How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House Forever

By Pauline Gill

Fleas are an annoying parasite that can multiply so fast that within a week your whole house can be infested. Most likely the fleas came from your dog, though fleas can get into a house on a human. Getting rid of fleas takes a lot of work and an aggressive approach. The process will take time, for the flea goes through four stages of life, and you must rid the flea as it matures into an adult if the product you are using does not take care of every stage. If you wish to get rid of fleas forever, you must aggressively attack the house, the yard and the dog.

Rid your dog of fleas. Purchase a good flea shampoo and give your dog a bath. Place warm water in the bathtub, pour on the shampoo and wash the dog thoroughly, making sure the shampoo does not get in his eyes. Start at the top and work downward, paying attention under the legs of the dog. Rinse the dog well, making sure you rinse the fleas down the drain. You may want to wash the dog twice. Put on either Frontline or Advantage flea protection. This is placed between the shoulder blades. For the next 3 months, use the application every month because new fleas will arrive as you begin the process of removing the fleas from the yard and house.

Attack the yard. Buy a flea control pesticide for the yard. Wherever the dog travels outside, spray the pesticide. If there is a path the dog uses for walking, spray it. Fleas deposit eggs on the dog which roll off onto the ground. It's important to spray every area the dog has visited, being careful to stay away from plants. Some pesticides come in a granular form.

Use pesticide in the house. If you wish to get rid of fleas permanently, you have to use pesticides. Begin by vacuuming the house in every corner and crevice. After vacuuming, throw the vacuum bag in the outside garbage. Remove clothing, dog dishes, pet food and birds, if you have any. Cover the fish tank if you have one. All residents of the house must leave for at least 2 to 3 hours, depending what pesticide is used.

Apply the pesticide. There are a number of types of pesticides. You can use a powder, liquid pesticide or bombs. Bombs will have to be placed in every room, including the garage. Place the bomb on newspaper for easy cleanup. Close all windows and doors. Turn off the air conditioner. Release the bomb and leave. Bombs usually need 2 to 3 hours. Once you return, open the windows and put on the air or fans. Wrap the bomb in the newspaper and dispose outside. Vacuum the house. Because bombs only kill the fleas, you will have to repeat this process over the next 3 months to completely rid the house of all the stages of flea development. Liquid pesticides must be sprayed on the carpet, in the corners and crevices. Open windows and leave a fan on to help dry the pesticide and remove odors. The pesticide usually takes a few hours to dry. Look for a pesticide that has a growth inhibitor (IGR) to prevent the larvae from developing. Powders need to be sprinkled on the carpets, the dog bed and any areas where the dog likes to rest. There are a number of commercial products on the market. One is called Fleabusters that will take 4 to 6 weeks to entirely cut the cycle. Other products claim to work for up to a year.

Be proactive. In order to keep fleas from infiltrating the home again, you must be diligent. Keep your dog free of fleas by applying flea applications such as Advantage or Frontline. Vacuum, dust and mop in all the areas your pet occupies. In the spring, before flea infestation begins, protect the yard area with a flea product.