How Do I Get Rid of These FLEAS!!

Updated on April 09, 2010
N.H. asks from Canton, IL
19 answers

I'm not sure if the fleas are leftover from the previous tennent from the apartment we're in or from our new cat. The previous tennent had two cats & some gerbil/hamster looking things. Our new cat seems to be scratching a LOT more than before in this new apt. The problem is they're here, has anyone had success in removing them? I had some leftover flea spray from my other cat (now deceased) but it must've expired b/c it didn't do any good. The flea carpet powder says to leave on for 24 hrs then vacuum. I can't let the cat out while this is going on so if anyone has ANY good advice that actually works, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, in advance, to anyone who replies.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much to all who answered. We fogged the house before we moved in & did not have any fleas afterwards but recently they've just started so I think we probably brought them in ourselves or else the leftover eggs, if any, must've hatched. Will hafta try a fogger again. I hate to crate the kitty she hates it but we must do that. Will try a bath first. My first cat didn't mind a bath so hopefully we can bathe this one! I bought a harness just in case so we can hang onto her! Thanks again to you awsome ladies!

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answers from College Station on

The only thing you can do is bomb the place. When I had this issue when I was in an apt (my roomie had a puppy and I had 2 cats) the fleas were a serious problem. If they are this bad, they are more than likely left over from the previous tenant. The apt is supposed to spray in between tenants so see if they will pay for the flea bombs.

We had great success with Raid Flea Killer Plus. Do not use general bug bomb as you need the flea reproductive target. Send the cat to the vet for the weekend, go visit Grandma, and bomb the place!



answers from Houston on

A lot of people have mentioned flea bombs, but Raid and others also make a flea spray that works awesome and is safe to use on the home and pets. I used that when I first moved into my home last year and discovered myself being eaten up. I was afraid to use the bombs due to health concerns for my dogs, fish, and other pets and I was also concerned how they would react with my gas water heater and other gas items (it was my first time in a gas-use home). I found the sprays at a local store and went over the whole house with them. I had to repeat it once a couple weeks later to get everything, but they worked like a charm, with the benefit of it being safe for my pets AND I didn't have to leave the house for a certain amount of time, either.

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answers from Portland on

SAFETY NOTE: Diatomaceous earth is chemically non-toxic, but the tiny sharp shards of which the crystalline form is composed are EXTREMELY dangerous to inhale. They become lodged in the lungs, and children and pets, being closer to any dust that gets kicked up, are at much higher risk. Since they are made of silica, the very serious lung scarring called silicosis is a risk. If you choose to use this effective treatment, inquire into the crystalline content, apply using a dust mask, and keep children and pets out of the area until you've vacuumed thoroughly a couple of times. Google "diatomaceous earth safety" for more information.

Here's an extremely informative page discussing different approaches and their relative safety: Pay particular attention to the importance of frequent vacuuming, and the option of using an I.G. regulator, which disrupts the ability of the eggs and larvae to mature to biting fleas.

Good luck. This is an annoying problem.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

Hi N.,
Same issue here. I did quite a bit of research because bug bombs make me very nervous, especially around small children. I don't want them playing in a home that has a fine coating of pesticide all over everything, you know? What I found in my research was that you can use something called Diatomaceous Earth. It is a fine white powder (it's not a chemical, it is actually tiny, tiny fossilized remains of microscopic algae from millions of years ago - who knew?). The way it works is that the flea comes into contact with it and it makes a scratch in the flea's waxy coating. The flea quickly dehydrates due to this scratch, and dies. It is not toxic but is quite effective, according to the many websites I found on the subject.

Meanwhile, use Frontline on your cat every month. It protects against fleas and ticks for about a month and is not harmful to your pet. It is expensive to buy from the vet's office, however you can buy kits on eBay and other places where you get the "big dog" version of Frontline, and decant that into a glass vial. They give you an eyedropper thing and you just squirt .5ml onto your cat each month. It's only about $1.75 per month that way, vs. $15 if you buy from the vet's office.

You can also use the Diatomaceous Earth outdoors, however it does wash off with water (or vacuum up, indoors) so that is something to be aware of. Good luck! We are treating our house, yard and cats this weekend to get rid of the nasty little fleas that are everywhere! 'Tis the season...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Just chiming in with my 2 cents. I am not a chemical lover myself. However, my family dealt with a serious flea infestation when we moved into a condo a few years ago. The worst part was my son is allergic and would wind up with golf ball size welts whenever he was bitten, and they bite little people who are close to the ground a lot. we tried a ton of stuff along the safe, enviormentaly friendly route and they did not work. Finally what did work were products by the Zodiac brand. Strong stuff, but enough was enough. We used a wet flea spray on the cat and bombed "fogged" the house twice, 10 days apart. It worked. Good Luck



answers from Dallas on

You will most likely need to separate your cat from the carpet until the cat & carpet are rid of fleas - or it will just become a perpetual cycle. If you can keep the cat gated/crated in the kitchen or a bathroom for a short while (2-3 days), that would be the best solution. Use diatomaceous earth (found at Home Depot or Lowe's) all over your carpet and tile and even on the cat's fur (light dusting on the cat). This is a dust that is actually teeny, tiny shards that will cut the fleas to bits (not poison), but it is absolutely safe for your cat to ingest (b/c she will clean herself and ingest it). It won't hurt kiddos either. I have used it on my dog food to help with worms in the digestive tract. If you can get everyone out of the apt including the cat for a day, I would use a fogger in the apt - not a bomb - the fog gets into the cracks much better. We used both when had a massive infestation one summer - the diatomaceous earth and a fogger. It got rid of the fleas (I was also able to keep the dogs out of the house though). I stay away from flea drops b/c my cat died from long term use of them but you may need to use them to expedite the ridding of the fleas. I use a tablet that is ingested for my dog's fleas but I'm not sure they make it for cats. Check with a vet - they can be purchased as a single tablet or in a 6pk. A good flea bath may be good, but I know bathing a cat is no fun. Good luck!



answers from Odessa on

I just happened to be a Professional Pest Management operator. Fleas are very hard to get rid of once they are established, and must be treated by a professional at least twice, and maybe subsequent times. Every 7 - 10 days because of their life cycle. The professional will need to use an IGR (insect growth regulator) combined with the insecticide.

This can be costly, but living in a apartment complex, they should take care of this for you. You can try advantage for your cat, which can be purchased from a Veterinarian, or you may rather have the cat bathed and dipped on the same day that you have the apartment treated.

I hope this helps, and good luck getting control of these nasty pests!



answers from Indianapolis on

Can you, the cat and whomever else is in the house leave long enough to bomb it? I would go to the vet and ask them what is a good bomb.......I believe skin so soft from avon also helps take care of it. Fleas hate the smell. I also work for a wellness company that has some things that you can mix together to put on the cat and spray around the house.......but they are it's not going to be easy.......Good luck....and take care.



answers from Houston on

I have a dog and a cat who have had fleas here and there. I grew up with cats too. If you treat your cat with a flea medication that you get from the vet, it will break the life cycle, but you have to keep your pet treated every month and it may take a month or so to get rid of them all.

You may also want to use a powder that you sprinkle on your carpet and vacuum up. Wal-mart has a brand in the pet section that is reasonably priced and works.

I would only suggest to bomb as a last resort. If you already bombed then I would wait on that because the poison is supposed to continue working for a period of time.

We have been able to successfully get rid of fleas by simply keeping our pets treated with the vet stuff, the over the counter doesn't work if you have fleas. They only seem to work to repel them.

Good luck!



answers from Beaumont on

You have received lots of good information, but giving the cat a bath will get all those random flea eggs off. It's not hard--a vet gave me this great cat-bathing tip: Using masking tape, tape the kitty's front legs together (right below the "elbow"), and his back legs together (below the "knee"). Masking tape will stay on when wet, and won't pull the cat's hair out. Now you can put him into a bathroom sink that you have already filled with warm water. He will be very docile and you can bathe him just like you would a baby! Use a flea soap, and be sure to rinse well. Once he's clean, wrap him up tight in a towel until most of the water is absorbed, then put him in his crate with a couple more clean towels until he's dried out. Putting a flea collar on him once he's totally dry will help, also. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

We fleabombed when I was pg. I was not happy about it, but I also didn't want my newborn covered in flea bites. We didn't even have pets! But our neighbors did and I believe it came through wall spaces and from the yard into our apartment - the trouble started after we were living there for a few years, just after a new neighbor moved in with a couple of cats.
Also, put frontline on your new cat.

When you do the fleabomb, get out of the house for a day. When you return wash off all the surfaces and do a carpet cleaning (rent a machine...)and AIR.

We have tried all kinds of "nontoxic" treatments before...but this finally put an end to it.
Good luck!



answers from Austin on

We used to use Sevin (or Seven?) dust, used for gardens. Sprinkle it in the carpet, leave an hour or so, then vacuum up. Repeat every day to catch the hatching fleas, and good luck! We would wear white socks when in the house, then pick off the fleas that landed on us and drown them in a solution of flea shampoo and water. Fleas just love me, sadly :)


answers from Milwaukee on

The best thing that worked for us is the flea bomb all living people/animals have to be out of the house... it has been so long since I have used one but it has all the directions on the package.

Personal the flea carpet powder never seemed to get them all. So have never used it again.

Also wash anything and everything that can be washed after the flea bomb, that really helps make sure all the fleas are gone (can not remember if we used any specail laundry soap or not).



answers from Austin on

It's kind of early for fleas to be causing that large a problem so they probably came with the apartment. Vaccuming constantly will help get them out of the carpet. I hope you reported the problem to management as soon as you noticed it. Otherwise they'll try to say you brought them with you.
Using a sprig of fresh rosemary to comb kitty will help discourage some of the little pests from hitching a ride but it's not long lasting & not a long time cure. Check with your vet for something safe you can use on an indoor kitty.



answers from Washington DC on

Our vet told us to place/cut-up a cheap flea collar into the vacuum bag, and then to vacuum every square inch of the house every day for a week. Changing the bag every day. It did the trick! We didn't use any bombs, etc. We gave our dog a good bath and had his Frontline dose checked but otherwise, it was just the vacuuming with the flea collar!

The problem with the foggers and such is that they do nothing for the flea eggs that have already been laid but not hatched. So they don't die and the cycle continues.

Good luck



answers from Pittsburgh on

Dip the cat in a flea dip bath. Put it in a crate OUTSIDE. Bomb the entire apartment...leave with the cat. Return in a few hours. It will do no good to dip the cat without bombing the house. All it takes is O. flea to jump onto the cat and the cycle starts all over.



answers from Kansas City on

The only way we were able to get rid of ALL the fleas in our house was we first had to "flea bomb" the house. Second we had to wash everything and spray all upholstry and beds with flea spray. Last thing we did was put either Frontline or Advantage on ALL the animals. Since we did these three things we have not had fleas for over a year:-)

Good Luck!!! I know how horrible they can be!!!



answers from Gainesville on

Please look into Comfortis ...its a pill , both my dogs use them and have zero fleas on them. They make it for kitties two. Once a month pill. Truly works.



answers from San Francisco on

The "bombs" really work, but you have to do it twice because a new generation will hatch from eggs after the first bomb kills the adults. The second bomb will get the rest. It takes about 4 hours I think. Then you come back and open all the windows.
You can take the cat to a a vet office or a friends house.

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