If you have a flea infestation in your home, you’re probably most concerned with the full-grown fleas that can be seen in the fur of your pets or climbing on humans. These jumping insects leave painful, itchy bites behind and can make life a real hassle. What you don’t see, however, can be even more problematic than these living, biting bugs. Slightly smaller than fine grains of sand, flea eggs are more difficult to target with both professional and store-bought treatments. They are also the next generation of blood-thirsty pests that will soon wreak havoc in your home.
Salt Is One Of The Cheapest, Easiest Ways To Eliminate Flea Eggs
Most people with flea problems have pets living in their homes. If you have a cat or a dog in your household, your primary goal is likely finding a safe, non-toxic treatment that will not harm your canine or feline companion or cause problems for any humans living in the residence. Flea eggs pose a major issue for people who are battling flea infestations given that they are generally unresponsive to the chemicals found in pesticides such as those that are disbursed by professional treatment companies or bought at the store in the form of flea bombs or spray cans. After having set off countless flea bombs, many people find that their flea problems still exist. The root of this issue is often newly hatched eggs and the efforts of these newborn insects to get their first blood meals right away.
Fortunately, there is a low-cost and easy way to supplement your efforts to kill adult fleas. This is to simply coat your carpet in salt, which is where most of the flea eggs are likely hiding. Flea eggs can be laid on carpeted flooring, humans, soft furnishings, pets and hard surfaces such as window seals and floors. As pets and people move about, these eggs are disbursed throughout the home. Placing a copious amount of salt in your carpets and letting it sit there for several days is a safe and non-toxic strategy for combating this issue. Salt dries flea bodies and flea eggs out, causing both to die within approximately 48 hours. It is important, however, to use especially fine grain salt so that this settles deep down into the carpet fibers. Table salt is rarely sufficient given that it will sit on the surface of this flooring and will not reach the flea eggs that have settled deeply in. After two to three days have passed, vacuum all of the salt up and take care to immediately throw your vacuum bag away or clean the detachable canister. All of the resulting waste should be quickly disposed of outside of the home.
Vacuuming Your Home When Flea Eggs Are Present
When you have a problem with fleas and flea eggs, your vacuum will be your very best friend. Vacuuming your carpet is important to do before any homemade, store-bought or professional treatments are leveraged. It will collect small fleas, large fleas that don’t have the time to get away and flea eggs that can be pulled from the carpet fibers. It is important to note, however, that vacuuming may not remove all flea eggs. More importantly, these efforts can actually stimulate the remaining eggs and cause them to hatch early, as a protective measure. Thus, if you notice a new rash of flea bites in your household immediately after vacuuming, do not get discouraged. This simply means that the next generation of bugs has hatched and it is time to repeat some of the steps in your multi-pronged plan of attack. Some homeowners are lucky and may experience success after a single, professional treatment. Others, however, may struggle for several weeks before fully eliminating all of these invasive parasites.
In order to make your vacuuming efforts more effective at eliminating fleas, you should:
- Vacuum the carpet in visible rows so that no areas are missed
- Use the vacuum attachments to treat corners and baseboards
- Empty the canister or bag immediately after vacuuming
- Dispose of your vacuum waste outside of the home
- Vacuum all soft furnishing such as mattresses, sofas and chairs
Treating and cleaning your carpet isn’t enough. Flea eggs can live and hatch on hard surfaces as well. Thus, make sure to carefully sweep and mop all hardwood, tiled or linoleum floors as part of your cleaning efforts. Some people suggest using lavender oil as part of your cleaning solution. Simply add several drops of this oil to your mop water before getting started. This will give the home a fresh, floral scent that fleas absolutely detest. If you have a cat, however, be mindful of the fact that cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils and thus, these should be used in your flea treatment plan with great caution or only as a last resort.
Working With Pest Professionals
Don’t be fooled by pest control companies that come into your home and merely spray a pesticide agent on your carpeting. Every good flea treatment plan is always a multi-pronged effort. This is largely due to the fact that fleas have four, distinct life cycle stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. At each stage of life, fleas will respond to your treatment efforts in different ways. It is also vital to note that not all fleas are going to be in the same stage of life at the same time, given that female fleas lay eggs almost every time they’ve had a blood meal or have bitten you or your pets. Thus, you have fleas of all stages and ages throughout your home and you will need a comprehensive plan for effectively treating fleas at each of these stages. Sprays, even if they are commercial-grade, will usually kill adult fleas and render larvae and pupa incapable of reproducing. Unless you have a plan for killing off flea eggs, however, these bugs will hatch healthy and robust.
Determining The Source Of Your Flea Infestation
The best pest control companies will start by identifying the cause of the infestation, particularly if you are living in a home that lacks pets but are still getting bitten. This often indicates the presence of wild pests, such as mice, raccoon, possum or other warm bodied animals that have taken up residence in or near the home. Although fleas can bite humans, they typically need or want a host. Humans have diligent grooming habits, no fur and a far lesser ability to serve as desirable hosts. Eliminating the primary infestation or wild animal populations that are hosting the fleas, could therefore be an essential part of your treatment plan.
The Elements Of A Comprehensive Flea Treatment Plan
A comprehensive treatment plan generally includes:
- Identification of the host for the flea population
- Removal of primary infestations that are hosting fleas
- Disbursement of commercial-grade chemicals
- Diligent cleaning instructions for eliminating unhatched flea eggs
- Establishment of a chemical, flea barrier
- Integration of home remedies for continued success
Getting a flea infestation under control can be a daunting task. With a multi-pronged plan, however, you can stop all generations of these bugs. Efforts to kill or eliminate flea eggs should always be a part of this process.