Fleas!


#1

I need help. I am living in place that has fleas. We don’t have pets but this is a vacation home for the owners (we are renting) and they have two big dogs. They had Terminix come in and spray and I have been vacuuming this two story carpeted house every day like I was told to do, but I am still finding those darn critters (I know it takes a while, but anyways)… and what drives me nuts is that I have found some on my little one year old. I read that when the pet leaves, fleas turn to bite humans. I looked online and read that lavender is a natural flea repellent so I went yesterday and bought lavender supplies and have been bathing my babies in lavender baby wash, then putting lavender lotion on them and using a lavender spray for touch ups. I have been washing the linen, spraying and vacuuming the furniture and killing the fleas every time I find one, if they don’t escape (they are hard to kill too!).
Anyone have any ideas/suggestions/experiences you can share? Anything would be welcome!


#2

If Terminex did not kill all eggs in the carpets then fleas will continue to hatch. When my folks had dogs they discovered that vinegar dissolves fleas. We brushed the dogs daily with a bristle brush dipped in apple cider vinegar and water. We steamed all of the carpets several times per year with a vinegar/water solution instead of just soap. After you shampoo your children’s hair give them a rinse with a (9 to 1 ratio) water to vinegar rinse. It will make their hair shiny and hopefully kill any stray critters without being toxic to humans (or animals).

It is really hard if the place is infested and completely carpeted. Also the yard will need treatment if they let the dogs in/out. Otherwise the fleas will jump on you or a pet outside and ride you back into the house.

If you have petroleum jelly handy you can use it to trap any flea that might jump on you and then dispose of the dab of jelly with the flea in a tissue down the toliet.


#3

I’m so sorry! We just had this problem in our house about a year ago! Once we got the fleas off of our cat, it took forever to get them out of the house.

The only thing that worked for us was to “bomb” the house, wait two weeks, and “bomb” again. It was a pain, but it worked.


#4

After trying many different things, we did this too, and it worked!

My neighbor brought fleas in from her yard (she would walk to my house w/ just socks on), and they got into my brand new carpet. You can buy the bombs at Wal Mart. The only thing is that you have to set it off, and leave for an entire day. But, to me it’s totally worth it! Good Luck getting rid of them…they are a pain in the rear:)


#5

Thanks for your ideas!

Let me add/clarify a few things that weren’t that clear in my original post. I also have a baby that is not 4 months old yet and I have found a few fleas on him (on average less than 1 per day) which upsets me greatly too. The 1 yr old, though, is the one I have found most on, and the 1 yr old has several bites too. I can’t stand it. I can deal with the nuisance of having fleas around me, but as soon as it affects my kids it drives me nuts.
Another thing. We will be leaving (hopefully) before Christmas (in about 3 weeks maybe).
Also, there are no animals in the house. The owners come here for vacation, but we are renting their house right now so they are not here (we don’t know them personally).
Also, the house is on a lake (with adds to humidity, I guess, and fleas like humidity).

I’m going to buy vinegar next time I go out and I have petroleum jelly, I will try that too.

A question about the bomb… Is it worth it for us to do it if we are leaving in a few weeks (is it a long term solution that does not have immediate effect?) or should I just suggest for the owner to do it once we are gone. Since we have two babies under two and are in a town I am not completely familiar with its not ideal to leave the house for all day, but I can do it if I need to (I had to stay away for 6+ hours when the Terminix guy came). How does it work in a 2 story house (several bombs)? Do you know how safe that is around babies (I guess I could check it out when I look at them at walmart).


#6

I know how upsetting this is for you. Our house was totally infested. We realized there was a problem when our cat suddenly wouldn’t stay down on the floor. We constantly found her sitting on counters, tables, everywhere she wasn’t supposed to be!

Our vet told us that she was avoiding the floor because there were fleas there. He also told us the only way to get rid of the infestation was to bomb the house…twice. The first time kills the adults, the second time will kills the newly hatched fleas to protect from re-infestation. The second time is really important, because we ended up having to bomb three times after skipping the second round the first time. ( little buggers came back!)

Those products are pretty toxic, but the poisons become inert rather quickly. And, again, our vet (actually our cat was so sick by the time we caught the problem, we had to see a few emergency vets and they all recommended the same thing) said it is vitally important to bomb the second time. It might be a good idea to bomb the day you leave for Christmas (my dad used to do this when we’d go on vacation), and maybe have a neighbor open the doors and windows for you to air the place out.

I think the boxes will explain everything for you. We stored all of our eating utensils in the dishwasher while we bombed, and then ran all of the cooking utensils through a high temp wash after.

Hope this helps some!


#7

what the last poster said, bombs are the only way

also put the kid’s bedding through the washer and remake their beds when you get home, open all the windows and air the house out.


#8

It’s been several years since I used the bomb, but I will try to answer based off of what I remember. :slight_smile: Since you are leaving for Christmas, it would be a good time for you to do it while you are gone. The instructions for the bombs will tell you how much square feet it will cover. My house is 1700 sq ft (one story), and I needed 3 bombs. I think I used Spectracide (it had 6 bombs all together)…I’m sorry it’s been a while, but I am almost certain that was the brand that I used. I used 3 for the first go round, and the other 3 for the second treatment. I also covered all of my furniture with sheets, and had to rewash all of my dishes in the dishwasher. Once you get home, you will have to let your house air out (I think for about 2 hours). The instructions to your bomb will tell you all that you need to know.

I had a 2 yr old and a baby at the time I used the bombs, and they were ok :wink: .


#9

First of all, thanks for listening (or reading :wink: ). I don’t have much experience with fleas, so I really appreciate all of your input.

I don’t mind setting the bomb thing off the day we leave for Xmas if the owners want me to, but when we leave for Christmas we will be leaving the house for good (handing over the keys). I’m just trying to figure out what to do these last few weeks to keep the fleas off my kids and to keep them from biting them. The problem is that usually when an infestation occurs there is an animal in the house (usually, not always) so the fleas attack the animal and not so much the kids. We don’t have a pet so they are attacking my 1 year old who is small so she is close to the ground and they seem to like her. I want to do what is best for the kids health wise, so if the bomb gets rid of them then great, but if it is something that won’t give much results until the 2nd treatment 2 weeks later then I am worried that the trouble and the risk (the chemicals etc that need to be washed off of everything) may not be worth it in our temporary situation. I will have to read up to see, but it is good to know that they work.

I do have one more question…
When we moved a couple of months ago we didn’t know how long we would be gone so I brought a decent amount of items (two babies growing). Now I am worried about bringing the infestation home with us in our stuff. Any ideas of how to avoid bringing the unwanted guests home with me? (As a side note, the other day when I went to buy a few things at the store I saw a speck on my daughter’s cheek, and lo and behold, to my horror, it was a flea, so I know they like to travel with us).


#10

I believe the heat from the dryer will kill fleas on clothing and bedding.

Best of luck!


#11

I went thru flea infestation years ago. When we began to use Frontline we never had the problem again! The fleas go to the cat, the fleas die, eggs and all.

Can you borrow a cat? Seriously, this seems the most reasonable and least toxic to baby choice!

If you can, be sure you can get Frontline for it because nothing else is near as thorough.

Another non-toxic thing we tried at the fleas-infestation time is a “flea trap”. It looks like a shallow plastic shoebox with a little overhead light illuminating a large flat bottom made up of basically flypaper. They leap on that, attracted to the light, and stick. Try pet stores or internet.


#12

Although the bombs are great and really the only permanent solution, try sprinkling the carpet in borax- that’s borax, not baking soda.
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Let it sit in the carpets for at least 4 hours, then vac.

Mop any floors with a solution of 1 part vinegar, 1 part borax, and 4 parts water. Wipe down surfaces, too.


#13

2 years ago we had a flea problem. We got a pie pan, put some water and a few drops of dish liquid in it. The you get a high intensity lamp, aim it at the water and at night have no other lights on. The fleas hop to the light. In a week or so our flea problem was done.
Kathy


#14

I second the Borax recommendation. And for the lawn, natural diatomaceous earth (don’t use the “pool” grade!), or more Borax (borate), or you can find nematodes (natural predators of fleas) at some garden stores.

Be sure you put some flea powder in your vacuum cleaner bag, to kill the fleas you do vacuum up…otherwise the exercise is pointless!

Fleas also dislike garlic - which works for us since we love garlic!

Try a “Google” search for more ideas - loads of info available on the internet. And with 8 sled dogs, we’re always looking for new ways to protect them (and us)…good luck!


#15

A Note on the Antiquity of Fleas
By Ogden Nash
[LEFT]
Adam
Had 'em.[/LEFT]

Fleas, like cockroaches, are a never-ending battle. Different kinds of fleas respond to different remedies. Thanks for a few new methods to try.


#16

We had a problem over the summer… our daughter has carpet in her room so she got bites on her. It was sad.

Our vet had us buy a spray and spray the house. He didn’t recommend the bombs.

We got our spray from 1800petmeds.com
We got the Zodiac Carpet & Upholstery For Flea & Tick Control 24oz Pump Spray

We bought 2 bottles not knowing how much we would need. Well I’ve only have used the one bottle and have only used about 2/3 a bottle. We have a 1000 square feet of living space, with only 2 rooms having wall to wall carpet…our daughter’s room and the living room. Our son’s room has an area rug we sprayed it along with all all of the couches, chairs etc. So we really only had about 200 square feet to cover

I also only needed to spray once…haven’t had a problem since I sprayed. The bottle said the stuff can PREVENT eggs from hatching up to 7 months.

So I plan on spraying every 6 months just to PREVENT another out break.

The plus about the spray is you only need to leave the treated area for 1 hour and you can do it room by room…so you don’t need to leave your whole house. (Which worked better for us, with kids and all)


#17

You can also cut up a flea collar for animals and put it in your vacuum bag (I don’t know if it works for canisters…I suppose you could try) to kill the fleas you vacuum up. Good luck, fleas are a nasty mess.


#18

YES! It is kind of like if you get nats/fruit flies. By leaving a bit of wine in a glass, say at the kitchen sink or wherever they are, they will go for the wine and drown themselves. :rotfl:Works wonders.

Also, if you will get anytype of citrus spray, we use Citrus Magic. You can find it at any drug store or discount store like Wally World or KMart. Anyway, bugs hate the citrus. Our sons were always camping out, and I always got bug bites, until I started using Citrus Magic on me when I went over to the camp.

Try spraying it across the carpet and the door thresholds and see what happens. Just a suggestion.


#19

I have to agree to the bomb. One now and tell the owners that they need to do the second one. Or call Terminix back, if they sprayed, it should have helped by now. Maybe they need to try again.

Another thing to do is to tell the owners. Since it is from their pets, they need to bomb where the pets are now.


#20

Ok… I talked with the realtor (daughter of owners), she pushed towards doing the bomb/fogger thing, so today I spent all day around town with the babies and they set the foggers in the house etc. I was just in the bathroom and found one alive and hopping and three groggy ones… Is it normal to find this after fogging a house?

BTW, mommyof02green, do they sell that spray in regular stores? I really don’t want to use any more chemicals here, but we’ll see what needs to be done. I bought some calamine lotion for the bites today:(

For the Borax people, is Borax very toxic? I am not really familiar with it.

I tried the water pan thing (forgot to put detergent) and caught about 30 in two pans, but I saw several of them crawl out so I bet I would have caught more if I would have put that in! I just used regular lamps and tin pie pans left over from TG (I knew it was a good idea to keep them just in case hehe).


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