Many people are under the impression that you have to have a pet in order for fleas and ticks to invade your home – that is not the case! Fleas and ticks can come into your home by hitching a ride on YOU. Whether they come inside on a pet or not, time is of the essence when you first notice them. Fleas and ticks can carry diseases such as typhoid fever, lyme disease and tapeworms. With that risk, it is important to act as soon as possible. So what can you do to eliminate your flea and tick problem?
How to Eliminate Fleas & Ticks
Once you have confirmed that you have a flea or tick problem, you need to act fast. The first thing you should do is treat your pet, if a pet was the culprit. You might want to consult with a veterinarian to select the best course of treatment. After your pet is taken care of, you need to treat both your home and yard. This will involve a pretty serious house cleaning – both inside and out. It is important to clean the entire home, but be especially thorough with the areas that your pet spends a significant amount of time. Here are a few areas that you should focus on:
- Vacuum thoroughly: It is imperative to vacuum your entire house. This includes both carpeted and hard surfaces. Don’t forget underneath furniture, rugs, etc. It is also a good practice to vacuum and treat furniture as well.
- Wash All Linens in Hot Water: Another important step in eliminating a flea or tick infestation is to wash all linens, pet beds, blankets, etc. in hot water. Washing linens at the hottest temperature possible will kill the pests. If you are unable to wash an item, you should throw it away.
- Keep your yard clean. Cleaning your home is not enough, fleas and ticks live outside and can invade your home at any time. After you clean your home, make sure your yard is free of piles of wood, bricks or trash. Fleas and ticks prefer to breed in cluttered areas.
- Keep a well maintained yard. Keeping your yard well maintained will keep flea and tick populations at bay. Fleas and ticks often hide in tall grass or low hanging trees and bushes. They also prefer wet environments, so avoid over-watering your yard.
Something to keep in mind is that fleas and ticks are very difficult to remove from your home on your own. Cleaning your house might not be enough. Fleas can be especially difficult to eliminate because over the counter products often only target adult fleas. When you have a flea infestation, you will have fleas at every stage of life. If you use a product that eliminates only the adults, you will still have the eggs, larva and pupa to worry about. The eggs will hatch, the larva will grow and make a pupal case- which they can stay in for up to 6 months. When conditions are right, they will emerge and start biting again. This will resume the life cycle and the issue will persist. It is also important to know that fleas can lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime, which could turn into a larger issue if the infestation isn’t handled quickly. If you treat your pet and home and continue to see fleas, you will have a larger problem at hand. Using a professional pest control service can help you eliminate both fleas and ticks at any life stage and keep your infestation problem at bay.
Contact Preventive Pest Control today if you have a flea or tick problem!