Fleas

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Top 8 Flea Home Remedies

As a pet owner, the thought of your beloved cat or dog catching fleas is a constant worry. These parasites feed off the blood of animals and can easily become a problem in your home, biting both you and your furry friends. Even if you don't have pets, fleas can be an issue if previous owners of your property did have them.

If you think that you have seen signs of fleas or have an ongoing problem with fleas around your home then you should contact the flea control experts at Rentokil Pest Control.

Flea Bites

Flea Bites on people are quite rare, the majority of the time it will be your pets which come victim to flea bites. These bites are not particularly painful to people, compared to wasp stings but you will become aware once you have been bitten. As with all insect bites, irritation, itchiness and swelling will occur around the bitten area. Whilst your pets may develop allergies to the fleas saliva over time.

Flea home remedies

There are many homemade flea remedies and 'old wives tales' that have been shared over the years to help prevent and get rid of fleas. Some of these 'home remedies' may hold a grain of truth, but most are very unlikely to to solve a flea infestation, once established in your home. Some myth busting examples are below:

1. Dish soap

This home flea remedy involves creating a flea trap using dish soap and some water. Fill a plate or bowl with a mixture of warm water and dish soap and place it in the rooms of your house which receive the most flea activity.

The 'old wives tale' says that the water and dish soap solutions act as a glue, trapping the fleas due to the high viscosity of the solution. You should repeat this method with a fresh batch every day. For this flea home remedy to work effectively the 'old wives tale' says it should be conducted at night time.

In fact, fleas may accidentally land in the solution and become stuck, but it is pure luck as there is nothing that attracts them to the solution.

2. Baking soda

For this flea home remedy to work, the saying goes that you need to lay down baking soda along your carpets and furniture, take a hard brush and rub it into the fabric. After that, vacuum your home thoroughly and empty the contents of the vacuum into a bag and place securely in an outside rubbish bin.

3. Salt

Much like baking soda, salt is said to be a flea home remedy when accompanied by vacuuming. Myth says that the salt acts as a dehydration agent, helping to get rid of adult fleas. For this home remedy take some finely ground salt,  sprinkle it all over your carpets. Leave to rest for 1-2 days, then vacuum your home throughout, emptying the contents in an outside rubbish bin.

In fact, with both the baking soda and the salt 'old wives tales' the factor that actually does have a positive affect on removing fleas, is thorough and persistent vacuuming throughout your property.

4. Lemon spray

Lemon it is said, can be used in a lot of ways around the house, but aside from being a way to treat wasp stings, it’s also said to be an 'old wives' natural home remedy for fleas. To make this natural lemon remedy flea spray, slice a lemon thinly and add to a pint of water and bring to the boil. Let the citrus solution sit overnight and pour into a spray bottle. Then spray the citrus solution on the infested areas in your home – sofas, pet bedding, chairs etc. Do not soak, only dampen.

It may make your home smell fresh and appealing but it is very unlikely to remove a flea infestation.

5. Rosemary

There is an 'old wives tale' that Rosemary can be used to treat light infestations of fleas, by making a herbal flea powder using rosemary - place the herb with some rue, wormwood, fennel and peppermint into a pestle and mortar and grind into a powder. Then sprinkle it on your carpets, furniture, pet bedding, window sills and anywhere else you suspect flea activity in your home. Rosemary is said a natural flea repellent, so according to myth it will help repel and prevent them.

Another pleasant fragrance for your property, but not an effective solution for getting rid of fleas in your home.

6. Flea repelling plants

The final 'old wives tale' about natural remedies to get rid of fleas is enlisting the help of a range of specific plants to help repel these biting insects. Certain plants contain particular oils, compounds, and chemicals which fleas dislike and will try and avoid. Using these plants around your home in flower pots and flower beds is suggested as a natural home remedy for fleas.

Plants that keep fleas away:

  • Penny Royal
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Lavender
  • Spearmint

There may be a grain of truth in this myth, as some of these plants such as Chrysanthemums are used in part in natural insecticides. However, how effective they actually are as flea repellents sat in pots on the patio or in the house is debatable.

7. Diatomaceous earth

Using diatomaceous earth to treat a flea problem is one of the few 'home remedies' that has some substance behind it.

Diatomaceous earth is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, diatoms. It’s a very fine powder, which is non-toxic to humans and is a great natural remedy to get rid of fleas as it causes dehydration.You should sprinkle the powder over areas you suspect have high flea activity, applying thin layers. Leave the diatomaceous earth for 2 days then vacuum promptly, following the necessary flea prevention tips afterwards.

Proceed with caution!

It is important to be aware that if using diatomaceous earth as a natural flea remedy you should use the food grade option. Although it is non-toxic, the nature of the powder can get messy and irritate your eyes and throat. When using diatomaceous earth to treat your home it is advised that you wear a face mask and gloves.

8.Vaccum, vaccum, vaccum...

Many of these 'old wives tales' include the simple process of vacuuming the affected areas of your property. Careful and persistent vacuuming of every nook and crevice, carpets, flooring and furniture is likely to be more effective at reducing the level of flea activity than most of these 'old wives tales and remedies' put together.

Flea larvae feed on organic matter in carpets, bedding & furnishings. You need to try and remove any potential food supply to help prevent fleas, so a targeted vacuuming regime will help remove food sources as well as adult fleas.

Remember to carefully remove the contents of your Hoover outside of your property and seal it before placing it securely in an outside bin for disposal. 

How to get rid of fleas

Although there is a range of different 'home remedies' for fleas none of these are particularly effective. Some can potentially help to manage a flea problem, but they cannot successfully resolve one. Most home remedies for fleas only affect the adult flea species, leaving the larvae and eggs unaffected. This creates a window of opportunity for another flea infestation to occur as the eggs hatch and larvae develop.

Professional flea control

The best way to get rid of fleas is with the help of a professional pest controller. A pest control exterminator can provide you with the expert services and solutions to fully treat a flea infestation in your home or business. If you think you might have a flea problem, contact us today.

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