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Ask the Orkin Man

How do you get rid of fleas in home?

Question: Our house is infested with fleas. What does Orkin do to get rid of them? Is there anything we have to do in preparation for your treatment?

ANSWER: The best way to get rid of fleas is an integrated approach which first treats any pets in your household and then your house itself. Household flea control begins with treating the animal, then treating the house. Both steps have to be done and they have to be done together. At least the pet should be the first treated.

PET. There are some very effective on-animal flea control products. Some are available from the veterinarian and some are over-the-counter products. The pet or pets must be treated first before you can hope to rid the house (carpeting) of fleas. The pet’s bedding should be washed or replaced when the pet is treated.

HOUSE. Vacuuming the carpet can help to remove the eggs that drop there from the fleas on the pet. Vacuuming will remove a few larvae and the debris that the larvae eat. Vacuuming will cause the adult fleas to come out of their cocoons while the carpet treatment is fresh and effective. Outside some treatments may be necessary, including kennels where the animals may be kept. Make sure you keep your lawn cut short.

Continue to vacuum for several days after the carpet has been treated. It is normal to see fleas for a couple of weeks after the treatment. Make sure you remove and discard the bag from the vacuum cleaner every time you do this. Discard the bag outside the home.

Contact your local Orkin Branch Office. An Orkin Pest Specialist will conduct a thorough inspection of your home, inside and out. Once an assessment is made of the extent of the infestation, your Orkin Pest Specialist will develop a treatment plan which is effective and scientifically proven, as well as customized for your situation. While discussing the plan, your Orkin Pest Specialist will provide you with instructions to help your prepare for the treatment.

Close-up Photo of a Flea: flea close up picture

Read more: More information on flea control

Related Questions: The Orkin Man used the information above to also answer the following questions submitted by Orkin.com users:

Question: What pesticides do you use to treat a home for flea infestation? How exactly do you do it—what methods? What are the dangers of the chemicals to small children? I assume you would only come once. How much would that cost?

Question: We have had problems with fleas for some time now. We live in a home that was built in the 1800s. The house has wood floors that, from what I have read, harbor fleas. What would it take to treat our home? Would it require treating the yard as well? What’s the average price to treat this situation, and how often would treatments have to be applied?

Question: How do you eliminate fleas in our home with it being safe for my two infant children?

Question: Hello! Recently I noticed a flea in our living room. I only saw it for a second, but I’m positive it was a flea. Since then my two-year-old has been having bites on him (no one else in the family however has had any bites). I have been running the vacuum frequently. Is there anything I should be doing to prevent them from getting worse?  Can I use the flea powder you put on animals and sprinkle it on the carpet? Do you have any home remedies that might work? Am I suppose to throw away the vacuum bag after every use? The animals each have a new flea collar on. I didn’t think you could get fleas in the winter. We live in New York and have snow now. Any suggestions on how I can try to get rid of them would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Question: My boyfriend and I are looking at a town home in Davison, Mich. The “model” that was shown to us had fleas in it. Is this a treatable thing, or would you suggest NOT moving there?

ANSWER: It is treatable, but probably something you want done before you get there. The best solution would be to remove and replace all the carpets, second choice is to have all (all!) the carpets shampooed—this will kill the flea larvae that are in the carpet.

Question: I unfortunately moved into an apartment that was infested with fleas. I don’t have any animals, and Orkin has treated the place twice. I’ve been doing a lot of vacuuming, and I haven’t seen a flea for a week. Does that mean that they’re totally gone now? When can I be confident that they are totally gone? Is it possible that there are still eggs in the apartment that could hatch weeks and months later, or can I assume that all the eggs have hatched by now?

ANSWER: There are no eggs that will hatch months later; if you’re still worried you can shampoo the carpets … this kills any larvae that are in the carpet. The issue is not with the eggs or even the larvae, but the pupae. The pupae can remain dormant close to a year. Fleas will often pupate in hidden locations like under carpet edges, tack strips, under baseboards, and so on. Using the vacuum cleaner will trigger emergence from the dormant pupa.

Question: How long will a flea treatment continue to kill fleas

Answer: If carpet was treated, the residual activity would be about 2 weeks.

Question: How much of the yard will the Orkin man treat for fleas? We have 1.16 acres…must all the grass be cut short in those areas?

Answer: Fleas do not usually live outdoors and surely don’t survive long outdoors; treating a wide area outdoors for flea control would be unnecessary…it is indoors that fleas survive.

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