If you’re not careful, fleas infestation can get worse in your home within a few days.
In this guide, you’ll find out the five signs that tell you how bad flea infestation is in your home.
These signs are hard to spot when the flea infestation is low in your home. But you’ll learn how to see them and take action when the flea infestation is in its infancy.
Plus, you’ll also learn how to get rid of fleas in your home. And, most importantly, how to prevent fleas from showing up again.
5 Signs That Tell You There’s A Bad Flea Infestation In Your Home
Fleas are tiny biting bugs that are hard to spot and locate.
But when flea infestation goes up north, there are sure signs of flea infestation that prop up in specific places in your home.
Here are the five signs of fleas that indicate a terrible infestation in your home –
#1 – Fleas In Bed
Fleas in bed mean that fleas are getting their regular blood meals from you. And they’re getting it in bulk.
Regular blood meals help fleas to lay more eggs and multiply fast.
In your bed, fleas will hide in places like the box springs, gaps of your headboard, edges of the mattress, and the crevices of the bed frame.
Even in bed, they’re hard to spot. But signs of fleas on bed include flea feces which are also known as flea dirt.
Flea dirt is tiny blackish-red specks of pepper-like dust on your bed. The flea dirt can be present in your pet’s bed too.
Another sign of fleas in bed is the flea shells. Flea shells are discarded flea skin that they shed while molting.
#2 – Flea Bite Marks On Your Body
Flea bite marks are red bumps and welts on your skin that itch like crazy.
A single flea bite in multiple places of your body before they can reach your veins to draw your blood.
That’s why flea bites are a type of bite that appear in clusters.
The common areas where fleas bite are in your lower body, especially your ankle, knee folds, legs, calves, and feet.
People sensitive flea bites can show severe allergic reactions like nausea and dizziness. In that case, it’s essential to see a doctor.
#3 – Shed Flea Skin On Soft Furnishings Like Couch And Carpet
Finding tiny whitish flea shells on soft furnishings is another sign that tells you that flea infestation is terrible in your home.
These tiny shells, whitish transparent specks, are the skin flea larvae that they shed before becoming fully mature adults.
Sightings of flea larvae skin also indicate flea larvae in your home who are getting their blood meals. And they’re growing too.
And those larvae wouldn’t have been there in your home had there been no flea eggs.
Fleas lay their eggs in thin gaps and cracks. The eggs are tiny, whitish, translucent, and oval-shaped.
Both flea skin and flea eggs are microscopic and hard to detect with the naked eye. To check for both, you’ll need a magnifying glass.
#4 – Your Pet Is Constantly Scratching
Believe it or not, in eight out of ten cases, pets introduce fleas to your home.
Pets get fleas when they play in tall grasses or dense bushes growing near damp places outdoors. These are the places where these parasites and blood-sucking bugs like fleas and ticks live.
Fleas will latch onto a host, which is your pet, and your pet brings them home.
When your pet spends time on the couch and bed, some fleas drop off from its body and hide in these places.
The end result? These hiding fleas will bite you when you sit in these places.
#5 – White Sock Test For Fleas
The white sock test for fleas is the most ingenious test that you can do to figure out if the flea infestation in your home is over the roof.
Wear a pair of white knee-high soccer socks. Then slowly walk on the wooden floor, carpets, scrub your legs on your bed, couch, and pet’s bedding.
You can also put your feet up and rest them on the furniture for a while.
Now check your socks for fleas. If the flea infestation is severe in your home, then you’ll notice a few fleas stuck on your socks.
How Fast Can A Flea Infestation Happen?
A single female flea lays 50 eggs in one single day for 50 days. Flea eggs can hatch in one to ten days.
There can be 2500 fleas in your home in a couple of months from a single female flea. On top of that, a flea lays 2000 eggs in her lifetime.
So, within 45 days, there can be severe flea infestation in your home. That’s how fast fleas can spread inside your home.
So, what’s the solution?
In the following section, you’ll find out steps to get rid of fleas in your home.
Here’s How To Get Rid Of Fleas Cheaply And Naturally?
There are four things that you’d need to get rid of fleas in your home naturally –
- Vacuum cleaner
- Diatomaceous earth
- Steam cleaner
- Hydrogen Peroxide
And then, follow the steps below –
Step#1 – Vacuum Clean Your Bed, Furniture, Pet Bed, Couch, Carpet, And Rugs
Vacuum cleaning is the first step to getting rid of fleas in your home. Contrary to popular belief, vacuum cleaning doesn’t get rid of fleas.
But it reduces the flea numbers a bit, and it helps a great deal.
Vacuum clean your bed, bed frames, headboards, box springs, mattress, and the other hiding places of fleas like the couch, carpet, wooden floor, and pet bed.
Fleas hide in the gaps of the wooden floors. The corners between the floor and the walls are the preferred places for fleas to hide.
So, do not miss on vacuum cleaning those corners.
If there are carpets on the floor, vacuum-clean the carpet.
Fleas also hide in floor decors like carpets and rugs and the areas underneath them.
Roll over the carpet and vacuum clean the carpet’s underside and the floor area underneath the carpet too.
That’ll get remove the fleas hiding underneath the carpet and rugs.
Step#2 – Scatter Diatomaceous Earth On The Hiding Places Of The Fleas
After vacuuming, remove the mattress from your bed.
Scatter diatomaceous earth where fleas hide. Ensure that you scatter the DE in the thin gaps and cracks in your bed, floor, and furniture where the fleas hide.
Let the diatomaceous earth sit for an hour.
Diatomaceous earth is a desiccant. It dehydrates the fleas from inside, causing their skeleton to break.
That makes the fleas die.
Step#3 – Vacuum Clean The Surfaces Where You Scattered Diatomaceous Earth
In this step, vacuum cleaning will remove the dead fleas.
Vacuum clean slowly by ensuring that you cover all the corners of hiding places of the fleas. After vacuuming, throw away the dust bag outside of your property.
Do not dump the vacuum bags in the trash bins of your home and yard. Fleas can jump out of the dust bag and re-enter your home.
But there’s a catch.
Diatomaceous earth doesn’t destroy the flea eggs and flea pupae. And, given their tiny size, the diatomaceous earth might miss on some flea larvae.
Diatomaceous earth can only kill the majority of adult flea that comes in contact with it.
And it’s essential to eliminate the flea eggs and flea larvae to prevent a flea re-infestation in your home.
This is where a steam cleaner does the job.
Step #4 – Steam Clean The Soft Furnishings And Your Bed To Eliminate The Fleas Left Behind
Steam cleaner produces heat. And the heat is lethal for adult fleas, their eggs, and flea larvae.
So, steam-clean your bed, especially the mattress, with a reliable steam cleaner.
You can also steam clean your couch, carpet, and furniture that have soft cushioning. While steam cleaning your mattress and sofa, ensure that you cover the edges and the seams of both.
Fleas (and beg bugs, too) can hide in these folds and seams. And the heat from the steam cleaner kills both, their eggs, and their larvae.
Step#5 – Clean The Furniture And Wooden Floor With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is both a disinfectant and a flea killer. Add 2-3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to a bucket of water and mop the wooden floor.
Damp a cotton cloth in the mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide and clean the furniture’s hard surfaces.
Hydrogen peroxide on hard surfaces and the wooden floor will clean them and kill any fleas hiding the thin gaps and cracks in them.
Pro Tip: Do not use flea bombs inside your home to get rid of fleas. Fleas bombs are risky and they don’t work either.
Flea bombs have a limited range. Fleas are great jumpers. They can escape the scope of flea bombs and hide in deeper places of your home.
5 Proven Ways To Prevent Fleas In Your Home
Fleas will come back to your home unless you take preventive steps to stop a flea re-infestation.
But prevention of a flea problem in your home is quite straightforward. You can do it in three steps.
#1 – Get Rid Of Fleas In Your Yard
The outdoors, with tall grasses near damp areas, are where fleas hide and breathe. They lurk there to latch onto a host like your pet.
If you walk through those dense bushes and tall grasses, fleas, and other biting bugs in grasses, can also latch onto your clothing.
And you’ll bring them home once they’re on your clothing.
Humans can carry fleas from one home to another through their clothing, and stuff with fleas latched onto them.
So, it’s essential to get rid of fleas in your yard.
To eliminate fleas in your yard, get rid of any tall grasses and overgrown shrubs in your home.
Also, make sure that your yard isn’t damp. To control the dampness levels in your yard, fix any water leakages.
And restrain from overwatering your yard or garden. A damp yard with overgrown bushes and tall grasses is a hiding place for many bugs.
#2 – Use IGR or Insect Growth Regulators In Your Yard
Insecticide sprays are effective in eliminating fleas. But not all insecticide sprays can disrupt the flea’s life cycle, especially in the larvae and pupae stage.
To tackle this issue, insect growth regulators or IGR come in handy.
IGRs get inside the biological system of bugs and hampers their development from the inside.
And using IGR is no big deal. All you’ve to do is scatter them around where fleas and bugs can live and breed in your yard or garden.
But keep in mind that IGRs don’t work indoors.
#3 – Spray A Flea Killer Spray In Your Yard
Flea insecticide spray will kill any fleas and bugs living in your yard. Use the spray where there were tall grasses and dense bushes.
Also, spray it on the firewood pile if there’s any and around the perimeter of your home.
#4 – Use A Peppermint Oil Spray In Your Yard To Repel Fleas
Fleas hate the smell of peppermint oil. And it’s a proven fact that peppermint oil repels bugs and rodents.
To stop fleas from coming back in your yard and from your yard to your home, you must spray a peppermint oil spray at least twice a week in your yard.
That’ll not only keep fleas away but also many other invasive pests like roaches and termites.
#5 – Ensure Your Pet Has No fleas
Pets are flea carriers. To prevent a flea infestation in your home, you must regularly check your pet for fleas, especially when you’ve got a lush green yard.
To protect your pet from catching fleas, you can make your pet wear flea collars that keep fleas away from them.
Check your pet often for fleas by using a flea comb on your pet’s fur. If your pet has fleas, then you’ll notice a small bug jump off your pet’s skin.
An adult flea can consume blood 10-15 times of its body weight in a single blood meal.
The flea bites will cause intense itching, irritation, and swelling on your pet’s skin.
Repeated scratching will also cause bacterial infection on the skin and, not to mention, hair loss on your pet that leads to flea allergy dermatitis.
And the worst part? Tapeworms.
Fleas are also hosts to many types of bacteria, including tapeworms.
If there are fleas on your pet, your pet can swallow a flea with tapeworms which can cause serious internal infection.
In puppies and kittens, flea infection damages their health. Fleas can cause anemia which is fatal for them.
Bathe your pet with anti-flea shampoo and immediately take your pet to a vet if you notice fleas in your pet’s fur.
There are five ways to tell you how bad a flea infestation is in your home. They’re –
- Fleas in bed
- Flea bite marks on your body
- Transparent tiny flea shells lying around in your home
- Your pet is constantly scratching and itching
- The white sock test for fleas
In this guide, you’ve learned how to naturally get rid of fleas once you figure out a severe flea infestation.
Also, there are steps in this guide that you can take right now to prevent a flea infestation in your home in the future.
Fleas are tiny biting bugs, and many times DIY ways fail when you don’t do them well.
It happens when fleas spread far and deep inside your home, and you don’t treat all the possible hiding places of fleas.
If fleas are coming back despite your best efforts, then professional pest control is what you should go for.
Further Reading – Get rid of fleas in the basement
Dr. Thomas Orbert, the Microbial Maestro, dances with the tiniest of creatures as an entomologist extraordinaire! With a PhD in entomology, his passion lies in unraveling the secret symphonies of insect-microbe interactions. From minuscule marvels to captivating complexities, Dr. Orbert unveils the hidden world of bugs, igniting curiosity one buzz at a time!