Fleas are a nuisance and I wish there was a surefire way to eliminate them completely. Unfortunately, they multiply rapidly and also get resistant to all the new products designed to kill them. Even with the new formulas developed recently, it is still an uphill battle that pet owners seem to fight each year. It is also no wonder that companies keep on coming up with new products like sprays, powders, dips, shampoos and spot treatments, but none seem to work in the long run. One of the most important aspects of getting rid of fleas includes environmental control. You must clean your home every 2-3 days in order to remove newly hatched fleas. And while on the subject, you must not forget to get rid of fleas in your car too. If you have recently taken your pet for a spin in your vehicle, chances are that there are fleas inside it. So let us take a look at some important car cleaning tips to get rid of fleas in your car.
1. Start by eliminating fleas on your pet
Before you set out to clean your car, you must bathe your pet. Use a vet-approved flea shampoo and thoroughly bathe all your pets. Once dry, attach a flea/tick collar or use spot treatment medicine between the pet’s shoulder blades. This will kill remaining flea larvae and eggs. Remember: you will need to reapply the spot treatment after 3-4 weeks to continuously eliminate fleas.
2. De-clutter the vehicle
Clutter in the car is a friend of fleas just as it is the case in your home. Remove all items from the glove compartment, seats and floor including trash, food, paper, toys, etc. Discard all infested items. The items that you want to keep should be sealed inside Ziploc plastic bags. You can place these in the freezer as cold kills the eggs and larvae. In case the items cannot be refrigerated, keep the bags in the sun for a few days.
3. Remove all upholstery from the car
This includes seat covers, blankets, throws, pillows, floor mats, steering wheel covers and so on.
4. Wash upholstery and fabrics in hot water
In order to eliminate fleas from cars, wash all of the car fabrics in very hot water, some detergent or mild bleach solution. This will kill all the flea eggs and larvae.
5. Dry the items on highest dryer setting
Toss all the smaller, washed items from the car into the dryer. Tumble dry them on the highest heat they can withstand. Heat kills all the larvae and eggs as well as adult fleas. You can take the larger items to the Laundromat for washing and drying.
6. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder inside the car
You can buy food grade diatomaceous earth powder from health stores or pet stores. Sprinkle it liberally inside the car and leave it on overnight. The powder is made from fossilized remains of sea creatures and its molecular structure is sharp and crystalline. It actually shreds the exoskeleton of the fleas upon contact. Sprinkle the powder all over the seats, seat belts, inside the boot, on the foot mats etc. After 8-10 hours, vacuum the car. This should eliminate 99% of the fleas in the car. You must treat your car again in 2 days in a similar manner. Make sure you discard contents of the vacuum bag to eliminate all the captured fleas and break their lifecycle.
7. Steam clean to get rid of fleas in your car
If you have a steam cleaner, then you can use it inside the vehicle. The high temperature of steam kills all adult fleas, their larvae and eggs, giving you a squeaky clean vehicle. You can also enlist the services of a professional car cleaner for this purpose.
8. Wipe down windows with glass cleaner
Using a strong glass cleaner, wipe down the glass windows. This will remove all bugs stuck to the glass and make it easier to see the road ahead. You can also use a rag to apply a paste of baking soda, water and vinegar to clean the glass, dashboard and other surfaces inside the vehicle.
9. Re-treat your car every 2-3 weeks
Fleas are capable of producing an entire generation within 21 days. So you may want to repeat all or some of the steps above to get rid of all the fleas in your car.
The only way to control fleas is to eliminate them, not only from your pets, but also their environment. If your dog has fleas, chances are that your car has them too, especially if your pet travels with you. Fleas don’t live on your dog all the time; they feed and then jump off. They love to camp in rugs, carpets, floor mats, seat covers, belts and gaps inside the seat covers. Always remember, the best way to exterminate these bugs is to terminate their life cycle. I hope these cleaning tips help you keep unwanted passengers out of your car.