Flea Control: Treating Your Outdoor and Indoor Environment

dog scratching an itch
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-100
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

Getting rid of fleas is never going to be an overnight fix. Whether you’re dealing with an infestation inside your home, or are just trying to rid your yard of them so that your pet has a safe haven to roll around and play in, killing fleas is a multi-step process that requires your honest follow through in order to be effective.

Indoor Fleas: Bomb or Fogger

Flea control is an uphill battle that you’ll never fully win if you don’t also treat your home environment as well as your pets. A regimen of flea-bombing, continual vacuuming, cleaning, and maintenance can make all the difference.

Exterminate the fleas in your home using a flea bomb/fogger. The fogger products on the market are fairly easy to use and are relatively low-priced. Foggers are good for doing most of the job of getting rid of the adult flea population in your home.

They are designed for large, open spaces and can penetrate deep into areas that are hard to reach. You want to buy a flea bomb or fogger that contains an "adulticide" as well as an insect growth regulator.

This combination will greatly reduce the risk of reinfestation and having to repeat the process of extermination.

Consider children, animals, and adults in your home who have specific health issues when purchasing your extermination products. Consult your vet about the safety of these chemical extermination products. If the infestation is severe or you don't feel equipped to handle it all yourself, consider hiring a professional exterminator.

Step 1 – Purchase the Right Fogger

Read the directions carefully on the foggers you buy. You want to buy enough to cover each room in your home. Some bombs may require your pilot light to be turned off, which can be tricky, so read the print carefully before you purchase. Most foggers can be safely used in your home when you turn off your heating system.

Step 2 - Prepare for Fogging

Be sure to put away all open and uncovered food and drink, bowls, plates, and all your pet's food. Cover up aquariums or fish tanks as well.

Keep in mind that you will have to vacate your home, taking any pets with you, for at least three to four hours while the flea bomb does its job.

Step 3 - Vacuum

Before you bomb, you should vacuum all carpets in your home thoroughly. One of the problems with getting rid of an infestation of fleas is that there is no way to destroy the dormant flea larvae. Even after a thorough bombing, fleas can begin to turn up again from the freshly developed larvae. Vacuuming helps to stimulate the growth and hatching of the flea eggs that lie deep in the carpeting.

Don't forget your furniture either. Take off the cushions and pillows and vacuum deep into crevices. Leave them off when you bomb to allow the fogger to reach deeper.

Make sure you immediately wrap up the vacuum bag in a plastic garbage bag and get rid of it right away, as it contains adult fleas and flea eggs.

Step 4 – Make Sure the Fogger Reaches Everything

Open all the drawers, cabinets, and closets before you use the fogger. The more places that the fogger can spread, the higher the chance that you’ll get your fleas in check.

Step 5 – Bomb the Place

Follow any of the product’s instructions for safe use. Get any pets and family members out ahead of time, set your flea bomb, and then flee. When you return in a number of hours, there will still be work to do.

Step 6 – Clean Thoroughly

After you have bombed the house, wash and change your bedding frequently. Keep cleaning around where your pets sleep and hang out. Put all of your clothes through the laundry. Don't forget to treat areas you might not think of right away, like the garage, your car, pet carriers, clothes hampers, etc.

TIP: Flea sprays are good for harder to reach places where the fogger might have missed, such as cracks, moldings, baseboards, and under furniture. Powders can be used in the carpet to penetrate down where flea eggs may remain.

Step 7 – Rinse and Repeat

Even with all the steps you have taken, there is still a chance of fleas reappearing. This is why it is best to repeat the process of fogging your home again after three weeks. This second flea-bombing may seem inconvenient but it should greatly reduce the risk of a major reoccurrence. Monitor the situation closely for any signs of the reemergence of fleas.

Outdoor Fleas: Insecticides

When you have pets that are outdoors frequently, sometimes it may be necessary to treat the surrounding outdoor environment for fleas as well. Fleas and flea eggs are present in the grass in your yard, as well as on other wild animals or pets in the area.

Some areas that are warmer and more humid in climate may be especially prone to the year-round problem of fleas in the outdoor environment.

Step 1 – Make a List

The places fleas can crop up and all of their attractants nearly double when you tackle the issue outside of the house. In addition to the obvious spots like on the grass or on your pet’s body, don’t overlook porches, patios, or any places where your pets frequently lounge when outside.

Step 2 – Don’t Make it Inviting

Fleas flourish most where it is shady, damp, warm, and organic matter is plentiful. So, rake away organic debris like leaves and grass clippings.

Step 3 – Treat Your Yard

You can treat your yard by spraying an insecticide. The safest product you can use is an environmentally safe spray that contains fenvalerate. Look for sprays also containing insect growth regulators.

Follow the directions on the products closely for how to apply and how often.

You’ll most likely need to be repeat the treatment every 10-30 days. Keep your surroundings in mind, and always ask for professional help if uncertain.

WARNING: Do not use spray where the runoff from your lawn would be able to enter rivers or lakes.