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Controlling Fleas and Ticks Around Your Home

Fleas are a public health nuisance and do not require any Department of Health action.

The following tips may help to prevent, reduce, or eliminate flea infestations:

  • Vacuum every day to remove eggs, larvae, and adults; this is the best method for initial control of a flea infestation.
    • Be sure to vacuum the following areas: carpets, cushioned furniture, cracks and crevices on floors, along baseboards, and the basement.
  • Steam clean carpets; the hot steam and soap can kill fleas in all stages of the life cycle.
    • Pay particular attention to areas where pets sleep.
  • Wash all pet bedding and family bedding on which pets lie in hot, soapy water every two to three weeks.
    • If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.
  • Use a flea comb to suppress adult fleas. Hair can pass through the comb’s teeth, but not the fleas, removing fleas as well as flea feces and dried blood.
    • Especially comb the neck and tail areas, which is where the most fleas congregate.
    • Deposit fleas in hot soapy water to kill them.
  • Consider allowing your pets to stay indoors as much as possible, which reduces their chance of being bitten by ticks and fleas.

Pesticide Use Around Pets