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If you're a pet owner, you may have to deal with fleas, especially during warm months when your pet is outside more and the fleas are particularly active. Regardless if your pet goes outside or not, fleas can find their way onto your pet and into your home, leading you to wonder why you have fleas in different rooms, including your bathroom. Knowing about fleas helps you identify the problem and effectively treat it.
Why in Your Bathroom
Fleas find their way onto you and your pets as you move around outdoors. One flea on your pet and in your home quickly manifests into thousands of them. Fleas and their eggs fall off of your pet as it moves around the house, infesting every room. If your dog comes into the bathroom to visit you when you shower, you lock a puppy in the bathroom while you are gone or your cat likes to sleep in the bathroom sink, you will have fleas in that room.
Few signs are more telling of a flea infestation than seeing them. Fleas are small, reddish-brown insects with long back legs that they use for jumping. Fleas range in size, from 1/12- to 1/16-inch in length. Even after feeding, fleas look flat width-wise. They also leave behind indications of their presence. Flea droppings, or excrement, fall from your pet, along with the fleas and their eggs. The droppings look like little black dirt. However, if you wipe them up with a wet paper towel, they turn red from the blood the fleas were eating. The most irritating part of a flea infestation is the flea bite itself. These marks appear as small, red round wounds, usually on the ankle.
Cleaning the Bathroom
Cleaning the bathroom helps eliminate fleas and their eggs from that room and puts you one-step closer to winning the flea fight in the rest of your home. Start by vacuuming the floors in the bathroom. According to Science Daily, the violent suction of the vacuum will kill most fleas. Once you finish vacuuming, seal the contents of the vacuum bag into a zip-lock top bag to kill any surviving fleas. Clean the floors, sink, tub and countertops with a steam cleaner. High heat kills fleas and their eggs. Mix vinegar or lemon juice into the clean water receptacle of the steamer. Vinegar repels fleas while lemon kills them.
Cleaning the Linens
After cleaning the bathroom, launder the towels, bathmats and shower curtain. Even if you do not see fleas on these items, their eggs may be present. Use the highest heat setting on the washing machine that you can use without damaging the material. Add 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar to the detergent to repel fleas. The vinegar odour will disperse so you cannot smell it, but the fleas will still. Dry the items on high heat as well.
By treating your bathroom, you remove any fleas and their eggs currently in that room. However, if you do not further treat the rest of your home and your pets, the fleas will migrate back to the bathroom. Groom your pets every day with a flea comb. Bathe dogs weekly and cats once to twice a month with flea shampoo. After bathing the animals, clean the tub with a steam cleaner to kill any flea or flea eggs left behind. Clean the floors and upholstered furniture in your home with a vacuum and steam cleaner as well.
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images