There are over 2,500 species of fleas in the world. Of all the flea species out there, cat fleas are the fleas we usually find in Raleigh homes. If you're wondering how to keep fleas out, this is the first thing you should know about them.
Step 1: Protect Your Pet
Cat fleas get on cats. But they also get on dogs. If you have a cat or a dog that goes in and out of your home, the first thing you need to do is take steps to protect your pet from fleas. This will, in turn, protect all the humans in your home. Fleas don't get into your home on their own. They are carried inside.
Use these prevention tips to prevent your pet from being the catalyst for an infestation:
- A flea collar should be your first purchase. While fleas can still be brought into your home on a cat or dog that has a collar, they may not live long once they get inside. Talk to your veterinarian and find out if a flea collar is right for your pet and for your family.
- Consult your vet about other flea control products that can arrest a flea infestation before one gets started.
- If you have a dog that does not have a protected outdoor play area, consider creating one. A fenced-in area will contain your dog and help to prevent your dog from picking up fleas in the places they can be found on your property. Fences also keep wildlife from introducing fleas to this sensitive area.
- Check your animals routinely. You can use a flea comb to inspect hair or fur for the presence of adult fleas or flea dirt.
Step 2: Vacuum & Heat
When fleas get inside, you have two weapons to stop an infestation in its track. These are natural deterrents that can have a big impact:
Flea infestations require flea dirt to take root. The larvae of fleas are tiny worms that cannot spring through the air and bite your pets or you to get a blood meal. They feed on flea dirt (adult flea feces) to get the sustenance they need. When you vacuum your furniture, rugs, floors, cracks, and recesses, you remove flea dirt. This can also remove eggs, flea larvae, and adult fleas, which helps as well.
The heat produced by a dryer is hot enough to kill fleas in all stages of development. Put pet bedding, your bedding, clothing, and other infested items in the dryer for more than 30 minutes to exterminate these insects.
Step 3: Control Wildlife
Animals bring fleas into your yard. If you make your property resistant to animals, you will have an impact on flea populations. It is impossible to completely control wildlife activity, but these tips can have an impact:
- Keep all garbage in covered containers that can't be easily knocked over by a mid-sized animal.
- Move bird feeders away from the exterior of your home, or remove them altogether.
- Clean up nuts and fruits that fall from trees and store them well away from your exterior. If possible, remove them from your property.
- Use fencing material to keep animals from using voids underneath structures as an area of harborage.
- Keep on top of yard work. Blow leaves out from underneath structures and out from your landscaping. Pick up sticks. Keep grass trimmed and remove grass clipping.
Step 4: Rodent Control
Mice and rats don't just bring fleas into your yard, they can also bring them into your home. Take steps to seal your exterior and bolster vulnerable areas that rodents are targeting.
- Wood rot can attract the attention of rodents. Repair these areas or use metal flashing to keep rodents from gnawing on rotted wood.
- Use a caulking gun to fill in wood holes or gaps around foundation penetrations. While a mouse or rat can chew through silicone caulk, they're not likely to do this if they don't know there is something beyond that is of interest to them.
- Replace damaged weatherstripping, door sweeps, and screens.
Step 5: Inspect Used Items
Fleas can get into furniture and other used items. Inspect any used items you purchase before you bring them into your home. If you purchase a vehicle that was owned by someone with pets, take a quick check for fleas, particularly if you'll be bringing your cats or dogs on any trips in that new-to-you vehicle.
Step 6: Consider Professional Flea Reduction
Raleigh residents don't often think of flea infestations as a problem for a pest control professional, but year-round pest control that provides coverage for fleas can significantly reduce your chances of having a flea infestation in your home.
Do you need assistance with flea or pest control in Raleigh? Reach out to Innovative Pest Solutions. We're here to help you with all of your pest concerns.
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