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Suggestions for eliminating fleas as soon as they invade your own home

A flea is a really small insect that survives by feeding on animal or human blood.

Their bites may cause itchiness and irritation. Fleas can infect individuals or pets with germs that trigger flea-borne typhus, plague, or cat scratch illness.

The lifecycle of a flea

Normal flea life cycle. (CDC)

Most fleas have 4 life phases: Egg, larva, pupa (in a cocoon) and grownup.

In response to the CDC, their life cycle might be very fast or final many months to years relying on the setting.

After grownup fleas discover a human host, they mate and start laying eggs within the fur and environment of the host. Eggs will hatch in a single to 10 days relying on environmental situations (temperature and humidity).

After hatching, fleas enter their larval stage. They’re free-moving and feed on blood and flea feces in an effort to proceed rising. Inside 5 to twenty days of feeding on “flea dust,” the larva spins a cocoon and enters the pupa stage. The cocoon protects them from pesticides for a number of days or even weeks till the adults are prepared to come back out.

  • Pesticides will NOT kill fleas once they’re in cocoons!

Grownup fleas is not going to emerge from the cocoon till they know there is a host — they grow to be alerted to a bunch by motion or physique warmth. Grownup feminine fleas start to feed inside a number of hours of rising and can start to mate and lay eggs quickly after.

Fleas discover a host by detecting physique warmth, motion, and vibrations attributable to motion and respiration. They like animals however will chew individuals when animals are unavailable.

Most typical fleas in Michigan

Cat flea (L), Canine Flea (R) (CDC)

There are greater than 2,500 flea species the world over and solely 300 of these are present in the US.

In response to Michigan State College, the cat flea is probably the most generally encountered flea species in Michigan. The canine flea is often discovered on wild animals. Each species choose canine and cats as hosts, however they’re discovered on all kinds of different animals together with rodents and livestock.

Each species are intermediate hosts of the canine tapeworm which is widespread in each canine and cats. The tapeworm is transmitted when the animal ingests infested fleas. The tapeworm may infect youngsters in the event that they by accident eat infested fleas.

If the climate is sizzling and humid, the cat flea can full its life cycle in three weeks. Fleas transmit germs that trigger illnesses by means of feeding on hosts or by means of fecal contamination, when contaminated flea feces is scratched into an open wound.

Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)

  • This flea is the commonest flea discovered on pets (together with canine) and different home animals in the US.

  • It’s able to spreading plague micro organism, however does so inefficiently in contrast with floor squirrel or rat fleas.

  • Cat fleas don’t voluntarily go away their host as soon as they’ve hopped on.

Canine flea (Ctenocephalides canis)

  • Transmits: Aids in spreading Dipylidium caninum, a tapeworm generally present in canine and cats, however sometimes present in people.

  • Regardless of its identify, the canine flea will not be a standard flea of ​​the home canine in the US.

Learn: Let’s discuss Michigan ladybugs: Why they’re in your house and why you need to do nothing about it

Learn how to kill them as soon as they’ve invaded your own home

Eliminating fleas will not be a straightforward process. Average to extreme infestations will take months to manage and require a number of very organized steps.

The CDC recommends following the next steps: Sanitation, pet remedy, dwelling remedy and follow-up. For step one, you may want to wash areas the place fleas steadily breed. That features washing bedding, rugs and pet bedding. You may should vacuum and sweep your flooring — being attentive to the perimeters of partitions.

Each pet within the dwelling should be handled for fleas. Bathe them with cleaning soap and water, then comb them with a flea comb. Deal with the face and neck areas and the world in entrance of the tail. Cleaning soap will kill grownup fleas. You possibly can speak to your veterinarian a couple of flea management product to your pet.

You may need to deal with your own home on the similar time you deal with your pets. That retains all therapies on the identical timeline and helps disrupt the life cycle of the flea. You may need to do a follow-up remedy inside 5 to 10 days after the primary software. You may need to repeatedly vacuum and sanitize areas all through the interval to choose up remaining eggs and juvenile fleas.

Extra ideas for flea management:

  • Put on a pair of white calf-length socks and stroll round the home and hold observe of the areas the place probably the most variety of fleas are noticed on the socks. Fleas on the socks will almost certainly be newly emerged adults searching for a bunch.

  • Keep in mind closets and different areas the place cats wish to spend time. Fleas shall be most quite a few in pet resting areas and different out of the way in which locations the place cats wish to pend time.

  • Each canine and cats are very efficient at eradicating fleas — a researcher reported that as much as 80% of the fleas eliminated by the host in two weeks time, which suggests focus your flea management on the setting the place the pet lives and never solely on the pet.


To forestall the event of flea larvae, you need to use pesticides referred to as insect development regulators or IGRs. They’re artificial compies of a substance which are current in growing bugs and management the expansion of the larvae. They intervene with regular improvement and kill the larvae. They’ve very low toxicity to mammals so they’re protected to make use of round infants and young children.

Probably the most broadly out there IGR for flea management is methoprene. Precor stays efficient for as much as 4 months, so you’ll be able to deal with your own home 3 times a 12 months to nearly eradicate flea issues. Earlier than you apply Precor, you need to completely clear and vacuum your own home to take away any particles that can forestall full protection of Precor.

After cleansing, apply the Precor spray to all ground surfaces, upholstered furnishings (take away cushions and inside areas), pet sleeping areas, the underside 18″ of ground size drapes. Transfer and deal with below all furnishings. Be certain that all handled surfaces are utterly dry, often takes 2 hours, earlier than you permit anybody again into the house. Wait two days earlier than vacuuming the carpets to permit Precor time to arrange.

It doesn’t kill pupae or grownup fleas.

The place to verify your pet for fleas. (CDC)

Suggestions for stopping fleas in your pets

The CDC stated there are some issues you are able to do to stop fleas in your pet.

You possibly can restrict the period of time they spend outdoors, restrict their contact with stray and wild animals, bathe and brush them commonly, and verify for fleas commonly.

It’s best to speak to your vet about flea management merchandise and deal with your pet year-round in an effort to kill grownup fleas and stop new ones from hatching.

Flea collars alone should not efficient. Whereas some flea collars could assist to maintain fleas off the pinnacle and neck areas, the fleas often keep within the tail and underbelly areas. Some pets might also develop an itchy rash from the flea collar.

Cats, kittens, and younger canine can grow to be sick from sensitivity to the insecticide within the collars. They may also be harmful in the event that they get caught within the pet’s mouth. So, when you do use them, you need to use them with warning.

the Michigan Humane Society recommends utilizing high-quality flea merchandise or therapies. There are numerous newer flea repellent merchandise available on the market. Some are a pre-mixed, pre-measured liquid that you could place in your pet’s pores and skin. It solely must be utilized as soon as a month.

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