Preventing fleas is not something that you can worry about once a year and then forget about: It is a constant battle. However, by taking a few simple steps you can help to ensure that your home remains flea free. Once fleas have invaded your home it is too late for most preventative measures. |
As the warmer summer months arrive and the risk of a flea invasion increases, now is a great time to start taking preventative measures to avoid having to share your home with fleas.
An important tool in elimination and prevention of fleas is sanitation. Outdoor flea problems are often caused by or aggravated by a lack of simple law maintenance (sanitation), the presence of flea infested wildlife, fleas on pets and often by stray cats and dogs. Poor sanitation does not create fleas but it does increase the risk of inviting animals which carry fleasor ticks. This, in turn, affects you, your family, your pets and the interior of your home. Even with proper sanitation procedures you might have fleas transmitted to your property by your neighbor's stray pets or other animals that visit your property.
A sound flea control program (to prevent fleas inside your home) addresses possible wildlife problems, domestic animals that belong to you and those that do not, regular lawn sanitation as well as flea prevention products. In other words, look at the entire picture to get the complete story. Do not assume that you have perfect exterior conditions. Inspect your property and follow integrated pest management (IPM) guidelines for flea prevention.
Preventing fleas through sound sanitation practices is not as far fetched as many people believe. Most people know that vacuuming their home regularly will help pick up fleas. This vacuuming also takes away vital elements of a flea's life cycle and development: debris and "flea dirt." .To inhibit the survival and development of fleas in your home, reduce the debris needed for their camouflaged cocoon and adult flea droppings that are necessary for the larvae to survive.Thorough cleaning of a home on a regular basis (especially areas where your pets sleep, play, eat or just lounge around) will greatly reduce the materials needed for the immature flea to continue its development.
Even if you have no pets inside your home or on your property, fleas can easily be carried into your home by humans. Adult fleas respond to movement, vibrations and exhaled breath. The simple action of walking across a flea infested area (your lawn, a public park, etc.) sets off the natural jumping action of adult fleas. They then can easily hitch-hike into your home, once they cling to your skin, shoes, socks, pants or other articles of clothing. It is in this manner that people with no pets can have their home invaded by fleas. If you ignore outdoor flea problems you are at great risk of transferring fleas into your home. The fleas will be carried inside by obliging hosts such as your pets, children or adults.
Flea Prevention Products
Besides eliminating outdoor infestations before the fleas invade your home, flea prevention products do not always include the use of pesticides. If you live in an area that is prone to flea problems, begin your flea prevention program as early as March. After thorough cleaning and vacuuming, apply a product that will keep flea eggs and flea larvae from growing up or a product that kills eggs and larvae. These types of products are generally safer to handle than insecticides, last longer than insecticides and attack fleas in their most vulnerable and numerous stages: eggs and larvae.
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