Is It Safe to Bug Bomb the House While My Baby Is Away My Moms for the Night?

Updated on March 10, 2015
J.H. asks from Belleville, IL
17 answers

My house is full of fleas, we have hard wood floors, no carpet, but they're really hard to get rid of because of all the stupid cats in the neighborhood. My dog never had fleas before we moved here, but our new neighbors are "cat people" (the kind with a million cats, EW) My poor dog is miserable, I'm miserable, my man is miserable, and I just found a bite on my baby's head and threw a fit (she's eleven weeks old). My mother is coming to get her at four tomorrow and she's keeping her until about eleven the next day. Is that enough time to bomb? Will it even work since my poor dog can't seem to get rid of them because of the yard and the horrible pet ownership of my neighbors? Can I just leave my baby's bedroom door shut, and not bomb in there(That seems like the only room that isn't infested, aside from the bathroom and garage cuz it's too cold) Or should I just call an exterminator?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

It is time for the experts or this will just continue.

Call your vet.
Call your pediatrician.
Call an exterminator.
Call animal control. Those poor cats are probably suffering horribly!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

First things first. You need to call your vet and get your dog on a flea preventive. If you use it properly, your dog can't be a host for fleas and they will die off. It's not your neighbors' fault your dog has fleas. It is yours.

There are fleas outside everywhere. If you were using this preventive already, your dog would not have gotten fleas. I have cats, a dog and have used a flea and tick preventive on my dog (and previous dogs) for 20+ years. I've never had a flea on a pet. So... call your vet. Then call an exterminator if your house is that bad. Let an expert use chemicals to get rid of them. Doing it yourself is kind of dangerous.

And realize that if you don't use a preventive on your dog, they will come back. (And do not give your dog garlic powder. Vets say not to do it because vets are right. Don't listen to non vets who tell you to do this.)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is a bigger issue then you may think... You have to get to the root of the issue. If your dog goes outside to potty, he is exposing himself. You can't put 100% blame on everyone else and cats.

We live on a heavily wooded lot and thankfully we have never had a flea or bug issue. That said, we do bomb about twice a year. HOWEVER, we treat our entire yard and perimeter of the house as well. Just a bomb will not do the trick.

When we bomb, we take dogs and all to a hotel for the night, then the next day, the dogs play in the fenced yard while the house airs out. It is a process that is not just s 3 hour bomb and done job.

Most of the time, my hubby will do it when I am out of town because I am very sensitive to smell. I came home once after he had bombed 2 days earlier and I still got sick (allergy sick) from the leftover odor I could smell.

Your dog does not need exposed to the bombing either.

If you have them this badly in your house, you must treat your yard as well. You have to treat EVERYTHING... including cold garage and bathrooms. They are EVERYWHERE.

If your issue is as bad as you say, I would get a professional exterminator in to tackle the entire house inside and out and the yard.

Long story short, a few years ago, my daughter and I visited my brother and his family in rural AL. They have a lot of dogs and cats indoor and outdoor. Daughter and I had trouble breathing in his house from the odor, dander that we could smell but they could not. When we got home, we both had weird bites on our legs. After a Dr. visit, it was confirmed to be flea bites. Of course my brother was defensive when I told him about it but the Dr. said they were immune to the bites. There were no questions asked this past year when we went to visit family and opted NOT to go to their house. it wasn't worth the allergy issues, bites and another $300 Dr. bill.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

don't waste your time! we had an infestation when we were young and broke, and tried to save exterminator money by 'doing it ourselves.' the house was covered with a scary toxic residue, and worse- it didn't stop the fleas.
bite the bullet.
take your dog to the vet and get the pill. i don't know what's in that pill, but it's magic. and then pay for the topical stuff that you put between his shoulder blades once a month. keep up with it.
get an exterminator to the house and get it thoroughly treated. ALL of you go to mom's. don't think that your baby's room isn't infested. fleas don't care about doors. they're in there.
do you live in an apartment or a house? if the new neighbors have nuisance cats, call animal control. the poor cats are suffering too.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Call an exterminator and have the house AND the yard treated. Are you using something like frontline or advantix on your dog? The collars and drops you get at the grocery store don't work well so get the good stuff at your vet's office.

Also please know that if you have fleas in your yard then they can hitchhike a ride in on people too. That's why its important to get the yard treated.

If your neighbor truly has a million cats please consider calling animal control just to make sure that they are vaccinated and being well cared for. Sometimes people will a glut of animals start off with good intentions but get overwhelmed by the amount of care needed. The animals end up being sick because there's just too many for a person to really take care of.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If you have a dog that is flea-ridden, and the fleas are still biting the people, you have a worse infestation than you think. If you don't get all the fleas and all the eggs, the problem will return. Been there - many years ago my parents went on vacation and boarded the dog, but I stopped by for 2 nights to stay in the house, and I was eaten alive. The fleas had not dog to feast on, so they got me. I never had an itchier bunch of bites in my life.

Is there a reason you haven't treated the dog? I understand you don't want the baby exposed to the chemicals, but the fleas aren't exactly a healthy alternative! I know it's not the dog's fault, in your mind, because the neighbors have animals. So I get that they are not responsible owners because they haven't treated their pets, but you haven't taken care of yours either. Fleas are in the environment so your dog could have gotten them anywhere. They are living in your house in the cold weather, granted. But even after you get rid of them, as soon as spring comes, you have to take precautions against fleas and ticks for your own pet on your own. My dog can't use Frontline but the vet gave us a really good flea collar, better than what you get in the supermarket pet aisle.

Please coordinate everything - send the baby to your mother's, book a flea bath at the groomer's or the vet's for your dog at the same time, and work with a really good flea bomb product (consult the vet, the groomer, or an exterminator re clean-up) all at the same time.

If you only do 1 or 2 of these steps, the problem will return.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Um, have an exterminator come out. Fleas don't live outside in this weather either. If it is fleas put a flea collar on your dog or one of those liquid flea prevention types.

Anything unprotected outside potentially has fleas.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Bug bombs are messy and gross, in my experience. They leave residue you will want to clean up before the baby returns to the house, and every dish, every blanket, every surface will need to be cleaned. If you do not bomb the baby's room, the fleas may retreat there.

I suggest that you vacuum frequently, use mothballs in the bag or canister, throw out the bag immediately, and consider diotomatious earth (the food grade) for entryways and places the fleas could be coming in. Make sure your dog has flea and tick control always. We use Revolution or Frontline, from the vet (sometimes what you get online is not as strong) for our cats.

We have done things like put the DE in the carpet and left for the weekend, but you still have to vacuum it up. My DH wears a breather mask when we do that and he has to be the one to vacuum it up because I am allergic. You would not want a baby breathing it in.

Do you rent or own? Is there an HOA? I ask because if it is truly the cats that are the problem then you may need to ask the landlord or HOA to intervene.

We had a groundhog dig under our house and then we got fleas. We also got fleas in the house after a warm winter and the probable way they got in was on US. So before you flip out on the cats, please inspect your home for other possible sources. Fleas can hitch a ride on people, too, and you have a dog. If the current flea prevention on the dog isn't working, talk to the vet about options. Once we evicted the groundhog, we were back to normal, but we keep DE down by the basement door to keep the camel crickets out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It could be but then you have a lot of cleanup to do to get any residue out. We had a cat that got fleas because she would run into the bushes. She liked to hide in the basement and it was awful. We treated her and I used Hertz spray as well as Borax (laundry soap). This is pretty safe and since your baby is so young no danger her getting it on her by crawling around. What you can do is sprinkle it everywhere, even on furniture. And leave it all day. Then vacuum it up. If it is really bad, you could even leave it all night for extra. It coats the fleas' shells and they cannot breathe. I was very skeptical about it but it totally worked. Make sure you bathe the dog to get off as many fleas as possible and then treat him. I would be sure to treat the dog regularly if you have a problem in the neighborhood.


It could be but then you have a lot of cleanup to do to get any residue out. We had a cat that got fleas because she would run into the bushes. She liked to hide in the basement and it was awful. We treated her and I used Hertz spray as well as Borax (laundry soap). This is pretty safe and since your baby is so young no danger her getting it on her by crawling around. What you can do is sprinkle it everywhere, even on furniture. And leave it all day. Then vacuum it up. If it is really bad, you could even leave it all night for extra. It coats the fleas' shells and they cannot breathe. I was very skeptical about it but it totally worked. Make sure you bathe the dog to get off as many fleas as possible and then treat him. I would be sure to treat the dog regularly if you have a problem in the neighborhood.

ETA: I remember when my dad bombed the house for fleas when I was younger. My mom had to put all the food in the garage for the day, even canned. And then I remember the clean up. All dishes had to be washed, all bedding, walls, etc. It was not fun.
Also to note, our cat unfortunately died due to the fleas. She became extremely anemic and I just did not have money for a blood transfusion and overnight care at the vet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You have to also prevent recurrence on your dog. Capstar is a pill that kills the ones on him and then you need to do Frontline. Both are available at Petsmart, Amazon and your vet office. This will continue to happen until you stop them from coming back in.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

I would call an exterminator because with a baby in the house, I would go for the least toxic option and they'll know the best thing for your situation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Call an exterminator. If you bomb the house you will have to thoroughly wipe it down after and they will come back anyways. An exterminator will know what to do. This is what we do to control fleas(in the south where they thrive!) treat your dog. Get some some advantix, advantage, frontline these are expensive but they work. We also treat our yard with bug killer that we get at Home Depot and we spread it(like grass seed) and then water it down. Treat all around your house. When they occasionally get inside I put a bowl of soapy water under a night light at night. This will trap them and they drown. I think the #1 thing for us though is to definitely keep the dogs treated.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Before you bomb the house make sure you turn off any pilot lights... water heater, stove, furnace...etc. Bug bombs are explosive and have been known to blow up a home.

So do it safely.

Also Dawn Dishwashing liquid kills fleas. Give you dog a bath with Dawn.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Step one: bug bomb the house, following directions carefully. (they will tell you how to clean up properly as well)
Step two: start adding a small amount of garlic powder to dogs food daily, fleas will avoid him/her if s/he smells of garlic. (Your vet will say not to do this, they will tell you it is toxic for your dog, my dogs have all lived healthily into their late teens and they NEVER get fleas! Garlic powder is WAY cheaper than any of the chemical treatments)
Step three: sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (NOT the kind for pools) on any upholstered items and carpets/rugs, vacuum up after 24 hrs-this is safe for pets and babies, if you have ever eaten any packaged products that come from grain or corn, you have more than likely eaten DE. The DE is like tiny shards of glass to bugs, it will cut them as they crawl over it, they will dry out and die. You might want to do this at least weekly for a while

I would only do step one if my home was extremely infested. For mild to moderate infestation, I would skip the bomb, I prefer to avoid those types of chemicals unless absolutely necessary.


answers from New York on

bombing didnt solve the problem for us, we had to change the kind of flea meds our dog was on. We have a lot of squirrels around so there is no way to make a flea free environment for your dog, just make him flea proof.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I'm so very very very confused by this situation. I guess I know nothing about fleas.

I have heard, my entire life, that fleas can't live in a wood floor environment because they can't burrow into carpet fibers and stay alive. Why aren't weekly/monthly/quarterly flea baths keeping them off your animals? Why isn't a flea and tick medicine applied to the back of the animals neck not keeping the fleas off? Why isn't a flea collar keeping them off.

Those things would also keep the fleas out of your house.

Those are the things I've heard all my life so I'me very confused by your question. You're taking your dog in to get flea dipped? Using products from Walmart to keep fleas out of your house in the first place????

Please share more info. I just don't understand. I have pets but they stay inside so we've not had this problem. We've even had animals that went out quite often and there were strays loose and other animals on the other sides of the yard in fences but we've never ever had fleas, with carpet too.

So I want to know more about this.

We haven't had any problems but our pets use Advantage or something like that. My mother in law put it on all the animals on the 15th of every month when she was alive. My father in law just takes the animals in once per month to the vet to get them treated.



answers from Miami on

I agree with the exterminator. Spray the yard. Keep vacuuming and throw the bag away. We've used Comfortis with our dogs (it's a monthly pill they take) with great success. It kills the fleas on the dog within 30 minutes of them eating it. Currently, we use a chewable called Nexguard. It is for fleas and ticks. I like giving them pills because I prefer that to flea collars or residue.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions