How to get rid of fleas in your bed

Parasites such as fleas make your home uncomfortable and stressful. Fleas can be hide in your sofas, beds, cushioned chairs, cupboards, etc and are not easy to find because of their tiny size. Fleas in your bed can really cause a headache. Its frustrating waking up in the morning covered in fleas and flea bites.

>>Click here to learn how to kill fleas with steam<<

How do fleas get in our beds?

There are plenty of ways fleas can get into your bed. The primary reason is if you let your pets sleep in your bed with you. When you take your pet outside for a bathroom break there is a chance they will come back with fleas. At night when you and your pet go to bed the fleas will follow you into your bed.

Fleas can also get into your bed if you buy a used mattress or sheets that already have flea eggs in them. This is why you should always wash new and used sheets before using them. You can never be too safe.

A final reason they get into your bed is if you move into a home that previously had a flea infestation. Flea eggs can remain dormant for months without hatching or dying. As soon as these dormant flea eggs feel the vibrations of a host walking by they will hatch and begin looking for the nearby host.

Apart these reasons, unclean, dirty areas give way for flea growth. If your living space is near a garbage dump or gutter, then fleas will likely sneak into your home.

If you have pets at home, say, dogs or cats or guinea pigs or any other animals, you tend to stay close to them all the time. They actually start living with you inside your house. Your pets get on to your sofas, your beds and other places where you cuddle them and play with them all day.

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During this time, there are very good chances that fleas fall off from your pet’s body and get into your sofa cushion corners, your beds, your clothes and other areas. Pets are high carriers of fleas and other tiny bugs and if they continue to live with you, small bugs will definitely get into house, causing fleas in your bed, thus disturbing your personal space.

Most Effective Ways to Get rid of Fleas

Whenever you find Fleas in your bed and experience major flea issues, you must and should take proper measures to get rid of them. If the right actions are not taken immediately, it can lead to worse conditions. You can consider the following ways in which the fleas can be prevented or destroyed:

Bathing your pets regularly is very important because it will prevent fleas out of your pets fur. When you wash your pets, it also helps get rid of the existing ones that have been hiding in their fur for a long period time. You should use the right products for cleaning your pets. Make sure to use pet friendly cleaning and bathing products that are harmless even when used frequently. You can buy pet friendly flea shampoo here.

Another important task is washing the used clothes, bed sheets and other things so that they do not attract any bugs. When used items are kept as they are for days together, they get dirtier and become perfect hosts for fleas. Make sure that you wash them with a good detergent, in hot water and dry them well. This is very important because fleas usually cannot survive in hot conditions, thus solving your problem.

Some more methods of Flea Prevention and Removal

Vacuuming is another major part of the flea eradication process. It is best if you vacuum your sheets, carpets, sofas, pillow covers, etc every day. This will help a great deal in destroying the fleas in your bed as well as their eggs, thus putting a stop to their whole cycle.

Your task does not end here. Once vacuuming is done, garbage bags must be properly disposed, in such a way that the eggs cannot hatch. Next method is the use of a good insect growth regulator (IGR)such as pyriproxyfen or methoprene. These sprays help to stop the larvae from growing into adult fleas. Without IGRs, you definitely cannot reach the larvae and destroy them. Get strong, effective IGRs that will serve as your ultimate flea solution. A team of trained people are also usually available, who can help you in flea eradication and prevention processes by visiting your place if required.

Apart from all these, you can make use of botanical dust mixed with Borate acid which can attack upto the larvae level. While using this method, it is very important to cover your face with a mask in order to avoid breathing in of the insecticide. You can spray natural or synthetic insecticide inside your house and leave the entire space free from human interaction for a whole day.

It is also good to go for regular maintenance of your backyard where the chances of flea manifestation are high. A good dehumidifier can also work well in these situations. Since fleas stay alive at humid conditions above 50%, you can lower the humidity with the use of dehumidifiers. All these methods are very effective in getting rid of fleas from your living spaces.

Fleas vs Ticks

There are so many different parasites in the world that love to prey on animals and humans alike. It’s easy to get some of these parasites mixed up. Some of the most common household parasites are bed bugs, fleas, and ticks. Fleas and ticks can quickl on your pets. The two have the same purpose. They eat to live and live to breed. Ticks and fleas both feed on the blood of other animals and humans.

Though the two have a very similar purpose, there is a significant difference between them. Below I’m going to explain the difference between the two and how you can get rid of each of them.

Ticks

Type of Parasite: Arachnid

Size: Can be as small as a poppy seed when first feeding

Lifespan: A few weeks to 3 years

Time on Host: Spends most of life off host waiting for one to walk by

Climate: Can survive near freezing temperatures

Possible Diseases: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

TickImageTicks are not actually insects but are considered to be an arachnid as they have eight legs, like a spider. It’s bigger than a flea measuring ¼ to 1/8 inches. Unlike fleas, they don’t mind moving between animals as they can’t spend too much time on the same host. In fact, they depend on various hosts of different species for nutrition.

Ticks can be found on snakes, lizards and humans and have a lifespan anywhere from three weeks to three years. They climb on the ends of leaves, shrubs and plants and wait for a host to pass by wherein they attach themselves onto the host.

They then travel over the body to find an appropriate place to feed like the body’s shaded areas like ears, hair and inside of arms. They feed by inserting their pincers into the host and excreting an anticoagulant which prevents blood clogging. They cannot jump or fly and only crawl to reach anywhere they want.

Unlike fleas, they fall off the host to lay thousands of eggs at one time after which they die. They are happiest in cold temperatures and thus are happy in winter climates. They are dangerous as they don’t spend their lives attached to one host and thus spread germs and diseases from one host to another. The spread around various diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

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Tick removal

Removing a tick involves removing all its body parts and preventing it from releasing saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents onto your bite wound. It’s best to use a tick removal tool which helps grip the tick’s head without squashing its body.

You can also use pointed tweezers to grasp the tick close to its skin without squeezing its body and then pull the tick out without twisting. Even a cotton thread or dental floss can be used if there’s no tools around. Tie the thread in a single loop around the tick’s mouthparts near its skin, and pull upwards and outwards without twisting.

Start by cleansing the tweezers or tool with antiseptic. Then cleanse the bite site and tool with an antiseptic after tick removal. Thoroughly wash your hands after removing the tick.

Make sure you don’t squeeze the tick’s body as it gets separated from the body to leave the head embedded in your skin. Also do not use your fingernails to remove a tick as infections can enter any skin breaks, like near the fingernail.

Never crush the tick’s body as the tick may vomit all the infected contents in its stomach onto the bite wound. It is also no use trying to burn the tick or applying things like nail polish or petroleum jelly as they only cause discomfort to the tick. This leads to regurgitation or saliva release.

The tick can be disposed by first crushing it and then putting it down the toilet or by folding it onto a strip of sticky tape and placing in the waste. However be careful as engorged ticks may contain infected blood which can splatter when crushed.

Check out the video below to watch the proper tick removal method!

Fleas

3404894430_197b580c0a_oFleas are wingless insects which live and feed on human, cat, dog and other animals’ blood. They are flat and dark-colored with tube-like mouth parts to feed on the host’s blood. Measuring 1/6 to 1/8 inches in length, these fleas are difficult to spot. They however can leap to great heights and lengths as their legs are well adapted for jumping.

They have a lifespan of about 100 days so once they find a body, they remain there till they die. They then lay about 20 to 40 eggs a day for several weeks and these eggs end up everywhere as your dog sheds hair. So all it takes is one flea to start an epidemic in a house. And they can carry bartonellosis and tapeworm when they land on their host.

Fleas prefer heat to cold and is why they prefer spending time indoors. Fleas leave a series of bites resulting in a slightly raised and swollen itching spot with a central puncture point similar to a mosquito bite.

Size: 1.5 to 3.2 millimeters

Lifespan: 2-3 months

Time on Host: Fleas will stay on their host until they get a blood meal.

Climate: 46.4 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit

Possible Diseases: cat-scratch fever, typhus, bubonic plague, bartonellosis, tapeworm

Flea Removal

There are so many different ways to remove fleas from your home and to keep them off your pets. Below I’m going to list a few of my favorite methods. If you would like to know more about treating flea infestations your can read more here or check out some of the links below!

Flea Drops- Fleas drops are the best way to keep fleas off your cats and dogs. Flea drops use an application that lasts anywhere from 3 weeks to 7 weeks depending on the brand you buy. The flea drops begin working within 24 hours of the first application. If any fleas come in contact with the area the application was placed they will die. The fleas will also die if they bite into your pets fur. You can buy flea drops here.

Steam Cleaning- The temperature of steamers and the amount of water put out combined is enough to easily kill fleas. You need to make sure that the temperature of the steamer is hot enough to kill the fleas though. Read my article on steam cleaning fleas here!

Flea Traps- You can place these anywhere in your home and they will passively kill fleas while you sleep. The traps use a warm light and a sticky substance designed to trap any fleas that land in it. Fleas are attracted to warmth so when you turn the light on they instinctively move towards it causing them to get stuck. If you don’t want to buy a flea trap you can make your own trap. If you want to know how to make your own trap you can find out how to here.

Diatomaceous Earth- This is a fine white powder made from the fossils of microscopic aquatic organisms called diatoms. When inhaled by fleas it absorbs oils causing there bodies to dry out killing them. I highly recommend using Diatomaceous earth. When it has sat in your carpet for a long period of time you can simply vacuum it up! You can buy Diatomaceous Earth here!

Flea Shampoo- This is exactly what it sounds like. Flea shampoo is a shampoo designed to kill any fleas hiding in your pets fur. Its easy to use and last for a few weeks. You can buy flea shampoo here or check out my flea shampoo article here.

 

Flea Bites on Babies – What should I do?

Flea bites are small, irritating, and can drive you crazy! It’s bad enough when you have flea bites on you and your pet, but when there are bites on your baby things seem to get a little bit more personal. If left untreated these bites can cause children and babies unnecessary discomfort and pain. Below I’m going to teach you how you can keep these bites from itching, how to recognize infections, identify flea bites, and prevent further flea infestations.

What do flea bites look like?

IMG_3328Flea bites are small, red, swollen bites that cause extreme skin irritation. If you look closely at the flea bite you will see a small red dot at its center. This is where a flea bit your skin to draw blood. Fleas need a host to provide blood meals without blood meals the fleas will die.

These bites typically happen around our ankles. This is an easy place for fleas to get to and they are able to burrow into our socks where it’s warm and moist. If most of your bites are on your ankles it very well may be flea bites. On your babies the bites will most likely occur on legs or arms if those areas aren’t clothed.

If your bites don’t look at all like this then you may be experiencing a different kind of infestation such as bed bugs. If you want to read more on bed bug bites check out my article on the difference between flea bites and bed bug bites here.

>>Find out more about flea bites now<<

Preventing Infestations

Prevention is the best method to keep fleas off you and your family. If you can keep fleas from getting in your house then you wont have to treat bites or an infestation.

  • Flea Drops- This is the best flea prevention product out there. It can be pricy but you won’t be disappointed. Flea drops are applied to your pets back. When fleas come in contact with the area or bite your pet it will kill them. The applications can last anywhere from 5 weeks to 2 months depending on the brand. I prefer Frontline Plus if you would like to read more about flea drops you can find out more here.

 

  • Flea Traps- Traps are great passive flea killers. Fleas are attracted to warmth. Flea traps have a small light that hangs above a sticky substance designed to trap fleas. When the fleas head for the light they quickly become trapped in the sticky substance. You can place these traps all over your house or just in the areas where you pet spends a lot of time. Check out my guide to flea traps article. It will teach you how to properly use flea traps and how to make your own flea trap!

 

  • Flea steamers- You can prevent a flea infestation with a steamer. Fleas can’t survive in the temperature, and moisture produced by a flea steamer. If you have carpeting in your house I suggest buying a steamer that meets all the requirements to kill fleas. You can buy one of those steamers here or you can read more about flea steamers here.

 

  • Flea Shampoo- This is the final item on my list. Flea shampoo is exactly what it says it is. Its a shampoo that is designed to kill fleas. Its not something you have to use daily because the effects last for long periods of time. Depending on the brand you get is how long it will last. You can buy flea shampoos with natural ingredients to prevent damage to your pets skin. When using flea shampoo I typically use Adams Plus Flea and Tick Control Shampoo with Precor.

>>Buy the best flea prevention product now!<<

How to stop itching on your baby

  •  You can use soothing creams such as calamine lotion or Aloe Verato help relieve some of the pain from itching. Both work just as well as the other.
  • The same anti-itch cream used on mosquito or ant bites works on flea bites as well.
  • You can also use a cotton ball soaked in baking soda to treat itching as well. This helps reduce pain and inflammation. It’s not one of the most effective methods but if you’re short on money this is a quick itch fix.
  • Bug repellant can keep more fleas from jumping on your baby and adding more bites. Make sure to read the directions on the bottle to make sure that the repellant is safe to use on infants.
  • You can use ice to numb the pain if it becomes too severe but most of the time babies don’t enjoy something ice cold on their skin so I suggest using this method as a last resort.
  • You can apply essential oils such as tea tree oilor baby lotion to the bites to prevent infection.

Flea Bite Infections

Flea-Bites-Pictures-4Flea bite infections can be dangerous if not tended to. If you believe you have a flea bite infection you should seek medical attention quickly. Some of the flea bite symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Swollen glands
  • Pain in bite area
  • Possible skin leakage
  • Bites becomes larger due to swelling

If you would like more information on fleas or flea bites feel free to ask any questions using our contact page.

 

Oriental Rat Flea

Xenopsylla_cheopis_flea_PHIL_2069_loresOf all the fleas in the world this is the scariest. You’ve probably heard of the bubonic plague or the black death. This little guy is the culprit. Many people  think rats caused the spread of the bubonic plague but that only partially correct. The bubonic plague was also spread by the oriental rat flea. This flea would bite rats that carried disease and plague then would bites humans. This spread the disease at a very rapid and terrifying rate.

It’s unlikely that you’re going to find a rat flea infestation in your house or on a pet. The most common types of fleas found in homes are dog fleas or cat fleas.

Scientific Name: Xenopsylla Cheopi

Size: 1.5 to 4 mm

Appearance: Dark Reddish Brown, wingless, hard bodies, three pairs of legs

Found: Typically found in tropical climates

Oriental Rat Flea Appearance

Larva left and an adult female right of the oriental rat flea xeThe Oriental Rat Flea is very small ranging anywhere from 1.5 to 4 mm making them difficult to see. The outside of their shells are a dark reddish brown with a very hard, narrow body. This is so that they can easily maneuverer through fur and hair.

Rat fleas have 3 pairs of legs that are designed to propel them long distances quickly so they can easily jump onto a host. Rat fleas can be differentiated from dog and cat fleas by the outside of its body. This is because rat fleas don’t have genal combs or pronotal combs.

Most fleas go through the same basic life cycle. The life cycle has 4 seperate stages. These stages are eggs, larva, pupae, and adult flea. You wont be able to tell the difference between a dog flea, cat flea, or rat flea until the adult flea stage. If you want to know more about the flea life cycle you can find out more by reading my Flea Life Cycle article.

The Black Death

Plague_-buboesThe bubonic plague is spread by infected rats, and fleas. The plague started in the late 1348 and ended around 1350. The plague killed an estimated 50 million people. This was around 60% of Europe’s population at the time.

The plague never fully died out after it ended. You can still contract the bubonic plague but it’s very rare and can be treated as long as you are quick to respond to its flu-like symptoms. If you don’t get treatment within 3-7 days it can be fatal

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Chills and Fever
  • Exhausted
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Backache
  • Soreness in arms and legs
  • Swelling
  • Hard, Painful, Burning lumps on neck, underarms, inner thighs. These bumps will eventually split open causing puss and blood to leak. Sometimes these bumps would grow to the size of an orange.

Oriental Rat Flea Treatment

When trying to remove Oriental Rat Fleas from your pets fur or your home you’ll want to treat them like any other flea. This means killing them using the same methods as usual.

If you have a rat flea infestation you may want to check around the inside and outside of your house because this may mean you have rodents in your home. Rodents are a problem that should be taken care of quickly.

1. Vacuum your home to remove as many adult fleas as you can.

2. Put any bed sheets, blankets or clothes that are out in the open into the wash.

3. Spread Diatomaceous Earth throughout your homes carpeting.

4. While the Diatomaceous Earth is doing its job give your pet a bath using flea shampoo.

5. If you want to take extra precautions to prevent fleas from jumping back onto your pet you can also apply flea drops.

6. Vacuum the Diatomaceous Earth up from your carpet.

7. Continue spreading DE through your house and vacuuming it up for a few days until the infestation is gone. If they infestation persist you can try more aggressive tactics by using a flea spray or flea fogger.

>>Check out more flea killers here!<<

Oriental Rat Flea Bite Treatment

The first sign of a rat flea bite that may contain the bubonic or systemic plague will be swollen painful lymph glands. As soon as any sort of the above symptoms start to show you should seek medical treatment immediately even if the symptoms are minor it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

If you don’t show any symptoms of plague the bites will still itch. This can be taken care of by using calamine lotion or a basic anti itch cream.

It’s important to never scratch your bites no matter how badly they itch. Scratching may lead to infection and that is more trouble than its worth. If you scratch and the bite becomes infected you should go seek a medical help to receive that proper anti-biotics.

If you have any flea related questions feel free to ask using our contact page.