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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Home Maintenance & Moving > Flea Control

Flea Control Cost


How Much Does Flea Control Cost?

 
low costFlea Insecticides: $5-$50average costFlea Foggers: $5-$160high costProfessional Removal: $100-$300+
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Fleas are often brought into a home by pets -- typically dogs or cats -- but they can also hitch a ride on people's clothing, purses, etc. A flea bite can cause acute irritation, infection and can transfer parasites like tapeworms. Once inside a home, fleas can multiply rapidly, infesting carpets and furniture, and feeding on both animals and people. In moderate climates fleas also flourish in gardens and under buildings. Dogs, cats and other flea-infested pets should be treated at the same time that the family home is treated, often both indoors and outdoors.

Typical costs:

  • Some people sprinkle salt and/or borax on the carpet and then vacuum it to get rid of fleas. At The Dollar Stretcher[1] homeowners share low-cost or no-cost indoor flea control methods. A minor flea infestation can be controlled with frequent and thorough vacuuming but heavy infestations typically require the use of insecticides, according to the University of Missouri Extension[2] .
  • Flea insecticides are available in powder, liquid and aerosol form. The most effective products will contain an adulticide that kills adult fleas and an insect growth regulator to control flea eggs, pupae and larvae. Powdered, liquid and aerosol flea killers are available from hardware, big box and home improvement stores for $5-$50. For example, a 15-ounce can of Raid Flea Killer Plus Carpet & Room Spray[3] sells for $8-$14.
  • Flea foggers, also called flea bombs, are special aerosol cans; when activated in an unoccupied and sealed room, they release a fine mist of insecticides. Available in most hardware, home improvement and big box stores, flea foggers sell for $5-$20 each. Generally it takes one flea bomb per room (large rooms might require two), or roughly six to eight for a typical 1,600-square-foot home, for a total cost of $30-$160. For example, the Raid Flea Killer Plus Fogger[4] sells for $13-$15 for a three-pack of 5-ounce foggers, or $39-$54 for an average home. Because flea eggs and pupae can be resistant to the insecticides, fleas may reappear in the following few weeks as surviving eggs and pupae mature. These can often be controlled with frequent vacuuming, although a second treatment might be needed, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture[5] . Some pesticides are banned in some states; read the label before using and check with the state department of agriculture[6] to see what's allowed locally.
  • Fleas may thrive outdoors as well as indoors in moderate or warm weather with relatively high humidity. If there's a heavy outdoor infestation it's important to treat the area outside the home at the same time as the indoor area and the pet are treated for fleas, or there's a strong risk of a quick re-infestation. Flea and tick lawn sprays cost $9-$30. For example, Adams Plus Yard Spray promises to kill fleas, ticks and other insects on up to 5,000 square feet of residential lawns, trees and flowers, and sells for $20-$30 in a 32-ounce spray bottle that attaches to a garden hose.
  • Expect to pay a pest control company about $100-$300 or more to spray the home for fleas both inside and out. For example, Termiguard Pest Control[7] in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, charges $125 for a single treatment inside and outside, with a 90-day warranty. In many cases a second treatment may be required in another 10-14 days; if not covered by warranty or included under the initial payment, this can double the cost.
Related articles: Dog Flea Control, Owning a Dog, Animal Removal

What should be included:
  • For do-it-yourself efforts, it's important to first determine where the main flea "hot spots" are in the home. The Ohio State University Extension recommends putting white socks on over shoes and walking through areas where fleas are suspected; or fill a shallow bowl with water plus a little dish detergent and place it on the floor with a gooseneck light shining directly on it. Adult fleas will leap toward the light at night, fall into the detergent solution and drown.
  • When using flea foggers, carefully read and follow all directions. Get out of the house quickly and don't return until the specified time has passed. Upon returning, open all windows, turn on fans and wipe clean all exposed surfaces.
  • Homeowners are typically required to prepare the house for a professional treatment. Expert Pest Control, Inc. in New Jersey and Pennsylvania describes what to expect before, during and after a professional flea treatment.
Shopping for flea control:
  • Get estimates from several companies. The National Pest Management Association lists tips for choosing a pest control company[8] .
  • Ask family, friends or neighbors for referrals, or search the National Pest Management Association to find a local pest control company.
  • Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[9] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.stretcher.com/stories/980716c.cfm
  2.  extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G7380
  3.  www.killsbugsdead.com/home.asp
  4.  www.killsbugsdead.com/home.asp
  5.  www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef602.asp
  6.  www.nasda.org/cms/7195/8617.aspx
  7.  www.termiguardpestcontrol.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=81&Itemid=138
  8.  www.pestworld.org/find-a-pest-control-professional/tips-on-finding-a-pro/
  9.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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