You've found fleas in the house. You're horrified, and now all you're concerned about is getting rid of them! Who wouldn't?
Discover their favourite hiding places and how to get rid of dog fleas in your carpet and soft furnishings, banishing dog fleas from your home permanently.
Found dog fleas in your home?
The first step is....to not panic.
Your Cocker Spaniel has probably brought these pesky little parasites into your home on his coat. So, your first priority will be to treat your dog for fleas as he's likely the source of the fleas in the house.
Did you know that adult fleas only account for 5% of the flea population?
The remaining 95% will be in your home and on your dog, in the form of eggs, larvae or pupa, according to the flea's life cycle stages.
Simply killing the adult fleas isn't enough because the fleas' life cycle will continue until each stage has reached adulthood.
So, you must continue treating your Cocker Spaniel until all the immature fleas (eggs, larvae and pupa) have matured into adult dog fleas and are eradicated.
At the same time, you must also treat your carpets, bedding and soft furnishings to ensure you kill all adult and immature dog fleas in your house.
This is the only sure-fire way to ensure you eliminate dog fleas in your house.
Getting rid of dog fleas in the house can be a nightmare, especially if you don't follow the proper steps!
So, step one is to get out the vacuum cleaner. You must vacuum your floors, carpets, and soft furnishings every day until you're confident that the adult flea infestation has been removed.
You certainly won't remove them all in one day because the eggs, pupa and larvae develop at different rates. Each day you vacuum, you'll be able to pick up those hatched overnight until you've eliminated them all.
Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies, and don't forget sofa cushions and the edges and underside of your furniture.
Pay extra attention to areas where your dog likes to lie, sleep or play.
If your vacuum cleaner has a bag, throw the bag away after use. Otherwise, any eggs collected may hatch inside the bag and escape, resulting in a never-ending flea infestation.
Place the used vacuum bag in a bin liner, seal it, and then bin it; otherwise, you'll never get rid of fleas in your house!
Step 2 is to spray the rest of your home to kill any remaining dog fleas and prevent eggs, larvae and pupa from developing further.
Choose products that will kill fleas, eggs and larvae but won't harm children or pets and always follow instructions on the packaging.
Your vet can recommend a treatment safe for use in the home.
You can view natural flea remedies here if you prefer to avoid chemical-based treatments.
Whichever you decide to use, you must treat your carpets, floors, and furniture. Pay particular attention to cracks between floorboards, skirting boards, and just underneath the outer edges of your furniture.
If you've used a pet carrier recently, don't forget to spray that too, and remember to spray those areas your dog likes to play and rest.
You must wash your dog's bedding regularly to remove adult fleas, eggs, and flea debris. I recommend you do this before using a flea control treatment; that way, you get a double whammy!
You may also like to check your own bedding. Not a pleasant thought, is it? However, fleas may have been carried into your bed, especially if your dog sleeps with you.
If you have flea bites on your legs and feet, then there's a distinct possibility that you're sharing your bed with unwanted guests!
Getting rid of fleas in the carpet can be difficult, especially if they're deep in the pile and keep coming back!
Dog fleas and their eggs can live deep in the pile of your favourite rug for months, and of course, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Your beloved Cocker Spaniel will likely be the source of the fleas, so your priority will be de-lousing him before moving on to your carpets.
This is because his warm little body is the ideal place for a flea-breeding ground and where the eggs will happily hatch. So unless you treat your dog as a priority, the fleas will keep coming!
Getting rid of fleas from your carpet can be difficult, but did you know you can use salt or baking powder as a natural flea removal treatment?
For removing dog fleas in the carpet, you have two options:
The salt and baking powder seems to work by dehydrating the flea eggs, which kills them before they have a chance to develop further.
It's worth giving it a try, especially if you don't want to bother wetting your carpets with a chemical solution.
Believe it or not, soapy water and a tea light can effectively remove fleas in the carpet.
Before everyone goes off to bed, place a small bowl of soapy water in the middle of the room. Carefully float a lighted tea light candle in the middle of the bowl.
Be sure your Cocker Spaniel is 'locked' in your bedroom or his crate during the night to avoid accidents.
The fleas will be attracted by the light and warmth and will jump towards it. The theory is that they end up in the soapy water and drown.
If you don't feel comfortable using a naked flame, try leaving a small torch or night light propped up against the bowl.
Powdered boric acid, lightly sprinkled on carpets, left for 40 minutes and then vacuumed, will also kill fleas and eggs nesting in the fibres of your carpet. It's often used as an insecticide.
I mention this because other dog owners have used it and claim it works. However, I don't recommend it where there are babies or young children in the household.
It would be all too easy for children and/or pets to ingest it and become ill, so better to be safe than sorry!
However, if you choose to use boric acid powder, I strongly recommend you wear gloves and keep pets and children out of each room treated until the carpets have been vacuumed at least three times.
Even after treating your home and your Cocker Spaniel, you'll probably still notice a few fleas on your dog and around your home.
This is because the eggs and larvae will continue to develop and hatch (unless you've used a flea control which halts further development).
That's why it's essential to regularly vacuum carpets and soft furnishings and groom your Cocker Spaniel more often than you would normally.
This may sound like a bit too much work, but let's face it, do you really like the idea of fleas in the house? Didn't think so!