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Tips to get rid of fleas in the apartment

By Christian Glass | December 22, 2020, 11:00 a.m.

Once they have moved into the apartment, it is difficult to get rid of them: Fleas are real nuisances. The uninvited guests continue to multiply rapidly. MyHOMEBOOK reveals which means help to sell them.

Fleas often find their way through dogs or cats into their own four walls. And since the beloved four-legged friends are allowed to sit on the sofa or even in bed too often, it is easy for the fleas to feel at home there too. You often only notice the new roommate through the itchy bite wounds and wheals they leave.

In addition to blood, fleas like hair and dandruff

In general, the nocturnal insects like to hide near the sleeping quarters of their victims during the day. So they don't have far to get their food at night. But fleas are also satisfied with organic material, for example dandruff or hair.

Fleas are not particularly picky when it comes to choosing a location. Once in the apartment, they are practically everywhere: in cracks in the floor, on upholstered furniture, pillows or in curtains. And they are fertile - females lay around 50 eggs a day - better: they lose their eggs everywhere in the apartment. The hungry larvae then hatch and pupate in turn.

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Young fleas can easily stay without food for a long time in their pupation. All that is needed is a key stimulus, for example vibrating the floor - and as if on command, the parasites jump out of their hiding place at once. Woe to anyone who enters his apartment for the first time after a three-week holiday ...

How do I recognize a flea bite?

Not only in carpets, curtains, textile furniture or cracks in the floor - fleas also like to be in clothing. This is why flea bites are often found on areas of skin that are covered by clothing, for example at the lower end of the pant leg. The bites usually appear in a triangle or in clusters. However, similar to bed bugs, they can also appear one after the other in a so-called "street of fleas". The spots are reddened, but it usually takes a long time to itch. But then really strong: Anyone who scratches must expect nasty wheals and skin irritations.

Can flea bites transmit disease?

Yes, and pretty bad. The dog and cat fleas are intermediate hosts for tapeworm, rabbit plague and typhus. The rat flea transmits the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, which causes pulmonary and bubonic plague. The flea saliva looks even more harmless. Transferred to animals and humans through the bite, it can cause severe allergies.

However, the Federal Environment Agency has given the all-clear for Central European regions. Due to the good hygienic conditions, the transmission of serious diseases through flea bites is hardly relevant here.

How do I get fleas out of the apartment?

Getting rid of fleas is an immense effort. First measure: rub in a so-called deterrent, for example "Autan" or "Anti Brumm Forte". Fleas, but primarily mosquitoes of course, do not like the smell and run away. You avoid the rubbed skin, but fleas do not leave the apartment immediately. It must therefore be vacuumed thoroughly and freed from the insects, including larvae and pupae. And not just the floor and carpet, but also the upholstered furniture, the bed, the bed box and so on.

Danger: Fleas are tough and can survive a strong suction current. Therefore, the vacuum cleaner bag should be disposed of afterwards. Carefully and tightly closed, otherwise you might have spread the flea plague right back into the freshly cleaned apartment.

Then it's time to do a large wash: carpets and upholstery can be rubbed with carpet shampoo. Curtains, bedclothes and pillowcases must be washed at at least 60 degrees, even better than whites. This also applies to other textiles and clothing. If possible, mattresses must be knocked out, but in any case vacuumed.

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It's easier with hot steam

A steam cleaner is helpful for large-scale plastering, especially for upholstered furniture, the covers of which cannot be removed. It can also be used to clean floors and work surfaces in the kitchen. In addition to fleas and other vermin, the hot steam also kills bacteria - without chemicals. Tip: If you don't want to buy a steam cleaner right away, you can also rent the device. Just ask in the nearest drugstore or hardware store.

Then it's time to take a shower! With a special Flo shampoo that is available for humans and pets. The four-legged friends are then put on a flea and tick collar.

Also interesting: This is how you can tell you have bed bugs

Nebulizer for severe flea infestation

The specialist portal Altmayers Encyclopedia recommends the hard way, i.e. the use of insecticides, in the event of severe flea infestation in the apartment. Nebulizers, so-called “foggers”, and sprays are best suited for this. You can buy them in the pharmacy, the vet or in the pet shop. Those who use these agents can also put two or three powerful sprays into the vacuum cleaner bag. Then it does not have to be replaced immediately after vacuuming.

Danger: After the fogger starts to fog up, the room must be vacated as soon as possible! Windows and doors should remain closed for at least two hours, otherwise the effect will fizzle out. After that, however, it must be vigorously aired. And only after 24 hours should everything be vacuumed, wiped and cleaned again.

Can you do without a chemistry club?

Difficult. In any case, a major plaster must be carried out every few days over a period of several weeks. If you don't want to use chemicals, you can at least try some home remedies. Do they really work? Questionable. Because mint, garlic, rosemary, lemons as broth or homemade spray may not smell fleas, but the remedies do not satisfy their appetite for animal and human blood.

As an alternative to the chemistry club, kieselguhr can help. The powder consists of tiny minerals that kill the fleas. Because it is very fine, kieselguhr should not be inhaled, so you should wear a face mask when using it. If all means fail, a pest controller has to act. There are always helpful tips from the vet and pharmacy.

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