Home Infested With Fleas

I work for a lady who had cats inside, the cats are gone but the fleas stayed! What can we use inside to get rid of them? We've sprinkled bags of sevens dust in every room, it's help very little. it's very bad, she's bitten several hundred times a day, I'm bitten about a 100 times everyday while I'm there. What do we need to do? We are willing to try anything that's not poisonous because it is inside and she doesn't get out.

Thanks for any help.
Chas from WV

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What's worked here for over 30 years is sprinkling Sevin Dust onto the carpet, floors, behind things, etc. Research literature indicates it's not harmful to cats and dogs or people, however i'd keep small children away from it. So, let the Sevin Dust remain on your carpet 'n floors for a day or more then sweep and/or vacuum. You might have to retreat the area w/in two weeks, like others have indicated, to kill the second generation hatched in your home. When there's a bad infestation, i'll sprinkle Sevin Dust into my pets' coats; if it's not been shaken off by the pet's normal activities the S.D. will be removed in a day or so. Dawn detergent is dandy for killing fleas; that's been used here for 20 years.

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I understand the cats are gone.. so the suggestions about what to wash them with and comb them with...will not help!!

.my friend had this problem several years ago, when during construction by their home evidently a large flea infestation was uncovered..they actually had to move out of the house for 6 weeks, they had an exterminator and followed those instructions about vacumming...they would come back and vacuum.

I am afraid that this is something you may have to do...as you simply CAN NOT continue to be bitten. Follow all the directions of the large email above , but also, get out of there until this is resolved. Good luck.

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Borax! Sprinkle borax on all furniture, sweep into the carpets, put in all corners. Vacuum it up after an hour or two but some will stay behind to keep killing them at the base of the carpets. It continues to kill the eggs and is much safer than insecticides. I agree that you need to continue vacuuming. If this does not take care of the fleas, do it again. If you are getting that many bites, there must be a bunch of them and with no animals left, the humans are the targets. You can also mix the borax with table salt as it works, too.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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If you go to Walmart or you local pet store. There is a spray the brand is Adams in a blue bottle. It works great you can spray this on you furniture,carpet anything it works great.


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I haven't tried these, but I've heard of both of these. One is to put mothballs into your vacuum bag so when you vacuum, the fleas get sucked in with the mothballs. It's supposed to kill them. Another thing I've heard of is spraying pennyroyal oil on your carpets. (I belive health food stores would have this).

Editor's Note: With all the complaints we've had on this site about trying to get rid of mothball smells, I don't know that I'd recommend this. : )

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Hello, All the posts are good ones. And yes continuously getting bitten is not healthy besides being nerve wracking. Is there carpeting in the house? I have had flea problems in the past but always got rid of them. I always used a heavy application of salt on the carpeting and letting it sit and then vacumming. Get rid of the vacuum contents immediately. Also wash down everything in that house with a strong vinegar solution. If the person can get out for a while an exterminator might not be a bad idea though I hate the thought of chemicals myself. Salt is cheap as is vinegar. Nothing to lose by trying.

Good luck to you!!

Have a great Labor day weekend all

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I agree with Ann. I didn't even use the salt, just the nightlight 24/7 & a bowl of water.BOOM NO MORE FLEAS. GOOD LUCK.


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If you put a flat dish of warm water and a drop of dawn dish detergent in each room the fleas will get in and die. PLUS vacuum and after you are done put the vacuum bag in a zip lock bag and freeze over night. This saves a lot of money on a new vacuum bag every day. You must vacuum all areas of the house and around base boards and furniture. The fleas will be gone in no time and no chemicals needed.

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I had a cat, went on holiday and left it with a friend. Came back after a week. I sold the cat due to health reasons. I found out the friend I left it with her cat had fleas. Now my home is infected with fleas all over. My sofa is the worst. I took of the covers and washed them and my home is all tiled so I washed the floor by throwing lots of buckets of water down and with the broom, I took all the water to my balcony and the water all fell down. This helped but still am finding some here and there. It is embarrassing when people come to visit. What should I do?

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Washing with original dawn dish washing soap will get rid of fleas. Also after washing and drying completely dust lightly with seven dust. Treat the outside of the house with seven dust. Sprinkle the yard and areas that the pets use.

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I just want to tell a few things that happened to me. Hopefully it can help someone else. I went undiagnosed for so long I was infested with fleas. I know what a flea looks like, but we never saw the actual adult flea. The doctor said, "You can't carry fleas around on you." Wrong! I was the host because we kicked the cat out and treated her.

We had no idea that my problem was fleas. This is what you should do: treat the cat and let her back inside! The fleas prefer the cat but will take the human as the host if there is no cat! After the cat is treated, the fleas will go to it to feed but will die because the cat has been treated.

I bathed with the Dawn soap too. It worked well. Use Tree oil after bath. It has antiseptic properties. Make sure it is 100% Tea Tree oil. The fleas don't like it. We bug-bombed the house. Then used Diatomateous earth (DE), the kind that is pet safe, is good for spreading all over the carpet. You can buy it at a feed store, Lowes, or Ace Hardware. First vacuum. That stirs up the eggs to hatch. Then sprinkle the DE on the carpet, especially the places where the cat would have walked, slept, etc. Leave on. Vacuum the next day. Repeat.

Everyday vacuum to make sure you get all the eggs. Make sure you do the yard with the DE as well. I suffered so long because of doctors telling me I did not have bugs that by the time I figured the whole thing out for myself, I was really infested. Hope some of this can help you.

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My house is INFESTED with fleas and we are getting eatin alive I have a 4 year old nephew who is biten the worse. Every one seems to say the carpets make it harder and my whole house is carpet accept for 1 room and the picking up all furniture thing is going to be hard because everyone has a full time job so I need something that will kill them fast. Also we tryed sprays and foggers and nothing seems to work. Please help

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I have a flea problem in my house and this is it's fifth year. Strangely, I can go for six weeks plus without being bitten and then for a month I am eaten alive.

Both my toy poodles are treated with Frontline, which appears to protect them but I get bitten.

I am in England where the flea problem is possibly not quite as bad (or maybe we are too posh to admit it heh, heh).

I don't believe that Diamotaceous earth is readily available here so shall try the Borax treatment,incidentally,the use of salt has been mentioned but doesn't this attract moisture and become soggy?

Anyway friends, I am going quietly bonkers with my problem, appreciate any advice.

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All the information here is really consistent, wonderful to learn all of it.

I have a dog who is very allergic to fleas, he is a miniature schnauzer and he can not take fleas. He get sick, but he get them out side at the yard, and now spring, Florida warm up fast. We are working on getting the house in shape without fleas, but they are around.

Our dog suffers too much. We tried every thing you can imagine from traditional to alternative, natural, etc. Now he is 13 years old, and we learn a lot to help him, but the problem still bothers him. Reading all the wise ideas people give to each other here I tough don't will be too much to learn a bit more, my question is: When the dog start to show itch and scratch it self too much, besides the regular measures we do, I like to learn if there are some essential oil, or herb, or any thing natural, vinegar maybe, that can calm the itching, , just help him right the way.

I am feeling completely useless as the dog suffering and have to wait for vet appointment , etc.

And thanks a lot for all I already learned here.

Warm regards!


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We have used Borax on the carpets in a house that we were working on and we just went through the whole house and sprinkled it on the carpets and scuffed it in with our feet and left for the day and went back the next day and there were no more fleas. So Borax definitely works, as the man that owned the house was constantly putting out bomb cans but it wasn't getting rid of the fleas. The house was infested with them, it is going on 3 weeks now and still no fleas and I have heard that you could also sprinkle this on your furniture. I have never tried in on the furniture though.

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My cat has recently been infested with fleas, and so has my house. We have tried everything, from frontline to fogging the house, and we still have them. I do not have the slightest idea of what to do with them. It is disrupting our sleep, and is not hygienic. How do you propose we get rid of these disgusting blood sucking insects?



Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

Hope this helps...

by Mike Potter, Extension Entomologist

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Ridding a home of fleas can be a frustrating and costly endeavor. Unlike some pests encountered around the home, fleas cause discomfort and irritation to both pets and people. Fleas account for more than half of all dermatological conditions requiring veterinary assistance, and even a single flea bite to a hypersensitive animal or person may cause intense itching and irritation.

For successful flea control, the home, pet and oftentimes, the yard must be treated. Yet the manner in which these treatments are performed can greatly influence the results. The following information will help frustrated pet owners effectively rid their homes and pets of fleas. Essential Facts About Fleas

Adult fleas (the biting stage seen by pet owners) spend most of their time on the animal, not in the carpet. This is why treatment of the pet in conjunction with the pet's environment is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas.

Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.

After hatching, flea eggs develop into tiny, worm-like larvae. Larvae remain hidden deep in carpet fibers, beneath furniture cushions and in other protected areas. The larvae feed mainly on adult flea feces (dried blood) which accumulates, along with the eggs, in pet resting and activity areas.

Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated. Treatment of Premises

If you neglect to treat the pet's environment (the premises), you will miss more than 90% of the developing flea population -- the eggs, larvae and pupae. If the pet spends time indoors, the interior of the home should also be treated. Before treatment, the pet owner should:

1. Remove all toys, clothing, and stored items from floors, under beds, and in closets. This step is essential so that all areas will be accessible for treatment.

2. Remove pet food and water dishes, cover fish tanks, and disconnect their aerators.

3. Wash, dry-clean or destroy all pet bedding.

4. Vacuum! -- vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home. Vacuuming also stimulates pre-adult fleas to emerge sooner from their insecticide-resistant cocoons, thus hastening their contact with insecticide residues in the carpet. By raising the nap of the carpet, vacuuming improves the insecticide's penetration down to the base of the carpet fibers where the developing fleas live. Vacuum thoroughly, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep. Don't forget to vacuum along edges of rooms and beneath furniture, cushions, beds, and throw rugs. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag in a garbage bag and discard it in an outdoor trash container.

Insecticide Application - Once fleas become established in a home, insecticides are almost always needed to control them. Always read and follow label directions on the insecticide container. Other than the person performing the application, people and pets should be out of the house during treatment. People and pets should also remain off treated surfaces until the spray has dried. This may take several hours, depending on carpet type, ventilation and method of application. Opening windows and running the fan or air conditioner after treatment will enhance drying and minimize odor.

Many different products are available for home treatment. The most effective formulations contain both an adulticide (e.g., permethrin) effective against the biting adult stage, and an insect growth regulator (methoprene or pyriproxyfen), necessary to provide long-term suppression of the eggs, larvae and pupae. Pet owners will need to carefully read the active ingredients panel on the product label to determine if these ingredients are present. Examples include Raid Flea Killer Plus(R), Siphotrol Plus(R), , Bio Flea Halt(TM), and Fleatrol(R). Most homeowners will find aerosol formulations easier to apply than liquids. Moreover, aerosol products which can be dispensed by hand -- and thus directed under and behind beds, furniture, etc. -- tend to be more effective than foggers or bug bombs which are indiscriminately set off in the center of a room. It is essential that the application be thorough and include all likely areas of flea development. Carpets, throw rugs, under and behind beds and furniture, and beneath cushions on which pets sleep should all be treated. Pay particular attention to areas where pets spend time or sleep, as these will be the areas where most flea eggs, larvae and pupae will be concentrated. For example, if the family cat sleeps within a closet, or hides under the bed, these areas must be treated or the problem will continue. Hardwood and tile floors generally do not require treatment, but should be thoroughly vacuumed.

Expect to see some fleas for 2 weeks or longer following treatment. Provided all infested areas were treated initially, these "survivors" are probably newly emerged adults which have not yet succumbed to the insecticide. Instead of retreating the premises immediately, continue to vacuum. As noted earlier, vacuuming stimulates the insecticide-resistant pupae to hatch, bringing the newly emerged adults into contact with the insecticide sooner. Flea traps, such as those utilizing a light and glue board to attract and capture adult fleas, can be helpful but will not eliminate a flea infestation unless used in combination with other methods. If adult fleas continue to be seen beyond 2-4 weeks, retreatment of the premises (and pet) may be necessary.

Treatment of Pet

It is important that the pet be treated in conjunction with the premises, preferably on the same day. Adult fleas spend virtually their entire life on the animal -- not in the carpet. Untreated pets will continue to be bothered by fleas. They may also transport fleas in from outdoors, eventually overcoming the effectiveness of the insecticide applied inside the home.

Pets can be treated either by a veterinarian or the pet owner. A variety of on-animal formulations are available that may be prescribed by veterinarians. Many provide only short-term relief against biting adults (a few hours to a few weeks); however, two new veterinarian-supplied products, Advantage and Frontline, control adult fleas on pets for 1 and 3 months, respectively. Some products also contain an insect growth regulator (IGR) to prevent eggs from hatching as they are laid on the animal (e.g., Raid Flea Killer Plus, Ovitrol Plus(R), Bio Spot(TM)). Convenient, long-term prevention of egg hatch can be accomplished either with the Ovitrol(R) Flea Egg Collar, or Program(R), administered orally to pets as a tablet. (See ENTFACT 628 - A Smarter Approach To Flea Control). Both of these products are available through veterinarians.

Pet owners should always read the product label. Certain products can be used only on dogs, and some list specific treatment procedures for puppies and kittens. Do not treat pets with the same products used to treat carpeting or the yard. As previously mentioned, it is important that pets be kept off treated carpets and surfaces until the spray has completely dried.

To re-cap, "de-fleaing" the pet is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas. However, pet owners must also treat the pet's environment, the home. Having your pet dipped will not, in itself, eliminate fleas in an infested home. Treatment of Yard

Most flea problems in Kentucky can be eliminated by treating the pet and the interior of the home. In cases where pets spend most of their time outdoors, it may also be necessary to treat the yard. One way to determine if the yard is infested is to walk around the property wearing white athletic socks, pulled to the knee. If fleas are present, they will be seen against the white background of the socks.

Outdoor flea treatment should focus on areas where pets rest, sleep, and run, such as doghouse and kennel areas, under decks, along fences and next to the foundation. It is seldom necessary to treat the entire yard or open areas exposed to full sun. Insecticide formulations containing chlorpyrifos (Dursban) or permethrin are somewhat effective for outdoor flea treatment. These can be applied with a hose-end or pump-up sprayer. Long term suppression of fleas infesting kennels or outdoor areas can be enhanced with formulations containing an IGR such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

Fleas can be successfully controlled by diligently following the steps outlined above. Homeowners who lack the time to control fleas themselves or who are uncomfortable applying pesticides may wish to enlist the services of a professional pest control firm.

Where trade names are used, no endorsement is intended, nor criticism implied of similar products not named.

Issued: 2/93
Revised: 11/97

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.


By Joe

Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

At the beginning of this year we acquired a house that had sat mostly vacant for over half a year. The flea problem was intense to say the least. Thank goodness we became aware of them *before* we moved anything into the house.

Since neither we nor the previous owners ever owned a pet, we couldn't figure out where the fleas were coming from.

We had Terminex come out and treat for fleas ... and the fleas just laughed. it made virtually no difference. We followed their direction of vaccuuming every other day (house is entirely tiled so at least that was easy) and immediately tossing out the bag.

Terminex told us that if we still saw activity after 30 days it was a sign we had a severe problem and we'd need a re-treatment (no charge). Not only did we still have fleas after 30 days but after just two weeks it was clear we were losing the war ... the fleas problem was worse.

We asked Terminex to come back out and they re-treated. The technician then

suggested the flea problem was probably due to some itinerant animal (feral cat, raccoon, possum, etc).

He was right, 11 racoons, and one possum later we quickly licked the flea problem. The treatment worked and we've been flea free ever since.

By the way, for all the wildlife that visited you might think we live out in the country. We don't. We're less than two minutes away from downtown Houston, TX in what is termed an Historic District. The house is up on blocks and is about 122 years old.

The raccoons would come underneath the house and crawl between the gaps created between the beam and the original flooring (now covered with tile). They would then go through the subflooring and spaces into the wall and climb up to the second floor.

In addition to the flea treatment we found it necessary to close up the gaps underneath the house and put latticework along all sides so no more animals could come visit.

With all the raccoons we had, it must have been quite a party.

Best of luck,


By Kathryn

Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

With kids in the house I would really try to stay away from chemicals. For your pet, add a capful of vinegar to their water. You can also add a small amount of garlic powder to canned food. Both of these make them unappealing to fleas. If you are able to wash the cat, wash it in DAWN dish detergent. As for the house, sprinkle all of your carpets with table salt and leave in all day, then vacuum. This dries out the fleas. Also set out a pie pan filled with water and a little dish soap. Set it under a lamp that you leave on overnight. The fleas seek out heat and will jump toward the bulb and drown in the water. Set these up around the house. Good luck - I've been there and it can be quite a job. Also realize you may have to repeat in a week or so when the eggs hatch. (09/12/2005)

By Ann

Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

My cat has a flea problem i read in a book that if you comb lavender oil through their coats it deters them away we also have a lavender plant in our back yard so i got some of the flowers and rubbed it along the cats fur, the fleas actually came out of the fur as the HATE the scent of the lavender and we were able to then comb them out. To make your own lavender oil pick the lavender flowers and put them in some olive oil and leave to soak for three days then just strain the lavender out. (09/15/2005)

By bb

Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

I was told that here in Southern California, fleas breed in wet ivy. So if you have ivy in your yard, you don't need pets to help you bring fleas into your home, they just ride along with you.

I like the story about "itinerant" animals, since here in historic Pasadena, we have them in our historic homes. Aren't they darling? That's where an friendly "mouser" comes in. They work for cat food, and they agree to be deflead themselves. (09/16/2005)

By the Oracle

Cat and Home Infested with Fleas

Wash the dog with Head and shoulders. Then I got a small spray bottle filled it with Vinegar and gave the dog a misting of Vinegar. Or you can use skin so soft (Avon). Also do the salt thing! (10/31/2005)

By jmstrittmater

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Home and Garden Pest Control FleasAugust 30, 2006
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