Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that are external parasites of mammals and birds. They are best known for their role in transmitting diseases, but they can also be a nuisance in the home.
Fleas are dark reddish-brown in color and have flattened bodies. A female flea can lay 2,000 to 3,000 eggs in her lifetime. Fleas are a nuisance to pet owners because they bite and feed on the blood of their host animals. This can lead to skin irritation, hair loss, and anemia. In severe cases, fleas can even be deadly.
If you have a flea infestation, don't worry - there are a few natural ways to get rid of them.
Clean & Sanitize Floors and Furniture
The first step is to vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture thoroughly. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag once you're finished. This will help remove fleas and their eggs from your carpets and furniture. You will want to do this frequently (3-4 times a week) until the situation is under control.
Steam clean your carpets and upholstery. In addition to vacuuming, steam cleaning your carpets and upholstery will help kill any remaining fleas and their eggs. You can rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional carpet cleaning service to do this for you.
Clean & Sanitize Your Pet's Bedding
Wash your pet's bedding in hot water regularly. Your pet's bedding is one of the most common places for fleas to hide out. Be sure to wash it in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) at least once a week. You may also want to consider using a pet-specific laundry detergent that contains enzymes to help break down the oils and dirt that fleas thrive on.
Laundry To-Do List
Next, wash all of your bedding, towels, and clothing in hot water with detergent. This will kill any fleas or eggs that may be lurking in your fabric items. If you have clothes that cannot be washed in hot water, adjust the temperature as high as you can. Fleas are killed in water above 95°F and that should be okay for most clothing.
You can also treat your pet's bedding in the same way. Just be sure to read the care labels first so that you don't accidentally damage the fabric.
Treat Your Pet With a Natural Flea Repellent
Once you've vacuumed and washed all of the possible areas where fleas could be hiding, it's time to treat your pet with a natural flea repellent. There are a few recipes online that you can follow, or you can purchase a ready-made product from a pet store or online retailer.
Some popular options include pennyroyal oil, eucalyptus oil, and cedarwood oil. You can add a few drops of these oils to your diffuser or directly onto your cat's fur (be sure to test for allergic reactions first).
Great Reason to Declutter Your Home
If you're dealing with a flea infestation, one of the best things you can do is declutter your home. Fleas thrive in cluttered environments, so getting rid of anything that's unnecessary will help to create a less hospitable environment for them.
This includes things like old clothes, newspapers, and even dust bunnies under furniture. The goal is to reduce hiding places for fleas and make it easier to spot and remove them. In addition, vacuuming frequently and washing bedding and clothing in hot water will also help to eliminate fleas.
By taking these steps, you can get rid of fleas and create a more comfortable environment for everyone in your home.
Combing Takes Out More Fleas
Use a flea comb. A flea comb is a special comb that has very fine teeth. This type of comb will help you remove fleas from your cat's fur without harming them. Be sure to comb your cat in a well-lit area so that you can spot the fleas easily. After each stroke, dip the comb in a cup of soapy water to kill the fleas.
Give That Cat a Bath
Give your cat a bath. Giving your cat a bath is a great way to remove fleas from their fur. Be sure to use pet-safe flea shampoo and avoid getting any water in their ears or eyes. After the bath, be sure to comb them with the flea comb to remove any remaining fleas.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Talk to your veterinarian. If you've tried all of the above methods and you're still having trouble getting rid of fleas, it's time to talk to your vet about other options such as oral or topical medications.
Fleas can be more than just a nuisance—they can also transmit diseases like the bubonic plague. If you have a flea infestation in your home, there are a few natural ways to get rid of them. Vacuuming, washing all fabrics in hot water, treating your pet with a natural repellent, and keeping your house clean will help get rid of fleas for good.
Also, check out our reviews of several popular cat flea shampoos (many are natural without harsh chemicals). You can read that by tapping the button below.