First, let’s start with a little bit about the life history of the flea:
- Fleas must have blood in order to reproduce.
- All fleas go through four stages of life.
- The eggs are laid on your animal and then drop from the animal and hatch out to a maggot-like larvae.
- After two weeks the larvae are full grown and spin cocoons in which they change into the pupae stage. This stage can last anywhere from one to eight weeks before hatching into adult fleas.
Almost all flea infestations in homes can be attributed to pets
Your pets can pick up fleas any number of ways. If they go outside to do their business they may pick up fleas from any wild animal that may have passed through your yard. If you take your pet to a dog park, they will be exposed to fleas there.
Disrupting Flea Life Cycle
In order to prevent the invasion we must disrupt the life cycle of the flea. As a homeowner, you must prepare your home prior to any flea treatment. The flea egg larvae, pupae and adults will be concentrated in your pet’s bedding and sleeping areas. The bedding should be washed in hot water and the entire house vacuumed thoroughly. Pay special attention to areas under furniture, under couch and chair cushions, floor cracks and along walls. Thoroughly wash and mop tile wood and concrete areas. Place the vacuum bag in an air-tight plastic bag and dispose of outside the home. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty into an air-tight plastic bag and dispose of outside as well. Vacuum bags left unemptied will be a source of reinfestation.
Houston Flea Control Methods
Effective flea control includes the treatment of three areas: Inside the home, outside the home and the pet. All three areas need to be treated the same day.
- All affected pets– dogs, cats, birds etc.- should be treated by a veterinarian or dipped by homeowner. Fish bowls/aquariums can remain as long as they are covered and the pumps turned off.
- The inside treatment generally takes two applications. These treatments cover all carpeted areas, padded furniture and non-carpeted rooms. There is only a slight odor that will vanish completely when the product is dry. This is why your home should be vacated 2 to 3 hours until the product is dry.
- Outside the home, the yard, surrounding areas and structures are power sprayed. After treatment, children and pets should be kept off the treated areas until the product has completely dried.
The first treatment will kill the adult fleas. You may notice some flea activity after treatment. This does not mean the treatment isn’t working – it may take up to three weeks before all activity ceases. This is why a second treatment inside the home is performed to eliminate the emerging fleas from the third stage of the life cycle.