Fleas are small, parasitic insects that need mammal blood hosts to survive. They can cause skin irritation, itching, and even diseases and infections to both animals and humans. As the weather gets warmer and wild animals become more drawn to our homes and property lines, we are going to see a rise in the number of flea infestations across the US.
Are you concerned about how to get rid of fleas on your pets or in your home? Don’t worry. Today, we are going to go over how to get rid of fleas effectively. We will learn about common flea treatments, preventatives, and go over some practices you can implement that will help you keep fleas off of your pets and out of your home.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that can live almost anywhere as long as they have a blood host.
Fleas are small, wingless insects that attach themselves to wild animals, livestock, pets and sometimes humans. They are considered parasites as they rely on mammal blood hosts to survive.
While fleas can’t fly, they are expert jumpers with long back legs that are specially designed to propel them high into the air when a host passes by.
These insects are small, but still visible to the naked eye. They are typically black or brown, and grow to be about 3 mm long. Their bites are not poisonous, but fleas can carry serious diseases.
Fleas can also cause allergic reactions when they bite, including itching and breathing problems in sensitive humans and animals.
Because of this, fleas can be a serious problem. But how do you get rid of fleas? Well, since pets are typically the biggest source of fleas in our homes, it is wise to ensure they are protected against fleas to help eliminate any chance of a flea infestation inside.
Let’s learn more about how you can get rid of fleas at the source using flea preventatives for pets.
Fleas And Pets – How To Get Rid Of Fleas At The Source
The best way to control fleas is to protect your pets.
As we mentioned above, pets are typically the main source of flea infestations in your home since they often go outside and tend to spend time in areas where wild animals have also visited.
Fleas prefer animal hosts and tend to hitch rides on wild animals like raccoons, rabbits and squirrels, who can drop them off in your backyard or garden.
When your dog or cat comes along to investigate a scent after the wild animal has been by, they may pick the fleas up. Remember, fleas can jump quite far and they latch on quickly to dogs and cats. Once they are on your pet, a flea burrows into the fur and can be difficult to see.
You may not realize your pet has been infested with fleas until they have already bitten, at which point you may notice red, itchy marks on their skin under their fur, constant itching, and excessive grooming, licking, or chewing.
The best way to get rid of fleas in your home is to prevent them from using your dog or cat as a host and entering your home at all. We have listed some of our favorite flea prevention products below that tell you how to get rid of fleas on pets.
Seresto Flea And Tick Collar For Dogs
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When working on how to get rid of fleas on pets, you should also work on prevention, and that is where flea collars come in.
One of the things we love best about flea collars is that they are long-lasting. This particular flea collar for dogs lasts up to eight months and also protects your dogs against ticks, mange and lice.
Since this flea collar works on contact, fleas die before they bite your pooch, which means no irritation or itching for him and a much lower chance of Fido bringing fleas into your home.
Seresto Flea And Tick Collar For Cats
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Just like the Seresto Flea Collar for dogs, this flea preventative for cats offers up to eight months of flea and tick prevention.
It includes two separate collars and works by killing fleas and ticks on contact. This means fleas and ticks don’t have to bite to die and will not only keep your home flea-free, but also reduce the chances of flea and tick related disease to your cat.
Bayer K9 Advantix Flea And Tick Prevention
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Another popular method for how to get rid of fleas is using a topical medication for your dog or cat. This particular product is not for use on cats, but it works well for dogs. You apply a small amount of the medication on your dog’s shoulders and near their tail.
The treatment lasts for up to one month before it will need to be readministered again. While this flea treatment doesn’t last as long as some dog and cat flea collars, it is an effective treatment and is recommended by veterinarians.
TevraPet Actispot ll Flea and Tick Prevention For Cats
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Cats need the same level of flea protection as their canine counterparts, especially if they are outdoor cats.
If you are looking for how to get rid of fleas as a cat owner, one of the best products for outdoor cats is Actispot ll. It works similarly to Advantage ll and is a topical treatment for cats that helps repel both fleas and ticks.
We also like that this product kills flea eggs and larvae. Like Advantage ll, Actispot ll also kills fleas before they bite, so there is less of a chance your cat will be bringing fleas into your home.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Indoors
Fleas rarely feast on humans, but they can become a problem once inside.
Do you have fleas inside of your house? If you have noticed your pets are itching, grooming, or licking and chewing themselves excessively inside, you may want to do a quick flea investigation.
Check your pet’s bedding and look for signs of flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like pepper flakes and is made up of flea excrement, eggs and even dead flea carcases. You should also check bedding, furniture, curtains and carpeting. If you really want to know how to get rid of fleas in your home, you’ll have to be through and know where to look.
Once you have an idea of where the fleas are, get a treatment plan going. You can call a professional if you wish, but oftentimes it is simple to get rid of fleas using the below products.
Adams Flea And Tick Home Spray
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When looking at how to get rid of fleas in your home, you want to know you’re getting a product that works.
A very popular and effective product for getting rid of fleas inside is made by Adams. This flea and tick spray is effective against fleas, ticks, bed bugs, flea eggs, larvae, cockroaches, spiders, mosquitoes, ants and more.
It is made specifically to use in the home and should not be sprayed directly on pets as it contains a chemical known as IGR or Insect Growth Regulator. While this is an effective chemical used to kill fleas and other pests, it is not safe to use around children and pets and should be used with caution.
Enforcer Flea Spray For Homes
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Another flea spray we like when looking at how to get rid of fleas indoors is Enforcer Flea Spray. It uses the same popular ingredient found in many insecticides to kill and prevent fleas, meaning it is highly effective against adult fleas, flea eggs, larvae, ticks and more.
However, please note that this product contains Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) and is a chemical based product that is not safe to use directly on pets or directly around children. It should be used with caution to ensure it is applied safely inside.
That said, once applied, this flea killer can offer your home up to seven months of flea and tick protection.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Using Natural Products
Natural products that contain ingredients citronella, eucalyptus and tea tree oil are great flea repellents.
Are you wondering how to get rid of fleas naturally?
Getting rid of fleas does not necessarily mean you will need to use insecticides and chemicals. Fleas can be repelled using natural ingredients like eucalyptus oils, tea tree oils, lavender, cedar oil, and peppermint.
Like many pests, fleas are also repelled by citrus scents. This is great news for those of us looking for how to get rid of fleas with pets and children in the house.
Take a look at our list of all natural flea repellent products below.
Mdxconcepts Zuba Flea And Tick Spray
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This is an all natural spray that is particularly made to use on dogs. It is made with peppermint oil and other essential oils and is completely organic and safe.
However, please note that this product is not meant to be used on furniture and in the home, so if you are looking for how to get rid of fleas inside your home on your furniture and carpets, we suggest one of the other flea repellent products on this list.
That said, this flea repellent is easy to apply and safe for your dog. It is also safe to use around children and infants. It smells good as well and, according to reviews, can even help keep your pet feeling calm and happy using aroma therapy due to the essential oils in the ingredients list.
Wondercide Natural Flea and Tick Treatment
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Another product we like when looking at how to get rid of fleas naturally is Wondercide. This is a flea repellent that kills fleas on contact and is specifically designed to be used indoors on furniture, carpeting, bedding and more.
You can also use this product on cats and dogs in place of other flea treatments or flea collars. It is made of plant based ingredients including cedarwood and lemongrass – both of which repel fleas.
Best of all, this all natural flea killer is safe to use in homes with children.
Wondercide Natural Flea and Tick Treatment For Yards
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Wondercide also offers a product specifically made for yards. When considering how to get rid of fleas and ticks inside, you must also consider getting rid of them outside.
Reducing the number of fleas in your yard and garden will help prevent your pets from picking them up and bringing them in your home.
We like that this product is made of all natural, plant based ingredients that not only repel fleas but also prevent mosquitoes, ticks and other pests. This is also a safe product to use around both children and pets.
Vet’s Best Flea And Tick Home Spray
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Another natural product we love for flea prevention in homes is Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray. It is made with natural oils like peppermint oil. This is an effective indoor treatment for how to get rid of fleas and is safe to use around children and pets.
You can also spray this flea repellent directly on dogs and puppies. However, don’t use it on puppies who are younger than twelve weeks old.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Using Plants
Lavender is a natural flea repellent and a lovely way to spruce up your garden.
Wondering how to get rid of fleas in your yard or garden? Since a big part of getting rid of fleas has to do with preventing them in the first place, you may want to consider planting a flea-repelling garden.
Some of the best and safest flea-repelling plants you can use in your garden include:
Spearmint is a type of plant that is easy to grow and incredibly fragrant. It is a multipurpose plant that can be used in teas and recipes, and is excellent for any homeowner trying to figure out how to get rid of fleas around their home. The powerful scent of mint is attractive to humans but very overpowering to fleas, meaning they will be less likely to want to hang around your garden.
As part of the mint family, lavender is both beautiful, calming, fragrant and effective when it comes to flea control. Fleas do not like the strong, sweet scent of lavender and will typically steer clear of it. However, while lavender does deter fleas, it does not kill them. Still, lavender is a safe plant to use in gardens where children and pets like to play.
The following plants are also good for flea control but they are toxic to cats and dogs.
Chrysanthemums are beautiful flowers that create natural pesticides called Pyrethrins. These pesticides are toxic to a number of insects, not just fleas, meaning that chrysanthemums are a great and natural way to help keep your garden flea-free. However, and as we mentioned above, chrysanthemums are toxic to cats and dogs.
Pennyroyal is a small, fragrant flower plant that can be planted in gardens to help repel fleas and other pests, although this plant is also toxic to cats and dogs. If you have pets who like to dig up gardens or eat plants, we do not recommend putting this plant on your list of how to get rid of fleas. This is because Pennyroyal contains a number of toxic chemicals that, while natural to the plant, can lead to liver damage and other health issues if ingested or even touched by pets.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Using Home Remedies
A homemade lemon spray is an easy and effective way to repel fleas.
If you are looking at how to get rid of fleas the natural way, you may want to look into making your own deterrents using home remedies. In fact, you may already have flea deterrents lying around your home.
Some good home remedies you can use when looking at how to get rid of fleas include:
- Dish Soap
- Lemon Spray
- Baking Soda
- Herbal Flea Spray
You can make your own sprays or dusts using the above ingredients to help not only kill fleas inside your home, but keep them from entering your home in the first place.
This Video Shows How To Get Rid Of Fleas By Making Your Own Herbal Flea Spray At Home
Facts About Fleas – Frequently Asked Questions
Fleas can’t fly but they can jump very high.
Some of us simply want to know how to get rid of fleas, but we can help better prevent them by also learning more about them.
Let’s take a look at a few frequently asked questions about fleas.
- Do Fleas Bite Humans?
Fleas prefer animal hosts like dogs, cats, and wild animals, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bite humans too. You are especially at risk of being bitten by a flea if a flea infestation starts up in your home. And while flea bites don’t usually hurt, they can lead to allergic reactions, disease, and infections.
- What Do Flea Bites Look Like?
Flea bites are usually small, red dots on the skin. They appear in clusters of two or three on you or your pet’s skin. For dogs, flea bites can occur anywhere, but for humans, bites usually happen on our feet, lower legs, and ankles.
- What Is Flea Dirt?
Flea dirt is dried specks of flea feces, mostly made of the blood fleas have feasted on. Flea dirt looks like pepper specks and is usually an indication of a flea infestation either on your pet or in your home. You can spot flea dirt by combing through your pet’s fur or by looking around your pet’s bedding inside. If you find flea dirt, it’s time to research how to get rid of fleas.
- Do Fleas Carry Diseases?
Unfortunately, yes, fleas do carry diseases. They can carry very serious diseases including Murine typhus, Bubonic plague, Tungiansis, and Tularemia. In fact, typhoid fever has been on the rise in Los Angeles, California due to a recent influx in fleas.
- What Is The Difference Between Fleas And Lice?
Both fleas and lice are small, wingless parasites that feast on blood. However, lice cannot jump as far as fleas and therefore cannot travel as easily. Lice also die within a day or two when left without a blood host, while fleas can live up to 100 days host-free. Furthermore, common head lice do not carry diseases and are therefore less dangerous than fleas.
- How High Do Fleas Jump?
Fleas can jump impressively high for how small they are. A flea can jump up to 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally. This means they can jump as far as 100 times their body height.
- Where Do Fleas Live?
Fleas can live anywhere in the world, although they prefer warm, humid environments. Before clinging to a blood host like your dog or cat, fleas typically hang out in yards and are most attracted to areas where wild animals venture, including near fruit trees and in tall grass.
Tips On Preventing Future Flea Problems
Leaving garbage outside or allowing rotting fruit to sit under fruit trees too long can attract wild animals and thus fleas.
Remember, when looking at how to get rid of fleas, you must also take a look at how you can prevent them. Fleas are not only annoying but also vectors of disease and can be a real danger to pets and people.
Fleas are attracted to the same types of places and things wild animals are attracted to like fruit trees, rotting fruit at the base of fruit trees, garbage and garbage cans, and animal feces.
You can help reduce the chances of fleas in your home and on your pets by:
- Mowing your lawn consistently
- Planting flea-repellent plants and flowers in your garden
- Protecting your dogs and cats with flea preventatives
- Vacuuming your home often
- Not leaving garbage cans out overnight
- Cleaning up animal feces as often as possible
Do you have any other ideas on how to get rid of fleas? Let us know what your tips and tricks are in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.