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How to Get Rid of Fleas

How to Get Rid of Fleas By Miriam Kasdan
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

The Life of Fleas

Fleas, otherwise known as Order Siphonaptera, are small wingless insects up to 1/6-inch long, and are covered in spines with small piercing mouth parts. Fleas are parasites that attach themselves to a host, most commonly household pets like cats and dogs. Flea larvae feed on organic debris, mainly the feces of adult fleas.

Flea eggs hatch on the ground, in nests, carpeting, bedding, upholstery, or cracks in the floor, and most will hatch within seven to 14 days.

Getting Rid of Fleas

There are several ways to rid your living space of these pesky critters. One homeowner swears by borax. Sprinkle it on carpets, and in creases and under the cushions of your chairs and sofa. Work the powder down to the bottom of the carpet with a broom, and then wait three days to vacuum. This will suffocate the fleas and the newly hatched eggs, thus breaking their cycle. A small residue of borax will remain in the carpet, working all year long. This procedure should be good for a year; then try the application again.

For those who want to try getting rid of fleas with products other than borax, there are a myriad of commercial products one can order, such as pet sprays, flea shampoos, home foggers, and carpet sprays. It's important to remember that not only must you rid your carpet and furniture of fleas, but also your pet, so all bases are covered.

If you aren't a do-it-yourselfer, you can always hire a professional exterminator to get rid of fleas. This may be more expensive than borax or commercial products, but you will be assured that fleas will be gone from your beloved home and pets, once and for all.


About the Author
Miriam Kasdan has been writing and editing marketing and technical materials for almost 20 years and specializes in home improvement features. Miriam earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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