When you get fleas in your house or apartment, it is certainly a nuisance, but it is not the end of the world. One of the best things you can do is start vacuuming. Believe it or not, you can combat fleas this way. Here are some ways to choose the right vacuum to remove fleas.
Get to the Source of Fleas
The goal when dealing with fleas is to attack them at the source. This means getting at the critters before they are mature fleas. According to some studies, 95-99% of flea infestations are comprised of their eggs, larvae, and pupae. Only 1-5% of the flea population in a home, at any given time, is an adult flea. The rest are developing fleas, living in cozy environments, and can most often be found in carpeting where pets are most often.
By vacuuming you can remove: 32-90% of eggs, 15-50% of larvae, 64% of pupae, and 95% of adult fleas, as well as the larval food. Vacuuming also triggers the eggs to hatch into adult fleas, which can stay dormant for up to five months. Vacuuming frequently, can capture these adults when they emerge, eliminating further reproduction of these pests.
Why Does Vacuuming Work?
Good vacuums have amazing suction power and can remove tiny particles of dirt, debris, insects, pet hair, and fleas. Depending on your budget, there is a wide range of prices for vacuums. What you want to keep in mind is to get one that has: suction power, hose attachments (to get into those cracks and crevices), is easily maneuverable, and has the ability to capture all that could be creeping in your carpets.
When you vacuum, you are not only removing the fleas you are removing their food source. Infant fleas, or flea larvae, require both eggs and flea feces in their diet. If larvae can’t find these foods, they’ll die within 3 days of hatching. Vacuuming removes up to 50% of flea food from carpets.
What to Look for in a Vacuum
Bags or Canisters
Once you capture a flea in your vacuum, you want to make sure that it is removed from your house. By sucking it up and then disposing of the dead or dying flea, you will prevent it from becoming food for any flea larvae that may be still in your carpet. There is no need to disinfect your canisters. The act of vacuuming, itself, kills the fleas; they can’t survive the turbulence.
The more powerful the suction on the vacuum the more effective it will be at removing the fleas and their food source.
Beater bars contain bristles which dig into the nap of carpets and lift the fibers. This helps remove flea and food debris from different depths. A bonus of the beater bar is that they cause friction and heat with aggravates the hibernating, or cocooned, flea, and encourages them to emerge quicker than their standard 5-month cycle.
In order to get deep into your carpet with the beater bars, you want to have a vacuum that has adjustable height settings. This will give you the optimal suction for flea removal.
Other Vacuuming Tips of Flea Removal
Aside from vacuuming carpets, you want to be sure that you deep clean all spots that your pets sleep and eat. Also, be sure to properly clean all furniture in infested rooms, as well as under the furniture. Don’t neglect all the fabric folds and crevices in your couches and chairs. Finally, be sure to vacuum all other floors, including hardwood, tile, and linoleum. The cracks and crevices in these types are floors are the perfect harvesting spots for fleas.
Due to the hatching cycle of fleas, be sure to vacuum at least every other day for up to two months. This will ensure that you capture every flea that emerges as well as their food source.
Vacuuming can help control a flea infestation. While it will not remove 100% of our flea problem, it can help to keep it in check until you decide the best route for complete removal, be it pesticides or some alternative flea bombing solution.