I am at my wits end with fleas in my home. This has never happened to us before. I've successfully treated my pets for fleas in the past. But this is the first time it has gotten to the point in which we are miserable! Our ankles and feet are bitten and itch terribly. This started about two months ago. We hated getting Frontline for the two cats, who are indoors and never go outside, because we try to go green if we can, but did treat them with Frontline in August and September. They are doing fine and don't scratch. One of the cats in February had fleas and we bathed him with a "green" flea treatment, which seemed to work pretty well for the next several months. Now this. We have wiped down all walls and surfaces, everything you can think of. We washed all the linens and vacuum the carpets eveyr day. Still, we're getting bitten badly. I have only seen one in the bed area, which surprised me because the bedrooms are the most sterile in the house. I am constantly looking for them with a magnifying glass and a flashlight, but just don't seem them. We have not yet used a flea bomb, but we are toying with the idea. I am trying to avoid any pesticides-insecticides in the house because we have a load of cancer on both sides of the family and we don't even spray for weeds. We have spent hundreds of dollars on "green" alternatives, but they don't seem to work. Could the fleas be coming from the outside? Our neighbor is a hoarder. Her house has been infested with fleas since the spring. Three of her 11 cats, which live indoors, died as a result. I can't believe this would be affecting my home. We also had a rat problem in June and July, and had to put out rat baits. Hated doing that, too, but all greener alternatives just didn't work. We are finally rat free, but I guess the fleas could have come from them. Just don't know. We were supposed to go away on vacation this week, but we decided to stay at home and clean the house through and through to try and get this problem under control. I am going to my TT'ers for advice, since you guys have given me some valuable advice in the past. If anyone has any thoughts on how to get rid of these awful pests, I would be very grateful. Thanks so much in advance!!!!!!
Comments ... #
Time to temporarily put aside your green principles and call in the pros. You need some expert, professional treatment for your home. While your neighbor's home is certainly contributing to your problem, the fleas are laying eggs somewhere in your home - likely the carpet and the pros have what is needed to treat that issue.
Now for the outside - those same pros should be able to lay down a barrier around your home's exterior also. As part of our annual lawn maintenance program, Blanchard treats our lawn for fleas and ticks and lays down a perimiter pest control three times a year. We have no flea issues and see virtually nothing but dead bugs outside.
No real need for professionals. I have three dogs and three cats. The cats are strictly indoor animals. The dogs go in and out as necessary and of course come into contact with fleas outside. The dogs are treated with Trifexis monthly. The cats get Revolution monthly. We have no fleas whatsoever.
In your case, with no dogs, but with a severe carpet infestation you need to do two things. Get Revolution from your vet for the cats. They will dispense without an appointment if your cats are up to date on their vaccinations. The cats will be flea free in a matter of hours. For the carpet, furniture and cat bedding treat with Virbac KNOCKOUT E.S., a spray. This will kill all fleas and prevent reinfestation for seven months. The spray prevents the eggs from hatching. The eggs are impossible to completely eliminate by just vacuuming etc. The spray is available from Vets only. Wash any washable cat bedding. You'll be flea free in just a matter of an hour or two.
Yes, the fleas are coming from the outside. Yes, you should treat your cats monthly with a flea preventative. No, you wont have to use an indoor spray every seven months IF you treat the cats monthly. You will need to use it just once to end the carpet/furniture infestation.
There is no lasting effective green treatment. None.
As to yard treatments for fleas they are effective on fleas in the lawn if done every three months from spring thaw to winter freeze. However they will not catch anything hitch hiking on clothes or shoes brought in by yourselves or guests from other untreated places. If you have a garden or flower beds they also must be treated. I do recommend yard treatments if you have any adjacent wooded areas to combat ticks. Otherwise, save your money if fleas are your only problem.
Fleas spend 80% ot their time off the animal. Until you kill the majority that are living in your house you will never get rid of them. Bug bomb your house, wash all your bedding, then do it all over again in a couple of weeks or you will never get rid of them.
you may want to consider calling the city on your neighbor. sounds like an awful person to live next to.
There is no lasting effective green treatment. None.
Exactly. Because if there were, we'd all be growing some sort of fleatrap bush in our yards and that would be that.
Holland is quite correct here, although I'd skip the yard treatments because I tend to let the outdoor environment take care of itself. But that's just me.
I stumbled across Holland's method by accident - I hadn't been drinking that day, and I was on my way to the liquor store when... never mind. All joking aside, she's accurate with this. The only time to summon professionals about a flea infestation is if you've gone through the procedure Holland describes, indoors and out, and you can't get rid of them. I've never seen this, but I suppose it could happen.
Piggybacking on Holland's excellent advice: my only addition is to recommend getting Capstar, which is a fast-acting medication that kills every flea that bites a dog or cat who has been treated. You can actually see the dead fleas falling off your pet after a Capstar treatment. Then follow up with a quality preventative like Revolution to protect your pets.
As for the neighbors: screw 'em. Even if you made them see the light, chances are your dog or cat will eventually come into contact with another flea-bitten varmint. Regular use of a preventative will give you peace of mind.
I am not a fan of the bug-bombing. The idea is to make your pets unpalatable to fleas, not to turn your house into a toxic waste dump. There are billions of fleas on the planet, and it is much more realistic to protect pets than it is to try and create a flea-free zone.
How about diatomaceous earth? I have heard good things about it for crawling insects, and it is completely safe.
Keep in mind that vacuuming up the fleas doesn't kill them. If your sweeper uses bags, you'll need to use a fresh bag every time you vacuum, and immediately bag that up in a plastic bag and move it to the outside trash. Otherwise, your sweeper bag just becomes a flea brothel.
I do believe that is the first time I've seen the expression "flea brothel" used. :)
Perfect phrase to describe it though.
I can help offer a preventative treatment for next year. Next spring purchase something called nematodes. I believe you can buy this at a garden center on Alexis. That is where my friend purchased it for her garden, if you want the name of the store I can get it for you. But anyways, when it is sprayed on the lawn the larva eat the flea eggs.
I hope your able to get rid of these pest. The problem we had this year wasn't fleas but ants.
Thanks for everyone's advice! I finally broke down and got a can of flea spray today at my vet's. We used Frontline on the cats in August, but that wasn't as effective as I remember it being in the past, for some reason. It lasted about three weeks. For September, we gave them Revolution. That was very effective and does a much better job. Couldn't give them Advantage because one of the cats had a reaction to it a few years ago (excessive salivation through the night).
Should you decide to treat the carpeted areas of your house remember that fleas only move to the high traffic areas of a room when they're looking for a meal. Everything else is done under your furniture and around the perimeter of the room. Most people when treating the premises concentrate their efforts exactly opposite and wonder why the products don't work. Flea bombs may not be as effective as a spray because you cannot control where the insecticide goes. Bombs work well in the high traffic areas and sprays applied by hand around the perimeter and under the furniture.
Many of those spot on treatments will only work after the flea bites the pet. If you have a heavy infestation in your house that's a lot of bites that your pet needs to endure before things get under control.
Since you have cat's it won't work but we used pyrethrin, which uses extracts from the Chrysanthemum plant and is safe to use around animals except cat's and fish. It attacks the nervous system of insects and kills them.
The point of the particular brand of spray I mentioned was its ability to prevent and kill the flea eggs from hatching in the future. You can get a quick kill of live fleas, but those little buggers have left behind a load of eggs in the carpet and in the upholstered furniture. The spray leaves a residual which will prevent the eggs from hatching into live fleas. I'm going to presume your Vet gave you the best product for your situation.
I forgot to mention that you should treat your carpet sweeper bag as well. There are eggs in there and they will hatch. I hope by today you're all much more comfortable and not being all bitten up.
Although it's been a while since I've been in the pet industry, it's good to hear that they've developed a product that can prevent flea eggs from hatching. Previous premise controls used to consist of an insecticide to knock down the adult population and an IGR (insect growth regulator) to prevent hatched fleas from moving through their life cycle to mature into the adult and biting flea. There was nothing available to prevent the eggs from hatching.
The favorite IGR used control the flea life cycle back "in the day" was pyriproxyfen. It worked exceptionally well once they addressed the issue of rapid breakdown once the product was exposed to light.
lfrost2125: pyrethrins are still used extensively in premise sprays and foggers. I think it's more of a matter with the level of concentration.
As with all sprays be sure that should you own any avians that you remove them for several days after you've treated your home. Their respiratory systems are much more efficient than a mammals and their smaller body mass allows for more rapid concentration of toxins.
Regarding nematodes for control of soil organisms: Nematodes only stay alive as long as the soil is moist. If you have sandy soil that dries out the nematodes die. They actually live in the microscopic water film between soil particles. No water film, no nematodes.
We were overun as well. I recently moved in with the soon to be Mrs. Solleks. I brought a dog and she has two cats. I used frontline on the pooch and never had an issue. She used another brand for the cats and also never had issues. About two months ago, the war started. We started with baths and flea collars in addition to the monthly topicals. The problem only got worse. As much as it pains me to say, the house and the pets were teeming with fleas. Ugh!
We essentially moved over the course of a week. We washed every floor, wall, counter and cabinet. Everything that was fabric and portable was boxed or bagged up for the laundromat. Every drawer, cabinet, closet or cubby was opened. We sprayed every fabric item that could not be moved, top to bottom, side to side and underneath. Then we bombed the place to hell and back. Based on the packaging, each fogger covers approximately 2000 square feet. Our house is about 2000sf, we used enough for 48,000. Really. A can or two in every room and the garage. The kids were in school and we stayed away for the day and let it air out the next. We took the pets and had them shaved down and bathed with flea shampoo. We washed every piece of fabric that we could at a laundromat. We finally picked the kids back up and went home. The pets got new topicals, capstar doses and new flea collars.
We spread an organic treatment (diatomaceous earth - fossil shell flour) on the lawn. We covered the entire property, enough so that it looked like snow.
It took a few days, but we seem to finally be winning. As spelled out on the cans, it took some time for the kill off to be complete. The fleas that we did see following the bombing were clearly dying. It's been about two weeks and we havent seen a live flea in several days. Worth noting is that we got the new topicals because our vet stated that the flea problems this year have been worse than they can ever remember. Additionally, they mentioned that Frontline seems to be not as effective as it has been in the past.
Do I want to live, eat and sleep in a house full of pesticide residue? Absolutely not. But at this point, I'll take my newly sprouted tail and sixth digit on each hand rather than watch fleas play frogger on my ankles. Good luck on your battle.
When this happened to my mom, we did what Holland did as well. The only other thing I can add is cut up a flea collar and place a few pieces into your sweeper bag. That seemed to help as well.