Indoor flea control involves mechanically removing all stages of the fleas, killing any remaining adults, and preventing immature forms from developing. Flea populations are highest in places where pets regularly stay. |
Vacuuming and washing are the least toxic ways to control fleas. When treating the indoor environment it is important to launder all bedding in hot, soapy water at least weekly if your dog spends time on your bed, and also wash your dog's bedding in the same way at least once a week.
All of the carpeting, floors, rugs, upholstered furniture, crevices where lint and pet hairs accumulate around baseboards, and cabinets should be vacuumed daily or every other day to thoroughly remove flea eggs, larvae, adults, and food sources. Vacuum around ventilators, around heat registers, in floor cracks, under and in furniture where your dog sleeps and favorite places where he hangs out.
Before vacuuming, you'll want to collect all items such as toys, clothing, and shoes off the floors, under beds, furniture, in closets, etc., to ensure easy access for treatment. Vacuuming can be very effective in picking up adults and stimulating pre-emerged adults to leave their cocoons. Flea larvae do not move far from the site of hatching when there is adequate food (dried blood feces from adults). Something you might like to do is to put some flea powder into the vacuum bag to kill fleas as you vacuum.
Keep in mind the larvae don't like light, spend about 80% of the time deep in the carpet at the base of fibers, and frequently become entwined within the carpet. At pupation, the larva moves up the carpet fiber spinning a camouflaging cocoon around itself.
After vacuuming, place the vacuum bag in a large plastic garbage bag, secure the bag, and discard in an outdoor trash container.
The vacuum bag must be thrown away because flea eggs can survive and develop inside vacuum bags and adults may be able to escape to the outside. Immediately destroy bags by burning or by sealing them in a plastic trash bag so they don't escape. Then discard them in a covered trash container.
Steam cleaning the carpet can kill some of the larvae as well. It's important to keep in mind though, that vacuuming and shampooing a carpet will still leave a good percentage of live fleas so some sort of chemical treatment may be necessary.
Foggers are especially good for large open areas. Surface sprays can reach areas such as baseboards, moldings, cracks, and under furniture where foggers cannot reach. Choose the product you use with care, taking into account the presence of children, fish, birds, persons with asthma, etc. Your veterinarian can help you choose the appropriate products for your situation.
Do not forget to also clean and treat your automobile, pet carrier, garage, basement, or any other place your pet spends much time.
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