This blog post is intended to provide some guidance in how to get rid of fleas. As a forewarning, I’m not a pest control expert, biologist, or entomologist. I’m just a guy who has been inside a lot of rental homes… and a lot of them have had fleas.
If you’re like most people, blood-sucking, minute organisms with the ability to leap 1,000 times their own height are not ideal roommates. And yet, I have seen a handful of Orlando rental homes with former tenants who were apparently satisfied with living in a flea-infested house. Different strokes, I suppose…
I wish I could tell you that getting rid of fleas was a piece of cake, or share with you some super top-secret to kill all fleas and their larva in a 2 day period. But, short of ripping out all of the carpet and tossing all of the furniture out of a house, flea extermination can be a real annoyance.
The only ‘secret’ to flea extermination is to be persistent and not get discouraged. The techniques I am going to share with you WILL get rid of fleas, but it’s tough to say whether it will kill them the first time you use them, or the 5th time. Flea eradication is possible just takes some time and diligence.
Fleas live an average of 3 weeks, and can survive about a week without food (or a host, AKA – you or your pet). Females can lay 500 or more eggs during their life span creating even more fleas and turning an otherwise comfortable home into a circus (flea circus… get it?). Even worse, eggs and larvae can lie dormant (their life cycle suspends until conditions are right, i.e., warmth, humidity and a host) for a surprisingly long time. Because of this, properties vacant for long periods can mysteriously end up with fleas even though new occupants are pet-free.
There are a number of products you can use to wipe out fleas, but unfortunately most require repetitive treatments and caution must be used around people and pets. Sevin powder, flea traps, flea bombs , and sulfur powder in the house, around the home’s perimeter and even in the yard can help remove fleas from the home. Combined with repeated vacuuming (don’t forget to move the furniture each time), a combination of these chemicals should eradicate your flea problem. Also, with regards to vacuuming, if your vacuum is bag-less make sure to rinse out and sterilize your bag-less container after each vacuum and to store the vacuum in a controlled area. If your vacuum has bags, dispose of the bags in a trash can that is OUTSIDE. Fleas are small and can easily get out of bags and if the bag is in your house… well you see where I’m going.
If these techniques do not work it is probably time to call the professionals. As a landlord, you do not want to move new tenants into a house that is flea infested – it will undoubtedly cause more trouble and more headaches than the money you ‘saved’ by not calling a professional. At Central Florida Property Management we do our best to avoid this problem with regular pest control.
Hopefully you will never have a flea issue to deal with. But, if you do, I hope our crash course in flea remediation helped!