No one wants creepy-crawlies in or around their home. When they infest our four-legged pals though, a minor pest problem can become a big health issue overnight.
Fleas are often associated with our furry friends. While it’s true fleas are usually brought indoors by our pets, they can cause more trouble than just making your dog or cat a little itchier. To appropriately deal with a flea infestation, you’ll need the right information and products at your disposal. These flea myths are oft-repeated, but untrue nevertheless.
#1 – A Clean Home Is Flea-Free
It’s comforting to believe your home is secure against pests once it’s been cleaned top-to-bottom, but if you live in an area with plenty of fleas or if you’ve been struggling with an ongoing infestation, a clean home isn’t always enough. Fleas most often enter the house on your pets, but they can also hitchhike in on your clothes or shoes. They could even hop right through the doors or windows on their own. Cleaning helps keep existing fleas from thriving, but it can’t remove every egg.
Similarly, once they’re inside, many people think fleas only hide out in carpeted areas. However, fleas are small enough to make their homes in your clothes, bedding, baseboards and even in the seams or grout of your flooring. The best way to stop an infestation in your home is to prevent one in the first place.
#2 – Fleas Aren’t a Problem in Cool Months
Fall and winter in the Midwest can get a bit chilly, especially with the snow coming in from the Great Lakes. However, the cold seasons can’t always stop fleas from thriving. While fleas need warmth to survive, they can often outlast the chill by finding their way inside or making their homes on wildlife and pets. If you had a flea problem in spring and summer, you aren’t out of woods once it starts to cool down. Keep up with flea prevention and treatments to ensure your home and pet are flea-free all year round.
#3 – If Your Pet Is Flea-Free, Then You Have Nothing to Worry About
When you have a flea infestation, getting rid of the fleas on your pet is only half the battle. While fleas often hitch a ride into your home on the backs of your furry friends, once inside, they quickly spread and hide out. Even if you’ve successfully killed the fleas residing in your pet’s fur, your home has already been compromised.
Treat your entire home with flea products to ensure they’re gone and stay vigilant for weeks afterward. Once your home is safe, you can focus on your yard. Your pet likely picked up the fleas from your yard in the first place, and truly ridding your home of the pests requires attention to all three areas.
#4 – Fleas Make Your Pet Itchy, But Are Generally Harmless
If fleas only made you and your pet itchy, they’d be an annoyance at best rather than the major problem they actually are. Like mosquitos or ticks, fleas are carriers of disease that can easily transfer to your pet or to you. Fleas can carry deadly illnesses like Murine typhus, Bubonic plague and Tularemia, cause severe allergies and carry eggs of parasites like tapeworms. If you notice fleas in your home, you’ll need to act quickly.
#5 – Doubling Up on Flea Products Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas
When fleas infest your pets, it’s best to immediately visit the vet for assistance. Many people believe using more flea products produces better results, but too many chemicals can harm your pet too. Don’t double up on flea collars, flea shampoo or other flea treatments. Consult your vet on how to best handle fleas in your pal’s fur.