Fleas have been around for many years, sucking the blood of animals and humans. They are considered both as parasites to man and animals. Indoors, you can see them on your pets, on the carpets, beddings, and many more locations.
That’s why you cannot get an immediate result from flea control, thus, takes several treatments to get the problem under control.
If you are suffering from flea infestation, you need to start the treatment right away. Waiting or thinking that they will go away without employing any treatment will only make things worse.
If you suspect that the fleas are in your pets, it is confirmed that they are in your house.
To control fleas and keep them from constantly re-infesting your pet and your family, you must get rid of them on your pet and eliminate the fleas in the house and outdoor spaces where your pets frequently go.
Keep in mind that this can only be done through several treatments.
The trick to eliminating fleas is to get ahead of the “pupal hatch” because this means you are keeping a constant barrier down to stop them from becoming adults and lay more eggs.
If you need a quick recommendation then the best insecticide to combat flea infestation is Hot Shot Mess Fogger.
But I have six other product recommendations as well below.
Guide For A Successful Flea Treatment
Before carrying out your flea control treatment, here are the things you should know first:
Observe where pets spend most of their time
Look and observe where your pets spend most of their time inside and outside the house.
The areas where your pets spend most of their time sleeping are where the majority of the adult fleas and immature fleas can be found.
If you have a doghouse, pillow, cage, and other things your pets love to go, then these areas need to go through cleaning and sanitization.
Treat the pets with an on-animal flea spray
Do not use oral flea medications.
To help avoid re-infestation, do not let freshly treated pets back into your house or yard until the treatment is completed.
Vacuum carpets, rugs, floors, drape, mattresses, and cushions
Use a vacuum with a disposable bag and disposable bag and then dispose of it by incinerating or sealing them in a plastic bag.
If you plan to wash the pet bedding, make sure that it is thoroughly washed or you can just destroy it.
Clean wood and tile floors with special attention to the cracks, grooves, and baseboards. Sweep the steps, decks, and porches.
7 Best Insecticides For Fleas
Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer
If you want a long-term solution for defense against fleas and other types of insects, then this product is the one for you.
It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and goes on without leaving traces of residue. It can kill on contact but can also serve as a barrier around the home for up to a year.
This insect killer can kill 130+ other insects including bugs, house centipedes, scorpions, and ticks.
It can create a bug barrier for up to 12 months of protection even on non-porous surfaces. It is easy to use, and continuous one-touch spray can prevent hand fatigue, making it easier to apply on the perimeter of your home to create a pest barrier.
Also, it can be used as an indoor pest control. The best thing about this spray is that it is a non-staining and odor-free formula so you can confidently use it in areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Here is the proper way on how to create a 12-month barrier in different areas of the house:
- Kitchen: Apply a 4-inch barrier around baseboards, windows, and cabinets
- Bathrooms: Apply a 4-inch barrier around the baseboards, cabinets, and tubs
- Windows and Doors: Apply a 4-inch barrier around the window trim and door trim
- Basements: Apply a 4-inch barrier around the wall perimeters, driers, and washers
Here is the proper way to create a 3-month barrier against outdoor pests:
- Foundations and Perimeters: Spray a 12-inch barrier around perimeters and foundations for up to 3 months.
- Garages: Spray a 12-inch barrier around the garage door entrances and walls for up to 3 months of control.
- Windows and Doors: Spray a 12-inch barrier around doors and windows trim
- Patios and Decks: Spray a 12-inch barrier around the patio and deck perimeters.
PRECOR IGR Insect Growth Regulator
Having IGR content in the formulation will assure that there is no place for pre-adult fleas to live. In short, the sources of flea infestation will be controlled.
For control of active flea infestation, this product works best when combined with an adulticide that will help to provide a quick knockdown of adult fleas.
Although IGRs are classified as low toxicity by the EPA, it does not mean that they are 100% safe. There is still a bit of riks involved, especially if the instructions in the label are not followed.
Always wear proper protective equipment such as gloves, a breathing mask, and safety eyewear. IGRs may not be harmful when ingested but they can be skin and eye irritants.
To apply, pour at a rate of 1 ounce per 1 gallon of the diluted spray solution per 1500 square feet of surface area with any low-pressure sprayer with a fan tip that is usually used for indoor applications.
This product can kill flea eggs and larva for 7 months as long as the carpet is not shampooed or steam cleaned.
It means that if a flea egg drops off an infected dog, the flea egg will not develop. It has a 3-year shelf life.
ZOECON Zenprox EC Insecticide
This product provides effective kill of fleas, cockroaches, spiders, and other listed pests that can be applied as an indoor broadcast, crack, spot, or crevices treatment in homes, hotels, apartment buildings, hotels, schools, nursing homes, daycares, office buildings, and many more.
It can be used indoor and outdoors that can kill newly hatched bed bug nymphs.
This product can be easily mixed with water and can be used in any standard pump sprayer so that you can use it with ease. Besides, it can be combined with other control methods to make it more effective.
PYUR Solutions EXO Insecticide Non-Toxic
With the use of biomimetic technology, this insecticide can mimic the natural defense against pests.
The EXO utilizes a laboratory-tested formula that is proven to work against fleas and ticks. It has no known resistance on species to certain chemical insecticides.
This product is made from plant-based ingredients that are safe to use even as directed. It can be used around homes and outdoors without any lingering chemical odor.
Besides, it is easy to use. Indoors and outdoors can get, with its heavy misting power can get all the nooks and crannies of pet beds and toys.
It is 100% biodegradable and does not use synthetic chemicals.
The aerosol can is pressurized by air instead of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Archer Insect Growth Regulator
This Insect Growth Regulator acts similarly to insect growth hormones particularly pyriproxyfen that occur naturally in insects and acts on the immature life stages of the target species, preventing the adult from developing.
For instance, Archer Insect Growth Regulator can affect the reproductive organs of fleas and flies, thus affecting their activity.
This product can control cockroaches, ants, crickets, ticks, and flying insect pests.
The product can also be used to create outside the treated perimeter areas around structures with treatments to soil, perimeter landscape, mulch, or grass to prevent indoor invasion by listed pest species.
Take note that Archer cannot be applied directly to raw agriculture, food commodities in warehouses, and vehicles, but can be applied to storage areas where food items are sealed such as bottled, canned, boxed items, so that food contact can be prevented.
Black Flag Home Concentrate Insect Control
Whatever insect you are fighting, this product is formulated to prove the tools you need to regain control.
With formulations that can act fast and never back down, this insect control has been protecting homeowners in the battle against pest infestation for more years.
It can be used both indoors and outdoors to control listed insects on contact.
It is perfect for tank sprayers and 47 listed insects, including ants, spiders, roaches, centipede, fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, moths, and many more. It is perfect to be used in the bathroom, kitchens, attics, basements, and other storage areas.
This product can also work outdoors, in areas where insects live and hide, including the perimeter of foundations, windows, doors, frames, garages, decks, and screens.
To apply, spray around the foundation, cracks, crevices, baseboards, and other utility installations, where insects can enter.
Apply at the rate of one gallon of finished solution per 1000 square feet as directed in the label. Black Flag is water-based, fragrance-free, and will not stain.
Hot Shot Mess Fogger Aerosol
This product works by creating a fine mist that reaches deep into crevices and cracks to get rid of the pest you see and you don’t see.
It has an odor neutralizer technology that creates a dry penetrating fog that stays airborne to flush out and kill hidden pests on contact.
When used as directed, this odorless non-staining dry fog will not harm drapes, fabrics, upholstery, bedspreads, carpeting, linens, furniture, walls, clothing, shades, or blinds.
It can kill both flying and crawling insects and keeps killing them for weeks.
You can use this product in an enclosed space such as apartments, basements, attics, barns, basements, homes, households, storage areas, and trailers.
It is a non-staining, odorless formula that will not leave a messy residue.
Flea Life Cycle
The flea life cycle looks very similar to the butterfly life cycle.
Female fleas lay eggs that turn into grub-like larvae. The larvae then develop into pupae and wait inside a cocoon. They wait for a host where they can start their lives and then start sucking blood. The fleas can remain in the pupae stage for up to a year.
When vibrations caused by vacuuming, walking, running, etc. occur, fleas pop out of their cocoon and jump on their target host. This is called the pupae hatch.
All this happens in a matter of seconds. The newly hatched flea can jump as high as three feet.
Fleas only feed on blood and they cannot live without a blood meal for 100 days. In fact, a female flea needs to have a blood meal to lay eggs.
She can lay eggs within 36-48 hours of having the first blood meal. Besides, she can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.
The eggs are laid on the pet and drop off where pets spend most of their time such as bedding, floor crevices, baseboards, carpeting, near their favorite sleeping and napping sites.
The life cycle will be then repeated not until the measures break the cycle.
The total life cycle can last from 25 days up to several months.
Generally, adult fleas are hard to kill.
Their tiny bodies look like a coat of armor. Like most insects, they have the so-called antifreeze protein, which protects them against cold weather and their body is like a piece of wax paper.
It sheds and has the ability to repel sprays and chemicals, especially water-based sprays, resulting from very little control of the adults.
That is why overnight control of fleas is not possible. You have to control the fleas’ life and egg cycle, which can last for a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks using the right pest control products.
The most important thing to keep in mind when starting a flea control treatment is that fleas feed only on one food source, and that is blood. Nothing more, nothing less.
Adult fleas feed on the dried blood feces of the adults, where the immature fleas can be found and that is where the problem originates.
Therefore, solve the problem with adult fleas, kill the immature fleas and prevent the outbreak of a new infestation. This could be only solved through complete and thorough treatment.
What’s more alarming is that fleas can also transmit diseases. Typhoid fever and bubonic plague are the worst, but they can also transmit tapeworms to dogs, cats, and even to small children.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas
Vacuum the areas where animals sleep
Fleas will live under the furniture, rugs, under cushions, near windows, and any places where your pets love to spend most of their time.
It is very important to thoroughly vacuum the areas where your pets sleep and rest. Vacuuming such areas will help you pick up and remove adult fleas and eggs.
The vibration of the vacuum cleaner on carpets will cause the immature flea larva to hatch. This will increase the effectiveness of the vacuuming.
Doing this on a regular basis is the single best control method that can be done indoors. It is best to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag after vacuuming before the first treatment as fleas can live inside the bag.
Remember: Do not vacuum right after treatment. Vacuuming before the treatment is highly encouraged.
It is because it will help the adult fleas to become active and hop around. It will create vibrations in the carpet that will cause the “pupal hatch”.
All of these increase the risk that vacuuming will suck up fleas.
Immediately treat the floors with professional flea spray, then after treatment, do not vacuum for at least 48 hours as this keeps the chemical barrier you applied and will destroy it.
Spray all floorings, carpets, furniture, and even under furniture
All people and animals should get out prior to treatment.
You may use a professional flea control aerosol spray (which will be tackled later on). All of these products have the insect growth regulator (IGR) that will help in preventing fleas from laying eggs and aid in the disruption of the flea life cycle.
IGR’s are basically the birth control for fleas. Most IGR can last up to 6 months. If you sprayed for fleas in the past and do not use an IGR, then that is probably the reason why you still have fleas.
Starting at the opposite end of the home, spray all carpets, floors, fabric furniture even between and under cushions, rugs, and under rugs, pet bedding, pet resting areas, and all floors.
Use a sweeping motion as you spray to saturate all areas in your path. When using aerosol sprays, work fast and apply a gentle mist. Spray all the areas and work your way to the exit door.
All people and animals should stay off treated surfaces until it becomes dry.
Use foggers to aid kill adult fleas
Total release room foggers such as teh CB Residual Fogger or the handheld foggers can help in killing adult fleas.
Most foggers will treat an area the size of an average 20 x 20 room. Most homes will require 3 to 4 foggers.
The larger the home, the more it will need. Calculate the number of foggers based on this ratio, for every 500 square feet of floor space.
Before using foggers, there are several things you must do:
- Turn off the air conditioning unit
- Ensure that any gas appliances with lit or exposed to flames or pilot lights are turned off.
- Unplug aquariums and cover them with a plastic sheet and towel
- Make sure that all ceiling fans are turned off
- Close all the windows
- Open all the doors including closet doors inside the house
To apply the fogger, shake the can and then hold the can away from your face to depress the valve.
Then place it in the center of the room. It is not recommended to use any paper or floor covers under the foggers. Most foggers will not stain the carpets and floors.
Though it is not recommended the use of an approved organic respirator when using foggers, as long as you exit the premises immediately and do not breath the mist.
Stay outside for at least an hour, preferably up to 3 hours. When returning, open all the windows, doors, turn on the ceiling fans to ventilate the home. Discard the foggers properly.
Related Post: What to Do If You Still Have Fleas After Bombing?
Do not forget the yard and lawn
Fleas usually thrive in cool, damp areas like under the shrubs, trees, bare areas of the ground, etc.
They usually do not live in open grassy areas. Careful spraying with a chemical does a good job outdoors to control fleas.
Hence, these products are also effective in killing ticks, ants, spiders, roaches, and most common bugs. Remember not to use a “hose end” sprayer when applying pesticides.
Hose end sprayers are not effective when applying pesticides, as they will dilute the product too much. You may use a tank pump sprayer or a backpack sprayer.
Smaller sprayers also do a good job but may require more fills and take longer to use.
Using a good quality flea pesticide can saturate the whale yard until damp. Make sure to follow the specific mixing and application of the label instructions on the pesticide.
Spray all the lawn areas, under shrubs, trees, porches, etc.
Do not forget to spray inside the dog houses or other resting places of your pets since these areas will likely be where the eggs and larva are hiding. Be sure to keep people and animals off until the lawn is all dry.
Spray the yard every week until a control measure is obtained. To kill the adult fleas, you have to overcome teh flea life cycle. Several applications may be needed before the adult fleas are eliminated.
Treat the animals
Dogs and cats are the most common hosts of fleas. Without them, the fleas cannot survive.
Many over-the-counter flea dips and shampoos usually do not provide long-term control. It is because they only work when they are wet.
When they are dry, the killing action does not work.
For “on animal flea and tick control” we recommend daily spraying of the pets. Make sure that spray contains pyrethrum and a growth regulator (IGR), which helps in preventing flea eggs from hatching and adult fleas from reproducing.
It has a slight alcohol smell that is perfectly safe to apply to cats, dogs, kittens, puppies, and other animals.
When using any flea spray on animals, hold your hands over their eyes and mist their entire body. Be sure to spray behind the ears, under the legs, and also their hinds very thoroughly.
Do not bathe the pet after spraying, but you can bathe the pet first with any good pet shampoo and then spray it.
Remember: Oral flea medications are not recommended for pets that live in urban areas.
Pyrethrin-based sprays and dips are safer for the animals that will not cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Using oral medications is highly recommended by Veterinarians due to unknown long-term effects.
These products are poisonous enough to kill fleas when they bite into the pet. It is not wise or prudent to assume that any chemicals are completely safe.
What To Do Before The Flea Treatment
Prepare the house for cleaning
Pick up all the items from your carpeted areas, including clothes, toys, shoes, boxes, papers, and others.
Be sure to remove items inside of closets and under beddings as well. If possible, move the furniture to make it more accessible to your vacuum.
You can leave larger objects that sit flush with the floor like the dressers and bookcases, in place if the fleas cannot get underneath.
Clearing your home of pets and children
You should also remove any other pets from your homes like fish or birds. Cover the aquarium tanks and bird cages, also water dishes, and food bowls.
Turn off any systems that support the pet’s environment such as aerators in fish tanks or heat rocks in tanks. It is recommended if you do this when the entire family is out of the house.
For heavy infestation, it is best to destroy and discard all pet beddings. For mild infestation, washing the bedding with the use of hot, soapy water is necessary for killing fleas and destroying their eggs and larva.
Make sure to wash the pet’s bedding every week or at least once a month until you are sure that the infestation is over.
It is also a good habit to wash the pet’s bedding regularly to prevent reinfestation. You can also dry clean the bedding.
Coming up with a plan for killing fleas
Once you are done clearing the house, take a walk through every room looking for signs of fleas and larva.
Fleas appear tiny in dark specks, which disappear just as fast as they appeared. Fleas love to thrive where your pets sleep the most.
They also favor hanging in areas that are unbothered and do not get enough sunlight.
Watch out for the highly visible dried feces and blood fleas leave behind. It must be easy to spot on the pet’s bedding, but also lighter-colored rugs.
These dried secondary signs of fleas are also known as flea dirt that looks like grainy specks of black pepper or black dandruff. The larva feeds on this flea dirt before turning into a pupa.
Removing it can remove the growing infestation’s food source.
It is essential to note areas with flea dirt since these specific breeding grounds need extra attention during the next step in how to kill fleas in the house.
Removing fleas in the carpet
Now that you have cleared the area, you may use a beater-bar style vacuum to vacuum the house thoroughly.
Look under beds and other furniture that you are having a hard time moving. Use corner attachment for baseboards, floor cracks, heat vents, carpet edges, and room corners.
Pay attention to areas where your pets sleep or spend a lot of time. If you are unsure where they sleep during the day, look for spots and furniture that accumulate a lot of pet hair.
Fleas can transmit diseases to humans so make sure you do a good job, not just for your pets, but for you and your family as well.
What To Do After The Flea Treatment
Once your home and yard have been treated, here are the essential things you need to do:
Vacuum again 48 to 72 hours after the treatment
By doing this, it will help you pick up dead fleas and eggs since there could be thousands of eggs.
This treatment strategy may need to be repeated every few days to get control of the fleas. Do not be alarmed if you see adult fleas when you vacuum.
These are the fleas that were in the pupal stage that are not killed by the insecticide application. However, there is residual control that can last a few days.
This time is enough to kill adults as they emerge and give control. Wash the food preparation surfaces and utensils, which might have come in contact with the insecticide.
Do not allow the infested pets inside your home
If this happens, the house may get infested and re-treatment will be necessary that can add up to the cost.
Use flea sprays regularly to control fleas
An application of Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray will help in repelling fleas from your pet when taking walks or places away from your flea-free home. Do not use oral flea medications.
If you notice early signs of a flea infestation, make sure to treat it immediately with the steps mentioned above.
Look for areas where fleas love to breed both indoors and outdoors, and then do all the precautionary measures to control it.
You may try the insecticides reviewed above to kill the fleas fast.
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