According to The Central Institute for Meteorology and Geo Dynamics (ZAMG), this past summer was one of the warmest ones ever recorded, with record highs reported worldwide. Rainfall in the heat also created steamy, humid days. Unfortunately, these are perfect conditions for flea infestation, which has allegedly also been worse this year.
Will cold weather remove flea problems?
Ideally, fleas need a warm, moist environment to live. So if the infected area is 40 degrees or less, yes, cold weather can kill fleas. However, since most of us don’t live in temperatures of 40 degrees or less, fleas which have nestled indoors in your carpet or pet’s bedding are sheltered from the cold. So once fleas are indoors, their larva and pupa or cocoon stage can survive even the harshest winter.
How do I remove fleas from my home?
Pets can bring fleas into your home. But even if you don’t have pets, fleas can attach to humans’ clothing. To remove any residual fleas and larvae, you should dust, vacuum, and mop your floors. Be sure to toss the vacuum cleaner bag away outside because fleas can jump up to ten inches right out of the bag! Then professionally steam clean the carpets in your home.
If you have pets in your home, place your pet’s bedding outside. Dust it off well and leave it in the hot sun for several hours. If it’s removable, launder your pet’s bed. Then wash your pet. Ordinary organic dish soap will kill any fleas. Pay special attention to your pet’s head and tail as fleas like to hide there. To be absolutely sure you’ve removed all fleas, brush your pet with a flea comb. These are available at any pet supply store. And while there is nothing which kills the fleas in their pupa stage, there are preventive treatments which attack the birth cycle, killing fleas as they hatch as well as killing adults already living on your pet.
Another effective way to kill fleas on your pet is to rub food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) over its coat. Also, as an additional preventative, dogs can be fed brewer’s yeast and garlic. If your dog can tolerate eating these, fleas won’t nest in an animal which has them in its diet.
How can I tell if I have a flea problem in my home?
If your pet is repeatedly scratching himself, fleas are a possible cause. Check your pet’s fur for “dirty spots,” or dark dander which indicates fleas. Another easy way to tell if you have fleas in your carpet is to wear a pair of white socks around the house. As startling a discovery as this may be, you’ll be able to easily see specks of black fleas as they jump on your socks.
There are a variety of flea sprays available at pet supply and grocery stores which you can use to treat areas where your pets sleep and play outdoors. Dogs and cats can also be treated with the flea prevention treatment products Frontline or Advantage.