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We rent our house under a lease. We were unaware of the problems cause by raccoons getting into the walls. The raccoon problem has finally been taken care of but we are now battling the problem of 'fleas'. We have Diatomeceous Earth, the kind that's also used for human consumption. I find the tips on this site very helpful, but I've not used the D.E. before. How would I go about treating the inside of the house, for how long and how often? We have no pets and neither do our neighbors.
Gmajlo from Midwest
Another thing that gets rid of fleas is 20 mule team Borax. I believe they carry it at Walmart in a large box made for doing laundry. It dries out the fleas & cracks their shells. Also, if you get bees, wasps or probably even fleas into your siding or inside of your walls, you can drill several holes which you can plug up later with 2 part epoxy clay or wood putty. Then spray in simple "Hot Pepper spray" the kind made to spray at attackers.
Just be sure to open the windows, wear goggles & a respirator & get everyone out of the house before you start spraying! It usually stays only in the walls, but to be totally safe, you should follow these precautions. Bees & wasps hate the hot pepper spray, so I imagine fleas would also hate it & leave or die.
You just put the borax into a shaker (like for parmesan cheese) from the $1 store & sprinkle it all over your floor & carpet & furniture, leave it for about 2 weeks, then vacuum it up, (Be sure to put a flea collar inside your vacuum's bag) then repeat it all over again one more time. Some people will add 50-50 salt to the borax, but the salt can damage the carpets fibers & also attract moisture, so don't add salt if you live where it's very humid (like Florida).
Here's a bunch of really great flea tips:
Since you are leasing the home, it is the responsibility of the landlord to pay a professional to come in to take care of it! And especially since the fleas are inside the walls, too!
Put your request in writing and send it Certified Mail including the request that the professional makes certain even the flea eggs have been exterminated!
You shouldn't have to worry about taking care of pests that you did not bring in to the home!
Diatomaceous earth looks like broken glass under the microscope, and although it's natural, the shells of diatoms, it's pure silica. So you need to wear at least a bandana over your nose and mouth with goggles that seal around your eyes. Gloves would be great but intact skin isn't quite the issue as breathing it or eye contact. The powder puffs into the air more than you know. Best thing is, it's never soluble, so it's permanently there, but the fleas need to run through dry DE to get it into their breathing and gills and what not. If it's damp they can run right across it and pick up none of it. I did a large project with it, paid a high school kid to help me, but I made him wear the whole mask and goggles bit. Will be putting up a prayer for you - hope your state laws require the landlord to deal with this.
Sprinkle it in corners, behind furniture, and along the baseboards. Leave it for at least 1-2 weeks, then vacuum.