General chatter - Fleas!

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05-03-2010, 01:50 PM
Tell me I'm not about to face a major infestation. I had a couple of miserable summers as a kid and now I'm completely freaked out.

I noticed some bad bug bites on Friday night, strangely, around my waist band. I didn't think too much of it, but then had a few other bites and they were SO itchy by Saturday. I mentioned it to my husband and he said he had noticed a flea jump off one of our cats last week, and that I most likely had flea bites. I suspected this but did not want it to be true. Ah, my old friend, denial.

So I went to PetCo and spent $120 on flea products--those spot products for dogs, carpet powder, upholstery spray, and general flea spray. Started treating the house late Saturday night. Then on Sunday afternoon my husband treated our yard where the dogs play.

I still had not seen any fleas myself, until Sunday morning when I took a closer look at our bed and my kids' beds after finding more fresh bites. I finally found one flea in our bed, and one in our daughter's. I cannot find any on our pets, not flea poop, nothing. I have about 20-30 horrific bites all over my body now, and after some googling this morning found that yes, a single flea can bite hundreds of times a day. Apparently I am very sensitive to flea bites AND very tasty to fleas, which I suppose is good news for the rest of my family--I'm the flea bait.

So please, someone, tell me it's not too late and that we probably warded off a major infestation. Being a mother has taught me that I can tolerate a LOT of gross stuff I never thought I could, but this? I can't live with fleas. The fact that we've only seen 3 fleas total, and that we treated everything pretty thoroughly has to count for something, right? Right, right?

05-03-2010, 03:00 PM
I promise this spray works! I use it any time I have seen a flea for years and it gets rid of them! I use Advantix flea drops on my dog and every once in a while (maybe once a year?) will see a flea in the house. It is safe and I've used it on our matresses in the past. This stuff stops them!! I buy it at the vet's office. They don't all carry it, so you may have to call around.

Good luck!!

05-03-2010, 03:03 PM
Oh thank you! I will order it ASAP. I went through the entire bottle of a different upholstery spray already, so even if I did get rid of them all, I'l like to have something else on hand.

05-03-2010, 08:57 PM
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Vacuum 5 times a day if you can. Move the furniture. Vacuum the furniture. Do it for a month. Fleas cannot survive a trip through the vacuum. Launder all the bedding, your bedding and the pet bedding. Launder anything that can be laundered (throw rugs and so on). The life cycle of the flea is such that you can get the current adults eradicated, only to have new ones hatch out a month from now. It may take 2 or 3 months to get rid of them.

Please, please, do not use Hartz Bio-Spot on your cats. I don't know what you bought, but this stuff kills cats. Usually, the first application is okay. The risk of anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) increases with each application. I work at a vet, I have seen too many cats die from this stuff. It's not great for dogs either. I would say that Advantage, made by Bayer, is by far the best against fleas. It is sold in pet stores now, but your vet will have a buy 4 get 1 free or buy 6 get 2 free special going on now that will probably be your cheapest option.

And since it is a possibility...are you sure these are fleas, and not bed bugs? Bed bugs are so easy to pick up these days, especially if you travel and stay in hotels/motels.

05-04-2010, 07:42 AM
We had a flea infestation once, and they lived through a trip in the vacuum. I'd suggest using Frontline, it's done wonders for our dogs. We also used the carpet powder and furniture spray, both of which worked. After you vacuum, empty it outside and throw it away right away so the ones still alive in there don't re-infest the house. Wash everything in hot water, which will kill the fleas.

A good "natural" remedy is Diatomaceous Earth, just make sure you get the food-grade stuff. You sprinkle it on the floors and leave it there, it's safe for kids and pets, and will kill the fleas. I put mine in a baby powder shaker, and try not to breathe too much when I put it down, since it's as fine as flour and while it won't hurt me, it's no fun getting big breath of anything. I use it now as a preventative, since there are a ton of feral cats in my area. One infestation was enough for me.

05-04-2010, 11:20 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions! The cat stuff I ordered was Frontline Plus, so it's not Hartz. I hope it's not the same active ingredients! I already treated the dogs with something I bought at PetCo. And I am sure they're fleas, I really examined the two I found and we haven't traveled at all recently. So that's a relief.

I also ordered some flea traps. They're electronic and attract fleas into them, where they get stuck. They got decent reviews on Amazon and seem like a much more natural solution than continually spraying with powder or spray (which I'm not opposed to, since I did also order the spray that was recommended). I want that to be a one or two-time thing, not every week, KWIM? So I'll see how that works.

I haven't seen anymore since Sunday, which is good!

Latchkey Princess
05-04-2010, 02:44 PM
Ugh, we're dealing with fleas at the moment too, our four dogs are all itching like crazy and no matter what we try we can't seem to get rid of them. We've treated the yard even, but no luck.

One thing I read about was to put a cheap throw away pie pan in the middle of the floor at night, fill it halfway with lemon dish soap and then set a light on it (like a desk light or something, the point is to warm the soap). The fleas will be attracted to the warmth and once they jump in the pie pan the soap keeps them from being able to jump back out. Do it until there are no more fleas in the pan in the morning. Also I've heard that putting pans of table salt under your furniture can help (not sure why), and cutting up a flea collar and putting it in your vacuum's container can kill fleas and keep them from jumping back out of the vacuum after you clean (which they can definitely do). There are numerous other home remedies that are fairly cheap and couldn't hurt trying in tandem with the medications and powders and stuff, just google home remedies for fleas. Also, bug bombing the house REALLY helps.

Good luck, hope you don't find any more fleas!