The Science Behind Fleas
Fleas are a serious insect to have in your home if you have pets or small children. They feast on dog and cat blood and human blood, too. Fleas like any warm-blooded species. The scary thing about fleas is they can survive as mature adults without any food source for several weeks.
They can spread from one pet to another. Some pets have to be treated for fleas if it gets really bad and they have a flea allergy. They can make the host quite itchy. They usually are brought into houses on your pets.
Once a flea finds a host, it is happy to stay on it. This is often in the fur of an animal. For a flea, a comfy carpet mimics a furry animal. If you have any area rugs, fleas will infest them. Fleas don’t like smooth areas like wood floors but if a furry pet drops them off, they will stay. Even working in the garden or going for a walk can potentially lead to you bringing fleas in the house. Children carry fleas more often than adults. Kids love laying on the ground and digging in the dirt, places where fleas will reside. Rodents such as mice and rats also carry them into our homes. The larvae feed on adult droppings so they like to stay in dark, dusty areas.
Hardwood Floors and Fleas
Hardwood floors – especially old ones – can be infested with fleas. Fleas don’t stay on the surfaces of wood floors. They hide in the cracks. The older the wood floors, the more cracks they have. If you have fleas, you will certainly have them in your furniture.
Steps To Eliminate Fleas
Here are certain measures that you can take to eliminate fleas from your home and your wood floors. Keep in mind that both the eggs and the adults need to be eradicated.
1. Vacuum regularly. If you can do it daily – amazing! This will reduce the amount of fleas and eggs in your home. Vacuum the areas where your pets go the most – their beds, where they eat, etc. Once you have finished vacuuming, remove the vacuum bag from your home or cover it properly so that any vacuumed up fleas will not escape.
Floor and wall junctures are common spots where fleas live. Vacuum along your baseboards well. If you have any cracks in your wood floors, go over this area thoroughly.
2. Damp mop your hardwood floors with a microfiber mop. Use a small amount of apple cider vinegar when you mop. This will pick up any additional flea eggs that you did not pick up with your vacuum cleaner. Make sure to thoroughly dry your floors after. You cannot afford to have any standing water or moisture on your wood floors – it will wreck them overtime.
3. Wash everything your pet touches. Use the hottest setting for both the washing machine and the dryer. Wash your pet’s bed and your bedding, clothes that you have worn handling your pet, bedding, carpets, curtains and so forth.
4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth where you have fleas – focus on the edges of the room and wherever your pet goes. It is available at your local garden store. It is the most natural product you can get to treat fleas. It is powdered sedimentary rock. Because of the jagged edges of the particles, it scratches their protective wax layer and dehydrates them. It makes them dry up and die.
Alternately, you can use borax. You can get borax at your local health food store. Mix 2 cups of borax to ¼ cup of table salt. Keep the powder spread through your home for a week. Use a shaker container to spread it out. Keep it in your home for a month. Then vacuum it up and discard it.
There are many other products on the market that treat fleas. Many of them are going to get rid of fleas faster but they may be harmful to you and your pets.
5. Repeat the vacuuming and washing and you should get rid of your flea problem in a few months.
If you keep up with the cleaning and vacuuming, You should see the flea population shrinking.