Discovering fleas, either on your pet or in your home, is every pet owner’s nightmare. Although there are now great, easy to apply flea treatments for dogs and cats, there’s no getting away from the fact that from time to time domestic animals risk bringing fleas into the home. The first thing to say about fleas on wooden floors is that fleas won’t survive on the floor’s surface because they have nothing to attach themselves to. Instead, they’re likely to be hiding in any nooks and crannies in the floor where they’ll be surviving and breeding in the dust and debris that is hidden away. Either way, they’ll certainly have originated, from a pet, and will more than likely have attached themselves initially to either a carpet, a rug or your soft furnishings.
The good news is that removing fleas from your hardwood floor isn’t too much of an ordeal. The bad news is, you’ll need to treat more than your floor to get rid of the problem! The first thing to do is to vacuum thoroughly. Vacuuming will not only remove the fleas themselves, but repeated vacuuming will help remove the flea eggs before they can develop into fleas. When vacuuming, pay particular attention to soft furnishings and make sure you get right into the corners of your room and move furniture to get to the floor underneath. TOP TIP: Once you’ve finished vacuuming, make sure you dispose of your vacuum bag by sealing it and tying it in a bin bag and placing it outdoors.
Once you’ve vacuumed, it’s time to attack your floor with a damp mop. If at all possible, use a disposable mop, otherwise, once again, you risk spreading the problem rather than solving it. Make sure you also wash down all soft furnishings with a damp cloth to remove further traces of flea eggs and larvae. Again, dispose of your cloth once you’ve washed the surfaces of your furniture. Thereafter, strip down all soft furnishings that can be stripped eg. if you have removable covers on your chairs and sofas, remove them and wash them at the hottest setting possible in your washing machine. This will help remove the final traces of fleas, eggs or larvae that rests.
It is of course also important to treat your pet as well as washing all remaining cushions, rugs, curtains, pet bedding etc that can be washed. Repeated washing and treating your animal is the best way to be sure that you’ve got rid of the problem once and for all. That said, you must be aware that getting rid of the problem completely can take up to 8 weeks, thanks to the lifecycle of the eggs and the fleas, so vigilance and hard work are at the core of resolving this problem.
There are various ways to treat your pet and how you decide to do so will depend on your attitude towards chemicals and treatments generally. If it’s the first time you’re facing a flea problem, then your vet is a great place to get good, sound advice. Once you’ve managed to clear the problem, try to prevent it happening again by adopting a “prevention is better than cure” philosophy, and always keeping an eye out for signs of fleas on your dog or cat.