How to Wage War on Fleas

If you are fighting an ongoing flea battle with no end to the infestation in sight, it may be time to declare war on fleas. While you may be able to quickly remove fleas with a professional's help, it is also possible to remove fleas on your own. Here are some steps to take if you want to win the war on fleas.

Wash Your Pet and Use a Flea Treatment

First, you need to keep fleas away from their host so they have to stop breeding. Female fleas can't lay eggs without eating first, and the host is their source of food. That host is usually your pet. You can use flea pills like Nexgard or Bravecto to kill the fleas and prevent more from hopping on your pet and setting up camp. You can also use a degreasing soap like Dawn dishwashing soap to help strip fleas from your pet's hair.

Clean Soft Surfaces

Fleas love a soft surface, so laundry is your next step. Wash all of your bedding, your pet's bedding, and your dirty clothes in hot water, and keep using hot water until the flea infestation is gone. You may also need to wash your drapes and other upholstery. You can use a steam cleaner on couch cushions and other non-washable surfaces.


If you have carpet or rugs, you will need to become best friends with your vacuum cleaner. Vacuum all soft floors daily - more than once a day won't hurt. When you empty the vacuum canister, put the dirt directly into a garbage can, then take the trash to an outside container, sealing the bag tightly. You can also use Borax on your floors, letting the powder sit for a while before you vacuum it up. Borax is known to kill fleas.

Don't Forget the Yard

Fleas love shady outdoor areas. Remove leaf piles and use an outdoor pesticide on your yard to kill the fleas. You can also use diatomaceous earth, which has been a popular pesticide used by farmers for years.

Treat Your Basement or Crawl Space

Fleas love moist, humid areas like basements and crawl spaces. You may need sprinkle Borax, diatomaceous earth, or another pesticide in these areas to help kill fleas, as well. If that fails, you can purchase foggers that can spread into nooks and crannies, killing fleas quickly. You will need to leave your home for a few hours to allow these foggers to work, as the poison is dangerous to humans. When you return, clean everything you can to avoid contact with the fogger residue.

You may need to repeat these steps for several days, or even a week, to completely remove fleas and keep them from returning. However, with a little vigilance and dedication, you can completely eradicate even a bad flea infestation, gaining control of your home once again.

If you believe one of your pets or family members is experiencing abnormally severe symptoms from fleas (such as digestive issues, a skin rash, etc.), please seek medical attention immediately. While most flea bites are more irritating than harmful, it is possible to contract a more serious illness from fleas, or even develop a skin allergy from flea contact. Your vet or doctor can help recommend a good course of treatment.