Maybe Horrified and Mad

Updated on July 21, 2012
J.L. asks from Brainerd, MN
19 answers

I just discovered early this morning that our cat has fleas. Never in my life have I had to deal with fleas! Gross! Our duplex neighbors apparently have been battling them for years. We found out weeks ago they planned to bug bomb outside but figured it was just for mosquitoes. Come to find out they have recurring flea infestations from their dogs going outside. They were lazy about cleaning up. Just last weekend they finally brought their dogs and cats outside for treatment while they fogged their place. Obviously, I didn't know much about fleas otherwise I wouldn't have been playing outside with my son at any point until they bug bombed. Now, I found adult fleas on our long haired cat. I spent $50 on Advantage II and the cat is quarantined for the day. I'm pregnant and have a 15 month old, so I'm worried about what chemicals we can use. The RN I spoke to was virtually no help, but gave me the National Pesticide Information hotline's number. They're not open yet. I guess I'll vacuum like crazy and sanitize every surface I can to get anything I can. If this problem continues, I honestly may consider moving. By November I'll have a newborn too and there's no way I'm going to let her get bit by fleas and live with fleas. I'm so mad that the neighbors laziness to completely address their problem is now costing us time and money and possible health repercussions. Of course they're gone camping for the weekend and I doubt we could get a nickel out of them anyways. Does anyone have ANY advice on how to get rid of these fleas ASAP! I want to declare war before they have a huge army!

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So What Happened?

Maybe I should clarify that my cat is an indoor cat. I never thought I needed to treat my cat as though he were an outdoor cat. I'm over 30 and have had outdoor pets my whole life. We have never, never had fleas! I'm sorry that I sound freaked out, but I've never lived anywhere where this has happened, plus the bites my son has been getting really grinds my gears.

Does anyone know about laundry and fleas? Will a regular wash in cold water and going through the dryer be enough? Thanks for all the advice so far!!

Featured Answers


answers from Sarasota on

Deep breath time. The advantage will more than likely eradicate the problem. Keep the cat treated monthly so that you don't have anymore coming inside.

Again, relax! Fleas live on untreated animals, now you know.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Your neighbors did not invent fleas (it's flea season)...get over it and take care of your pets, property and family....sounds like your neighbors have and they don't owe you anything.

I love my pets and had a very bad flea season last year....I bombed, bathed and vacuumed more then ever!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Ok, fleas are not the end of the world, and the treatments prescribed by the vet (DO NOT USE OVER THE COUNTER TREATMENTS) are all safe for use by pregnant women, especially the ones that are not topical. I'm pregnant too and my dogs take a pill for flea control. It works GREAT. Any flea that gets on my dog's skin will die within minutes. We haven't had any trouble with fleas, as opposed to last year, when I didn't treat my dogs, and they were everywhere.

This isn't anything to freak out about. Treat your cat with prescription flea meds for a few months, and everything will be fine.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Advantage and vacuuming is all you need to do. They will be gone within a week. You may see a few pop up in 14-28 days, but they will die as soon as they jump on your cat and try to feed. This is your fault as much as your neighbors. Had you been treating your cat like you were suppose to, this wouldn't have happened.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

First off no you can't prove they are the cause of the fleas. Like many posters said fleas are everywhere. Treat your pets and home and move on. My brother once brought fleas home from a park he went to with his son, should he have sued the park?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Your cat should have been taking advantage Before the problem started. You cannot prevent fleas unless you live in a bubble. If you were not preventing fleas YOU not your neighbor is responsible. Dont let hormones freak you out. vacuum floors and furniture and mop and wait 2-3 days to see if Advantage takes care of the problem before you freak and start spraying chemicals all over your home. We had a Very, Very, very bad infestation. I took care of it by changing from Front line to Advantage and vacuuming twice a day and mopping once a week.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Fleas commonly live and lay eggs outside, so there is really nothing you can do to absolutely prevent them except give your cat advantage. Fleas can get into your yard via squirrels, mice, racoons, generally anything warm-blooded. Fleas jump onto the hosts while outside, and come in with them- that's how they get in your house. The only sure thing that kills them outside is a hard freeze. There is no reason to be mad at your neighbors- be mad at mother nature! Their dogs probably got the fleas from the yard in the first place.
Fleas do not prefer humans. Instead they prefer cats and dogs as their hosts, and resort to humans if the cat or dog is removed. So, giving your cat advantage and leaving it inside should take care of the problem, as they will flock to the cat, bite, and die.
However, you can just give her one treatment and expect to never have them again. It's an investment you have make every month, no exceptions.
Here in the South, it's understood that fleas are anywhere a squirrel will go. I give my dog and cat advantage year-round. The flea problem is esp bad this year because of the mild winter we had last year. I know the ground in many places never froze this year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Fleas live outside. When animals walk outside, they pick up fleas. It's just the way that it is. It's not because your neighbors are lazy, though I have the feeling that it makes you feel better to think so.

You should get your pet the kind of flea medicine that they take by mouth. The medicine kills the fleas that bite your pet because the flea feeds on your pet's blood, and as soon as they feed on the blood, your pet's blood poisons them. That prevents them from laying eggs and having the fleas infest your house.

The ladies are giving you good advise in terms of how to deal with your house now. But the only way to prevent it from happening in the future is to medicate your pet.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dothan on, 'Stanley Steamer' get the carpets done & your furniture, if someone you know has a steam machine ask them to use it & perhaps help you since you are PG, keep the cat on the meds, if you don't have any little red, itchy bumps or your child doesn't either then you don't have an infestation at this point. Put on a clean, white pair of socks & walk around the house, if you don't get any small black dots jumping onto the socks then the house is OK & it's just the cat who now has been treated.

It will be OK, no point in discussing this with the neighbors it will just upset you more & legally there is ZERO that can be done.

Good Luck & Congrats on your 'new' one!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Fleas are everywhere, so moving somewhere else won't mean it won't happen again, so please calm down. You did the right thing by getting the Advantage for the cat - Frontline will work just as well also. If the cat is treated monthly, eventually any fleas in your household will find their way to the cat, then die - keep treating the cat every month until there's a killing frost outside (usually by Christmas). If it makes you feel better, contact an exterminator to treat the house and yard. But know that fleas happen - any dog or cat that is not on a flea/tick preventative already can pick them up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Fleas are everywhere.. Lazy and not lazy people get fleas in their homes because of outdoor pets.

I have never found a natural solution that worked as well for killing fleas.. And the first time I saw a flea on my child, I was willing to do whatever was needed to get rid of them.

Fleas are terrible, this will take more than one day of treatment.
It will also take you and your neighbors working together to get rid of them.

Suggestion.. Try to find a place to stay for about 3 days.

On the first day, bomb your homes. 2 days later, bomb them again.
Make sure the pets have been treated.

When you get back, vacuum the entire house, wash all of the linens and clean the kitchen, bathroom, etc..

The fleas lay eggs and they hatch 2 da

ys later, that is why you have to do the bombing 2 times. 2 days apart.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

They ARE a pita! But its not your neighbors fault.
You need to keep your cat on flea ore emotion once this is over.
Spray the yard. Dip the cat, then bomb your house & leave for a few hours.
It's really the only way, and not doing O. of the three (yard, animal & house) is only going to prolong this...speaking from experience.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

So you're going to move to get away from fleas? Please tell us where you can live that as no fleas. I'm sure we'd all like to move there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Just use Advantage or the other product that starts with an R (can't remember the name) - they always work for fleas and won't hurt your kid.



answers from Washington DC on

First off, try to be calm. We got fleas, we suspect, from a groundhog that dug under the house. Our cats are indoor cats and we don't have a lot of pet visitors.

One thing you can use is diatomaeous earth, but use food grade.

I will caution you that this is VERY dusty and you should wear protective gear. Actually YOU should probably not be around it.

I suggest you use it in low traffic areas. I discovered that I am highly allergic to it so I can't be anywhere around it. We'd put some down on SS's carpet while he was at college and when we went in there much later, I wasn't able to stay until it had been vacuumed by someone else several times. Frankly, I'm not sure it was any better than putting a flea collar in a vacuum bag and vacuuming well once a week and tossing the bag. However, the DE might be useful to put in a shared crawlspace between the homes. To "deactivate" it, just get it wet.

Advantage and Frontline are what I'd suggest for the cat, as you have done. Keep it up til after you stop seeing fleas. Frontline has a rebate if you need more than 3 doses. Ask the vet about it. You might also ask the vet what natural or low-chemical remedies they suggest for the home.


answers from Washington DC on

oh, i'm so sorry. yes, they're a huge PITA. but not unbeatable!
i hate using chemicals and wish i could tell you that the gazillion natural remedies i've tried have been effective. but they haven't. i've got diatomaceous earth by the 50lb bags, i grow tansy and marigolds and mint and rosemary and make teas from them to spray, i've used lavender essential oil and nematodes and fed garlic and vitamin B.
and i still end up using an exterminator and topical chemical applicator.
we thought we had fleas beat once and for all. we hadn't seen them in years. then my spare son moved in with his cat, and brought them along with them. i love that boy, and it's a good thing, or i might have obliterated him.
you DO have to talk to your neighbors about keeping it up on their end. they sound like slobs, but if they know that you are pissed (courteous and sane but very very displeased) they will most likely put more effort into it.
in the meantime, fork out the bucks to have an exterminator come and do a thorough spray of your house. keep up with your cat's advantage, but if she's infested right now you should take her to vet. they have a power pill, a one-time KO that knocks all the fleas on her dead.
it's expensive, but we've tried the cheaper route before and it's always ended up being more expensive in the long run. and if your neighbors really are sweathogs, you may be forced to move.
i'm so sorry.


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,
We used to use Advantage topical flea meds on our dog but it stopped working. When I consulted w/ our vet, he basically said that the topical stuff on the market, such as Advantage, had basically run it's course and was no longer effective in keeping fleas at bay. He recommended a new pill form flea med that your pet takes once a month. I forget what it's called offhand, but your vet will know. It's about $100 for a 6 month supply. We only use the pills in the summer months here in So Cal so we get two years worth (summers) out of 6 months of pills. I actually like the pill form sooo much better because the topical wet stuff ran everywhere and then you can't pet your dog in the area for a full 48 hours, which is pretty hard for kids. (I see you have a cat, I'm sure they have a cat formulation, too)

Anyway, cheer up. If you've never had fleas before, consider yourself lucky! Oh, BTW, the pill med I wrote about above? The fleas literally fall off the animal when you give them the first dose. This stuff rocks.



answers from Chicago on

We had fleas last summer. They were everywhere in the basement since that is where our cat's pan was. I could not go down to do laundry without having to pick those stupid things off of me. Most of the time, they are not the end of the world. Our cat got them from going into the bushes in our yard when we would let her out for fresh air. Unfortunately, she died last summer due to low blood count, most likely due to the fleas. They were just awful. But, that is an extreme case so don't freak out too much. Now, I use the Hartz spray in the basement to lessen the fleas and even though i was told repeatedly that it would not work, it did a pretty good job. I also bought a box of Borax and sprinkled that all over the floor and left it for 3 days. I then vacuumed it up. I did not have to treat again. There is also some type of treatment you can give your cat using lemons that you boil with I think lavender but could be wrong. You can google it. I did not use it but have heard it works.

A friend of mine loves to go camping. She does not have any pets to carry fleas (just fish). She got fleas 3 yrs ago, most likely carried in on something they used but fleas can also hitchhike on your clothes while outdoors for any period of time. I would be mad at your neighbors simply because you mention it is a duplex and you share either floor or walls with them so easy for the bomb or the fleas to move into your area.



answers from Bismarck on

We had sand fleas so not from our cat get on our cat and carpets. I don't remember all the specifics but natural rememedies help the carpet You may have to google it but sprinkle salt on he carpet and let sit. Then vacuum. the salt dries them out. I also remember putting a paper plate of salt and baking soda under the coach because they are attracted to it.
Both are safe and cheap.
Still advantage is probably the best way to treat your cat.

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