Flea bites on humans are most often the result of fleas hitching rides into households with family pets. If undetected for even just a few days, fleas can begin to nest, reproduce and become an itchy nuisance to pets and humans alike. The best way to keep fleas from biting humans is to prevent pets from getting fleas and treating any signs of flea infestation as soon as possible. Fleas are small and have very fast reproductive cycles so once fleas are in the house, exterminating them can be challenging.
Prevent pets from getting fleas. Pets often get fleas from other neighbourhood pets. Keep your pet away from other animals that have recently had fleas. Pets can also get fleas from gardens and lawns so it is important to keep lawns short and spray regularly with insecticides. Plant a few eucalyptus trees as they are thought to be a natural flea-repellent.
Purchase products to treat flea infestation. Getting rid of fleas on pets is an effective step toward preventing human family members from getting bitten. Piper Cratty at Dog Breed Info.com suggests trying a combination of flea collars, topical treatments such as Frontline and veterinarian prescribed medicines.
Purchase products that kill fleas in each stage of their life cycle. Exterminate your home with flea treatments that include pyredthroid, permethin and IGR (insect growth regular) as Cratty suggests. Focus on areas under furniture, in ducts, behind curtains and in floor cracks when using sprays and powders. Advanced flea infestations may require professional exterminators.
Sweep and vacuum thoroughly. Sweeping after spraying insecticides makes sprays more effective as fleas are stimulated by vibrations. Vacuum your pet's favourite resting place, in corners of the house and other areas where fleas may hide. Burn your vacuum bag or throw away in a tight plastic bag so fleas do not return.
It may take up to three weeks to see results from treatments -- even if you hire a professional.
When purchasing any sort of medication for your pet -- over the counter or prescribed -- pay close attention to dosage instructions for your pet's age and weight.