Icky. That’s what fleas are. Or any pests for the matter.
Just seeing a single flea may not cause you to panic, but what if you discovered an actual flea infestation in your home?
A scary prospect, right? Unfortunately, it’s a very real thing.
Some get the shock of their lives when they see fleas on the bed, under the carpet, climbing up the walls, or tucked away in the couch.
On this page:
- What to Do If You Have Fleas in Your House
- Are Fleas Dangerous?
- How Long Do Fleas Live in the House For?
- How Do You Know if You Have Fleas in the House?
- What Do Fleas Look Like?
- Can Humans Bring Fleas into the House?
- What Kills Fleas in the House?
- Flea Treatment for Your Pets
- Natural and Home Remedies for Fleas
- Getting Rid of Fleas in the Yard
- How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Flea Infestation Treatment?
- Getting Quotes from Exterminators
No matter how much we love our beloved pets, they will likely bring in fleas with them back home after you bring them out for a walk – this is how fleas usually start invading our homes.
And, not a lot of people are aware that fleas will rapidly reproduce. If you only saw a handful of them a week ago, don’t be surprised to see so many crawling around now. It only takes a day for a female flea to lay around 20 to 50 eggs, and for the eggs to hatch after a week.
If you don’t do anything to kill fleas as soon as you see them, expect to have thousands of fleas and their eggs hiding all over your home in just a few weeks.
This is why flea removal is a must. And if you got here because of this exact problem, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best ways to remove fleas in your home, why proper treatment is needed, and if it is possible to do so without chemicals involved.
What to Do If You Have Fleas in Your House
Don’t panic. That’s what everyone should do first.
But aside from that, you need to keep in mind that you need to get rid of them immediately before you have a full-blown infestation in your house. Not only do fleas rapidly multiply, they are also sturdy pests that can live without hosts for months.
You might think that just because you don’t have a dog or a cat doesn’t mean that there are no fleas in your home. It may come as a surprise to you but flea infestations can happen even if you have a pet-free home. And, they can thrive not just inside your home but even out on your yard.
If you instantly get your home treated to try and kill fleas the moment you see them, but don’t do any kind of treatment to the source of the infestation, everything will be useless. You will only get to kill the adult fleas, but their eggs and pupae will still remain and later develop into adult fleas.
You need to address the source of your flea infestation first. This may mean applying insecticides in your home, including to your pets, to kill fleas that are already in their adult stages, and using foggers and sprays, among others. Fleas will just keep reproducing if there is no flee removal treatment done at the source.
Do note that pesticides will hardly affect eggs and pupae of fleas, so you need to redo the treatment after a few weeks once they finally hatch or come out of their cocoon.
It is not possible to instantly solve your flea problem; it would take weeks or even a few months before you completely eradicate them. What is important is that you consistently do regular flea removal measures until they are completely gone.
Are Fleas Dangerous?
Fleas are pests – that is a given. But, do they have the potential to be dangerous?
If we love our pets, it seems like fleas love them even more. That’s why it is not surprising to see a lot of them when we rub the fur of a flea-infested animal.
However, we know that fleas are bad for our pets, because they can cause different kinds of illnesses to them, including anemia that may cause death. But on us humans, they are an annoyance, but not really dangerous.
Anyone can get flea bites, but you should not really worry when you get them. At worst, you can get an allergic reaction that can cause you to itch like crazy. When you keep scratching the bite, it can break your skin and result in an open wound, or cause irritations that can lead to infections.
Humans don’t really get diseases from fleas. In fact, prolonged exposure to the chemicals that kill fleas may even be more dangerous than a flea bite.
How Long Do Fleas Live in the House For?
If you think you can stop a flea infestation in your home by making sure they will starve to death, prepare to be disappointed. Fleas can survive for months without any taking in blood from a host.
The lives of fleas are extremes: they can either live long after remaining in a certain stage in their life cycle for so long, but they can also complete that cycle quickly and live for just a few days.
It is important to understand the life cycle of fleas to explain why we can’t put an exact number on how long they usually live in a house:
- Once a female flea gets into your home and obtains a blood meal, or a host where they can suck much-needed blood, they can now lay their eggs on that host within 24 hours. And, it’s not just a single egg that will be laid; female fleas can lay as much as 50 eggs on a host in one whole day.
- How soon an egg hatches will depend on its environment. If the place where it ends up is humid and warm, it will hatch in as fast as two days. But if not, it can take as much as two weeks before it moves on to the next stage.
- At the larval stage, which lasts for around 5 to 20 days, they will feed on the blood packs coming from their mother, as well as organic matter from the environment. They don’t need an actual blood host yet at this point.
- If the conditions are right, the larvae will create cocoons and become a pupa. They can remain in this state for as little as just three days to as long as six months before becoming adult fleas.
Pupae need to be triggered before they come out of their cocoons. They can remain undisturbed for months without any food source, but when they sense nearby vibrations, increased carbon dioxide levels, and thermal changes, particularly heat, they will immediately emerge from their cocoons and attach themselves to the nearest host.
- As soon as they go out of their cocoons, they are now considered adults. And once the female fleas get to feed, the cycle repeats.
Their lifespan will depend on the various conditions they require, and if your home meets them. They can remain in your home for just two weeks, starting from being an egg until it dies, or even years if they spend most of that time in hibernation as a pupa.
How Do You Know if You Have Fleas in the House?
As long as you have pets, chances are that you also have fleas lurking inside your home without your knowledge. And because they are very tiny pests, it’s hard to confirm by just looking around your home if fleas are already present, unless you already have a full-blown infestation and see them crawling around.
However, you can still check their presence before you have an infestation in your hands.
Inspect Your Pets
Check their fur for signs of fleas, or even fleas themselves. Pay close attention to the groin, neck, the base of its tail, and the folds of their legs. Use a comb to brush their hair and inspect the comb after each stroke to see if fleas or their dirt got caught in-between.
A constantly scratching dog or cat is likely a flea-infested one.
Check Your Furniture
Fleas will hide in dark spaces in your home, so these spots are likely candidates of where you can find them. Often, they will make a home in the confines of your couch, because it is not only dark but also warm and humid.
Your carpet is also a good candidate for an ideal home for fleas, as its fibers are high enough to conceal them. A good way of finding out if they are present here is by doing the sock test: wear socks, preferably white or light-colored ones to make the fleas stand out, and walk around your carpeted flooring, including on your rugs. If fleas are present, they will attach themselves to your socks.
If you have a bed or crate for your pet, these are also likely hiding spots for fleas. Flea eggs have the tendency to fall anywhere, and many of them should be present in areas where your pet spends a lot of time in. The beds of pets are even considered as one of the most common places where anyone can find fleas.
Examine Your Yard
Some sections of your yard, especially those that have a lot of moisture and shade, are favorable to fleas. You can also do the sock test here to check for fleas, since it will be much harder for you to look around this area for fleas.
Give extra attention to these spots:
- Buildup of leaves
It’s not just their surrounding areas that you need to inspect; also check the spots under them.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
It’s easy to mistake fleas for bed bugs, and other tiny pests. From afar, they look like black peppers moving around, just like ticks and bed bugs.
But up close, fleas can either be dark brown or reddish brown in color, not totally black. Their eggs, if you can actually see them because they are really tiny, are colored white and are shiny.
Even at its adult stage, fleas are tiny. They only measure around 1 to 3 mm long; male fleas can only be as long as 1 mm on average, while female fleas average at least 2 mm long. They have the longest bodies during their larval stage, averaging 3 to 5 mm long.
If you can get a closer look at them with a magnifying glass in tow, you would see that they have antennas, are hairy all over, and their mouthparts are lengthy. While these pests don’t have wings, they have long back legs that allow them to jump as high as an entire foot – that’s how they move around. Aside from the two back legs, they also have four shorter legs.
Can Humans Bring Fleas into the House?
We know that our pets are the main culprits why fleas can get into our homes. But, did you know that we, ourselves, are also bringers of fleas?
Since they are very small, we might not notice it when they cling to our clothes, our stuff, and even all over our bodies. Just one female flea in your home is enough to start an infestation in a short time.
Not only that, fleas can also use us humans as their hosts, although we might not realize it and their effects are not as severe when compared to their effects on animals. We may only realize that fleas are clinging to us when we get flea bites; they start as small, red, pinprick-like dots that will become darker before fading.
Fleas can also hide and live in our hair. But, this is not their ideal environment; washing our hair regularly means disturbing where they are hiding, and fleas like an uninterrupted environment.
What Kills Fleas in the House?
When you start seeing fleas in your home, you know that flea removal is something you need to do quickly to avoid letting them invade your home. There are a number of treatments that you can try out, and here are the more common ones:
If this is not your first encounter with fleas, you are probably familiar with the most common method of killing them one by one: by hand.
To do that, you can simply pick them up by your fingers or tweezers. You can then squeeze them in between the surfaces of your fingernails or hard surfaces. However, it’s easier said than done. Fleas have a soft skeleton that hinders you from easily killing them by hand.
Flushing Them Down the Drain
Once you get the flea between your fingers, you can simply let them flow with water down the drain, instead of squeezing them between your fingers. This is also a more recommended option if you are picking up fleas by hand, since you will surely get rid of them in your home. Squeezing them will not always kill them; you might think they are dead, but they really aren’t.
Flea Treatment for Your Pets
Pets are the number one food source of fleas, so it’s important to get the proper treatment for them the moment they show signs of having fleas. The method of doing so will depend on the severity of the infestation on your pet. Your vet may only prescribe tablets or pills for them to take, bathe them with special shampoos or soaps, or use topical medicines, spot treatments, and sprays.
To be sure that adult fleas, as well as eggs, are killed no matter where they are in your home, a chemical treatment is one of the best ways to do so. These will not only kill fleas, they will also prevent infestations for some time because many of them come with growth inhibiting properties.
The downside is, they are still considered insecticides, so they need to be carefully handled; some treatments must only be done by exterminators.
Chemical-based treatments include liquid and aerosol flea sprays, insecticides in granule form, liquid concentrates, and foggers.
Getting a Flea Trap
For a milder treatment, you can just mix some hot water and dish soap and place a light source over it. This mix is said to attract the fleas from their hiding spots and kill them once they get into the water.
Through Natural Methods
If you prefer treating your flea problem at home without chemicals involved, this is possible. Some organic substances are also known to be effective at keeping fleas at bay. However, they are not ideal if what you are after is something that will instantly take effect. Natural methods will take some time, even longer than chemical means.
Whatever treatment you choose, this will not instantly kill fleas. Give it a few days for your chosen method to work, vacuum all over your home to get rid of the dead fleas in their various life cycle stages, and do another round of treatment after a month or so. Just one flea removal treatment will not be enough.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in My House Fast
Many of these treatments we mentioned will take some time to work. But if you are sick and tired of seeing fleas crawling all over your home and want to get rid of them as quickly as possible, here are some things you can do:
- Vacuum your entire home – fleas, and even their eggs will be removed instantly and once they are inside the vacuum’s bag or canister, the lack of oxygen will kill them.
- Use your steam cleaner – use this especially on fabric surfaces, such as your carpet, couch, and pet bed. The heat can kill off the fleas, even during its larval and pupal stages where it can resist insecticide treatments
- Flooding your yard – all that water will drown fleas, including its eggs
- Contact pest control – they can solve your problem in as fast as a few hours.
Although there are a number of ways you can deal with flea infestations in your home, nothing beats getting the services of exterminators. They can assess what treatment would work best for your home and yard, and take measures to prevent fleas from coming back and reproducing in just a short time.
Natural and Home Remedies for Fleas
If you want to get rid of fleas in your home without chemicals involved, there are some flea removal and prevention methods that you can try out, such as:
- Creating herbal sprays by mixing vinegar, water, lemon juice, and witch hazel, or water, tea tree oil, and vinegar
- Sprinkling some fine-grained salt all over the carpets, as their abrasive texture allows them to cling onto fleas and cause wounds that will let fleas bleed to death. Known moisture absorbers, salt will also cause dehydration on fleas
- Spreading diatomaceous earth around your home
- Planting flea-repellent plants, like lavender, spearmint, sage, rosemary, penny royal, and chrysanthemums
- Using rosemary, either in powder form or oil
- Adding some apple cider to the drinking water of pets, or combining it with water to make a solution you can spray over their fur
- Letting spiders, nematodes, and ladybugs do their job inside and outside your home. That is, make a meal out of fleas.
They take more time than chemical treatments before you can see their effectiveness, instant results are not possible. And as a result, you may end up treating your home much longer.
Getting Rid of Fleas in the Yard
If you have a flea infestation inside your home, chances are that they are also already present in your yard. It’s not enough that you treat your home to remove fleas – you should also do the same to your yard.
Even if you already know that fleas may reside in shaded areas of your yard, such as near trees, shrubs, and clusters of leaves, it will be hard to confirm if they are indeed present only by looking at those areas. The sock test will also be an effective way of confirming their presence even in the yard. Do this at various times for several days to be sure.
Once you confirm their presence, you can proceed with the treatment. Like we mentioned, flooding is an effective way of killing fleas but if you are hesitant with this method because of all the volume of water needed to do so, you can get exterminators to use insecticides and growth regulators on your yard.
Aside from getting your yard treated, you also need to let a lot of sunlight in to your yard. Fleas hate sun, and having an abundance of it will deter them from staying in your yard. This means pruning your plants and cutting off the lower branches of your trees.
By doing so, you not only get rid of fleas, but you can also improve the appearance of your yard as a bonus.
How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Flea Infestation Treatment?
Many homeowners will attempt to control their flea problem themselves, believing that pest control companies charge exorbitant prices for it. But, little do they know that getting an exterminator to do it for them is not really that expensive.
On average, the initial treatment, which includes an inspection to determine the severity of the flea infestation, will cost $95. However, rates will also depend on how big your home is and if you also want your yard to be treated at the same time. Depending on these factors, the first treatment’s price can range from $75 to $400.
Second treatments are recommended, and the cost of doing so will depend on the pest control service you got; some exterminators already include the cost of the second treatment in your bill during the first treatment, while others charge them separately. If it is the latter, expect to shell out around $75 to $200 for the next treatment.
The cost of treatment will also depend on the season and the length of the treatment. Exterminators tend to be in demand during summer, so they normally charge higher at this period. And if it took you some time before you got them involved and exacerbated the situation, it may take a few days before the first treatment can be completed, adding to your total bill.
Most pest control services offer warranties for this kind of treatment. Often, they will do another round of treatment if the flea infestation reoccurs within the warranty period.
Although you only have to spend little for DIY work, you also have to deal with the very time-consuming tasks of vacuuming, doing your preferred treatment method, cleaning, and another round of vacuuming after doing the treatment. Not to mention exposing yourself to the dangers and health risks involved when handling insecticides and other harsh chemicals.
All that work for a few hundred dollars, or even less? A very fair price, if you ask us.
Getting Quotes from Exterminators
How long have you been dealing with flea infestations in your home?
One day? One week? One month?
Whatever your answer is, it is already long enough. And you should never put up with that.
Are you ready to have a home without fleas invading it?
If so, you need to get exterminators involved!
These exterminators will let you avoid the tiring, risky, and sweat-inducing task of using your vacuum all over the home, and exposing yourself to chemical or non-chemical-based flea treatments, only for you to discover another flea infestation the following week.
With exterminators, success is a guarantee. If you follow their instructions post-treatment, you may even prevent fleas from entering and reproducing in your home for years!
This means no longer constantly putting anti-itch creams on flea bites all over your body, and no more constant scratching for your pet. And also, no more getting surprised when you discover fleas hiding in the unlikeliest of places.
And if you don’t know how you can find an exterminator for your home, we can help you out with that! Best of all, we will do it for free!
Just fill out our form, and wait for up to four exterminators to get in touch with you with their quotes and offers; you will just have to choose which of the ones you received is to your liking.
But if you are not satisfied with any of their quotes, let them know. We don’t require you to pick one from them just for you to use our service.
It’s really that easy and convenient!
So, let’s solve your flea problem now!