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Last Updated: October 3, 2019
We’re super passionate about our pets at stopthefleas.com. So we thought it would be a good idea take a moment and recognize pet blogs who are passionate about our feline and canine friends and who are producing great content on their blogs. Take a look at our Top 25 pet Bloggers below. Big congrats to our winners below.
Sandy Robins Online
Sandy Robins is an award-winning, multimedia pet lifestyle expert, published author, pet industry spokesperson and influencer. Her work focuses on the latest trends and innovative ideas that can improve pets’ health and well-being and ultimately enhance the human-animal bond.
Robins is the author of The Original Cat Bible and Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cats, as well as many articles and columns in media such as MSNBC.com, Today.com, Zillow.com, Pet Age, Catster, Westwaysand Consumers Digest. In addition, she has served as a spokesperson for Petco, American Airlines and Motorola, worked as a pet safety advisor for Toyota touring the country to educate pet lovers and did a monthly pet segment on the Weather Channel for three years.
Robins has received the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award presented by the American Pet Products Association and was named by Pet Age as A Woman of Influence in the Pet Industry.
For the Love of Paws
Written by a certified holistic pet care specialist, Shelby Gottschalk, this blog focuses on natural health and nutrition for dogs– with a dash of cuteness. Amidst the sweet photos of pups in costume you will find invaluable tips on keeping your pets in shape and feeding them the best diet. The blog features extensive product reviews and recommendations.
Wildernesscat is all about happy, healthy lives for adventurous cats. The site was inspired by a socially awkward ginger tabby named Wessie, who left a housebound lifestyle to embrace his natural instincts. Today, he loves exploring the forest and chowing down on fresh raw meat. Wildernesscat was created to help all cat guardians enjoy a nature-fueled, harmonious lifestyle that honors cats’ natural instincts while bringing them and their humans closer together. Visit the site to read product reviews, learn about radically natural nutrition, and find lifestyle inspurration.
Pet Blog Lady
This blog covers topics on all types of pets from parrots to pups. In addition to sharing information this lady likes to give back to her readers with prize draws. Youâ€™ll find lots of opportunities to participate in giveaways from her sponsors.
Ultimate Home Life
UltimateHomeLife is an ultimate informational resource for dog parents that include your fido’s health, nutrition, breeds, training, and much more. It brings in-depth and well-researched articles offering updated advice on various dog problems.
Living With Loulou is maybe a little like turning the pages of the I Ching. Any one day’s blog, if you decide to read it, might have an answer you were searching for! I know that’s pretty serious so let me say, too, that I love to do my blog with humor and silliness and hope you’ll smile or even maybe laugh out loud at some of my crazy ideas about every subject on earth. According to Loulou, a mindful life is: snoozing, kibble, claw maintenance, kibble, napping, kibble, yoga and last but not least, SNUGGLING. To her that is the MOL: Meaning of Life, or one might say, Meow of Life.
Pets So Fun
Ruby Smith, the author of Pet So Fun, is not only an expert at what she does but she’s also a very compassionate human being. Her goal is to provide pets with a healthy, active, and happy life. So it’s no surprise to find tons of useful tips and detailed product reviews on her blog. She loves to share her ideas and thought process about raising cats, dogs, fish, and more. So it’s an excellent platform for animal lovers, pet parents, and the like.
Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
The humorous and touching tales of two formerly homeless, yet always extraordinary, felines and their Momma, who’s just along for the ride. Featuring Bear Cat, Ellie Mae, and a slightly worse-for-the-wear Momma. From an original sense of humor – to sharing the tranformational miracles of the love we receive from our feline friends – reading Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat’s posts will have you doubled-over laughing and your heart smiling for a long time after. Finalists in several categories of the BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards – you’ll find a new appreciation for our feline friends – and laugh so hard you cry!
The Contemporary Pet
Full of information on all types of pets, this blog serves as a great resource of expert advise. The blog fosters a sense of community by encouraging pet owners to discuss topics together. Furthermore, The Contemporary Pet asks its readers to submit their questions which will then be answered by a veterinarian, pet behaviorist, or another specialist.
Indoor Paws is dedicated to improving the lives of indoor cats! Share your experiences with other like-minded and friendly indoor cat owners in our popular Facebook Community or learn while browsing our high-quality resources, dedicated to enriching the lives of indoor cats.
Cat Mania is a great resource for Cat Lovers. You can find lots of health tips, advice on behavior and product reviews that help your cat live a long and happy life. It’s a must read blog for cat owners!
Fantastic Pet Care
This awesome blog features articles on pet care, trends, and happenings in and around London, UK. The blog serves as an ideal guide for any pet owner and an indispensible one for any pet owner living in the London area.
Labrador Training HQ
LabradorTrainingHQ aims at building a positive relationship between dog owners and their Labradors by developing an emotional bond of love and trust. It covers dynamic aspects of owning, training, caring for and providing for Labrador Retrievers.
A paradise for any cat lover, this blog is all things cats. The blog features a wide variety of content from serious articles on cat hygiene to fun features on cat artwork. In addition to content, this site comes complete with a shop and chances to win their product giveaways.
Way of Cats
Written by cat lovers for cat lovers. For any cat owner who considers being a cat lover a hobby this blog will be a delight.
7th Heaven Cats
From one cat owner to another, this blog documents the learnings of a dedicated cat owner. The author shares all kinds of fun activities from cat food recipes to cat personality tests.
This personal blog gets into the nitty gritty of why cats have always been great companions and how they add meaning to countless people’s lives. If you want to connect with a cat lover on a deeper level, Catlines is for you.
At furplaytime.com we provide our readers with in-depth information and reviews on the best toys for your feline friends. While cats may become easily amused by just about anything that triggers their curiosity, there are specific toys that will stimulate your kitty and keep them interested in play. Still, not all toys are the same. We look closely at the quality and safety of the toys we review to ensure an enjoyable bonding experience for you and your cat.
Kobi Pets is a website created by Larry and Tracy, two passionate pet parents who want to share their experience. This website is perfect for new pet owners who can’t decide how to approach certain problems they encounter as well as which products are the best on the market. They write about dogs, cats, aquariums and exotic pets.
Traveling Dog Lady
Living a pet-friendly lifestyle isn’t always easy. When it comes to finding pet friendly places to eat, off-leash parks, or attempting to travel with your pooch in tow this blogger is a pro.
The Conscious Cat
Ingrid King started this blog to help cat lovers create health and happiness for themselves as well as their feline companions. Sheâ€™s gone so far as to create a series of books on the more spiritual aspects of being a cat owner. Her blog is a great resource for those looking for a deeper look at the cat-human bond as well as general health and cat care tips.
A Tonk’s Tail… err, Tale…
This blog features beautifully photographed cats, product reviews, and variety of topics ranging from health to cat fashion. The blog promotes cat adoption through their shelter sweetheart series and is a great read for any cat softie out there.
Feline Behavior Solutions
Dr. Marci Koski is a certified feline behavior and training professional who has created this blog for those struggling with their cats behaviour. Through the blog she seeks to educate cat lovers on solutions to common behavioral issues and provide better outcomes for both cats and their owners.
Little Big Cat
This site is all things cats and features articles on health, behavior, and feline nutrition. The blog is easy to navigate and is great for anyone looking to be a better cat owner.
Would you like to enrich your cat’s life? Chirpy Cats is chock full of cat enrichment ideas and inspiration to keep your cats happy in a multi-cat household. Featuring humorous and fun segments such as Caturday Doodles, Haiku and videos to tickle you on a Caturday morning. Pounce over to their blog and catch a fur ball of Catnip Chirps from Mr. Jack and the Chirpies
This entertaining and funny cat blog follows one cat lover and her companion, Sandpiper. In addition to providing light, laughter filled content the blog is great source of product reviews and giveaways.
Cat Chat with Caren and Cody
Cat Chat is a great blog for those looking to share, laugh and reminisce about their feline friends. Itâ€™s the online equivalent of going for a casual cup of coffee with a fellow cat lover.
Fluffy Kitty | The Best For Your Beast
Definitely one of the top cat blogs around. The fluffy kitty is packed with cool stuff for cat lovers. The blog provides information on cat accessories, DIY, grooming, health and much more.
Want new ideas for entertaining your kitty? Look no further, the humorous and funny content on this website are sure to entertain you as a cat owner as well as give you lots of ideas for things to try with your cat at home. In addition to giving you a good laugh, The Playful Kitty is full of important information on cat first aid, health, and holistic wellness.
The Cat On My Head
If you’re a fan of all things feline this blog is for you. This blog features cat poetry, art, and games.
A blog that is purely about the joy of being a cat owner. Written from a personal perspective, this blog follows one woman’s journey alongside her three cats.
Cats N Things
If you love cat videos, regardless of whether you own a cat or not, this is the spot. This blog is full of hilarious videos, memes, pictures and stories in addition to cat care tips.
Kitten Advice is a blog with stories about anything and everything from a cat’s point of view. This site is packed with informative content for cat and feline lovers from around the globe. Cat Cave Co originally came onto the cat scene selling the coolest eco-friendly pet beds. Seriously, they are super cool. But they also run a pretty awesome cat blog too. You can find review articles of the top dental treats to cat beds, kitty health care advice and much more. They are still quite new but are quickly creating high quality cat content for cat parents and you can find some pretty nifty tips and product recommendations on there too.
Last Updated: December 18, 2019
The vast majority of flea infestations come from pets. Dogs or cats pickup fleas outside or from other pets and bring them into the house. Though it is also possible for fleas to hitch a ride into a residence on a human, the majority of infestations come from pests. Thus, the first step in getting rid of fleas in your house is getting rid of dog fleas, cat fleas, or the fleas of whatever other pets you may have. Once you have done this, you must eradicate the infestation from your house.
This section will explain how to find and eradicate fleas in your house and yard. Getting rid of fleas on dogs is a relatively easy process compared to other pests and can be accomplished in a few days if you are thorough. As with all other pests, we will recommend an integrated pest management (IPM) solution, which mixes preventative, natural, and pesticide measures together in order to get rid of fleas in your house.
One important general note is that, if you have indoor pets, one treatment is likely enough. If you have outdoor pets you may need to treat your yard and will likely need to do periodical retreatments of your home. After treating your pets, the following steps will help get rid of the flea infestation and keep it away in the future:
How to Get Rid of Fleas
Therefore, the easiest way to get rid of fleas from your lawn is to flood the entire lawn periodically to kill the parasites.
The water also washes off the feces of adult fleas on which the larvae survive. In the rainy season, nature takes care of the problem. During a dry season, we have to cut the grass, remove weeds and debris from the lawn and flood it periodically to prevent fleas from breeding as well as to kill the fleas.
Recommended Products to Treat Flea Infestations in the House, Yard and Lawn
|Brand||Hot Shot Fogger6||Burgess 1443||S C JOHNSON|
|Our Take||Best Price||Best Overall||Editor’s Choice|
You Have to Be Methodical
The doghouse would need thorough disinfecting just like the inside of the house. Spraying with non-toxic flea remover should be carried out regularly. If strong insecticides are used the dog may not be allowed to use the doghouse for a few days until the effect of the insecticides has faded.
Not only do you need to disinfect the doghouse, but also any outdoor furniture. Fleas can and will jump on soft furniture and leave behind larvae that need to be killed.
If the flea problem is still persistent then the use of beneficial nematodes is advisable. The nematodes feed on flea larvae but are harmless to humans.
They are used as sprays and cause no damage to trees and plants. The use of pesticides should be considered but keep in mind that the pesticide used should be environmental friendly. Using a pesticide over the entire yard or lawn is unnecessary and expensive.
- The first step in getting rid of any flea infestation is treating your pets. Check out our pages for getting rid of dog fleas and cat fleas for tips. No matter how much you clean your house, if you haven’t gotten rid of the fleas on your pets, they will just jump off of their backs and re-infest the residence.
- One of fleas’ favorite areas to hide is in bedding. This applies to your bedding, your pets’ bedding, and also linens and furniture covers. Take all of your bedding and linens as well as all of the bedding and furniture covers your pet hangs out around and put them in the washing machine and then the dryer at the hottest settings. Once everything is clean, seal it in plastic bags (sturdy trash bags work well) and leave the bags aside until you finish the rest of the cleaning process. This is essential as, if there are still fleas in the house, they will get right back into the bedding the moment you put it back. If a particular item is seriously infested (covered in flea dirt and flea eggs), it may be best to throw it out.
- Once you have cleaned all of the bedding, vacuum the areas around the bedding and furniture thoroughly. Pay particular attention to carpets, rugs, floorboards, wallboards, and areas where your pet sleeps or rests. Vacuuming is a highly effective way to sweep up fleas, flea dirt, and flea eggs. Make sure to vacuum often throughout the extermination process. It has been suggested that fleas respond to vibrations, causing pupae to emerge and making them vulnerable to insecticides (another step in the process). After vacuuming make sure to immediately discard the vacuum bag in a dumpster far from your home or, in the least, seal the bag in a plastic bag. If you have a vacuum bag that you cannot discard, you can spray the inside of the bag with a flea spray or even throw a flea collar inside the bag before starting to vacuum.
- Sprays are insecticides designed to kill fleas or to stop their ability to grow and, thereby, their life cycle. These sprays can be applied on and around furniture, on pet bedding, in floor cracks, on curtains, and so forth. Some sprays remain effective for up to half a year. Be sure to carefully read the instructions on the label and to not allow pets or people near the areas you have sprayed until the spray has dried. Make sure to read the warnings and the primary ingredients in the spray. Many sprays contain permethrin or pyrethroids, which can be harmful to pets.
- Powders work in one of two ways to kill fleas. Certain powders contain insecticides similar to those in sprays. Other powders work as ‘desiccants,’ attach to the fleas’ bodies, and suck out the moisture, dehydrating and killing them. In addition, Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) stop young fleas from maturing and thereby end the flea life cycle. Powders are highly effective when sprinkled into carpets and rugs – difficult areas to eradicate fleas otherwise.
- Foggers, otherwise known as ‘bug bombs’ release toxic fumes that kill fleas into the air. These can be effective when used along with sprays, powders, and thorough cleaning, but are generally not enough on their own. You may need a fogger for each room and the foggers often miss areas. Make sure to read the label carefully as the fumes are flammable, toxic, and can be harmful and you will need to leave the house until they have been aired out.
- If you have a yard that your pet spends lots of time in, it may be necessary to treat the yard with a special product as well. Flea products for the yard generally come in the form of an attachment for your garden hose. After attaching the product, spray all over the yard but avoid flowers and vegetables. Repeat this treatment as directed. In addition, cedar wood chips and eucalyptus leaves repel fleas. Spreading cedar wood chips around the yard or planting some Eucalyptus bushes are excellent preventative measures in the yard.
- Once you have gotten rid of the fleas in your house, you will want to put in place measures to prevent them coming back. Treating a flea infestation every time it occurs but not doing the follow-up and prevention steps in between can be harmful as it can promote the development of hypersensitivity (allergy) to fleas in pets. Treat your pets regularly with a product such as FrontLine or Advantage to ensure that they don’t get fleas again.
Seek Professional Help
These little critters can cause you and your family huge troubles as they not only bite but also can transmit diseases.
The above-mentioned ways to deal with the fleas might help but remember, in case of an excessive infestation, most won’t eradicate the vermins completely. Even though all adult fleas are gone, their eggs might be still around your house or yard. They will eventually hatch and you will face the problem over and over again. Besides, some products might contain toxic chemicals that will affect your health and safety.
Instead, we recommend you to turn to a professional flea treatment which includes the use of a high – quality equipment and powerful family-safe insecticides. Professional pest exterminators such as Fantastic Flea Control will thoroughly inspect the possible infested areas and will treat each with up-to-date know-how and gear. Additionally, you can benefit from the expertise of the exterminators. You can ask for advice on what precautionary measures you should take in the future, whether that’s preventative treatment, dog or cat clothing, or other methods. If you are a pet owner, you should regularly visit a vet, as well. Professionals will prescribe the right flea treatment to your beloved pet.
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
Fleas feed on blood and love to live on the bodies of your pets. The furry exterior of pets makes an ideal living place for the fleas without them being detected. Fleas not only suck blood from the pets which can ultimately lead to anemia but fleas can also transmit diseases that can be very serious or even fatal. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of fleas from your pets before they infest your home or apartment, and your
Last Updated: January 18, 2018
‘Fire Ant’ is a general term for nearly three hundred species of stinging red ants in the Solenopsis genus that are common around the world. Fire ants range from one eighth of an inch to one quarter of an inch and should not be confused with the significantly larger velvet ants (one to two inches). The winged ants in the colony are the ants able to reproduce. The ants are known for being significantly more aggressive than other ant species and for having a strong painful sting that leaves a white pustule due to the venom in the ants’ sting. Fire ants are considered pests both because of their sting and because of their ability to harm plants, crops, and small animals. Fire ants are omnivores and feed on a wide range of plants animals. They have strong mandibles and along with their stings are capable of killing animals much larger than they are and carrying them back to their colony. As a group, fire ants can kill animals as large as small mammals.
Fire ants are the most dangerous when an animal, including a human, steps on their mound. Pheromones from the crushed ants cause nearby ants to go into a frenzied ‘attack mode’ in which hundreds of ants crawl up the invader’s leg and simultaneously bite them. This concerted attack leaves behind enough venom to kill small animals. Human deaths from fire ant bites are exceedingly rare.
Fire ants are known for their ability to invade a new area extremely quickly. People have been known to see mounds appear in their yards seemingly overnight. The ants are extremely resilient and can survive temperatures well below freezing. While workers tend to live for only four to six weeks, a queen fire ant can live as long as seven years. In addition, fire ants have evolved truly unique survival techniques. For instance, if the ants detect a flood by feeling water in their mound, the colony will swarm together and create a ‘ball’ of ants that is able to float. The queen and other important members are placed in the middle of the ball which then floats over the water until it hits a tall stationary object. Once it does, the ants swarm onto it and wait for the water to recede.
Fire ants can be extreme nuisances. In the United States alone, billions of dollars are spent each year on eradicating fire ants, damage control, and medically related issues caused by the ants. In addition, fire ants case hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to agricultural crops every year. Fire ants are very sensitive to dangers to their colonies. Many methods for getting rid of fire ants, especially ‘home remedies,’ will kill a number of the ants but not the queen and will simply result in the relocation of the colony.
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
- Plant the herb, ‘ Pennyroyal ‘, around your home or kennel, it repels fleas. You may also wish to grow and keep the inside your home or apartment.
- Bathe pets in a mixture of warm water and ‘ DAWN Lemon Scented Liquid Soap ‘. ‘ DAWN Lemon Scented Liquid soap ‘ is a great flea killer and repellent.
- If you have fleas coming inside, or notice them just outside your door, sprinkle a little ‘ Twenty Mule Team Borax Soap ‘, on the grass and lawn in this area.
- Pieces of Cedar Wood (chips) placed in the corners of rooms, under furniture and under a pets bedding keeps fleas away. The Cedar Chips placed next to a home or apartments, the doors, etc, also acts as a barrier to keep fleas out.
- Spray the kids and any family members legs and feet with original ‘ Avon SKIN SO SOFT Bath Oil Spray ‘, it has proven that this is a great product to keep fleas away and to stop them from biting.
- Instead of using strong chemicals and sprays on pets, some folks have great luck using ‘ Essential oils ‘, such as Lavender and Citronella to keep fleas away. The oils also have a healing and soothing effect on the pets skin, they help the skin and hair to detoxify and regenerate.
- Eucalyptus Leaves work very well for keeping fleas away, and they can be purchased online or at many health-food stores and even at some of the larger craft stores.
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
Despite the fact that termites – particularly termites with wings – look an awful lot like ants, the two insect families are not closely related. Termites are actually cousins to cockroaches. This might surprise you, particularly since termite behavior and ant behavior in a colonial setting can be similar; both insect families participate in cooperative care of young insects, all have workers, all have soldiers, and all have reproductive. In truth, it really is a question of ants vs termites – these insects are sworn enemies and it’s up to soldier caste termites to prevent ants from invading. Let’s take a closer look at what separates termites from ants.
Ants vs termites
In Australia and some other places, worker termites are often referred to as white ants, because they do look quite a lot like ants when swarmed together. Worker termites typically have soft bodies with only two segments – a head and an abdomen – and like flying termites, their antenna extend in an unbroken line from the forehead, creating a “V” shape.
When it comes to soldier termites vs ants, the main differences are quite easy to spot. Soldier termites typically have light colored abdomens and dark colored heads with strong jaws and long, V-shaped antenna. Ants, on the other hand, are normally brown, black, red, or some combination of colors, and they possess triple-segmented bodies and less pronounced jaws.
Another way you can tell the difference between termites vs ants is in the way they travel. If you happen to see ants moving along as they go about their business, they typically travel in straight lines. They’re extremely orderly. Termites are the opposite; they move with no real rhyme or reason, and you just won’t see a line of soldier termites emerging from a colony to conduct tasks of any type. In fact, the only time termites intentionally leave the safety of their colonies is when they swarm in order to develop new colonies.
Flying ants vs termites
Flying ants vs termites – the two insects look quite a bit alike at a glance, but spend a couple of moments looking more closely, and you’ll see that these insects have many differences.
Flying termites have:
- A pair of straight antennae that make a “V” shape from the front of the head
- Two pairs of wings, each pair being of equal length
- Straight bodies with no delineated “waist”
- Two body segments instead of three
Flying ants have
- A pair of bent antenna that form a rough “U” shape from the front of the head
- Two pairs of wings, with the front pair being longer than the back
- Nipped waists with large abdomens to the rear
- Three body segments instead of two
It’s fairly common to encounter flying ants at any time, as long as the weather is warm enough for them to emerge from their nests. There are many different flying ant species and all look different in terms of size and color, but they all share these same characteristics.
The only time you’re going to encounter flying termites is during mating season, which varies from one termite species to the next. To learn more about this behavior, be sure to spend a moment reading our articles on drywood termites, Formosan termites, and subterranean termites. Armed with the information you receive, you’ll be able to tell the difference between flying termites vs ants with ease, plus you will be able to determine what to do next if you think you may be dealing with a termite infestation.
Notice the distinct body shape differences between the termite (left) and ant (right).
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
Termite control is easiest when that control is based on prevention rather than on working to get rid of termites. The first step in preventing these destructive pests is to be aware of what their habits are and to know how to identify them in the event they do show up.
Once they have taken up residence, termites do not like to emerge from their colonies. Periodically checking for termite activity will prevent you from coming across huge areas of damage by accident while working on a remodeling project or making a simple home repair; unfortunately, this is exactly how many people find out that their property is infested!
Some of the most common ways to determine whether you have termite activity include the following:
- Probe exposed wood with a flathead screwdriver or dull knife to see whether there are hollow spots inside.
- Inspect the foundation area, keeping an eye out for mud tubes containing small, cream-colored insects.
- Look for swarming activity, usually during the spring months.
- Inspect window sashes and other areas where exposed wood is present to see whether there are termite wings or termite bodies present.
- If an area is damaged, inspect it closely to see whether the damage was caused by water, or if it was caused by termites. Tunneling, particularly if there are bits of dirt inside the tunnels, is an almost certain sign that you have a termite infestation.
Prevention is the Best Termite Control
Whether you’ve had to get rid of termites in the past, or if you are simply looking for methods for preventing a termite infestation, you’ll benefit from these prevention tips.
First, you should think just like a bug. Termites are small – they don’t need direct access to exposed wood. Instead, they often enter via cracks in foundations, plumbing penetrations, and around areas where exterior doors lead into crawlspaces or basements. Apply caulk to any cracks you find, including those around electrical wiring or pipes, and those around window and door sashing.
Second, look for areas where moisture is present. While drywood termites don’t need much water, others do; water attracts termites like nothing else. Look for areas where moisture collects around and under your home. Leaky pipes in crawlspaces, areas near leaky faucets including outdoor spigots, and areas near air conditioning units with drains are prime termite territory.
Third, keep the area around your foundation clear of debris, particularly if that debris contains wood or other sources of cellulose, which termites eat exclusively. Do not stack firewood right next to your house, as termites love to dine on it.
Fourth, keep mulch and other plant-based materials at least a foot from your home’s foundation, and be sure to keep gutters dry and clear of debris. Any food or moisture source near your home could draw termites.
If your home is still under construction, have your contractor install a concrete foundation. Be sure exposed wood surfaces are covered with metal barriers or with sealant.
How to Get Rid of Termites
If you discover an infestation, treatment needs to be a top priority. These insects multiply rapidly and cause damage with amazing speed. If you do not have time to handle an infestation thoroughly on your own, or if you have an extensive infestation, consider hiring a competent exterminator. Termites are one of the few bugs for which licensed exterminators actually do have methods of extermination that are not available to the general public. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when determining which route to take in order to get rid of termites. If the infestation is not extensive, or is in an area not connected to the home (a shed for instance) consider trying some of the following DIY methods for getting rid of termites before calling an exterminator. Try using several methods at once to maximize effectiveness.
- DIY Termite Baits – DIY termite baits cost much less than professional treatment and can be highly effective. As they work slowly, they are best for small infestations. Ask your local garden store or look online for ‘termite stakes.’ These systems consist of stakes that you drive into the ground around your house and leave there for termites. The bait stakes have easy-access holes for the termites to enter and exit. Instead of being killed or repelled immediately, the termites consume the bait inside of the stake and take it back to the colony, killing the queen and the rest of the colony along with her. The bait takes anywhere from 3 to 14 days to kill the termite that consumed it, and during that period of time, the toxins are spread to other termites. The main problem with this solution is that termites basically have to stumble upon the baits while foraging. To make this type of termite treatment as effective as possible, place stakes at 10-foot intervals around the foundation’s perimeter. Additional stakes should be added near those that show signs of termite activity.
- DIY Spot Traps – Using DIY Spot traps, you can get rid of termites by the hundreds. While this method will not eliminate an entire colony, it can help cut back on the termite population while you decide which other methods to use. To make these traps, simply dampen several large strips of cardboard and stack them in an area where termite activity is occurring. The termites will find the combination of dampness and cardboard irresistible, and will get to work. Once you’ve got a termite-infested spot trap, you can simply bag it up, take it out into a safe area, and burn it.
- Boric Acid Baits – Boric acid is used in many commercial termites treatments. It causes dehydration while completely shutting down the termite’s nervous system. You can make your own baits by coating wood or stacked cardboard with an even layer of boric acid. You’ll know your bait is working if you see termite bodies nearby. You can find Boric acid at garden centers as it is used to remedy many types of insect infestations.
- Non-Chemical Termites Treatments – Physical barriers including certain types of sand and steel mesh can help to prevent an infestation. There is limited evidence that Nematodes and fungi-based biological control agents may be effective as well. Nematodes are worms that feed by injecting insects with bacteria, and then eating the insects once the bacteria kills them. Nematodes are usually available for purchase at garden stores or online, and are most effective when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you cannot use them immediately, simply store them in the refrigerator. When you apply them, follow instructions carefully and keep them away from sunlight since UV rays will harm them. For a more in depth explanation of nematodes, click here.
How to Choose an Exterminator
Professional termite extermination is often required for eliminating problematic termite infestations, and is recommended for infestations you have determined are too large, advanced, or damaging for you to handle on your own after trying some of the methods we’ve mentioned here. There are a number of methods professional exterminators will use when dealing with a termite infestation. The primary method is by injecting heavy-duty toxic insecticides (termiticides specifically) into the soil around the house. They may even drill holes in the home or surrounding patios and inject the termiticides there as well. These insecticides are toxic to people as well and, for that reason, only licensed exterminators may administer the treatments. In addition to this, an exterminator may use monitored termite baits designed to rapidly kill termites that feed on them. In extreme scenarios, an exterminator may fumigate the entire building with poisonous gasses.
If you decide to get rid of termites with help from an exterminator, be sure to select the company carefully and pay close attention to all instructions provided. Pesticides can contaminate drinking water, and they often have an adverse effect on children, pets, and others who come into contact with them.
Seek quotes from at least three different exterminators in your area if possible to find the best price. Before making a final decision, check the company’s service record. Finally, look for a guarantee that includes return trips to check for and clear any new infestations that occur with a certain time span. The best companies often offer extended warranties at a fraction of the original termite extermination cost.
Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Luckily for anybody with a fly problem, the truth is, excepting in cases such as agriculture or large hotel / restaurant kitchens, getting rid of flies is actually pretty easy. The only times where we would advise the use of professional help in eliminating a fly infestation is when livelihood or health is at great stake. In areas such as hospitals where diseases are both more dangerous and more common and in restaurants and other services where the number of people present is large, getting rid of a fly infestation as fast as possible is of paramount importance. In addition, getting rid of flies in agricultural settings can be a more difficult challenge. While this can still be achieved without hiring help, acting quickly and decisively in these situations is a must.
There are dozens of methods and ‘tricks’ used to get rid of flies. As in all other cases, we suggest an integrated pest management approach, which involves a mixture of natural and chemical treatments as well as preventative measures to treat the problem on all fronts. Eliminating fly infestations varies slightly across species but, for the most part, no matter what the type of fly, there are a few basic principles of treatment.
- Eliminate the breeding grounds / food source
- With the exception of blood-sucking flies (e.g. Horse Flies), flies lay their eggs in or next to abundant food sources. Depending on the type of fly, this can range from garbage to rotting animal corpses but, regardless of what it is, as soon as you eliminate it, the flies will cease to breed in that area and the infestation will quickly move elsewhere.
- Most people think that when they want to get rid of a fly infestation, they need to kill as many of the adult flies that they can. While killing adult flies may offer temporary relief and may seem to lower the number of flies in the house, this will not actually help get rid of the infestation in the long run. Eliminating larvae and eggs by eliminating the flies’ food source is the only way to truly deal with an infestation.
- Sanitation overlaps with the previous principle. Again, with the exception of blood-sucking flies, flies feast on rotting foods, waste, and flesh. Keeping a residence meticulously clean, dry (flies love humidity), and air-conditioned will eliminate food sources and the conditions that flies love.
- Preventative measures keep flies out of the house and include screens for doors and windows and other ‘DIY’ solutions for keeping flies out of the home. Make sure to keep doors and vents closed as much as possible, particularly during the day and in the summer. Many have suggested hanging Ziploc bags filled with water outside doorways as the fragmentation of light may scare flies away.
- Adult Elimination
- In addition to the methods above, adult flies can be targeted to make an infested area more ‘livable’ while you are dealing with the infestation. Mechanical means such as fly swatters, bug zappers (a UV light which attracts flies and other bugs is surrounded by an electrified cage that zaps flies when they pass through it), fly traps, and sticky fly paper can be used in conjunction with chemical control methods (foggers in closed unoccupied rooms, slow release pesticide strips, and non-residual pesticides) to reduce the adult population.
Following the above principles will help you deal with most fly infestations. There are hundreds of thousands of species of flies. For the purposes of eliminating infestations, it is highly useful to know what type of fly you are dealing with, and what its food source is. In addition, each fly has a number of tricks that can be used to deal with it.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Fruit flies, also known as vinegar flies, are small tan or beige gnat-sized flies with red eyes that eat sweet and fermented liquids. Syrups, sodas, and vinegars as well as old rotting fruits attract fruit flies. The female flies lay their eggs inside these materials as well as around them. The most important step in getting rid of fruit flies is eliminating these materials from the residence either by cleaning anywhere they may have spilled, throwing them out in a dumpster far from the house, or cleaning and sealing them and placing them in a refrigerator. Cover all fruit with saran wrap or place it in closed containers. Any infested items will need to be thrown out.
Fruit flies are often found outside around fruit trees. When fruit ripens and falls off the tree, it ferments and attracts flies. In addition, people often keep these rotting fruits in composts. Throwing the fruits out far from the house or keeping the compost far from the house will help keep fruit flies away.
An easy trick for trapping adult fruit flies is creating a sugar or dish soap trap. It is important to note that these will work only on fruit flies and other filth flies will fly by them with no notice. Take a big plastic soda, water, or other drink bottle, and cut it in half along the top. Fill the bottom half of the bottle with liquids fruit flies eat, such as syrup concentrates and vinegar. Alternatively, you can use fruit scented dish soap and a little bit of water. Sugar-water generally will not work, as it is not fragrant enough. Invert the top half of the bottle and place it inside the bottom half (see the picture). Seal the bottom and top half along the rim with tape so flies will not be able to escape out of the sides. Fruit flies will fly into the bottle trying to get the food inside of it. Once in, they attempt to fly out by going straight up and are not able to fly out through the opening.
Get Rid of House Flies
The common house fly generally eats a mix of rotting garbage and animal feces. Like fruit flies, house flies lay their eggs in and around these food sources. The most important step in getting rid of house flies is eliminating these materials. Trashes must be emptied in dumpsters far from the home. Trashcans inside the house should be cleaned on the inside and outside. After this, any new trash placed inside them should be in a trash bag, and the trash itself should seal well. Any open sewage drains must be treated with repellant or chemical pesticides.
Get Rid of Drain Flies
Drain flies get their names from their preferred habitat. They are large ‘hairy’ flies that eat and infest sewage. They are often found in bathrooms. Drain flies lay their eggs in the material that accumulates on sinks, toilets, showers, and floors in bathrooms. Additionally they make their way into drains. As with all other flies, getting rid of drain flies requires eliminating their food source. Clean and scrub the bathroom thoroughly. Spray showers, baths, sinks, and toilets with strong chemical cleaners. Drains and pipes should be dismantled and thoroughly cleaned.
Get Rid of Horse Flies & Other Blood-Sucking Flies
Blood-sucking flies are the most difficult types of fly to get rid of. Getting rid of horse flies is easier than getting rid of stable flies. This is because both male and female stable flies feed on blood, while only female horse flies feed on blood – the males instead consuming pollen and sap. The difficulty with these sorts of flies is that it is not possible to eliminate their food source (you!). Blood sucking flies often lay their eggs in stagnant water. Therefore, if there is a water source near the infestation (e.g. water for livestock), invest in a system to ensure the water is refreshed often.
There are several pesticides that can be used on livestock but are not recommended for use on people such as CB 80 Pyrethrum Aerosol which can fend off horse flies, stable flies, and deer flies. Gentrol Aerosol IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) is an aerosol, which prevents young flies from maturing into adult flies and thereby stops their ability to reproduce. This can be useful in eliminating infestations in the long run and preventing re-infestations. In addition, placing several horse fly traps on the premises can help control the population (these traps are designed specially for ‘visual hunters’ such as horse flies).
Flies in Agricultural Settings (Farms, Stables, Livestock, etc.)
Fly control on farms is far more challenging than in the home. Though treatment is more complex, the basic principles are exactly the same. Cleaning feed spills, dairy leaks, and never allowing manure to accumulate close to livestock are important places to start. An excellent resource for anybody looking to control flies in an agricultural setting is this farmer’s bulletin, published by the USDA nearly a hundred years ago. Though old, this resource is still relevant and a great place to learn how to deal with fly infestations on a farm on your own.
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
This page explains in detail the full process of getting rid of bed bugs. Before you get started though, you need to ask yourself if you’re equipped and prepared for the task. Read here to find out if you need an exterminator or not.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
This section breaks down getting rid of bed bugs into four parts. First, you will need to pretreat your apartment. This involves finding the bed bugs, isolating them, and preparing the rooms and furniture for the use of pesticides and heat. The second phase is the extermination of the bed bugs through various methods. The third phase details how to check whether you are actually bed bug free, and how to prevent a future infestation. Finally, we have included a list of things you must be sure not to do when dealing with an infestation.
The first phase of exterminating a bed bug infestation is pretreatment. This begins with a general cleaning of your house including tidying and vacuuming, throwing out of items that are beyond saving, and finding all of the areas where bed bugs are hiding. If you live in an apartment, before anything else, notify your landlord and neighbors. Start the pretreatment with a widespread extremely thorough cleaning of the residence:
- Tidy your home. Put all of the items you think may have been affected in one place away from everything else. Clear any clutter from around your bed and couches.
- Clean all of your bedding and sheets, mattress covers, couch covers, linens, and curtains. Clothing and bed linen is generally not safe to treat with pesticide.
- Wash everything on your washing machine’s highest heat setting and then run it through your dryer on the hottest setting (at least 140 degrees) for a minimum of thirty minutes.
- Items that cannot be washed (shoes, stuffed animals, coats, etc.) should be run through the dryer on its highest heat setting for at least half an hour.
- Once you have washed and dried everything, place it all together and wrap it securely in thick plastic bags (preferably thick trash bags) and isolate it. Place it either, outside in the sun where it will continue to be exposed to high temperature, or in a place where the infestation has not reached (e.g. a garage or storage) until the treatment is finished. You can place a ‘Nuvan ProStrip,’ which can be bought online inside these bags to kill any remaining bed bugs. Check all items thoroughly for bed bugs before returning them.
- Once you have done all of the above, thoroughly vacuum your home.
- Use a stiff brush to remove any bed bugs or eggs you have identified from walls, mattress seams, and carpets. Flip over your furniture and carpeting to inspect underneath them as well.
- Vacuum your bed, couches, carpets and the surrounding area thoroughly. Vacuum near furniture and along baseboards as well. Use a vacuum attachment and scrape the areas you are vacuuming as bed bugs can hold on tightly. Do so frequently. As soon as you have finished vacuuming, remove the vacuum bag, seal it in a plastic bag, and place it in a trashcan outdoors far from your house.
Once you have finished the initial cleaning, you will need to inspect every nook and cranny of your residence and identify where the infestation is, so you will know where to focus your treatment. It may be helpful to read our page on identifying an infestation first. Keep note of any bed bugs or signs of bed bugs from your general cleaning and begin your inspection:
- Pull all of your furniture away from the walls to allow you to inspect the walls and the furniture more thoroughly.
- Inspect your furniture. Remove cushions from couches and chairs; Turn them over and inspect underneath them as well; Remove drawers from desks; Place everything that has signs of bed bugs in the same area.
- Check your mattress. The mattress is generally the focal point of a bed bug infestation, and an explanation of what to do with your mattress is in the treatment section of this page. When inspecting for bed bugs in your mattress, look at the top, bottom, and sides, as well as in the mattress seams. If there are rips in the fabric of the mattress, check in those as well. Holding a strong light against a box spring mattress can help to see bed bugs inside of the mattress. In addition, check for fecal spots and red stains from crushed bed bugs.
- Check carpeting, wood paneling, pictures frames, and the insides of closets. Check behind cracks in the wall or peeling wallpaper, inside lamps, and in any furniture or appliances bed bugs could possibly get into. Keep in mind that without feeding the bugs are extremely flat and can get into spaces as small as behind outlet covers and even in smoke detectors. Check in electrical appliances and all small hiding places.
- Dismantle your bed frame and check for bed bugs in the wood, the paneling, the foot and head boards, side railings, and all of the connections between parts.
- Check in cracks in the wall, areas where pipes or wires run through the wall, and behind peeling wallpaper. After you have treated these areas (following section), make sure to seal the area with plaster or reapply the wallpaper so that bed bugs cannot get into or out of the walls.
- There are many products you can buy to detect an infestation to better help you identify affected areas. Some examples are the ‘Catchmaster BDS’ or ‘Verifi Bed Bug Detector.’ These products will not eliminate an infestation, they will simply help you identify and monitor it.
- Look in dark and isolated areas. Thoroughly check adjoining rooms to the room where you suspect the infestation. Infestations generally start at the bed, but often branch out from there.
- Bed Bugs can be difficult to see, especially young ones or eggs. It may be useful to use a high power flashlight, a magnifying glass, and a small hand-held mirror.
- Spraying an aerosol such as V-One (or any aerosol that has Pyrethrin as an active ingredient) will flush bed bugs out of their hiding spots and allow you to identify if they are there. The aerosol will kill the bugs as well. A blow dryer on its hottest setting will accomplish the same thing.
Now that you have identified an infestation, cleaned your house, and identified sensitive areas, you are ready to begin treatment. There are dozens of different options for getting rid of a bed bug infestation and we will cover several of them. What we recommend for anybody trying to solve this problem is what is known as an ‘Integrated Pest Management’ (IPM) solution. An IPM solution combines multiple techniques including pesticides, natural solutions (heat), sanitation, and prevention and emphasizes using harmful products only up to an environmentally justifiable level. Before starting any of these treatments, make sure you have completed all the steps in the pretreatment section. Otherwise, the treatment is far less likely to be successful. The use of several of the suggested methods in conjunction will give the best results. You should treat your residence at least three times, allowing for a week to two weeks between each treatment.
Identified Bed Bug Infestations
The following methods can be used to eliminate bed bugs in areas in which you have identified bugs and / or congregations of bugs.
- Steam heat is an excellent method for getting rid of the bugs in almost any part of the house. You can find a dry steamer at most local hardware stores. If you cannot find one or do not want to spend the money, then you can attach a plastic tube to the end of an electric kettle. You can substitute this with a blow dryer, but they are not as effective and may only serve to scatter the bugs. A good dry steamer will reach two hundred degrees Fahrenheit and may be your most powerful tool in dealing with an infestation.
- Insecticides designed specifically for bed bug infestations are a crucial tool if you are seriously considering getting rid of bed bugs on your own. These insecticides are split into ‘sprays’ and ‘dusts.’ These treatments should be applied several times, about a week apart each time. During this time you will need to stay in other rooms or, preferably, in another residence. Bed bugs come out to feed every few weeks so multiple treatments are a must.
- Sprays should be applied in every place you have identified or suspect an infestation. In addition, spray around and under the bed and bed frame, on the interior panels of cabinets, drawers, closets (remove all clothing an other items first), doorframes, windows, and furniture. Make sure to read the instructions on the label before use to see where the spray can and cannot be used. Some good sprays are Cyzmic CS (cannot be used on mattresses), Temprol SC, Alpine PT Aerosol, and Bedlam Insecticide Aerosol, and Phantom Aerosol.
- Dusts are applied using a duster or a puffer. Do not apply dusts on top of sprays, but use them as a supplement in harder to reach areas or areas where liquids should not be used. Remove electrical outlet covers and light switch covers and dust in the openings. Use dust in electrical appliances, lamps, in desks, and in bed frames. Make sure to read the instructions on the label before use to see where the spray can and cannot be used. One of the best insecticide grade dusts is Cimexa Dust.
- Rubbing alcohol sprayed on bed bugs will kill them on the spot. Buy a spray bottle and rubbing alcohol at any local convenience store. In addition, dipping a brush in rubbing alcohol and brushing over visible eggs will kill the eggs.
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a naturally occurring rock that is easily crumbled into a white powder. When bed bugs come in contact with this powder, it dehydrates them and kills them over the course of a few days. The powder remains effective as long as it remains on your floor and is useful to use at the end of a treatment as it can help prevent a re-infestation. Because of this, DE does not require reapplication. DE (and all other dusts) can be distributed using a special ‘puffer’ which can be found online. Breathing in DE is dangerous and can cause a respiratory disease called silicosis and you should wear a breathing mask while applying. Despite this, DE is a relatively safe solution, especially if you get ‘food-grade’ DE. Ground up Silica Gel achieves the same effect.
- Gentrol IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) is a spray that prevents young bed bugs from maturing into adults and, thus, prevents them from reproducing. This is useful for long-term control and prevention of re-infestation.
- Climb Up Insect Interceptors kill bed bugs that are trying to climb onto your bed. There are products you can buy online or you can make one yourself by filling bowls with soapy water and placing your bedposts in the bowl. Bed bugs will attempt to climb up to your bed and will slip in the bowl and drown.
- Clean up any dead bed bugs, eggs, molding, fecal spots, or bloodstains with water and soap.
Mattresses are a key area of infestation and where people are generally bitten, so the topic deserves some notes of its own. Once you have identified an infestation in your mattress (small dark fecal spots, blood stains, eggs, holes in the mattress or paneling of the bed, bed bugs) you can either treat the mattress, encase it in a special cover, or throw the mattress out.
- Encasing your mattress: Covering your mattress and pillows with specially designed mattress covers is an excellent method for dealing with your bed. These covers make sure bed bugs can not get into your bed or pillows, and that any that are inside already cannot get out and get to you. A cover placed over an infested mattress must be left on for at least a year as bed bugs can survive up to a year without feeding. Once you have covered your mattress with such a cover, there is no need to treat it using pesticides or any form of spray. Another benefit of these covers is, once they are on, they also prevent any future infestation. Make sure the cover specifies it can be used for bed bugs. Hypoallergenic covers help treat against dust mites as well. Though these covers can be moderately expensive, they are the most effective solution.
- Treating your mattress: Treating your bedroom with pesticides can be harmful, so make sure to follow the instructions on any label carefully and to make sure they specifically say they are safe for use on mattresses and bedding. There are insecticides created specially for beds such as Temprid SC, Bedlam Aerosol, Steri-Fab, and many others that can be found online. To treat a mattress, first brush along the entire mattress and all the seams with a stiff brush. After this, vacuum all over the mattress. Once you have done this, treat with the insecticide according to the instructions on the label. Insecticides for mattresses are split into dusts and sprays. Dusts work for a longer period of time, but sprays are easier to apply to hard to reach areas. Both can be used for better results. These can additionally be used on most other furniture.
- Throwing your mattress out: Throwing your mattress out and replacing it is the final way to deal with the ‘mattress issue.’ We recommend doing so only if your mattress is truly in a bad shape. If the mattress has lots of holes and tears in the fabric and / or is covered with bed bugs, eggs, fecal spots, blood stains, and other such unsightly side effects, then getting rid of it may be more useful than the headache of treating the mattress. It is important to note, however, that any new mattress you bring has the possibility to become infested so it may be a good idea to treat or encase the new one as well.
Get bed bugs out of cracks in the wall or from behind loose wallpaper with a flat knife, a playing card, or using hot air from a blow dryer on its highest setting. When the bugs come out, catch them with paper towels, packing tape, or special bug ‘sticky traps.’ Half a minute to a minute of continuous air from a blow dryer on its highest setting should kill the bed bugs. After doing this, we recommend applying one of the special dusts as mentioned above inside the opening to both kill any remaining bed bugs and to ensure no bed bugs return. Once you have cleared the bugs out of the area, caulk, seal, or repair the crack (or hole or loos wallpaper, etc.) so that the bugs will not be able to get in again and so that any bugs inside will not be able to get out.
As mentioned in the pretreatment area, by this point, all removable or washable affected items should have been discarded, laundered, or bagged with a Nuvan strip and left in the sun.
Once you have eliminated the infestation (or if you don’t have an infestation but are worried about getting one), it is important to put in place measures to ensure you don’t get a re-infestation. Start by sealing any bed bug hiding spots that you can. Mattress covers (as described in the previous section) will keep bed bugs out of your mattress permanently. Repair cracks in walls, repair or remove loose wallpaper, and tighten light switch and electrical outlet covers. Apply caulk to close openings in cabinets or where the walls meet the ceiling.
The most important thing to do in order to prevent a re-infestation or a separate future infestation is to increase your awareness. Be sure to carefully inspect any used furniture you bring into your home. Dry your bedding often on the hottest dryer setting. After you have gone travelling, immediately wash all of your clothing in hot water and thoroughly inspect and vacuum your suitcases. When you check into a hotel room, inspect the bed area for signs of bed bugs. Place your luggage on a rack that is far from the bed and the walls so that no bugs travel home with you. You can periodically place bed bug detection systems (for example the ‘Catchmaster BDS’ or ‘Verifi Bed Bug Detector’) around your bed and see if they catch any bed bugs to alert you of an infestation early. This is a good thing to do after a trip, after a worker comes to your house, or after guests stay over. This is also a good idea after eliminating an infestation in order to see if any bugs are left over.
There are a few methods that it is important not to use when dealing with a bed bug infestation. ‘Bug Foggers’ and ‘Bug Bombs’ will not kill bed bugs. They will only serve to scatter a congregation of them, thereby taking what may have been a local infestation and spreading it all over the room or the residence. High temperatures are very effective at killing bed bugs. They can also die in very low temperatures, but this will only happen if the temperature remains significantly below freezing for several weeks and is thus not a recommended solution. In addition, concentrated heat such as that from a washing machine or dryer on their highest setting, a steamer, or continuous contact from a very hot blow dryer will work to kill bed bugs but raising your thermostat, for instance, will do nothing except cost you more money.