flea have a distinct characteristic of hopping to host itself in furry animals like dogs and cats.

Hidden safely under the hosts’ coat and deriving nutrition from its blood, the female lays huge number of eggs. When the host animal moves around, these eggs are dropped off in surroundings.

Riding on these pets when flea reach a home they hide in the organic rubble of carpets, furniture, bedding and gardens. Here it completes its four stage life cycle from a larva to a full grown flea.

Getting rid of these pesky insects is a challenge that can be countered only with a holistic approach of closing all the possible avenues of its entry in a home.

The approach includes a thorough house cleaning, bathing your pets regularly, and using chemical or natural treatments to exterminate these insects. Doing this once is not enough, regularly repeating the same process of extermination is essential.

How to get rid of fleas in house naturally

Home is an excellent breeding place for these vicious insects. Most of us are in habit of stocking and saving all kinds of discarded possessions in our homes even if the actual place for such things is the garbage bin.

Availability of such unhygienic environment, makes it easy for flea to take shelter as they get all the luxuries needed to grow and multiply.

First and most important thing to tackle this situation is to get rid of flea in your home by adopting some easy and natural methods. Here some of those methods are listed, to eliminate flea from your home

Plant pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium or Hedeoma pulegiodes) in your home or garden, but be careful if you have kids and pets around. They must not touch or eat this dangerous plant.

For minor flea infestations you can use rosemary in any form that you can lay your hands on- powder, oil or a liquid rinse. Apply this to your pet regularly.

Mix Citronella oil, Tea tree oil, Lemongrass oil, Geranium oil in warm water and use it for mopping floor after vacuuming your home every few days.

Boric acid is a well-known repellant for cockroaches and other kitchen insects. It is equally effective for flea too. Sprinkle boric acid on carpets and upholstery after a thorough vacuum and leave it there for 10-12 hours.  Vacuum again for a flea free home.

Carpets in homes are favorite place of hiding for these insects. Your pets also love to roll and relax on carpets. When they catch flea from outdoors and lie on the carpet, they transfer flea to carpets and spread them in your home.

The cleanliness drive to eliminate flea must start with your carpets, curtains and other upholstery in your home.  Vacuum your carpets regularly, at least twice every week.

This small effort will ensure elimination of 50% of the flea that sneak into your home through various routes.

Pets are adorable and cute and flea make them their perfect hosts for infestation. They relish on your pet’s blood.

Flea have amazing jumping abilities and they can climb on your pet very easily to ride inside your home. They give painful sores to pets while sucking their blood, making them itch and scratch their body whole day.

The purpose of explaining all this is that in addition to cleanliness of your home you must equally stress on your pet’s hygiene.

If you find you pet scratching very frequently, examine his skin and fur closely for infections. If you find any sores on his body, it must be a symptom flea infestation.

Cleaning your pet thoroughly, bathing him with flea shampoo, applying flea spray topically, applying flea powder or giving him chewable oral tablets with his meal, will take care of any moderate infestation.

But for serious flea attacks, you must use some chemical but highly effective exterminators like flea spray, flea fogger, flea repellent and an electrical flea trap.

Tools to get rid of fleas

Flea Spray

Flea sprays are especially effective for small areas and are meant for localized application in homes. You can go for chemical exterminator in form of a spray canister or home-made flea spray stored in a spray bottle.

Chemical flea sprays could be dangerous if you have kids and pets at home. To keep the home free of such harmful chemicals, you can easily make safer, natural but effective sprays with ingredients like lemon, vinegar, Apple Cedar oil etc.

Flea fogger

These exterminators are also called flea bombers and they cover a wider area for extermination.  Flea fogger needs to be applied very carefully since it is squirted as fog in air, in the affected room or region.

The area to be fogged must be vacated to reduce all possibilities of hiding behind the furniture or other objects in your home.

After applying a fogger the room should be kept closed for 8-10 hours. Later after opening the fogged area, it must be cleaned and mopped thoroughly to remove any strains of harmful chemicals.

Flea repellant

These work just like mosquito repellants and must to be applied topically on your furry companions.

Flea repellents will remain active and keep the flea away till the pet takes his next bath. These are also available in chemical or natural forms.

While you can go for a whole range of off-the-shelf flea repellants, you can also make some effective home-made repellents which are natural and non-poisonous. Some of the ingredients used are Diatomaceous Earth, Lemon Juice or Vinegar.

Flea Traps

Another effective method of prevention is an electric flea trap. This is the safest bet to fight flea menace but it is not as effective as sprays, powders, repellants and foggers, since it does not come in contact with the affected animal or surface.

How to get rid of fleas on humans

Flea is as irritating and harmful to animals as to humans. Flea actually can’t survive on human skin, due to scarcity of hair or fur on human body, but still it can give painful bites to humans.

If you are an animal lover and if your adorable pet gets infested by flea then you will be highly prone to the blood sucking attacks and consequent bites of flea.

Pet owners and other people, even if they don’t own pets, have to face flea nuisance. Your home offers some attractive options to a breeding brood of flea.

A dirty back yard, garage or basement, because of your habitual accumulation of useless things, will be a highly habitable place by flea.

fleas-on-human

High grass in your backyard is also a good invitation for flea to flourish. So the golden rule is to cleanup these areas, your home and surroundings to put away all waste objects.

If you ever face the flea menace, there are many ways by which you can prevent yourself. Before prevention first of all you must ensure if you actually have a flea attack, by looking for the following symptoms on your skin-

In appearance flea bites are just like mosquito bites, small red colored bumps on your skin. Sometimes these bites are a bit wider with red skin around the bite.

Fleabites have another characteristic appearance.  It will be in form of a line of few bites separated by spaces.

Once you are bitten by flea you will be unable to sit peacefully for quite some time as bitten area becomes very itchy. Holding your hand away to resist temptation of scratching the bite will be a big challenge.

Flea can hop up to two feet from ground and can reach almost all body parts of its victim. Most commonly you will observe the bites on feet and ankles but the sores may also appear around waist, and in skin-folds like elbow, armpit, groin, breast etc.

If you scratch around the bite for a long time you can develop a bigger sore and slowly it will become more painful. You must check yourself for excessive itching.

A vigorous scratching may lead to an infection, to be treated professionally.  If you manage to ignore itch, you can save yourself from a lot of trouble.

As already mentioned fleas are not known to thrive on human body in absence of hairy shelter. This is a great advantage to humans.

But flea can still bite you, after riding on your pets or while you are enjoying an evening in your backyard. Following are a few things you can do to prevent flea from biting you

If you have a pet and if you observe him scratching frequently you must treat him for this infestation immediately, to “save your own skin”. And also be sure not to cuddle him or hug him till he gets completely cured.

Whenever you go outdoors or in your own back yard, get dressed to completely cover your exposed skin, giving no chance to these annoying insects of biting you.

If you feel claustrophobic in full covering dresses, then before stepping out in open, you must apply a flea repellant meant for humans, all over your exposed skin. You can also use a chemical or natural repellant while enjoying outdoors.

If you are looking for home remedies then applying Peppermint oil, Lemon juice, Lavender oil, Cedar wood oil and Eucalyptus oil on your skin, can help you.

Now a days certain repellants are also available, to be applied directly on clothes you are wearing. When you are spending time in woods or outdoors, your repellant sprayed clothes will shield you from flea attacks.

These repellants are available as liquid sprays to be applied on clothes and they last many washes to remain effective. This is an ideal prevention method for your kids, since you will never want to apply any unreliable chemical on their delicate skin.

It is known that flea repel garlic. If you use garlic in your diet its aroma will be in your bloodstream. So flea would not relish your blood, saving you from their painful bites.

How to get rid of fleas from Dogs

As you look into eyes of a dog, you will feel a whole world of innocence and liveliness together. And if this serenity is troubled by the annoying flea, you will suddenly feel a rush to help your furry buddy.

Dogs are known to be very inquisitive creatures and they love exploring new unvisited places to mark their domain. This invites a lot of trouble for them.

As they wander in wilderness or get close to other infested animals, they can catch dog fleas in their flea-inhabitable fur.

Dog skin appear to be a very approachable breeding ground for these insects due to their hopping skills. As fleas climb on their favorite hosts, they thrive and multiply by relishing dog’s blood.

You can be a great help to your cuddly companion if you take preventive steps and treat your dog immediately in case of infestation

Answer

Preventive Methods

Don’t let the dogs out- obviously you can never do this, but you can restrict his movements and prevent him from strolling in places with a promising risk of flea attack.

You must protect him by refraining him to visit open spaces where lot of people bring their pets for a walk or stray dogs are roaming around.

Mingling of dogs with each other is another cute visual, but the after effects will trouble your dog for a long time, if the other dog is infested with flea. As dogs come closer to each other these hopping flea jump from host to host, spreading and multiplying speedily.

Treatment

Flea spays- You can splash your dog’s fur with a flea spray. It will help in preventing flea infestation till next bath.

Flea Shampoo- Shampooing your dog with medicinal flea shampoo once every week, will kill the already residing insects as well as prevent new ones to grow on the dog.

Flea Collars- Another medicinal treatment for flea infestation in dogs is by putting a flea collar around your dog’s neck, but be sure not to tighten it else he will feel strangulated. These collars contain flea repellant medicines that keep the insects at bay.

Natural Treatment

Dogs with their soft fur are, inviting ground for flea to propagate. An immediate and easy preventive method is to thoroughly comb your dog’s fur coat with a flea comb, him standing on a white towel to collect all the fallen flea.

If you find black flea stuck in the comb, rinse comb in detergent solution so that these captured flea don’t jump back on your pet. This treatment has an additional advantage of developing an emotional bond.

Moreover if the pet is pregnant, ill or very young, medicinal treatments are prohibited. So this is the best treatment possible in such cases.

Natural flea repellants are better option since they do not cause any harm to the dogs. They can be made from commonly available and safe ingredients.

You can rub cedar oil, eucalyptus oil, Apple Cedar oil, Vinegar into dog’s fur and comb it carefully to remove the dead pests.

How to get rid of fleas from Cats

Cats have every reason to be adored and pampered but when they catch flea you will feel a bit constrained to pour your love on these bewitching  pets.

fleas-on-cats

Cats are most discreet creatures known, and has discretion of reaching every nook and corner of your home, so chances are high that your home will be infested by  cat flea that come along from outdoors. If you own more than one pet, they might also get infected.

So getting rid of flea is utmost important to save the whole bunch of pets living in your home.

Which is the quickest and reliable method, and which exterminator techniques are most suitable?  The following discussion will give you the answers to these questions right here.

There are many methods of prevention and cure, available in natural and chemical forms. But since we know and appreciate that, ”Prevention is better than cure” here are some  suggestions for you to prevent this trouble before it knocks your door-

Answer

Preventive Methods:

Have you ever wondered what the source of fleas is? Outdoors. So the best preventive measure is to keep your cat away from already infected animals in your neighborhood.

If your cat is in habit of striding in your yard or those of your neighbors, then you must immediately control this, if not able to stop it completely. Train the cat to stay at home by limiting her outdoor time.

Flea also gets attracted to unclean animals. So bathing your cat frequently will keep her clean and reduce chances of her getting infested by flea.

By cleaning your cat’s sleeping gear and bedding will save a huge amount of effort on later hardships. You must disinfect these places regularly to keep her free of flea.

Keep your backyard and open space clean so that it does not nurse already grave problem of flea.

Medicinal Treatment

You combed your cat and found flea in huge count- do not rely only on natural treatments. They are not much effective when infestation is alarmingly high.

So here your predicament needs some immediate chemical cure. Buy some off-the-shelf products like flea collars, flea shampoos, flea powders and flea sprays meant specifically to treat cats.

If such problem persists even after your initial remedial action, it should not linger on.  Consultation with a vet is the best treatment is such a situation.

Most of the times pet doctor will suggest some oral medicine. The advantage of oral chewable medicine is that it will reach her blood stream immediately and work for many days.

Sometimes an injection shot of medicine given by the vet is also a relevant treatment for this nasty and irritating problem.

Natural Treatment

Your cat loves to be cuddled by you. Grab this excellent opportunity and carefully comb her fur to remove any flea. She will be more than happy to get this pampering treatment.

To stop the combed out fleas to jump back on her, keep a bowl of soapy water ready to drown the caught fleas.

Ensure that while combing you are especially attentive to the skin folds which are fleas’ favorite place of hiding giving maximum discomfort to the pet. Regular bathing your cat, will be the best treatment to tackle this problem before it appears

Another natural treatment, most suitable after a bath is application of eucalyptus or lavender oil on her skin and fur. White vinegar, Eucalyptus oil, Cedar oil and Lemons, all are strong but natural flea repellants.

Conclusion

Flea infestation is another name for discomfort. Once these insects enter you home with your pet it can become a bigger problem.

The best ways to take care of you and your pets from these irritating insects involves many aspects. You can start with cleaning your home and surrounding.

While stress lies on hygienic environment at home, you must also keep a close vigil on you pets’ movements.

Your pet must be prevented from wandering in the flea ridden outdoors and mingling with neighborhood animals, showing symptoms of flea infection.

After so much care and check on your pet, if she still catches flea, she must be treated with any of the treatment you feel comfortable with.

The treatment can be natural or medicinal.  Along with your pet you must ensure to sanitize you home with flea bombers, sprays or repellents. You cannot sit and relax after one round of this treatment.

This treatment must be repeated frequently, till you are sure of complete eradication. For this the simplest check is your pet. If its scratching reduces to a large extent, then you are successful in your efforts.