How to rid your house of dog fleas
Do chihuahuas get dog fleas, that can’t be true! But we all know even the cutest chihuahua can pick up dog fleas. The issue is how to deal with them without turning to harmful chemicals and treatments.
Why avoid chemicals
Chemicals can have side effects leaving people with headaches, dizziness and sometimes more serious symptoms. They can also have serious health problems for your chihuahua. Read: Spot on flea products can also be a problem for your chihuahua. Spot on flea treatments also kill bees and other beneficial insects.
We have had a look at some more natural ways to deal with dog fleas. After all, man has been dealing with fleas long before the pharmaceutical companies came along!
Fleas like to hide in places that are dark, warm and moist or well protected like a carpet. Dirt, debris and carpet fibres are also hugely attractive to fleas as they can camouflage flea larvae and protect the eggs.
If you spot fleas on your chihuahua, then sadly you’re only found 5% of the flea population in your home, the remaining 95% are hiding in your carpet, furniture and clothes they can find. If you have a cat, chances are the fleas on your chihuahua are cat fleas, so treat puss too. Read the article on Natural Ways to Protect your Dog from Fleas
Get rid of pet fleas from your home without harmful chemicals
To rid your house of fleas means a thorough cleaning is needed. But don’t worry, you don’t have to fill your home with harsh chemicals that can irritate your family or pets, many natural methods are just as good as getting rid of fleas.
#1. Steam cleaning: Flea control hero!
As a common flea hangout is in your carpet, steam cleaning can penetrate the fibres of your carpet killing the fleas and deep-hidden eggs. The temperature of the steam is high enough to kill fleas at any stage during their life cycle.
Steam cleaners are an excellent way to rid your house of pet fleas as they can clean not only the carpet but sofas, upholstery, rugs and even car seats. It is important to make sure the steam cleaner reaches over 120 degrees Fahrenheit to kill fleas successfully.
We have two: A handheld machine and a floor mop. I wouldn’t be without either as they work really well. The handheld machine is under pressure, so you get a good strong jet of steam that penetrates the carpet. The only drawback is the tank is not large so if you have to keep re-filling it.
#2. Vacuum everywhere: Salt, baking soda or diatomaceous earth
Before vacuuming, take your pets to a safe place and don’t let them enter the room you’re treating. Brush salt or baking soda into the carpet to dry out the flea eggs, after a couple of hours vacuum thoroughly, leaving no part of the carpet untouched. As soon as you’ve finished take the vacuum bag, or remove the vacuum contents, into the outside bin otherwise, they can crawl out again.
#3. Wash pet bedding: Eucalyptus oil
Throw everything that your chihuahua likes to sleep on into the washing machine and wash on the highest heat possible (without damaging the bedding). If possible use a hot dryer on the bedding too, for extra flea-killing power. To prevent fleas, drop eucalyptus oil into the wash as long as you’re sure your pet isn’t sensitive to essential oils. Eucalyptus oil is said to repel fleas, but never use it undiluted.
#4. Create flea traps: Soapy water
Plug-in flea traps or a bowl of soapy water with light directed onto it will help you to identify if you still have fleas in your home as well as reducing their numbers. It is wise to have these in a number of rooms so you can identify problem areas.
#5. Clean regularly: Vacuum daily
Unfortunately getting rid of fleas isn’t a one-off job, the flea life cycle is around one month long and with females laying up to 50 eggs a day. It is wise to vacuum every other day and repeat the cleaning steps regularly to completely rid the house of dog fleas and keep your family and pets safe and comfortable.
#6 Nematodes: Water them into the lawn
A nematode is a microscopic worm that lives in the soil There are estimated to be over half a million different species of nematodes in the world. They can be used to target all sorts of pests in the garden, fleas included. You buy them from a supplier and then water them into the grass. We have just ordered some for the areas where the chis play outside. The correct nematode to buy that targets flea larvae in the grass is: Wireworm and Lawn flea nematodes. You can buy them from Green Gardener in the UK.
If you have other natural methods to rid your house of dog fleas, we would love to hear. Please leave your comments below.