Killing Fleas

While the idea of killing fleas may seem like such an easy feat (since they are so small and short lived), many previously flea infested households can contest to you that it is not. Fleas are extremely hardy pests that have plagued humans and animals alike for centuries. Currently, there are over 2000 flea species worldwide which continue to feed off of the blood of mammals, as well as act as vectors for a number of devastating diseases and parasites. One of the most well-known examples of this is the Bubonic plague that swept through Europe in the 14th century. The Bubonic plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which is transmitted from rats to humans by fleas.
In the past few decades, killing fleas has become a multi-billion dollar industry. With the transition of cats and dogs becoming household pets, there has become a heightened awareness regarding the prevalence of fleas. No one wants to see their pet suffer as they incessantly continue to scratch themselves. And no one likes the idea of having fleas in their house. So now the question is: How do you kill fleas?
Before you can start effectively killing fleas, it is important to understand where the fleas are located. In your household, only 5% of the fleas are adults. These adults are found on your pet. The other 95% are present as flea eggs, larva, and pupa. These flea life stages are developing somewhere in your home. Most mild flea infestations can be controlled and eliminated by killing the adult fleas on your pet. This is usually done by applying the monthly flea preventative recommended by your veterinarian. Over a few months’ treatments, all of the fleas on your pet and in your home will have been killed. With more severe infestations, the killing of fleas will have to be directed at your house as well as your pet. On top of appropriately treating your pet with a monthly flea preventative, this may require hiring a professional pest exterminator that has specific protocols for killing fleas. Or you may have to routinely thoroughly clean your house with steam cleaning and vacuuming of the carpets, furniture, and upholstery, as well and laundering your bedding, pillows, clothes, towels, etc. These efforts will likely have to be frequently done for months even after evidence of fleas can no longer be found. However, no matter what the efforts, killing the fleas in your house will be worth it.

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