Flea Control on Uncarpeted Surfaces
Controlling an indoor flea infestation is made even more difficult when the
fleas invade homes with little or no carpets. Hardwood floors, tile
flooring and other such surfaces pose a tougher fight against indoor fleas than
When fleas are known to be in a room that is carpeted, we know where the fleas
can be and (usually) where the majority of the pests spend most of their
time. There are a few characteristics of the flea to consider to support
- Adult fleas prefer to spend 100% of their time on a host animal, a
warm-blooded nesting animal. Rugs and carpets mimic the feel of an
animal's fur, making a flea feel quite at home in such types of floor
coverings. A flea's body is designed for hitching a ride (by
incredible jumping power in its legs) and for moving through hair and
fur. Even its small body hairs allow for easy forward movement but
little to no backwards movement. This helps the flea to stay on its
host, making it hard for it to simply fall off of the host.
- Flea larvae tend to stay in dark, dusty areas where they feed on adult
droppings and debris. They also use this debris to pupate. Flea
larvae respond to vibrations. This response makes them instinctively
wrap their slender bodies around animal hair as the animal runs, moves
rapidly or (most important) scratches itself. Vacuuming your carpet is
the first and most important step in flea prevention and flea control but
the vibrations of your vacuum cleaner sends a signal to the flea larvae to
hold on for dear life.
The characteristics listed above show why it is so easy to concentrate on
carpeted areas in a home when facing an indoor flea infestation. But how
does this help in non-carpeted homes? By making us focus on possible
sources of fleas, rather than becoming frustrated. Frustration leads to
spending money on the wrong products and overloading a home with too many
chemicals. If we focus on selected areas and choose the correct products
for the job, time and money will be saved and the home will not be exposed to
uncalled for amounts of insecticides that never should have been
introduced. There are insecticides that are safe and reliable when used
When faced with an indoor flea problem on tile or wood floors, there are two
important points to consider. The first is which pest control product (or
combination of products) to use. The next consideration is where to use
Fleas do not care for slick surfaces. The prefer to stay in familiar
environments. As shown earlier, the fleas stay on their animal hosts as
much of the time as possible. Then why are they in the uncarpeted living
room? The answer has to be that the fleas either dropped off of a human or
animal as it traveled through the room or that there are objects in the room
that can support and hide fleas in one or more stages of their
development. We can list a few possible areas that would support the
unwanted fleas. It is up to you to compare these examples with your own
home, giving you an edge on inspection and treatment of your home.
Fleas did not just appear in your home. Something or someone introduced
them into your home. Most people are quick to blame the dog
or cat, which is often the case. But what about those who do not
own a pet?
People are great movers of fleas. When we
work in our lawn or garden, go for long walks, jog around the neighborhood or
engage in outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, golfing, etc., we are doing
so in areas where fleas can come into contact with us. When a flea feels
the vibrations set up by your actions, its reaction is to jump. As the
flea jumps it is expecting to come into contact with a warm blooded
animal. The more hungry a flea becomes, the faster and higher it will
jump. When these hungry fleas land on people, the people rarely feel the
insect or know of its presence. Children are even more apt to carry
fleas into homes because of their particular habits. A child (as well as
an athlete) is more likely to be found laying on the ground instead of just
moving across an area. While laying on the ground, the body heat and
breath are added attractants for fleas. And, of course, while laying on
the ground a person is more likely to pick up hitchhiking fleas.
Rodents are another possible carrier. Rats
and mice can easily enter almost any building they desire and when they do, they
bring their friends with them: fleas and ticks.
To stop the influx of fleas, try to stop the exterior sources. Treat
all dogs and cats with approved products. Eliminate
fleas outside on your property that can be carried indoors.
The only areas in a home where fleas survive (that is, where they can
breed and develop from one immature stage to another) are cracks and crevices
such as floor and wall junctures, behind baseboards or even cracks or seams in
the floors, in and under furniture and in places frequented by pets - especially
Before treating your home a thorough inspection and cleaning must be done or
your flea control program will probably fail, wasting your time and money.
Start by inspecting areas you might normally ignore during normal housecleaning:
underneath and behind appliances; under beds; underneath and between cushions on
couches and chairs; the bottom sides (or down side) of throw rugs, area rugs,
welcome mats; high areas where cats can go - even if you have never seen your
cat in that area! Many flea and tick control jobs have failed because the
pet owner refused to even consider that their cat (for instance) would ever
climb drapes, lounge on top of the refrigerator and bookcase, or even jump from
the couch to another object.
After a thorough cleaning it is time to choose and use something to stop
the indoor flea problem. If your home has a great deal of area rugs on top
of the hard surfaces, Flea Stoppers is a great tool to use. Flea Stoppers
kills eggs and larvae for a full year (guaranteed by the manufacturer!) - but is
not for use on hard surfaces.
Flea traps can be used to capture adult fleas and also to monitor certain areas
of the home. The professional Flea Trap generates a precise temperature
that mimics that body temperature of a cat, the preferred host of fleas.
With its long cord, this trap can be used in any area of the home to catch and
kill adult fleas.
If you have made the decision to spray your home for fleas there are some
factors to consider before purchasing such a product. First, make sure
that the product you choose is labeled for indoor flea use. Many products
are labeled for outdoor flea use; many products are labeled for killing many
indoor bugs. An indoor flea label is special; it gives you the clear
signal that the product is water-safe for almost any fabric in your home and
once it has been applied correctly and been allowed to dry the product is
perfectly safe for people and pets in the home.
You should also choose a product that combines an IGR or
can be tank mixed with an IGR. An IGR (insect growth
regulator) is more important than its companion insecticide when dealing
with indoor fleas.
While insecticides kill adult fleas as they emerge (adult fleas make up 2% or
less of the total flea population in your home), an IGR such as Archer
will prevent all the eggs and larvae from maturing into adult fleas, thus
breaking the cycle of fleas indoors.
Now that you know what to look for, here are some options that will help you
select a product for your home. If you own a sprayer
and already do your own pest control, a good combination
for you to use in flea control is Suspend SC and Archer.
Suspend is an odorless product that is great for killing fleas,
ants, roaches, spiders
and other pests in and around the home. Archer
is an IGR that contains Nylar, a material that prevents
immature fleas and roaches from developing properly. When applied
correctly, Archer will continue to work in your home (on floors, furniture,
etc.) for three to four months, sometimes longer.
For a home that has about 1,500 square feet of living space, mix 1.5 ounces of Suspend
SC and 1 or 2 ounces of Archer to one gallon of
water. This gallon of odorless solution is to be used indoors. Do
not save the solution for a later date; use the all that you mix, the day you
mix. For severe or stubborn flea infestations, repeat your application at
two week intervals.
If you do not own a sprayer and do not choose to purchase one, you do have
another option: Precor 2000. This is a professional aerosol that works
great on fleas, although it is not labeled for other household pests as are
general purpose products such as Suspend SC, Demon
WP, Demand CS and others.
Precor 2000 contains both the insecticide needed
to kill adult fleas and an IGR (Precor, Methoprene) needed to treat indoors for
fleas. Many people prefer to use this professional aerosol for fleas on
uncarpeted floors because of the products droplet size. The tiny droplets
can easily penetrate any tiny crack or crevice where flea eggs roll into or
where smaller flea larvae try to hide.
You can expect to see fleas hatching for a while, even after treating with
professional grade pest control products. The reason for this is simple:
insecticides (such as Suspend SC) and insect growth
regulators (such as Archer, Nylar)
are great for adult fleas and flea larvae but they cannot penetrate the
water-proof casings of the flea that is in the pupae stage. Fleas in this
dormant stage must fully develop and hatch before they can be killed.
Patience is the key to complete elimination and prevention of indoor fleas
on hard, tiled, wood floors.
Flea Kit Outdoor
Flea Kit Flea Stoppers
Pest Control Pests