Fleas Austin TreatmentDoes hanging around in your Austin home or yard result in itchy bites on your ankles or legs?

You may have a flea infestation. Lots of bites on your lower leg is one way to tell. Obviously if your pet is scratching a lot or has needed treatment, that could be another warning sign. However, just because your furry friend is on a flea treatment, that doesn’t mean you are going to have to deal with them as well. Fleas generally prefer animals and do not live on people. But, they WILL jump on and bite people if no animal host is available, so never remove your pet from your home or fleas in the carpet or on furniture will jump on you.

One way to check if you have a legitimate flea issue — inside or out — that requires a flea pest control service is to first walk around with light color pants and socks. Shuffle around the inside and outside of your home with your pants tucked in to your sock and if you see small pepper size dots appear on your legs and start crawling upward, those are fleas. Pay particular attention to where a pet rests inside or out.

You may have a crawlspace that could be housing fleas as well. Wild animals, feral cats or wandering rodents and mammals could make their way under your home or into an outdoor storage area and bring fleas with them. After removing the wild animal or rodent (we provide top notch rodent services as well) and sealing up the intrusion points, you can apply products under the home to treat them.

Ways to Get Rid of Fleas Inside and Outside

Diatomaceous Earth — One of the best products for outdoor flea areas is diatomaceous earth, or DE. DE comes in a couple varieties — always get “food grade” DE. Blow DE under your home with a handheld duster or leaf blower. The fine powder and microscopic crystals cling to flea bodies and cut them up and dry them out.

We don’t recommend DE inside because it can be quite messy if not properly applied, and it can also cause issues with vacuums.

Beneficial Nematodes — These are microscopic worms that are nature’s flea predators. They are applied through a water-based solution and once in the yard they go after flea larvae, thereby breaking their life cycle. It is important to water the ground just before applying them and keeping it wet two to three days after an application. Nematodes shouldn’t be applied on hot days. The perfect time is early spring or fall on overcast or even rainy/drizzly days. As long as there is food for the nematodes (aka fleas, and even other insects) they will thrive and are a great non-toxic and safe way to get rid of fleas in the yard.

Vacuum and clean — One of the best ways to remove fleas and eggs is a vacuum. Vacuuming regularly if you have a bad situation, going over carpet and floors at least once a day for a week. You can reduce that schedule to two or three times a week afterward and monitor it. Also vacuum couches, cushions and long drapes.

Wash blankets, pet bedding and items in particular that are used by or near pets.

For hardwood floors, we also recommend mopping regularly. Combined with vacuuming this is very effective in removing the vast majority of fleas and in many cases is all that’s been needed.

Boric acid — After vacuuming, you can apply light dustings of boric acid on thicker carpets. For low pile rugs and carpet the vacuuming is best. But for thicker pile applying a very light dust of boric acid with a bulb duster will also break up the flea life cycle by killing the larvae in the fibers.

It is not harmful to pets or people unless large amounts are inhaled over a long duration. Do not overdo it with boric acid and call us if you have questions. You can also keep the pet out of that area where treated, and vacuum up the area after two or three days.

Sprays and Insecticides — We rarely recommend using these stronger chemical solutions but in some cases it is advisable such as inside a vacant home, or in areas where people and pets are not going to be for a while.

If you suspect you have fleas try the easy diagnosing method given above. You can use some of the DIY methods or if you have any questions or need help, give us a call at 512-443-0123 or email us through our free pest control quote form.