Length of Infestation: The Life Cycle of Fleas
Fleas are around 2.5 mm long, making them quite visible to the naked eye. They have strong legs that allow them to do acrobatic things, such as jumping up to a distance of 13 inches.
The lifecycle of fleas largely depends on the conditions of the environment. They thrive in warm climates, around 80 to 90˚ F (26 to 32 °C) and 70% humidity. This is why they are particularly common during the summer or spring season. In these conditions, they can last around 18 to 21 days.
If the conditions are not ideal and there are no hosts for them to feed on, flea larvae can remain dormant and wait for months until the conditions change in their favor. On average, an adult flea can live up to several months. Though they cannot survive the freezing temperature of winter, flea larvae and eggs can remain dormant until the season changes.
But like any other animals, there is a limit on how much heat they can handle.
Heat Treatment for Fleas
Fleas and bed bugs are quite different. They look and behave differently. Thus, they each need a different approach to get rid of them. Fortunately, they have certain things in common – they both feed on blood, and they infest human homes.
In the past decade, heat became a common method in dealing with bed bug infestations. Thus, people wondered if it can work the same way against fleas.
Like bed bugs, fleas are sensitive to dehydration and high heat. Because of their tiny size, extreme heat can easily obliterate their bodies. That is why they choose shaded spots and damp areas inside your home or in your yard to avoid direct sunlight and the hot climate.
This is why you need to keep the bushes and grass in your yard under control, as sunlight can raise the temperature of your yard leaving fleas with nowhere to hide. If you live in a place where the climate and weather is generally warm year-round, then it is best to have preventative treatments in place.
Killing Fleas with Heat
If a warm and hot climate is not in your favor, there are lots of things you can do to rid your household of fleas. You can start with the most effective solution – hire pest control professionals.
While it is always possible to go the DIY-route, without special equipment, efficient methods, and preventative measures, the problem will likely come back.
Pest control specialists are fully equipped, trained, and experienced in handling all kinds of pest issues, be it for commercial or residential purposes. They use a wide range of equipment, cleaning solutions, and methods to effectively remove your household of pests. They also do careful planning to set preventative measures to keep pests away.
The pros can heat each and every corner of your home using special heating equipment. The temperature is usually set and kept at 95˚ F. Depending on the treatment, the whole process can take hours, or even a couple of days. Everything inside the house is heated; this includes the basement, crawlspaces, inside and back of kitchen cabinets, etc. Heating your entire house is a difficult and potentially risky task, that is why it is best to leave it to the pros.
Things you can do to help kill fleas
Use your washer and dryer
Heat your bedding and clothing, including your kids’ plush toys, using the hot setting of your washer and dryer. Fleas, including their eggs and larvae, cannot tolerate high heat. You can kill them with your washing machine and dryer set at a high temperature. You can also use bleach or regular detergent to help disinfect and clean your infested items.
As said earlier, fleas hate sunlight. You can use this to your advantage as much as possible. Aside from mowing the grass, make sure to trim the trees that surround your house to allow as much sunlight as possible into your home. This will also help keep the soil in your lawn dry, leaving fleas with no place to hide and get shade.
The high temperature of hot weather and lack of humidity makes your home an inhospitable environment for fleas to thrive.
Steam clean your home
Another great way to rid your household items of fleas is using the heat from your steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners provide a safe, chemical-free, and effective way to clean your furniture and home furnishings. They are super effective in killing fleas too. You can steam clean your carpets and rugs, furniture, upholstery, and hard-to-reach spaces inside your home.
Steam cleaners can kill fleas in all stages of their life cycle, from eggs to adults. Depending on the level of infestation, and the scope of the area you want to clean, you may have to get the commercial or professional-grade steam cleaner. These cleaners can reach up to 200˚ F or higher, more than enough to kill those pests. Also, you can steam clean almost anything.
The key to using steam cleaners for killing fleas is to take your time and do it thoroughly and slowly. However, even with a commercial-grade cleaner, you will likely have to steam-clean your home multiple times to effectively kill the eggs, especially those trapped in tight and hard-to-reach spaces and crevices inside your house.
Want to get rid of fleas for good? Make sure to contact AccuRat. Call for help, ask a member of our friendly staff everything you want to know including when we will have a technician in your area so we can send him as soon as possible, to free your home from the unwanted insects. Our team will consult you on the best solutions for your property.