Treating your pets a hundred times for flea infestation will do little to help your flea problem if the flea infestation isn’t addressed where it really exists. The flea infestation is in your carpet not your dog. In ridding a home of these biting little invaders, the carpet is always the ultimate battlefield. It’s fibrous and moist which gives fleas the sensation that they are ensconced in their natural happy home of animal fur. It’s the all-around perfect place for breeding fleas, too.
The flea eggs and larvae, once embedded in carpeting, are very difficult to kill. Their pernicious life cycles necessitate great and vigorous care in getting rid of them. In this war, it is better to have an assault that is too large than one that is too small.
After your pets have been treated, a major indoor and outdoor house assault is necessary to fully address the infestation. Be prepared to throw out any fabric that fleas can cling to, including old clothing, sheets, pillowcases and throw rugs. If items can be washed safely for reuse, do so. Soap is another great enemy of fleas, but remember that carpet infestations can happen again quickly. Fleas love moist places so make certain any thing you do wash is thoroughly dried before using it again. Eggs that remain will hatch and leap back on to your pets. The fleas will then journey onto your carpets again. The hell will begin anew.
To start the war, furniture and other items must be vacuumed. It is usually best to move all items outside for this. That leaves the territory open for the real war to begin. You shouldn’t put the vacuum away yet. It’ll be the most important weapon in your arsenal.
Twenty-four hours prior to the vacuuming, you should sprinkle a mixture of salt and Borax on the household carpets. This will destroy any flea eggs. You’ll want to take care with Borax around colored fabric since it does unspeakable things to them. Beyond that, Borax is amazingly safe for people and pets. It is, however, death to most insects including fleas. You may use a garden rake to make sure the mixture gets into the carpet crevices in order to dry out the flea habitat.
Then vacuum, vacuum, vacuum and vacuum your carpet some more. Did we mention vacuum? Nature abhors a vacuum and so does the humble house flea. Professionals often recommend a mega-suction vacuum for very bad infestations, but recent studies have shown that a standard vacuum cleaner works perfectly well in almost all cases. In fact, a standard vacuum cleaner alone is better than poison at getting rid of fleas. You should pay special attention to vacuuming higher traffic areas or places in the house and yard where your pets prefer to go. After vacuuming, you should always remember to discard your vacuum cleaner bag. The vast majority of the adult fleas will be dead, but the eggs and larvae will abide. When in doubt, throw it out.
If you have a particularly nasty infestation, you may want to opt for a carpet steam cleaner. You can steam clean with a mixture of Borax and water (remember the colored fabric warning). If you want to be extra careful, there are all manner of commercial grade flea killers available. You should always read the labels carefully and abide by every warning. Flea powder and flea spray can be very toxic to humans and pets.
Your best guard against the return of fleas is vacuuming. During peak flea season, vacuuming every other day is advised. Drying out the flea breeding grounds with a sprinkling of salt (working it in with a rake) may be a good idea. Vacuum about a day afterward to pick up the remnants.
With a mixture of thorough cleaning and careful upkeep, your battlefield will be returned to a flea-free zone of peace and tranquility for the whole family.
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