How to Prevent a Flea Infestation in Your Home - dummies

How to Prevent a Flea Infestation in Your Home

Fleas are amazingly successful at reproducing. If your dog brings a male and a female flea home, these two fleas can populate your home with 250,000 descendants within a single month, and every single flea is out for blood.

Use these tips to prevent fleas from coming to visit in the first place:

  • Use a once-a-month topical or oral flea treatment (the best known brands are Advantage, Frontline, and Program) that kill fleas on your dog within hours.

    These products are not pesticides; they are insect growth regulators, which prevent the development and growth of fleas. Given the time commitment and the exposure to pesticides that accompany a fight against fleas, these preventives are worth their weight in gold.

    Although they are considered safe enough for puppies, some dogs and puppies have allergic responses to these products. If your dog experiences hair loss or other reactions, try a different flea control product.

  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth or boric acid on the floor. These products dehydrate fleas and flea larvae, and they don’t contain any chemicals that can harm pets or children.

  • Vacuum frequently to help control the flea population in the carpet. Place the vacuum bag in a plastic bag (so fleas can’t escape), and throw it away.

  • Wash your dog’s bedding weekly to reduce the chances of a flea family setting up shop there.

  • Use friendly bugs called beneficial nematodes, which are tiny insects that eat flea larvae and can be sprayed onto your yard every 6 to 8 weeks. They don’t harm ladybugs, earthworms, or other creatures you want in your yard. You can find sources for beneficial nematodes at gardening centers that emphasize organic gardening.