If it’s time to reclaim your home from a flea infestation, you can make a pretty good dent in the flea population with regular washing and vacuuming. Pay special attention to your pet’s sleeping areas and around the cat litter!
Before adult fleas appear, they have stayed hidden while passing through three other stages of their development … eggs, larvae, pupae.
Adults only account for five percent of the flea population.
The remaining 95 percent are lying hidden in such places as bedding, sofas or cracks in tiling.
Unleash your vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum your home – floors, carpets, furniture and cushions, mattresses, baseboards, under furniture … at least weekly.
Use an attachment for crevices and hard to reach areas.
Larvae position themselves at the base of the carpet where they can avoid light and are somewhat protected.
These creepy, eyeless creatures might be hard to remove by vacuuming, but you will remove their food source (dead skin, bits of food, flea dirt (poop).
When done, dispose of swept up dirt and the vacuum bag immediately.
Make sure the vacuum bag or garbage bag is sealed up and remove it all from the inside of your home.
Clean your bare floors often with very hot, soapy water with a little bleach added.
Bleach kills pretty much any pest larvae.
Wash your cat’s bedding, or any blankets or bedding that have come in contact with your cat. Gather them up carefully. Flea eggs are designed to slide off your cat, onto the floor, and could just as easily slide off blankets before they make it to the washing machine.
Hot soapy water should remove the attached flea population (swimming lessons).
Use the hottest temperature on your dryer.
Washing and vacuuming should be done at least weekly, much more often if you have a heavy flea infestation.
Persistence pays off.
Does Borax kill fleas?
Is it safe?
I have survived two flea infestations in two homes. Not wanting to use traditional pesticides, I used Borax to eliminate the fleas. Borax acts as a desiccant and basically dries the fleas up. (Buy Borax at a supermarket, the laundry aisle.)
I vacuumed the wall-to-wall carpets first. Wearing a mask, I then used a plastic container, with holes punched in the top, and generously sprinkled borax over carpets and rubbed it in well with a gloved hand … so the borax was pretty well sitting on the nap of the carpet, not the top. I worked with sections about a meter square.
Simply, I used the Borax as a flea powder for carpets.
I didn’t vacuum for several days. Not all the Borax was vacuumed up, some remained in the carpet.
About two weeks later, the fleas just disappeared and never returned.
A lot of work? Yes.
Did I need to use any other flea control products to treat the inside of the homes? No.
Currently, there is disagreement on whether or not Borax is safe to use as a flea control product.
Some authorities claim Borax is about as toxic as table salt and others say it is dangerous and certainly should not be used around children or pets who might ingest it or inhale the dust.
Given there are concerns for the safety of people and pets, you might want to get the advice of both your veterinarian and doctor before using Borax to control the fleas in your home.
Would I use it again? Yes.
And last but not least, don’t forget to wash your culprit too. You need to wash your cat or dog with something that’ll also kill fleas.
You can check out my article “Does Dawn Kill Fleas?” where I talk about giving your pet a flea bath. I still find Dawn to be the safest and most inexpensive anti-flea bath soap available.