Once fleas take hold on your pets, you can bet they are all over your house. Here’s how to get rid of them.

By Timothy Dahl

Fleas are a common ailment of household pets everywhere, and ridding your dog or cat of these pests is just the beginning. Oral and topical flea medicine—as well as a good flea bath—is an effective way to remove fleas from your pet, but that does nothing to kill the fleas that are in your home. Fleas can live and thrive in dog beds, rugs, carpets, furniture, and your own bed.

Follow these steps to eliminate these pests from your home and prevent them from returning. If fleas and their eggs are not removed, it’s only a matter of time until your pet succumbs to them again.

Wash All Bedding

Wash sheets, pillow cases, rugs, and dog beds in hot water. This should effectively kill any fleas on these fabrics, but don’t rush to put them back on. In the case of pet beds, it’s better to throw them out to ensure fleas are gone.

Vacuum Everything

Vacuuming is necessary to remove fleas, larvae, and eggs from inside your home. It’s important to use a nozzle to vacuum hard, and to reach areas under cushions and in corners. Vacuum more than once over a couple days, and remove the bag outdoors and over a garbage can each time. Flea carpet powder can also be used. Just make sure you follow the directions for use around children and pets.

Check Outdoors

If you suspect your backyard is infested, call an exterminator or use an outdoor flea and tick spray to remove the bugs. Fleas can easily be tracked indoors and your home can become infested again after all of your work to get rid of them.

Monitor Your Pet

Eliminating fleas from your pet and their environment should be done at the same time, but don’t expect overnight results. Keep monitoring your pet for fleas by observing their behavior and checking their skin for fleas. A flea comb is helpful in cleaning them seeing if they still have fleas. Stay diligent and continue to clean your home until all traces of fleas and their eggs are gone.

This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.