If you have been finding fleas on your pet, more than likely, they are in your home too. While you could just give your dog or cat some flea medication and hope that solves the problem, your best bet is also to treat your home to interrupt the life cycle of fleas hiding in your carpets or furniture.
That’s where home flea sprays, like Wondercide Home and Pet, can help. This one is our favorite because it is made with natural ingredients and comes in various pleasant scents. However, there are several other good options to choose from, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about some of them here. We’ll also arm you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about any other flea spray you may be considering.
While you want a flea spray to be effective, safety should be the top concern. You will use these sprays in your home, where you, your pet and your children live. Because of this, you shouldn’t just buy the first pesticide you see at the store. You need to make sure you are purchasing a spray intended for indoor use.
You must take extra care if you own a cat, as there are many ingredients commonly used in flea sprays that are harmless to dogs but toxic for felines. For example, many topical dog flea treatments contain permethrin, which is highly poisonous for cats. It isn’t just chemical insecticides you need to be worried about either. Clove oil sounds harmless enough, but it, too, is toxic for felines.
Flea home sprays may make use of natural or chemical ingredients. While we are always fans of using all-natural products when possible, a chemical option may be the only one that works if you are dealing with a terrible infestation. Here are some common active ingredients you will see in flea home sprays:
Cedar oil - This natural flea and tick repellent is safe for both cats and dogs. It disrupts many life-sustaining activities of insects, including mating, feeding and even breathing, making it very effective.
Clove oil - As mentioned previously, cedar oil is toxic for cats if ingested. Any product formulated for dogs that contain high levels of it or eugenol, which is a substance derived from cedar, should not be used in homes with cats. Though, some flea sprays formulated for use around cats do use clove oil in very low concentrations. While you should apply these with care, they’re safe when following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Permethrin - Part of the pyrethroid class of insecticides, this chemical kills adult fleas, ticks and many other bugs on contact. It also repels mosquitoes. However, it does not kill eggs, which is why most products containing it also use other chemicals. Permethrin is also commonly used in scabies and lice treatments.
Etofenprox - This is another member of the pyrethroid class that kills adult insects.
Nylar - Commonly paired with a pyrethroid, nylar is a growth regulator that disrupts the life cycle of insects. It stops flea eggs from hatching and larva from developing. You should note that it does not affect ticks.
(S)-Methoprene - This is another growth inhibitor that disrupts the life cycle of fleas but has no effect on ticks. It prevents pupae and larvae from developing into breeding adults, and it also stops eggs from hatching.
All flea home sprays will have some scent, even those labeled as unscented. If you are sensitive to smells, you may want to wear a mask when applying them and open the windows to air out your home or leave it for a few hours afterward. Many natural sprays include additional essential oils and active ingredients to give them a more pleasant fragrance. These can consist of lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and others.
Flea home sprays come in many different sizes, ranging from small 4-ounce bottles for spot treating areas to large 1-gallon jugs to cover the entire home. When determining how much you need, you can check the manufacturer’s specifications for the coverage area. You’ll want to take into account upholstery and curtains, as this can significantly add to the square footage you’ll be applying the product.
If you are trying out a new product, it may be best to start with a small container to make sure you can tolerate the smell and adequate for your needs.
You should always closely follow the guidelines of any flea spray you are using in your home or around your pet and children. Some are only intended for use on inanimate surfaces and objects, while others are safe to apply directly to pets.
Depending on the formulation and size of the bottle, you can pay from $2-$30 on a flea home spray. Chemical-based formulas are often the cheapest, while natural options are usually the most expensive ounce for ounce.
A. Most home flea sprays will begin killing fleas almost immediately. However, depending on the spray you use, you may need to apply the product a couple of times to rid your home of the infestation completely. The manufacturer’s guidelines will have instructions for how often you should reapply if you still see signs of fleas.
A. To kill fleas, the spray needs to get to the insects. Immediately before applying the treatment, you should vacuum the carpet if you have it. This will bring eggs closer to the surface and cause adult fleas to become more active. You should also make sure to move furniture out of the way and apply the spray under beds and couches and in any other dark spaces where insects might like to hide.
What you need to know: This biodegradable formula is ideal for anyone worried about using chemicals inside their home.
What you’ll love: It kills insects at all stages of their life cycle to prevent future infestations, and there are several scents from which to choose.
What you should consider: Some may find the fragrance overpowering.
What you need to know: Not only is Vet’s Best affordable, effective and natural, but most find it has a pleasant fragrance too.
What you’ll love: The formula is gentle enough to apply directly to dogs 12 weeks and older.
What you should consider: You should not use this product in homes with cats.
What you need to know: A good choice for dealing with a heavy infestation, Precor 2000 uses several types of pesticides to ensure eradication.
What you’ll love: It can also help rid the home of cockroaches and ants.
What you should consider: It’s not safe to apply directly to pets.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.