We have had a flea infestation ever since a friend visited the house and sat on the carpet. We believe he brought them from either his cat or dog. We are looking for ways to get the fleas off of us. We know that the environment must be treated (and are currently working on it), but we are having troubles finding relief from the biting and disruptive nights. Any information on human treatment and environment treatment would be very helpful!
My oldest stepson did the same thing to us! His water and gas was shut off so he come over our house to bathe and cook. And boy oh boy, did we ever get infested. I know he carried them over on his person because I would see them jumping off him! I tried Avon Skin So Soft oil, it cooled the skin off, but didn't really take away the itch, I took garlic caps, Benadryl caps, anti-itch cream (Benadryl in cream form), I showered in room temp water (luke warm to cool) instead of hot water (the heat makes them itch more).
It's been about 10 yrs ago when that happened to us and if I remember correctly I think the Benadryl cream worked the best. The garlic helped DH, but didn't do a thing for me. The Skin So Soft helped the youngest stepson who lived with us, but didn't help myself or DH (other than to cool off the bite). I think it just all depends on the person's chemical make-up in what will help and what won't. I've also heard of people using calamine lotion, preparation H, honey, and apple cider vinegar (all separately, not together, LOL).
Using the vinegar you can either dab it on with a cotton ball or dilute a cup of it in half a tub of water and bath in it. It did help a little, but didn't last for long. And no you won't walk around stinking like vinegar. The smell evaporates quickly. As for the home environment. I used Sevin dust first and when that didn't work I bought some other kind of powder (can't recall what it was though). It kind of helped some, but we were still having problems so I boarded the 2 birds at a pet store for a few weeks and bombed the heck out of the house.
That seemed to take care of the problem. Any time you vacuum after having a bug problem, if you have a bagged system, you want to make sure you throw out the bag every time you vacuum. Plus it's a good idea to bomb twice. We only did it the one time and less than a month later we were back with the same problem, infestation. They're like rabbits they are! They multiply a lot and they multiply fast. I think every 10 days a new batch hatches. So we bombed again, it got rid of them and then just to be sure, we waited 10 days and bombed again. Wah lah, fleas gone! (11/04/2008)
We've had this problem in the past and I can help. Both my youngest son and I are extremely allergic to the little buggers so I had to come up with a nontoxic anti-bug formula for my (then) 10 year old son and me to use. So after doing a bit of research, I made up a bug repellent that has no chemicals in it that works:
In a 6 or 8 ounce bottle put in about an ounce of rubbing alcohol and to this add about half a bottle of citronella oil and about a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil then mix the oils well so they mix in with the alcohol. Add this essential oil and alcohol mixture to a 6 to 8 ounce bottle of non scented hand or body lotion and shake until it's all mixed up. Now just rub this lotion wherever the fleas like to bite you, but never on your face.
You can buy these essential oils at most health food stores or online. Make sure they are pure "essential oil" and not "scents".
Yes, you will smell, but it does work! The secret ingredient is the eucalyptus oil. It gives the citronella oil a bit more of a "kick". You can put this on your legs and ankles to keep the fleas from jumping up on you. I did this for my son when he was 10 years old and it really helped stop the fleas from biting him. But here's a bit of a warning. If you are going to take a bath or shower or go swimming, do "not" put this "bug lotion" on until at least half an hour after you've bathed or showered or gone swimming. I don't know why, but if you put it on right after your shower when your pores are open it can make your skin feel like it's burning. But as long as you haven't just gotten out of the shower or bath you'll have no problem. I would also not use this bug lotion on anyone under 3 years old because their skin is so tender.
Also when applying this to children, apply it to their legs first then wait about 15 minutes before applying it to other parts of the body. This will let you know if your child is sensitive to it or has allergies. One more important tip: NEVER put this bug lotion on your face!
One more thing that works for younger children and adults is pure soybean oil. This is hard to find. Sometimes you can find pure hydrogenated soybean oil next to the Crisco and shortening. I don't know why the fleas hate the soybean oil, but they do. Also, in a pinch you can also try using Vick's VapoRub (because it has eucalyptus oil in it) just rub a very thin coating on your ankles or where ever the fleas are biting you.
Sometimes I would also spray a coating of eucalyptus oil around the base of my bed to keep the fleas from jumping up while I was sleeping. If you can't find any eucalyptus spray you can make your own, just add a bit of eucalyptus essential oil to a well-marked spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and shake vigorously, then spray around the base of your furniture or bedding.
Another thing you can do is spray Listerine on you and your bedding and around the furniture you usually sit on and on to the base of your mattress before going to bed. Also look carefully at your bedding and brush off any fleas. I like to take the top sheets and blankets off then take them outside for a good shaking before getting into bed. Also, make sure that every time you hop into bed be sure to brush off your ankles and feet with your hands.
This way you won't carry them into your bedding and get bit all night long. The Listerine works great for mosquitoes, too. Just make sure it's the "amber" colored original one and not the orange or blue one. The Listerine also works because of the eucalyptus oil that's in it. It's not as strong as the above bug lotion, but you can also spray it on your pants legs or directly on your skin when you don't want to use the bug lotion or as an added precaution.
Please send me a note here on ThriftyFun and let me know how this works for you. Believe me I know how much of a bummer these nasty critters can be!
Here's the only sure way to get rid of fleas in the home:
If you have pets: Go to your vet and buy several months of Advantage flea liquid to apply to you pet's neck and while you're there buy enough flea carpet spray to totally cover your carpet. Do NOT buy a flea spray at Walmart etc. You need the kind that kills the flea's eggs, too. Buy this only from the vet. Otherwise, you will need to do this again in 2 weeks when the flea eggs hatch and probably again in another 2 weeks, for the stubborn ones. Ask your vet, "Does this spray kill the eggs too?".
Here's the deal:
This may sound like the ultimate Toxic Adventure. And it is, but believe me, it's the only sure way to get rid of fleas once and for all.
Do NOT use a flea fogger. These foggers, fog everywhere. If you use a fogger, you will need to put your toothbrushes in your fridge. Do this if your are spraying near the bathroom, anyway. And, with a fogger, you'd have to take all boxed food outside and place your dishes and pots and pans in the oven or lock them in your car outside. (not a bad idea, anyway) Remember, the foggers fog "everything". Your opened boxes of cereal, etc., will be totally toxic after fogging, so don't use a fogger. Plus, with a fogger, you'd have to do this all over again in 2 weeks when the flea eggs hatch. Only buy the spray from the vet that kills the fleas and their eggs, too.
Nontoxic Flea Powder:
Mix equal parts of: baking soda, borax, and salt. Mix together well, then put in a shaker container (like for Parmesan cheese). Sprinkle this mixture everywhere, all over your carpets, and wood floors, and furniture. Next sweep it into the rug, wood floor cracks and upholstery as deeply as you can. Leave this on the floors and carpets for 2 or 3 weeks then vacuum it up (with a flea collar inside your vacuum). Then do the same thing again.
You'll have to do this 2 times for sure and possibly 3 times. This formula works because the borax and salts dehydrate the fleas and their shells, which kills them. It's not the best thing for carpets because it the salts are slightly abrasive and can make the carpets wear out faster.
If you live in a very humid area like Florida and don't have air conditioning, then the salt can attract and absorb moisture from the air, so if you live in a humid climate without air-conditioning just use the borax all by itself. It's not nearly as effective, but it's an option. Don't worry if you have air-conditioning because it gets rid of excess humidity.
They sell this very same formula at most vets, but you'll have to pay a pretty penny for it. The salt and baking soda are usually sold 2 or 3 for $1 at most dollar stores. The borax can be hard to find. They don't sell it at my Walmart, but I've found it at several grocery stores in the laundry isle. It's called: "20 mule Team Borax" and it's sold as a laundry additive. (11/04/2008)
Mycodex Plus environmental control aerosol household spray, I got it from the vet, around $20. I would of paid $100. It worked like a charm kills everything up to 210 days eggs everything!
Vacuum well. I took the whole vacuum outside treated all the animals with the vet kind of 3 month treatment and viola gone. Thank God they eat me alive. The only thing that kills the itch for me was Stingeze. Good luck. I also washed everything in hot water. (11/04/2008)
I put a small bowl of Dawn blue dish washing liquid under a night light. I also sprayed the furniture and carpet with a mixture of Dawn and water. (11/06/2008)
You can buy Sevin dust (it comes in different strengths) and lightly dust the carpet. Any plastic bottle (like Maxell House or Folgers Instant Coffee jars) with a plastic lid (drill a few holes in top) works great to lightly sprinkle.
Another thing is a dinner plate with dishwashing liquid and water with a tealight candle in center in room you think you have them in. They go to the light and drown. Course the room has to have lights off.
We have cats and dogs and have used this on several occasions with great success. (11/06/2008)
I forgot to mention use Avon's Skin So Soft bath oil in your bath or maybe put it in a spray bottle and spray it on your legs, maybe dilute it if it is too oily. If it is bad use anti mosquito spray on your legs and body and spray the mattress with it under the sheets and all the furniture.
By Robyn Fed
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