by ANDREW M. STREIBER, DVM

Q:  As last summer was especially bad for fleas, I have a question for you regarding flea control in my home.  It seems like my monthly flea control is working for my animals, but I’m noticing fleas and flea dirt in my home, particularly on the carpet and furniture.  Do you have any suggestions for ridding my home of this disgusting parasite?

A:  First and foremost, the cornerstone of effective flea control in any environment is the flea control used in or on your pets.  For cats, I recommend Revolution, for dogs I recommend Comfortis or Trifexis.  Once you pet is on good, strong, flea control consistently (minimum 3 months, no breaks between applications), breaking the flea life cycle on your pet and in its environment can be achieved with a minimal amount of additional housework.  Adult fleas, eggs and larvae live on your pet.  Adult fleas, larvae and pupae live in your pet’s environment.  With effective flea control in place for your pet, I recommend purchasing either 20 Mule Team Borax (Boric Acid) or Diatomaceous Earth, sprinkling it on your pet’s most frequent areas of travel and sleep (carpet, hardwood floors, area rugs), letting it sit for about 20 minutes, then vacuuming everything up.  I suggest repeating this act daily, for a minimum of 7 days (larvae are sticky).  In addition, I recommend washing all bedding (pet or human, wherever your pet may sleep) in very hot water on a long wash cycle.  These steps, in conjunction with the consistent use of the above-mentioned flea control products will break even the toughest in-home flea infestation.  Good luck!