Texas Living

How to Keep Your Home Flea-Free

By Lisa Martin 6.6.14

Now through Columbus Day, pet owners across Texas face off against a six-legged foe. Not only can fleas carry deadly diseases for dogs and cats, but they can also harm humans and infest homes. So how do you banish parasites from your premises?

Dr. Alison Diesel of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences recommends that pet owners put their cats and dogs on year-round flea protection. That can translate into medications, collars, flea baths, powders, and other veterinarian-approved measures.

To keep your home flea-free, Dr. Diesel suggests vacuuming weekly.

“Don’t forget under beds and furniture, behind curtains, and along hallways connecting rooms,” she says. As for outdoors, regular spraying can prove to be your best bet.

Pay particular attention to “shaded areas, under trees and bushes, in dog houses, and under porches and decks,” says Dr. Diesel. “As with indoor control, a professional exterminator may be the most help.” (While on site, ask your exterminator to check for termite damage as well; each year, termites chew to the tune of $5 billion worth of destruction throughout the U.S.)

Keep up your efforts through the warmest months of the year as fleas can travel into your home on everything from a child’s sock to your pet’s paws.

Also consider the following tips from the National Pest Management Association:

  • Check pets frequently for fleas. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas often hide.
  • Frequently wash pet bedding, collars, and plush toys.