Fleas have evolved into incredibly efficient and resilient parasites that are able to thrive in a wide range of different environments. In fact, fleas can be found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. If you’re struggling with a flea infestation in your home, you shouldn’t give up the battle just yet. With patience, dedication, and the right approach, you can come out victorious in your battle against these blood-sucking parasites.
Identify The Host
If fleas are a problem inside your home, there must be a host (or several) nearby. Fleas typically prefer the blood of dogs, cats, and humans (yep, they will bite you too); however, it’s not uncommon for them to feed on other warm-blooded mammals as well.
Don’t assume that you are safe from fleas just because you don’t own a dog or cat. These parasites may find their way into your home through rats, mice, squirrels, or other rodents. If you haven’t done so already, inspect your home — attic, crawlspace, basement, bedrooms, etc. — for entry points. Remember, a mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime, so it’s important for homeowners to seal up any holes or cracks they discover.
Treat The Host
Nine out of ten times, it’s the family’s dog and/or cat that’s hosting the fleas. If you notice your pet scratching excessively, frantically pacing back and forth, or if you can visibly see the fleas crawling around their coat, then you know where the problem is coming from.
You can read through some of our previous articles here at FleaBitesOnHuman.com for more tips on how to protect your pet from fleas, but the general idea is that you want to use either an Insect Growth Inhibitor (IGI) or Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), both of which are powerful medicines that prevent fleas from completing their life cycle.
Treat The Environment
In addition to treating the host (your pet), you should also treat the environment (your home). Failure to treat both the host and the environment will allow the fleas to continue thriving. Try to get into the habit of vacuuming your floors at least twice a week, as several studies have found this to be a highly effective method for exterminating fleas in the home.
You can also discourage fleas from staying in your home by reducing the temperature and humidity. Fleas prefer climates 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, so dropping your thermostat below this amount may keep them at bay.