UPDATE: we thought we had the fleas under control when I posted on the 19th. We were wrong, walking from the shower to the bedroom yesterday morning I 'collected' several fleas on my legs!
At first skeptical but made hopeful by further Internet research, my husband hotfooted it down to ASDA (British WalMart) and brought home 20lbs of cooking salt (cost £3). We sprinkled a thick layer, worked it onto carpet and upholstery with a broom. We over bought on the salt, btw, it took less than 5lbs of salt to completely cover our aprx 700 sqft of carpet and upholstery.
WOW!!! The salt works, and works very quickly! We picked a couple of fleas off of our trouser legs after we'd spread it, threw the fleas into the salted carpet and watched them die. They hopped, shorter lengths and lower heights with every hop. Finally (within seconds) those fleas went over on their sides, writhed for another couple of seconds and then simply stopped moving. Dead as doornails.
We left the salt down and this morning walked all through the house in short trousers-not one single flea.
We'll leave it down until tomorrow and then vacuum it up. We'll also repeat once a week until freezing winter hits. My husband is seriously considering going under the house and salting the crawl space to keep the fleas from congregating under the house to await our going lax with the salting (which isn't going to happen, salting the carpet and upholstery just became a regular part of my housekeeping routine).
Stefanilynn deserves a HUGE prize for tipping the Thrifty Fun community to this, it really does work, we're shocked. Salt is so much safer and so much less expensive than commercial pesticides, I am truly grateful to her for posting her reply to Fatima's question.
Don't forget to treat under the couch cushions and the under side of all your furniture! They hide in all the places your loose change goes! :>) Good luck, they are tough little bugs.
A few tears ago we bought a house only to discover a couple of weeks later that it had a really bad flea problem. I got some Naptha flakes (moth balls are made from this stuff), spread it all over everything and left it for 3 days while we went away for a long weekend. I vacuumed it all up and washed all the clothing, bed linens, and everything else washable, in hot water. I did this again about a week later to get the unhatched fleas. We have not had any fleas since, and I am a foster parent to 9 cats.
I'd sprinkle salt, but leave it on for longer than a day before vacuuming it up. I also put about an inch of oil into a jar, walk around the room first thing in the morning (the fleas are hungry), pick them off of me, and put them in the jar where they drown in the oil. Do this several times during the day. You'll be surprised at how many you find. After a few weeks, they'll be gone. Unfortunately, you don't need pets to get fleas; they will often come in on you.
We do have a pet (indoor only cat) but never had fleas until this past extremely wet spring and summer (we live in northern-central Scotland). We think the little blighters are coming in from outside via the crawl space and up through the floorboards.
With your little one, you can't use chemicals; do you have an Avon lady? Ever heard of Skin-So-Soft?
We're finding that we can keep the fleas off us by applying it to us and the cat daily, and out of the bed and furniture by spraying a fine mist of it on the mattress, pillows, feather bed, sheets, duvet cover. Skin-So-Soft comes with a sprayer, and really works. It keeps all kinds of pesty bugs off including midges, the scourge of Scotland, lol!
I mop all of our hard floors with bleach water, vacuum the carpets and upholstered furniture every single day, and change the bed linens twice a week. If you don't have much of an infestation yet, that might be enough to knock the fleas completely out, but you do have to remember to mop and vacuum every single day with no exceptions.
That seemed to be helping us rather well, but then it rained for a solid month and the fleas seemed to be swarming in so fast we couldn't keep up. So we took the cat to the vet overnight, and spread permethrin crystals (got it from the vet, it's a little pricey at £6 a 400g canister but one canister does a lounge/living room size including furniture). We left the crystals down overnight (we stayed with friends) then vacuumed thoroughly the next day on our return.
So far we seem to have to beat off the fleas, but I am also still mopping and vacuuming every day.
Good luck, I hope you beat them! We have used the bowl of water (it works but it can't get them all), and will be trying the salt tip too. Salt isn't very expensive here, and it sounds like a great idea!
Good tip. Also, put a pie tin or shallow dish under a night light. Fill with water and a little dish washing liquid. The fleas will flock to the heat, and the liquid breaks the surface adhesion to the water and they drown. Same goes for gnats or fruit flies, but it's in a cup with apple cider vinegar. Both work really well.
Sprinkle your carpet with table salt and let it sit overnight. Then in the morning vacuum it up. Repeat everyday for a week. The salt dries out the eggs and larvae. Good luck! It worked for me
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