Prompt Service - Call Us Today!  508-257-7556

COVID-19: Yes, we are open! See how we're preserving the health of our customers and protecting their property.

How to Prevent Flea Problems

Warmer weather doesn’t just mean barbecues, picnics, and summer fun — it also brings the fleas. Even though they’re most notorious for making pets itchy, these little critters also can spread disease and cause homeowners distress.

These are some instructions on what to do to prevent and respond to a flea infestation. Be prepared for what’s coming this summer, just in case fleas show up around your home.

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Adult fleas grow to be around 1/8 inch long, which means they’re large enough to see without a microscope. However, they can be easily missed if you’re not intentionally searching for one, especially with their dark reddish-brown color can easily camouflage into its surroundings. With their thin bodies, they can also walk between their host’s hair without being noticed.

Flea eggs are really tough to spot, so they aren’t the typical first signs of an infestation. Like tiny white flakes, flea eggs look similar to dandruff or oval grains of salt.

Flea larvae are white creatures that look like tiny worms. They wiggle around to find flakes of skin, dandruff, or dried blood that adult fleas leave behind after a blood meal, which is super gross!

Flea pupae develop in a cocoon that the flea larvae spin when they’re old enough. The cocoons are tucked away in a safe, out-of-the-way location, like near the roots of grass, at the base of carpet shag, or underneath debris in the yard.

It’s estimated that only 5% of the flea population are adults and the rest are pupae, larvae, and eggs. Fleas only take about 20 days to grow from an egg to an adult. This is why fleas have to be targeted during each of the stages of the flea life cycle in order for proper anti-flea efforts to work.

Help Get Rid of Fleas with DIY Flea Control

Because of the problems fleas can cause, it’s important to employ preventative measures against fleas before you get them and to properly treat an infestation if it happens. Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis in some pets. If your pet swallows a flea that has a worm egg inside it, your pet could get tapeworms in their digestive tract.

Fleas can also transmit Cat Scratch Disease, which cats can transmit to people when they scratch. Flea-borne Typhus is one of the few diseases that fleas can give directly to people, along with the bubonic plague, which, although not very common, can still happen in rural areas in the United States.

The following tips should help you prevent or control any flea problems around and inside your home. These methods are most effective when you use them in conjunction with professional flea treatments.

Here are the three problem areas where fleas commonly cause problems. They’re also the first areas fleas are likely to infest.

1. Yard Work to Prevent Fleas

Treating your yard is the first line of defense against fleas. These directions will keep fleas from spreading and reduce the likelihood that they’ll get in your yard in the first place.

Follow these directions for your entire yard, but concentrate especially on areas fleas like to congregate. Fleas thrive in warm, humid places away from the sun’s heat. They are also likely to gather in your pet’s favorite resting spots.

For Wildlife: Some of the tips below include specialized items to prevent wildlife from entering your yard. Wildlife can bring numerous problems to your home, and one of them is fleas. While on your property, fleas and flea eggs will drop off of wild animals and start an infestation before you can do anything about it. These bonus tips will help keep wildlife away from your home as well.

Mow the Grass

For Prevention: Grass provides fleas with shade, hiding spots, and enough humidity to survive. Short grass allows the sun to dehydrate fleas and exposes them to predators like birds, the shorter the better.

For Treatment: If your grass already has fleas, put the clippings in bags and get rid of them instead of using them for compost. Otherwise, not only will fleas will escape, but the mower will spread them further across the lawn.

Clean up Debris

Fleas will use any hiding place they can use, including fallen tree branches, leaves, and fruit. But they’ll also use other things like hardware, yard tools, lawn toys, parked vehicles, trailers, or anything else that provides shade.

To Avoid Wildlife: Another reason to clean up debris is to prevent flea-carriers from being attracted to your yard. Wildlife such as opossums, feral cats or dogs, mice and rats, squirrels, and raccoons can use debris as food, for nests, or for shelter. While they’re in your yard, they will drop live fleas or flea eggs in your lawn if they are infested.

A good rule of thumb is to clean up everything that doesn’t grow, including things that don’t grow anymore, like fallen branches.

Maintain Garbage Bins and Wood Piles

To Avoid Wildlife: Many kinds of animals will go through your garbage looking for food, including rodents, raccoons, and other animals.

Ensure your bins have tight lids. If needed, use bungee cords or rope to tie the lid on and prevent the cans from toppling over. The lid should stay on even if the bins happen to fall over.

Wood piles are a magnet for all kinds of pests, including fleas, flea-ridden wildlife, ants, carpenter ants, termites, spiders, wasps or bees, rats, mice, and beetles. If you decide to keep your woodpile, place it on a metal platform raised at least one foot off the ground and located at least 20-50 feet away from the house. Install a metal screen with a 1/4 inch gauge and cover it tightly with a tarp, which will keep rodents and insects away from it.

Keep Bushes and Trees Thin and Short

To Avoid Wildlife: Thick shrubbery allows hiding places for wildlife, and tall branches could give them access to the roof. Make your home less appealing to visiting wildlife by keeping bushes at least two feet from each other and one foot away from the house. Trim any branches that hang over the house as well as any tall shrubs that come within five to ten feet within the roof.

Food Cleanup

To Avoid Wildlife: animals are always on the lookout for food, and our dishes are an excellent, easy meal for them. Rodents and raccoons especially are able to smell our food from a long distance away. Anything left outside will attract wildlife that could have fleas or cause other problems.

Pet food is especially important to clean up because it contains balanced nutrition and has a strong smell. Clean up food bowls and water dishes every night and never leave any food scraps outside after picnics, barbecues, or parties.

2. Treating Fleas on Your Pet

No matter whether you have seen problems with fleas around your home or not, controlling potential or current flea problems on your pet is essential to their health and is important to prevent flea infestations in your home as well. Talk to your vet about the best options for your situation.

Wash Pet Bedding

Washing your pet’s bedding will help get rid of eggs, larvae, and pupae cocoons. Use hot water and dry on high heat at least once every week, even if you don’t see any evidence of fleas. If you know your pet has fleas, however, wash your pet’s bedding as often as you can — every other day if possible. Wash the bedding without soap if your pet is sensitive to it.

Alternatively, you can also dry clean the bedding as often as possible. Just check with the cleaners to make sure they use pet-friendly cleaning products.

Pay attention to your pet’s favorite resting areas, including crates, kennels, furniture, and places on the carpet where your pet sleeps.

Clean Pet Toys

Not only will this help prevent fleas but it will also be beneficial to your pet’s health. Wash your pet toys in hot soapy water. Grease-fighting dish soap is extremely good at killing insects. Plush toys can be washed with your pet’s bedding or dry cleaned. If you know you have fleas, it could be a good idea to get rid of plush toys and wait to replace them until the fleas are gone.

Regular Bathing

Bathe your pet as often as they need, since some pets can’t be bathed very often. Talk to your vet about flea shampoo for pets that contains permethrin, which is a flea killer developed from chrysanthemum flower extract that is often used in spot-on flea treatments for dogs. Cats may be more sensitive to permethrin, so consult the veterinarian first.

Flea Combing

Fine-tuned flea combs are designed to help you find and get rid of fleas in pet fur. After a romp in the woods, check your pet everywhere for fleas, particularly around the neck and tail.

Flea Treatments and Regular Checkups

There are plenty of products that could be right for your pet. Some are drops applied to the skin while others are oral medication or topical sprays. Flea collars can also be effective for some pets. Talk to your vet first since flea collars can be harmful to some pets.

Checkups with your vet can help reduce the likelihood of fleas and flea-borne diseases. Your vet may provide a prescription, or they may recommend an OTC treatment that fits your pet’s needs.

3. Get Fleas Out of the House

These steps combined with all the others will help prevent and control flea infestations. They may seem like household chores you’re already doing, but these instructions have additional things you may not have thought to do before.

The Flea Misconception

There are lots of misconceptions about flea infestations that make people ashamed to admit when they have fleas. It’s important to remember that fleas can appear anywhere, regardless of how sanitary the conditions are.

Why Should I Clean for Fleas?

Cleaning is important for flea control in even the most sanitary home because the act of cleaning helps get rid of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. The purpose of cleaning isn’t to make it cleaner, but to chase away and kill the fleas.

No Effort is Wasted

Remember that almost all flea infestations require assistance from a flea professional to eliminate them completely. All of these efforts that you apply will help control fleas, regardless of whether you call the professionals or not. No effort is ever wasted.

Vacuuming for Fleas

Prevention: for regular home cleaning, vacuum at least once a week in case of fallen eggs, larvae, or pupae cocoons. Concentrate on common flea hiding spots, such as under furniture, in upholstery, under cushions, along baseboards, near pet bedding, and all of the places your pet lounges.

Perform your own inspection while you clean and watch for fleas in all the stages of the flea life cycle.

Treatment: Vacuuming is your number one tool that will help fight against fleas, if you’re certain you have them. Ideally, you could vacuum thoroughly at least 3-4 times every week. While you vacuum, move all the furniture, pull cushions off, and be exceptionally thorough in all the places your pet likes to hang out. Vacuum in your own room, including the mattress, bed frame, and any cracks and gaps around the mattress, just in case any fleas found their way on you also.

Freeze the vacuum’s bag overnight before tossing it out to kill all the fleas you collected. Simply place the vacuum contents in a sealable plastic freezer bag and place in your freezer overnight. You may want to use more than one bag at the same time.

Wash the Carpet with Shampoo and Steam

Prevention: If you don’t have fleas, it’s a good idea to deep clean the carpet once or twice every year. Some carpets are designed to be washed less often, and other carpets are too delicate to be cleaned so thoroughly every month.

Treatment: If you definitely have fleas, this kind of deep washing is crucial to flea elimination, even if you call the professionals. Vacuuming won’t be enough to get to some of the eggs and pupae that are deeper inside the carpet.

Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a flour-like, organic powder that acts like glass for insects like fleas. Even though it is considered an extremely safe, beneficial substance, it can be dangerous to the lungs if inhaled. Only very light amounts are required to be effective, so sprinkle a little under furniture, along baseboards, in your pet’s bed, beneath cushions, and along cracks and crevices in wooden floors.

The Most Effective Flea Treatment Method

If you try all these things and the fleas keep making a comeback, you might want to get to know the professionals. Professional companies like Fox Pest Control use some of the most effective flea treatment methods on the market. However, research the company to make sure you agree with their standards and practices, and that they provide excellent service.

When you call Fox, you can rest assured that we know what we’re doing. Our Pest Pros will help you through the process so that you are completely comfortable with the procedure. When our Pest Pro comes to your door, it will often be the same person each time, so you’ll know who’s knocking.

You can regain confidence knowing all our EPA-approved products are doing their job so that you can focus on what matters most.

Fox Pest Control No Bugs. Simply Better.

Posted on July 28, 2020.

Free Inspection & Estimate
Prompt Service

508-257-7556

BUSINESS HOURS

All Phone Calls Answered By Live Operator 8am – 9pm, Monday – Friday. 9am - 4pm Saturday.
Prompt Service
Evening and Weekend Appointments Available At NO EXTRA CHARGE
  • Free Inspections & Estimates
  • Same Day Service, No Extra Charge
  • Results 100% Guaranteed
  • Locally Owned & Operated
  • Emergency Service Available
  • Fully Trained, Licensed Staff

Fully trained and certified staff

When your doorbell rings, you can be confident that the person Fox Pest Control has sent to your home to take care of your control and extermination is a true professional. We carefully screen, background check, and conduct lengthy interviews with prospective employees. Fox Pest Control technicians also undergo extensive training, both in the classroom and on the job with a mentor, before they are allowed to work on their own. You can rest easy knowing that your problem is in good hands with Fox Pest Control.

DON'T INVITE A STRANGER INTO YOUR HOME

With Fox Pest Control you'll know who is coming.

Pestimonials

We had a wonderful experience with our technician. Weston was easy to talk to and explained everything well. Josh, who sold us the service, was very kind also. Not pushy at all. And very informative. Thank you. We look forward to working with you in the future.

Daniel W.
March 2nd, 2020

My experience with Fox Pest Control has been the best experience I had with a pest control company. Technician, Harry, did a good job of going over the process thoroughly, ensure that I understood everything going on. I would recommend them to anyone looking for good, quality, fast, friendly, and affordable pest control services.

Kayla T.
August 20th, 2019

Fox Pest Control is beyond amazing, they are always there when you need them and their employees are super helpful! If we need them they come right away. They are very informative as well, they will explain everything that they are doing and why. If you need an affordable pest control service Fox is the way to go!

Alexis M.
June 27th, 2019
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

At Fox Pest Control our guarantee to you is 100% satisfaction. That's why we created our robust home protection plan. The barriers that we put into place to protect your home or business against pests naturally break down over time. Over the course of the year, we reapply treatments to maintain those barriers. If for whatever reason any new pest problems do arise, call us and we will take care of the problem immediately and at no additional charge. Immediately means just that, immediately – not when it’s convenient for us.

Your home is your largest investment. Let Fox Pest Control protect it against pests in Boston Area!

About Us

Boston Area Pest Control & ExterminatorsFox Pest Control proudly provides expert pest control and bed bug control in Boston Area. We have helped over 20,000 homeowners manage and exterminate their pest problems and look forward to putting over 8 years of experience to work for you.

Fox Pest Control is a Boston Area locally operated company; we take pride in servicing the community that we live in. We value your time, so when you call we'll schedule an inspection or service time that is convenient for you.

Our technicians are thoroughly screened during our interview process. We only hire professionals we would want to service our own homes. We background check all employees and make new hires go through extensive training both in the classroom and on the job before they can service a home or business alone. We also believe in and practice continuing education, ensuring our technicians are always providing the best service possible. You can rest easy knowing that when your door bell rings Fox Pest Control has sent a true professional to resolve your Boston Area pest issue.

Fox Pest Control provides a zero obligation free inspection and estimate in Boston Area. Our technicians will take the time and care to thoroughly explain the treatment options best suited for your particular problem. Our professional service is convenient as well as effective.

Free Inspection & Estimate
Prompt Service

508-257-7556