Fleas - Help!!! - Los Gatos,CA

Updated on December 16, 2009
C.S. asks from Los Gatos, CA
32 answers

My 15 year old cat had fleas and now our home is infested. I took my cat to the vet and bought a 6 month supply of Revolution. He has been on it for three weeks, but we still have fleas. I thought the Revolution would solve the problem, but it has not. My middle child has bites all over his body. Today I saw 15 fleas in the house. We have a clean house otherwise. Today, trying to solve the problem, I vacuumed the whole house and washed all of the bedding. I still am getting bit. I am desperate to solve this problem, but I do not want to put any pesticides in the house. Has anyone had any luck getting rid of fleas naturally? Please Help!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my request. I really appreciate your help and received many useful tips. Good news, our home is now flea free and we did it naturally. We contacted Fleabusters based on the recommendation of many responses. Fleabusters did not service our area so they told us where we could buy the powder locally and we applied it ourselves. It was quite intensive, because we had to sprinkle the powder into the carpet and then rub it in with a brush. We also had to move all furniture in order to apply it underneath. Then, we had to leave it on for 24 hours and vacuum it up. You could not see the powder once you brushed it in. We also washed all couch cushions, bedding, and threw the stuffed animals in the dryer on high for 10 min.

Fleabusters is not harmful to people. It's active ingredient is Sodium-PolyBorate with a neutral PH. This consists of salt and boric acid. The powder dehydrates all fleas and their larva. It works for a year or longer. I don't think I will ever reapply Fleabusters because I will always treat my cat with advantage or revolution from now on. Thanks again for your help. I am so glad to see my children bite free and not to see fleas jumping in the house. Happy New Year

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi. Tea tree or Eucalyptus oil (mixed w/ water in a spray bottle) is supposed to help. Just spray it all over the carpets and leave it for a while and vacuum later. The oil smothers them I think. We had a problem w/ fleas a while back and this did seem to help. It's also non-toxic. One good company is Young Living Essential Oils (mail order). Best of luck!

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E.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I discovered a product that you get from the Vets office for flea treatment in the home. It is called Sephitrol.
It cost me $18 but you spray it on the carpet and floor area, it has no odor and is not harmfull to people or pets. It gets rid of the fleas and eggs instantly....so worth the money. Before this I used Euculyptus leaves under the couch and chairs, but that was a much more bohemian method...it does work also, but not nearly as well or quickly. The Sephitrol is amazing and instant! And a safe for humans method! :)

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S.G.

answers from San Francisco on

spray you child with garlic water to prevent more bites. Gotta change the litter. Frontline Plus is the best flea medication, and is cheapest on Amazon.com. You will need to vacuum daily for a while. Every time you apply flea meds, change the litter and vacuum.

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M.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I also highly recommend Advantage or Frontline.
I would recommend giving your cat a bath first to rid of all existing fleas (just in case the Revolution isn't working and he still has fleas on him) then once he's dry, add the drops to the back of the neck.
Fleas are a pain in the booty to get rid of - so you'll have to get rid of the ones in the carpet also. They lay their larvae in the bottom of the carpet so i have the best suggestion for you, and it's cost affective. It may sound weird, but i've been using and recommending it for years, so give it a try. It's Borax (brand name), or boric acid. It's non-toxic, cheap, easy to use, found in almost every store and great if you have little ones in the house. Just sprinkle evenly on the carpeted areas, even on rugs, and let stand overnight and vacuum in the morning. What it does is dry the larvae of the fleas.
Whenever you put a product on an animal that kills the fleas, the fleas go into "survival" mode, laying all the eggs they can before they die. So even when you get rid of the ones on the pet, you still have to contend with the ones hatching 3 weeks later. The Borax dries up the eggs and if you keep up on the Advantage you shouldn't ever have any problems again if it doesn't get out of hand. Borax only costs about $3.
Good luck! And let me know an update, I haven't had anyone say it hasn't worked yet - and i've been helping people with this problem for years!

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I manage hotels. I have always gone to professionals and been succesful. One thing I learned was to put a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bag, cut into bits, and any fleas you vacuum up AND any eggs that hatch inside the vacuum will be attracted to the collar and die. A big problem is vacuuming them up, then leaving your vacuum on the carpet or nearby, so the fleas can climb out and reinfest.

Fleas are disgusting and I hate them. The hotel I manage and live at presently got fleas in my house, even though I have no pets. When I asked pest control about it, He said this time of year rodents make their way into cracks and crevices of your home and they can infest you as well. Sucks. I am constantly on the look out now for evidence of mice and/or rats (Yuck!!!)

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E.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I had the same problem in an apt. building. I had to flea bomb my place. It worked great! Maybe go away for the weekend and one of the parents come back and clean up before you bring the kids back? Use the drops on the cat once a month, I think, and stay proactive. Take care of it fast, it will only get worse. I know this is not natural, but it's better than being flea food.

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J.L.

answers from Sacramento on

Once we had fleas in the house, the only thing that worked was having the house "bombed" by a professional. We had to vacate the house and stay out for several house, but it worked. After that, I used Advantage every month so my cats did't get reinfested. It also helps to have your yard regularly sprayed by a professional--that way your pets aren't exposed to fleas again. The professionals know the right SAFE pesticides to use for homes with kids and pets.

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T.S.

answers from Sacramento on

A couple of years ago out cats got fleas (they're indoor cats, but somehow they got them really badly) and I had a similar experience to you.

What ended up getting rid of them (along with the time it took for the Rx to start working for the cats) was to buy some of those nasty chemical flea collars and put them IN the vacuum canister. Then vacuum everything (carpets, mattresses, couches, pillows etc) and dump outside. Do it every day and you'll start to notice a difference. It doesn't avoid chemicals all together, but they're in the vacuum not all over the house.

Hope this helps,
T.

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N.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Use "Advantage" for your cats, and sprinkle borax+salt into your carpet. Make sure you throw out the content of the vacuum cleaner immediately. If you have a yard, use cedar mulch. You can rub it onto your cat too.

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D.J.

answers from San Francisco on

ugh. it's a nightmare. not only do you have to vacuum every day, you have to vaccuum under everything, because in the dark is where they lay their eggs... and it takes forever...
I did it, but my husband had had a heck of a time convincing me to let the cat outside again!

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C.L.

answers from Sacramento on

Parasitol Res. 2008 Sep;103(4):889-98. http://www.springerlink.com/content/74548g783v860450/

Medicinal plant treatments for fleas and ear problems of cats and dogs in British
Columbia, Canada.

Lans C, Turner N, Khan T.

DVM, P.O. Box 72045, Sasamat, Vancouver, BC V6R4P2, Canada.
[email protected]____.com

Research conducted in 2003/2004 documented and validated (in a non-experimental
way) ethnoveterinary medicines used by small-scale, organic livestock farmers in
British Columbia (BC), Canada. Interviews were conducted with 60 participants who
were organic farmers or holistic medicinal/veterinary practitioners. A workshop
was held with selected participants to discuss the plant-based treatments. This
paper reports on the medicinal plants used for fleas in cats and dogs. Fleas and
flies are treated with Artemisia vulgaris L. (Asteraceae), Citrus x limon (L.),
Juniperus communis L. var. depressa Pursh. (Cupressaceae), Lavandula officinalis
L. (Labiatae), Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae), and Thuja plicata Donn ex D.
Don (Cupressaceae). All of the plants used have insecticidal activity. Ear
problems are treated with Achillea millefolium L., Calendula officinalis L., and
Helichrysum angustifolium (Roth.) G. Don. (Asteraceae), Allium sativum L.
(Alliaceae), Berberis aquifolium Pursh./Mahonia aquifolium (Berberidaceae),
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Fabaceae), Lobelia inflata L. (Campanulaceae), Matricaria
recutita L., Melaleuca alternifolia L. (Myrtaceae), Origanum vulgare L.
(Labiatae), Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae), Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. &
L. M. Perry (Myrtaceae), Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae), and Verbascum thapsus L.
(Scrophulariaceae).

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C.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I can only imagine your desperation. I hate fleas!!! There's nothing worse.
However, I right there with you about the chemicals with the brand new baby boy.
Our pest control company told us to never bomb and to contact them if there were ever any flea infestation. They have ways of getting rid of them that aren't as toxic as the bombing.
I would give your company or consult with a company before you buy any over the counter bombs.
Good luck!!!

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D.K.

answers from Sacramento on

I too have had this problem - we have 1 large dog and 4 cats. I tried everything natural and vacuumed every day. We would put eucalyptus oil on our socks and bed every day which helped with the bites, but nothing got rid of them.

After a five month battle, I finally gave in and sprayed my entire yard with Triazacide (left my dog at my parents for the weekend). I knew the ones in the yard had to be dead, but the problem in the house continued to rage and X-mas was coming with lots of family, so I finally caved and bought Frontline flea drops for all of my beasts. I also contacted the company and they assured me that once the drops were dry they were safe. We treated them and then left the house for the day.

The itching quickly subsided after that and I stopped seeing the little buggers on everything. I had to do a couple more treatments until there was no more scratching, but it worked for about 2 years. Now I just usually have to treat the pets once or twice each year at the first signs of itching and none of the family gets bitten(and I never see the fleas).

I HATE using the chemicals, but I really believe that I tried every other option out there (and wasted a lot of money). Fleas are disgusting and they can carry diseases, so I don't want them near me or my family! I also considered the bug bomb option, but we keep large salt water aquariums and it would have killed all of our fish and corals, so we succeeded without the bomb!

Good luck! I feel your pain(itching)!
D.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

We had an animal die under our home, and what a flea mess that started! We were being bit alive. Just walking down the hallway in the morning, our legs would be completely covered in fleas! We tried changing the carpet, pad and all, and we still had problems. We had to call Flea Busters. they are expensive, but they use natural powder that won't hurt you, your kids or any pets and they have a 12 month guarantee.

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G.B.

answers from Boise on

I was just reading online how some ancient peoples used aloa vera on thier skin as mosqito repellant. (Buy a pure form online. Enchanted waters.com has pure aloe. )I wonder if it would work for fleas? I think mixing it with tea tree oil, peppermint or lavendar essensial oils would work even better.

People in Alaska who get bit by mosqitoes say eating 2 cloves of raw garlic a day (maybe squeezed on a salad?)keeps biting insects like mosqitoes at bay. You can give the cat odorless garlic tablets- grind them up and mix into food.

You want to keep flea populations under control because fleas going from animal to animal carry a bacteria that causes cat scratch fever in humans. If it stays in the body unkown and untreated it causes much damage and illness.

Here's some info sites on flea relief:
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/01/010305a.cfm

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear C.,
Fleas are the absolute worst!!!
Bombing is a pain, but it works.
You can try eucalyptus oil, but not on your skin, or even just the branches in your house and under the beds, etc. Some people swear by Avon Skin-so-Soft for repelling mosquitoes, so you might try rubbing some of it on the son who gets bitten. (Some people seem to be "sweeter" than others when it comes to bug bites).
The other thing is to make sure you empty the vacuum cleaner outside after each use. Fleas will continue to hatch in the vacuum.
Because I have other indoor pets and didn't want to use too many chemicals around them, it got things called flea traps at the hardware store. You insert an extremely sticky sheet of paper into the holder which has a little light attached to it. You lay it on the floor, the fleas are attracted to the light and they stick to the paper. I had several of them. I went to visit a friend the other night and she had one in her living room. With fleas stuck to it. A guy I know that had dogs had a white bucket with water and ammonia in it on his back porch near the dog beds. At night he clamped a light onto the side of the bucket. The fleas were attracted to the light, jumped up and landed in the bucket.
You can also go to a pet or feed store and see what they have. Both places should have things to use that are safe around animals and kids.

I hope you can get rid of them soon. They are awful little creatures!

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C., we used to get fleas all the time. I have several animals. They are on Advantage. That is the only thing that I found that works. It will work instantly and last for about 4 weeks per dose. You can get it at the pet stores, vet or even online. There are alot of organic things to do with the fleas in your house, however I am not sure what is the best ones. I would google it for the info. Good luck

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T.M.

answers from San Francisco on

C.,

I understand your dilema. My mother has fleas at her house and when I brought home an item, a stroller for my daughter's, that I left over there, I brought home fleas. They literally took over in a few days. And like your middle child, I get bites everywhere.UGH!! We have a cat and have had him for nearly eight years and he only gets fleas when they are brought from some where else. To combat this flea infestation, we bombed our house. My husband purchased flea/ tick bombs from Pet Smart or Petco. We set three off in the house. I recommended doing this because fleas and their eggs will continue to live in your furniture and throughout your entire house if measures are not taken. We tried to vacuum excessively but it did not work. I understand the concern in regards to having children, I have a 1.5 year old and a 3.5 year old. But whem my girls, primarily the smaller one began getting bit all over her body, the choice was obvious.
Be sure to read the directions carefully and follow them. We turn off the water heater, as advised and leave the house. When we bomb, we take our cat to get cleaned and flea-dipped just to ensure that he does not have any fleas left on him. We leave the house for an hour, and return just to open the windows to allow for the fumes to leave the house and keep the windows open for about 1.5- 2 hours and then we return. Its worth it because the fleas are gone and their eggs are killed also. To make sure the toxins are gone, I vacuum the carpet.
Given my mother still has some fleas lingering in her house and our cat has developed a growing desire to leave the house, he was previously a house-cat exclusively, we bomb two times a year. Its usually around January and July. Good luck!
- T.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

We had an infestation and ultimately had to spray for them (the pest control staff assured me the chemical is less toxic than Raid since it has to pass all kinds of environmental and health standards). Anyway, we learned that the best thing you can do is vacuum daily and empty it daily (outside). The vacuum stimulates the eggs to hatch, so it will create more initially, but then you have to continue to vacuum so you can get the adults before the life cycle starts over again. That was what ended up being most effective for us. I feel your pain and am so sorry! It took us months to get rid of them, and we didn't ever even have pets (I live in an apt. building and infested animals got under the building. The whole bottom floor struggled with fleas for months. They're pesky things, but it's not impossible to get rid of them! We tried other means first - borax, and other natural carpet treatments, but we had to take it to the next level, unfortunately).

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I can relate to you... I used to have fleas years ago when I had cats. Well, the cat should be bathed in a flea dip... you can have a groomer do that. I have a wonderful groomer that does my little dog if you are interested and live in the Sacramento area.

Then I had an exterminator come out and spray everything... even beds.

What I do now (we don't have cats or fleas) is every time we change the sheets on the bed, I put 100% essential eucalyptus oil on the mattress pad, let it sit a few minutes and cover it up until we put the clean sheets back on. This will eliminate any bugs that want to come visit. You can buy this oil at a natural food store... like Sunshine Natural Foods. Elliott's does not carry it.

Reading everyone's post, never put the essential oils directly on your skin... they must be mixed with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil. The only oil that can be used with or without the carrier oil is lavender. You really need to be careful with essential oils... they can eat the finish off your furniture or blind you if it gets in your eyes and they are poisonous... and are never to be mixed in any container other than glass. I work with essential oils a bit.

Good luck and I hope you are flea-less forever.

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K.I.

answers from Muncie on

unfortunately the only way to get rid of the is to flea bomb the house. It takes being out of the house for a while and then some clean up when you get back. The good news is it kills any other bugs that you may have hanging around (always a plus this time of year when spiders move in) Then there are some sprays that you can use on areas that may be heavly infested.

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K.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi,

Avon skin so soft oil is a great natural skin shield for any bloodsuckers.
It's important to throw out any vac bags or wash/clean the bagless kind. Fleas can live inside the vacuum off of dander and other stuff. You may also need to move furniture ( under beds ect. if your kitty has been finding R7R in those areas. It may take several days once doing these things to see a decline in flea sightings.
If your cat is in door out door the chances that he is a carrier to fleas increases even if he has flea preventative on him.
You may also try to google natural ways to rid fleas in the home.
Good Luck!

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Get Advantage. We order ours on ebay. It's way cheaper than at the vet. I hear good things about Frontline too.

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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Try frontline. My cat who has never had a flea problem ended up with fleas from laying in the bark at our new house. I put frontline on him and the only fleas I saw were dead. You may need to treat the house too if they are that bad in the house. I'm not sure how long the fleas will live w/o a host.

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K.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Honestly, I think the only way to get rid of them is to use a "flea bomb". I know pesticides aren't ideal, but maybe you do it while you are away for several days, and hope that it is has cleared up when you return! We had a dog with fleas, and this was the only way we could rid of them for good. They live everywhere!!! Good luck!

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A.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Yes I agree with the Borax comment. It's the way to go and cheap too. You will not be disappointed.

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S.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi We had a crazy flea infestation problem many many years ago. It was sooo bad you could see them all over our legs. Finding 15 fleas is nothing compared to what we went through. We tried bombing the house,washing everything, vacuuming, bug sprays,Topical flea medicine, flea collars, we've tried them all. The only thing that worked was sentinel. I think revolution is similar as it prevents the eggs from hatching. Sentinel actually prevents the fleas from reproducing. Im sorry but I don't remember how soon after we started sentinel, the flea infestation problem disappeared bc this happened over 15 years ago. We were glad not to have bloody legs anymore. But I think we saw results pretty fast.

Maybe you can ask your vet to see how long it takes to see results, or try a different medicine. Im not sure if they make sentinel for cats

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K.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Fleabusters is a salt based solution vibrated down under your carpet, dehydrates the fleas as they hatch, natural and non-harmful. I used it 10 yrs ago after many other attempts and it worked like a charm. What a relief!

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Call Fleabusters. It's the only way. We had a recurring flea problem when my son was a baby, due to our former neighbor's rat infestation. Yikes!
Fleabusters is guaranteed to work. I do not work for them, have just been where you are now, and it is frustrating beyond belief.

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K.H.

answers from Sacramento on

there are pest companies that only use natural ingredients. I would call around and see if you can bomb your house with something natural.

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C.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,
Sorry to say, but the only way I know of to get rid of the fleas in the house is to have your home sprayed with some type of flea spray. Try going online and see what other options you have.
Good luck.

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K.L.

answers from Stockton on

I have been told that if you put eucalyptus around your house, it gets rid of fleas. You can go to a craft store and buy some branches of it that people use for wreaths. Hope it helps.

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