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Ways to Keep Your Home Flea-Free

A thorough spring cleaning of your home may be the best way to avoid a flea problem.

A female flea can lay 50 eggs per day and 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. As disgusting as that statistic is, consider this: For every flea found on your pet, there are approximately 20 developing fleas lurking in your home.

If those numbers have got you scratching your scalp, you may want to consider these useful household tips from the Queen of Clean, Linda Cobb. The best-selling author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean, Cobb suggests some practical measures that you can take to minimize the itching and scratching of both you and your pet:

  • Frequent vacuuming will eliminate most fleas from the home, especially in spring and summer when the flea season is in high gear.
  • Be sure to vacuum pet and human beds and mattresses, cushions, and throw rugs.
  • Fleas love lint, so don't forget to vacuum beneath furniture and behind stoves and refrigerators, where fuzz balls and dust accumulate.
  • Fleas can thrive inside vacuum bags and then escape back into your home, so change bags frequently and dispose them sealed in plastic bags.
  • If you have hardwood floors, vacuum under baseboards first and then wash wood surfaces weekly with hot, soapy water.
  • Putting pillows into a warm dryer for 10 to 15 minutes on an air-fluff cycle will help keep them free of fleas.
  • Wash your dog's bedding at least once a week in hot, soapy water.
  • Steam cleaning or shampooing rugs and furniture kills and removes flea eggs and larvae. Consider these options if you find that your home is infested
  • If you suspect your yard is infested with fleas, walk around with white socks pulled up to the knee. If fleas are present, they'll be easy to spot on the socks.
  • Lawn-watering may help destroy larvae and prevent excess flea populations.

Finally, talk to your vet if you spot fleas on your pet. There are prescription medicines, such as Frontline, that can help control the pests before it becomes a household problem.

Originally published in AKC Family Dog.
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