Q. Will hot steam kill fleas of all stages around my house?
DANA KOCH, VMD, MLAS
A. The most effective way to remove fleas from your household is a multimodal approach.
First you must treat the animal where the adult fleas prefer to live and hatch hundreds of eggs in their lifetime.
Second you must treat the environment. Washing bedding and rugs in hot water is effective in removing the larvae and pupal stages. Steaming your carpets with hot steam and no additives can also remove certain stages of the flea lifecycle. It is important to also frequently vacuum your carpets and dispose of the bags immediately. Additionally, an exterminator can be utilized if the flea infestation is severe and difficult to get under control.
The third approach to removing fleas is the outdoor environment. Recommendations include maintaining short cut grass to prevent ideal areas of the growth for flea eggs, larvae and pupae. Other suggestions are spreading beneficial nematodes in the yard that feed on flea larvae and pupae, or safely spreading a mixture of diatomaceous earth to destroy adult fleas.