Not only are fleas pesky to your pet, but they can invade your home and torment human hosts with annoying bites. Getting rid of fleas requires diligence, patience and time--generally several weeks. Fleas love warm and humid conditions and they are therefore not only a seasonal problem in some parts of the country. Follow these steps to get rid of fleas in your home.
Get rid of fleas on your pet. (See "How to Get Rid of Fleas.") Fleas usually come into your home on the body of a warm-blooded creature such as your dog or cat, then multiply.
Religiously clean surfaces where your dog or cat spends the most time. These are the areas where fleas, eggs, larvae and pupae are most likely to be found. This includes cleaning concrete floors in basements and garages.
Vacuum carpets thoroughly and often. Even if you already have an active infestation, vacuuming can pick up adult fleas as well as pupae.
Use flea granules in the nap of your carpet. These can be applied once a year and remain active for the whole year. They are safe and effective.
Spray carpets with an insecticide such as micro-encapsulated pyrethrins. Repeated applications may be necessary. Use chemicals with caution and read labels carefully.
Combine the insecticide (which will kill adult fleas) with a growth regulator, which will break the life cycle of the flea. Follow directions carefully.
See "How to Get Rid of Fleas From Your Home Naturally" under Related eHows for information on using nonchemical methods for flea control.
Call a pest control company if your efforts are unsuccessful. Such companies are well-equipped to deal with flea infestations.
Fleas are at their worst in summer and early fall, so start your flea prevention tactics in late spring. Adult fleas are the least of your problem. Eggs can be virtually anywhere, and larvae and pupae are also difficult to find and eliminate. Use exterior flea-control methods also. No matter how much time you spend ridding the house of fleas, they will get back in if you haven't treated your yard and other surrounding areas.
Before using any toxic pest control product, read the label carefully. Be especially wary if you have young children or pets in the home. Avoid shutting a room off for a period of time in the hope that the fleas inside will die off due to lack of a host. This method is not effective.