What smells attracts fleas
Fleas in bed: this is how you recognize & fight them
Fleas in bed are extremely unpleasant, but they can affect anyone. Most often, however, it is pets that bring fleas to bed.
Dogs and cats are an integral part of the family in many German households. Those who love their four-legged friends so often like to have them in bed with them. All kinds of six- to eight-legged friends can also get to bed with the four-legged friends. Then it gets uncomfortable.
First of all: Fleas in bed are also possible without pets
Most often, fleas are brought to bed by dogs or cats. However, there is also the possibility of finding fleas in the house without pets. Fleas also like to nestle in old upholstery or carpets. The bargain from the flea market can literally earn you a flea. An extremely unsanitary way of life also attracts insects, small animals and parasites.
But sometimes it's just bad luck. If you are in nature, for example while gardening, it can happen that a flea can also jump over to humans. Fleas are flexible about their hosts. Then they come into the house with their clothes and choose the most cozy places there.
Since the bed is warm, dry, and dark - and brings with it a host who lingers in it for hours - fleas like to warp in bed sheets and mattresses. There are ideal conditions for them, which is why the parasites then also lay their eggs there. Before you know it, you're dealing with a serious flea infestation.
The most important thing: act immediately
Fleas can go without food for several months. In addition, females lay several hundred eggs. Although fleas are only a few millimeters in size, they can jump up to a meter. This allows them to move around extremely well and spread throughout the apartment. Whether couch, carpet, upholstery - fleas seek proximity to their hosts. If you notice a flea infestation too late or ignore it, you run the risk of the parasites infecting your entire house.
Reading tip:Washing sheets: 6 mistakes we all make
Do you see fleas in bed?
In principle, you can see fleas with the naked eye. They are only a few millimeters tall, but it is still possible to see them in bed. In that case, however, it is a question of living fleas. We usually do not discover eggs and larvae because they are even smaller and white. That makes it even more difficult to see them on the bedding. Here you would have to use a magnifying glass to help. In addition, fleas like to hide in cracks and only come out in the dark. The parasites are nocturnal.
Most of the time, you have to rely on other signs to detect a flea infestation.
Recognizing fleas in bed - the biggest signs
Probably the clearest sign of a flea infestation in bed is a rash on the skin. This supposed rash is then actually a flea bite. Fleas sting several times in a row, leaving a certain distance between the individual stings. This creates a so-called flea street, i.e. a chain of several flea bites in a row. Sometimes you can also find a group of multiple flea bites.
If there are a lot of small globules in the bed, this can also be an indication of fleas. It may be flea poop. If the black globules leave red stains when you crush them with a handkerchief, it is probably flea droppings. Because they feed on their host's blood, the feces inside are red.
Flea infestation is not always easy to spot in pets because of the fur. A sign, however, is frequent scratching in the four-legged friends. If you let your dog and cat in your bed or on the couch, you probably have a flea infestation there too. As soon as a pet scratches itself unnaturally frequently, it is better to check the fur for fleas. Use a special flea comb (available from the vet or right here on Amazon) *.
Danger: It is best to check your pet for fleas outside. Otherwise you could use the comb to encourage the parasites to jump. Then they can spread around the apartment, even though they may have only been sitting in the fur beforehand.
To check it is best to place the comb in the neck area. Even if you can't spot fleas with the comb, you can comb out the feces. If you're not sure if it's poop, crush it with a handkerchief. If the cloth turns red, it is blood and therefore flea excrement.
Reading tip:Improving indoor air: 7 tips so that it always smells good at home
Means to fight fleas in bed
1. Protect pets from fleas
Often times, pets are the ones who bring the fleas to bed. So the first thing you have to do with them is to fight fleas in bed or to prevent fleas from getting into bed in the first place.
Dogs and cats should always be protected from fleas and other parasites anyway, as these often also transmit diseases. If you don't want to do without four-legged friends in your bed, you have to be particularly careful to protect yourself. The first route in the case of fleas in bed is therefore to see the vet. They know best which anti-flea agent is suitable for the pet.
There are so-called spot-on preparations that are instilled into the neck of the animals. These keep parasites away. But they also get rid of fleas if they have already established themselves in the fur. Keep away sprays are also sprayed directly onto the animal's fur. There are also tablets that can be mixed into the feed or given as treats. However, these only take effect when the parasites have already bitten the pet.
2. 60 degrees wash
All textiles that may have come into contact with the fleas should be washed. Most bacteria, fleas, flea eggs and larvae do not survive at 60 degrees. Cat or dog beds, pillows and duvets must also be washed, if possible at 60 degrees, otherwise with the addition of hygienic cleaner (available here at Amazon) *. Regularly washing pillows and duvets as well as changing bed linen can also prevent flea infestation.
3. Clean the mattress
After that, the mattress must be cleaned. In the first step, it must be thoroughly vacuumed. Fleas prefer to retreat into dark cracks. Also make sure that the vacuum cleaner has sufficient suction power so that the small flea eggs are also removed from the fibers.
The vacuum cleaner from Dyson (available here at Amazon) *, for example, has a suction power that removes dust mites from mattresses with the right attachment. Dust mites are roughly the same size as flea eggs, namely 0.5mm.
Learn more:Cleaning the mattress: This is how you get rid of stains and bacteria
4. Thoroughly clean the bedroom
The bed frame, bedside tables, the floor and surrounding carpets and curtains must also be thoroughly cleaned and washed. Fleas can jump very far. If we tamper with the bed, they can simply jump into the environment and escape from the bed into the surrounding fabrics and furniture.
Danger: As annoying as that is, in the event of a flea infestation, the wardrobe must be cleaned and the clothes washed in it. If the wardrobe is also near the bed (possibly even with the cabinet doors open), the chances are good that the parasites have spread there as well.
If the clothes in the closet cannot be washed at 60 degrees, a hygienic cleaner should be added to the laundry (order here from Amazon) *.
Home remedies to prevent fleas in bed
Fleas reside (and also lay their eggs) where pets are. Since dogs in particular are most often close to the floor and therefore close to the carpet, this is an obvious hiding place. The sofa or upholstery, on which people and animals often stay, is also at risk. An effective protection against fleas is therefore to regularly and thoroughly vacuum carpets, couches and upholstery. Eggs, larvae and pupae are also removed if they have already settled.
Tip: Not only should carpets be vacuumed regularly, they should also be cleaned regularly. That also prevents parasites. Cleaning with agents such as baking powder can also kill larvae and eggs.
VIDEO: Warning! These are the 10 biggest vacuuming mistakesVideo by Aischa Butt
Do not let pets in bed
Bad news: the most effective protection against fleas in bed is not to let your pets go to bed. Most of the time, the parasites get into bed through the four-legged friends. Dogs and cats in particular, which are often outside and have a lot of contact with other animals, are at risk. By the way, the risk is highest in autumn. The parasites don't hibernate. You are just looking for warm quarters in winter.
Not only vacuuming, but also cleaning, wiping and washing textiles is an effective protection against parasites. In this way, they are not only removed if isolated animals have found their way into the house or have even laid eggs, they can possibly also be kept away.
Many typical detergent scents, such as lemon scent, are said to be able to keep fleas away. For this reason, the tip is often given to add essential oils to the cleaning water. Eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon or tea tree oils are recommended for this. However, their keep-away effect has not been proven.
Reading tip:Wash curtains: This is how they become sparkling clean and crease-free
Warning: Do not test any home remedies on animals
Many people want to do something good for their pets and do without supposedly bad chemical agents against fleas. There are therefore many recommendations for home remedies that are supposed to help against fleas. However, the effect has not been proven. Some home remedies actually do more harm to four-legged friends than they do to them. If you want to get rid of fleas effectively and safely for your pet, you should contact your trusted veterinarian.
Recommendations such as homemade collars with mint, which are tied around the animal, can even be really dangerous for cats. If they get caught with the collar while straying in nature, they can strangle themselves with it.
But you should also handle self-mixed anti-flea sprays with home remedies with caution. They are mostly based on essential oils. However, since the four-legged friends have sensitive noses, it is not doing them any favors.
You should definitely keep your hands off of self-mixed sprays with washing-up liquid that are supposedly safe to spray on the fur, as the animals lick their fur, it can have health consequences for them.
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