Worried that there's a flea infestation starting in your home? Today, we will be discussing fleas and how you can get rid of them.

The chances are that if you've had a cat or a dog, you will have experienced fleas in one form or another. Probably not to the extent of there being a flea infestation in your home, although fleas are difficult to deal with regardless. Depending on how far the infestation has gone, you may be able to get rid of them with some simple cleaning although, for the most part, you might find yourself having to call pest control – the professionals know how to deal with these problems best!

How to Identify Fleas

In order to deal with any pest effectively, you first have to identify what the pest is. Fleas are very simple to identify. They are small, a dark-brownish colour, and you will typically first see them in your cat's or dog's fur. If you see them running around your home and you aren't sure if they're fleas, watch their behaviour for a few minutes – fleas are capable of jumping as high as 8-inches high, one of the giveaways that its fleas that you are dealing with.

Flea Treatments for Homes

While most people identify fleas from their presence in their pet's fur, if the flea infestation has grown then you'll most likely notice them around your house too. In this case, you have to deal with them as separate situations.

Vacuum. For smaller infestations, getting rid of them could be as simple as vacuuming them up. You could even try vacuuming some of them off of your pet's fur if you'd like! After you've vacuumed them up, make sure that you wrap up the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.

Contact Pest Control. When a flea infestation gets out of hand, the best option that you have is to call pest control as soon as possible. They know how to deal with these situations and after inspecting your home, they'll provide you with the treatment that you need to get rid of them.

Flea Treatments for Dogs

Getting rid of fleas that are lingering in your dog's fur can be frustrating, but it's not actually as hard as most people believe.

Flea Sprays for Dogs. There are a lot of flea sprays available which are suitable for dogs, although when purchasing the spray make sure that it is safe to use on animals (some of them are only meant for carpets and furniture!).

Shampoo. This is one of the most popular ways of getting rid of fleas from a dog. Give them a hot bath and use some anti-flea shampoo in order to kill them and get rid of them. Normally this is effective and you don't have to take any further action, although if you struggle to get rid of the fleas then contact a vet.

Shaving Your Dog's Fur. Shaving your dog's fur so that it's short can not only be a good way to prevent fleas from clinging to your dog, but it can make seeing them and getting rid of them easier as well.

Flea Treatments for Cats

Just as with dogs, treating cats that have fleas isn't as difficult as you might think at first. Below are some of the best ways to get rid of them when they're on your cat, and even prevent them in the future.

Flea Sprays for Cats. As with dogs, there are sprays available which you simply spray onto your cat's fur and after a few hours, the fleas will die and you can use a grooming kit to remove them.

DON'T BATHE CATS! You might think that because you can give your dog a bath to get rid of their fleas you can also do so with your cat. Whatever you do, don't try to give your cat a bath (there's a reason there aren't many cat flea shampoos). Cats hate water with a passion and by trying to bathe them, not only will they be terrified but they will do everything that they can to get out of the bath – making a huge mess that you will have to clean up.

Flea Treatment for Humans

Lastly, if you've been bitten by a flea or you've found a few in your hair (which although is unlikely, can still happen), then below are some of the ways to you can get rid of them without applying harmful chemicals to your skin.

Don't Scratch. When you are bitten by a flea, the worst thing that you can do is scratch the bites. When you scratch the bites, you are causing irritation and as a result, too much scratching can lead to breaking the skin and bleeding.

Shower and Moisturise. If there are fleas in your hair and you have been bitten by them, showering at a fairly hot temperature is the first thing to try (heat will help to kill the creepy crawlies!). A shampoo which is tea-tree oil-based is effective in killing fleas; it's also important to wash the bites too. After you've showered, moisturise the areas that you have been bitten on. Moisturiser will help to prevent the bites from drying up and will also make it lessen the itchiness of them.

Allergic Reactions. While not a common reaction, some people are allergic to flea bites. If you begin to experience nausea, sweating, joint pain, breathing problems, or any sort of health issues which are abnormal, shortly after you have been bitten by a flea, contact a doctor immediately. Allergic reactions are severe and must be dealt with as soon as the symptoms start to appear.

How to Prevent Fleas

While with bigger infestations it's best to contact pest control, if you believe that the problem isn't too bad then there are a few things that you can do to try and get rid of fleas on your own.

Keep Your House Clean. Vacuuming your home, and keeping it clean in general, is crucial not only to getting rid of fleas but preventing them in the future as well. By vacuuming your carpets and around the edge of your rooms, you can catch any lingering fleas and their eggs.

Maintain Your Garden. Fleas, as well as many other unwanted pests, are attracted to overgrown areas. For that reason, it's important that you take care of your garden. In the Winter you can get away with leaving your garden untamed since grass doesn't really grow during this time, but during the rest of the year, you must make sure that your lawn is mowed and that there aren't weeds everywhere. Don't have the time? Hire a gardener to do it for you.

Clean Your Pets and Their Bedding. Given that pets are the most common reason for fleas getting into your home, it's important that you clean them regularly using the appropriate shampoo and that you clean their bedding using a high-temperature wash. You should also consider getting your pets a flea collar which discourages fleas from lingering in your pet's fur.

Flea Treatment Conclusion

While fleas can be a worrying realisation at first, if you take the right approach to dealing with them and you determine whether or not you have to call a professional, you can get rid of them effectively. If you choose to deal with them yourself it may be worth contacting pest control to do a thorough inspection of your property to make sure that they're gone, and if they're not, you can prevent the infestation from growing faster.