How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your House? Fleas are mainly an issue that pets, such as cats and dogs, deal with regularly. However, fleas can bite humans, too. It’s possible to have fleas in your house even if you’re not a pet owner. 

While pets are often the unfortunate hosts of fleas, other animals can also provide fleas access to your home or property. Fleas can also be brought in by skunks or raccoons. If you’ve noticed itchy red bites and bumps on your pets or your loved ones, you could have a flea infestation.

Getting rid of fleas in your house is an ongoing battle. Fleas mass produce and lay between 30 to 50 eggs each day. You may ask: how to get rid of fleas in the house, fast?  Eradicating this type of pest on your own is difficult, so we’ve provided a few tips below to guide you through natural removal options and professional pest control options. Our guide also discusses health risks associated with flea bites and how to prevent fleas from taking over your home in the future.

Tips On How to Get Rid of Fleas in The House, Fast

Fleas can reside on the skin of both animals and humans all around the world, feeding freely. Fleas spread fast since the female adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs on its host. 

According to the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), 95% of fleas reside in the environment as pupae, larvae and eggs. Adult fleas can go months without feeding and live anywhere from 14 days to a whole year. One female adult flea, with the potential to lay up to 50 eggs a day for a full lifetime, could result in 1,500 eggs. Further, some fleas can leap over a hundred times their body length.

Implementing a regular cleaning routine can help protect your family and your pets and rid yourself of fleas in the house, but it will likely only get you so far. The quickest and surest way to eliminate fleas for good is to consult a licensed pest control expert equipped with the tools and experience to ensure the job is successful. However, here are a few useful tips to help you get started on flea prevention and eradication:

1. Treat Pets With Vet-Approved Flea Medication  

Once you suspect a flea infestation, ensure that your pets receive a vet-approved flea-safe and effective treatment. Once the adult fleas feed on a treated pet, they typically die off. However, this measure only targets adult fleas.

Flea treatments vary depending on your pet. A treatment suitable for a dog won’t be appropriate for cats, especially those containing permethrin—a chemical toxic to cats. Trust your veterinarian to suggest the best dosage and brand for treatment based on your pet’s age, weight, and species. Keep in mind that the dosage will depend on your pet’s weight. 

2. Check Your Pet For Fleas Regularly 

Signs of flea infestation on your pets include behavioral changes and physical symptoms. Your pet may scratch themselves more than usual or experience hair loss, skin irritation, and redness. Upon close examination, you may see specks in their fur—fleas or droppings.

If you treat your pets early, it’s less likely for them to develop more severe flea-related diseases, such as tapeworms.

3. Use a Flea Comb on Your Pets

To monitor flea infestation, pet owners should regularly use fine-tooth flea comb on their pets. Regularly combing will also help prevent flea infestations.

Submerge the comb in hot soapy water. Comb your pets over a white surface, such as an old white sheet, to help identify fleas and their droppings or eggs. To tell the difference between a dropping and a flea, you can add a few drops of water to the speck. If it turns reddish-brown, it’s a dropping, not a flea.

Fleas gather around the neck and tail of a pet. It’s especially important to concentrate on these areas.

4. Vacuum Your Home Frequently

Flea eggs and larvae show up wherever your pets go often, including the carpet and pet bedding. Regular vacuuming can help reduce eggs and restrict food availability for larvae. 

Use a powerful vacuum with a removable, disposable bag rather than a stick vacuum that you must manually clean the chamber. There’s a chance that you will miss many fleas and may put yourself at risk of getting bitten.

Vacuum all points of pet contact and in crevices using vacuum attachments. Eggs, larvae, and pupae can get into the floors, carpet, furniture,  mattresses and even skirting boards of the wall. Wash the cylinder of the vacuum cleaner, even if you’ve used a removable bag. Ideally, you should vacuum every day until the flea infestation has passed.  

Wash any small area rugs in a high-temperature setting. Use a steam cleaner on the finer folds of the carpet.

5.  Wash Bedding Often at High Temperatures

Wash all bedding regularly at the highest setting that’s suitable for the fabric. Wash all sheets, blankets, and decorative pillow casings. Wash all pet bedding.

Once the items have been washed, you should also dry them at the highest heat setting that’s appropriate for the material. Regular high-temperature washing and drying will help eliminate fleas and any in the growth cycle. 

Use a steam cleaner to get into the crevices of upholstery and draping. 

If the flea infestation is quite serious, it’s advisable to replace your old bedding.

6. Try Chemical Treatments

If the flea infestation continues to be an issue in your home, try over-the-counter chemical treatments to help destroy the fleas. An aerosol spray will be more effective than foggers, or bug bombs, in eliminating fleas.

The chemicals inside a “flea be gone” aerosol spray can be damaging to both humans and pets with over-exposure. Ensure your family and pets are out of the home when treatment is applied. Wear a mask if you can to prevent inhaling the fumes. 

Follow the instructions on the aerosol can, and allow for the designated time to pass. It’s usually a few hours, so you can plan for a fun day out and about.

More effective chemical treatments may be found with professional pest control experts that focus on flea control and removal.

Why Fleas Are Harmful to Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that fleas can cause a wide range of fleaborne diseases, infections, allergic reactions, and infections that include:

  • Dog flea bites, cat flea bites, and human flea bites can result in itching, skin irritation, dermatitis, and allergic reactions.
  • Fleas may transmit parasites to humans, such as tapeworm.
  • A flea bite from a rodent, or other wildlife, can cause plague—a disease inflicted by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Although considered rare, plague still affects people in parts of the western United States, South America, Russia, areas of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. 
  • Cat flea bites and rat flea bites can spread typhus, a disease caused by the Rickettsia bacteria. Typhus still troubles many areas of the world and can be deadly, but most patients experience a full recovery if they receive treatment at the appropriate time and degree.

What Do Flea Bites Look Like?

If not mitigated and treated, fleas can bite all over the body, particularly on those with dense hair on their legs or chest. However, fleas usually bite around the ankles and feet.

Many humans aren’t sensitive to flea bites, so their reactions may be minimal. Those who are sensitive may experience more redness and irritation surrounding the bites. Flea bites are small with a central, raised red spot. The bites occur in groups of three or four and may form a line. When they scab, the red spot will be surrounded by a small red halo.

Fleas Biting Humans: When to Seek Medical Attention

Humans aren’t the preferred hosts for fleas, but fleas will bite them when they haven’t found a better alternative. Those who are allergic, as well as small children, are the ones who are most likely to have a negative reaction to a flea bite. The skin may become painful around the bite. An allergic person may also experience a rash or hives. 

Scratching the bite could cause a secondary infection, so treating and covering the wound is best. You can use anti-itch cream to help relieve the symptoms. In most cases, bites will clear up on their own and without much notice from humans. This is unless there’s a risk of infestation, or again, if you are sensitive to flea bites.

If someone who was bitten by a flea shows these symptoms, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • Nausea
  • Swelling around the face or lips
  • Difficulty breathing  
  • Excessive redness around the bite
  • Extreme pain around the bite

Besides an allergic reaction, some fleaborne illnesses are possibly transmitted to humans from the bite, such as plague and typhus.

According to the University of Missouri, over 2,200 types of fleas have been identified across the globe, and in Missouri, 30 species of fleas exist. In a lifetime, a female adult could birth up to around 1,500 fleas by laying up to 50 eggs a day. 

While cleaning and pest control prevention efforts at home can be effective, it’s always best to contact the pest control professionals at Pest Control Unlimited as soon as possible if you discover the signs of a flea infestation in your home.