We Have Fleas

Updated on June 18, 2010
L.M. asks from Willow Hill, IL
20 answers

We had a very busy week last week, where we were coming and going long enough to eat, sleep, and let the dog out. I didn't take the time to realize he had been digging. I have not seen fleas, but I am certain he has them. I have treated him, but my daughter keeps finding bugs but by the time she brings them to me to see what they are they have disappeared. She is complaining about being itchy, and the dog often lays with her at night. I don't think we have ever had them to the point they have bothered the kids so now I think I need to treat my house. I am not sure how to go about it though. I am going to call our bug guys today to ask more questions, but I know I have asked in the past about fleas and was told we would have to be gone for part of the day while they spray. I don't want a pesticide residue all over the house. My son puts too much in his mouth still to feel safe with that. Anyone know of a safe way to treat your house?

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answers from Toledo on

My friend who is a vet tech. says to use the frontline and do nothing else but vacuume and clean soft items. If the flea's have no animal in the house to bite they die!


answers from Sioux City on

I only ever treat my dog with Frontline once a month all year round and I never have a problem. My cute little cuddly critter is quite the bunny killer and used to get them all the time. We haven't had any problems since using Frontline.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Ugh, fleas are really difficult! Call your vet and ask for suggestions. There should be some meds you can use to treat your dog so that when the fleas bite him, they die. You should use that all flea season, and several weeks past the first good freezes (if it gets that cold in your area) and start early in the spring before it warms up, before the critters get a good start.

I worked for a vet 20 years ago, so my info is a little old, but back then there were bombs and sprays that had a growth inhibitor to catch the larval stages that will hatch after the initial spraying. Call your vet at a non-busy time (early afternoon, late morning) and have a long chat with them about your options.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

First, Frontline Plus on the dog! Then bomb the house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Sorry, fleas are a real PAIN........Unfortunately, being gone and bombing the house is about the only way to really get rid of them.........you also want to get some spray or dust to put on your yard to get them out of there too.......the stuff for the yard should be ok for the kids after the first rain, some before that.......

I would talk to the bug guys and see if they have a more baby friendly bomb that can be used.........use to, you had to rewash all your dishes, your counters, everything.........it was a royal pain!!! Hopefully now they have better things to use.
Wash the bedding very well to get the fleas out and I would sprinkle baby powder on the bed while you are washing the sheets and such. Fleas don't like smell......that is why skin so soft from Avon and Melaleuca oil works.......... Be sure to get in the closets too......

Good luck getting rid of the little critters.........take care. And I hope the dog feels better too!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Ok... this is what we do EVERY year ugh. Its kind of a pain but it really works. (spray your yard and do frontline or something similar for your dog) For the house.. get those little round tin pans that are like 3 for $2 at walmart (or you can get them at the $ tree too) and $1 nightlights for each main room in your house. every night before you go to bed (I wait till the kids are already asleep) put just about 1/4 inch of water in each pan then add a couple drops of Dawn (dish soap). Put a night light (I take the covers off) in each main room then put one of the pans with water underneath it. The fleas jump at the light then fall in the water and cant get out. We are going through all this now and it does suck but at least this way you aren't using products that can hurt your children! In the morning just dump them and do it again (you can do every other day if you want) for about 10 days or until you don't catch anymore fleas. THIS REALLY WORKS! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

First spray your yard. Then treat your dog and put him in the yard. Get everyone out of the house. Then bomb your house with the flea bombs. Then leave for a few hours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Front Line(expensive but good) for the dog....flea bomb your house (you will need to be away for several hours).


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I honestly believe you're on the right track with contacting a service to see what they recommend.

I work for a company developing a head lice treatment, and we see a lot of patients being needless treated because of assumed or misdiagnosis. I wouldn't personally opt to fumigate a home without knowing, for sure, if there is a flea infestation.

I'd also recommend contacting the vet to see what they recommend in the event the dog is infested but it's not obvious. With different breeds, the undercoats can hide a lot making it difficult to see small creatures.

Good luck! I hope it's a coincidence. You may also make a call to the pediatrician to see what they advise in case there is an actual flea infestation and you need to protect your kids from potential bites.

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics has on their site about insect bites and wounds:



answers from Toledo on

I work in a vet office and here is what I tell clients who have flea problems. First you have to treat all animals in the house - dogs and cats, even some pocket pets or you will never clear the problem. I would not use a cheap product like Hartz, unfortunately that usually does not work. Fleas have become resistant to them. Frontline or Advantage are the best. You want to wait at least 24 hours before or after a bath to apply them. The fleas will die as they jump on and do not take a blood meal. Ticks with both will die within 24 hours of biting. I tell people to put the medication on at a time the dog will be left alone for a few hours so it can dry. You will have to treat all the pets for at least 3 months to completely get things under control.
You will also want to wash all the bedding and sweep the house really well. You want to sweep under furniture and get int he corners and edges. Once you sweep, either empty the sweeper or throw the bag away outside, otherwise fleas will crawl back out of the sweeper and reinfest the house. Flea bombs don't work great because the chemicals land on top of things and fleas and flea eggs live under the edge of things.
You can also treat the yard to minimize fleas in the yard. Fleas and tick are very bad this year. In our area we are seeing a great deal of problems with fleas and ticks.
Good Luck to you. You can get it under control, but remember there will not be an overnight fix.



answers from Columbus on

You can always bomb if all else fails:) However if you don't want to expose your family to all the toxic stuff, vacuuming daily and thoroughly, plus Frontline (flees die within 24 hrs after biting the dog) and Sentinel (general anti-parasite med that has a component which renders flees infertile, this component may also be available separately). With this regimen fleas will be gone in a just a few days. In our case no more than 2 days, happens to us every summer bc we forget to up the doze of Frontline (in summer needs to be every 3 weeks, in winter we don't put it on her at all). Generally the older your dog gets the more this will be an issue, bc its immune system is going to become weaker. If you want to go completely natural route vacuuming is very helpful, and supplements for the dog like garlic(smell repels flees) and yeast(boosts immune system), but you have to be careful with garlic, bc it can be toxic for dogs. Read up on that if you like.
Here's an official research on vacuum cleaner effectiveness:


answers from Austin on

Fleas are very bad this year!

You need to treat your dog first. Then consider spraying your lawn with a yard spray that attaches to your hose. Follow the directions, your dog may have to stay inside till the yard dries..

Bombing for fleas is a 2 day process.You bomb the first day (you will have to leave for a few hours).. Then bomb again on the 3rd day (again leave for a few hours.).. Follow the directions exactly.. No fans, or air conditioning while bombing..



answers from Cleveland on

Hi, L.!

Oh, I feel for you! We had the same problem last year with our two cats, and though my husband wanted to just leave for a few hours and bomb the house, I refuse to use that nasty stuff and have that residue all over. It's not good for anyone involved, even if it does get rid of the fleas. I was so upset about it, I wanted to get rid of the cats and sell the house!

So what we did is this: Got Frontline for the animals (after giving them a good bath), then shampooed the carpet (especially careful to get along the baseboards, where fleas are worst). Then we vacuumed twice a day for three days, then shampooed the carpet again to get the new fleas (that were just eggs when we shampooed the first time). Then continued vacuuming daily. (Be sure to empty the vacuum each time!) We also vacuumed the furniture each time we vacuumed the carpet, and washed all the bedclothes in hot water every other day.

It took almost a month, but we finally got rid of them, and have been diligent about keeping Frontline on the cats now. It is expensive, and has to be done monthly, but it is so worth it!

Best of luck to you!



answers from Indianapolis on

We used to live in FLA, where fleas are a fact of life, everywhere, year-round. In addition to treating our animals (Frontline, ...) we would sprinkle boric acid (Mule Team Borax) on our carpets and use a broom to work it in, much like Kimmy K advises with diamaticious earth. The Borax dries out any eggs that end up in the house, and they never hatch, effectively ending the cycle.


answers from Chicago on

I'm not sure about the flea bombing but once you get everything all cleaned up, considering using Revolution on your dog. It's a once-a-month flea/tick/heartworm medicine you give to your dog and you will never have fleas again. I'm not sure of the cost as my ex is a vet and I get it for free, but it's got to be cheaper and less of a hassle than all you're going through.



answers from Lafayette on

I used to work at Reliable Exterminators. Call them (800-686-6205) -- they'll give you free advice. You can gets stuff for your pet from your vet, and Reliable can tell you what you can buy & use on your home. It's inexpensive, and it works. It really isn't that bad. When we bought our home (and brought our dog into it) it was flea infested. On top of moving, we had to treat everything for fleas. Ugh! But buy the stuff, vacuum, and you're good. It works!



answers from Dallas on

I follow most of Dr Messonier advice. I use diamaticious earth (food grade) sprinkled in the house and yard. It is messy. I usually use a an old parmesan cheese jar and sprinkel into the carpet. Then rack with a broom to get down into the fibers, let sit. I am impatient so it is usually only an half hour. I do a quick vacuum, so not to get it all up but to keep it from being airborne. I have been able to control small infestations this way. I have a dog that can not use any kind of pesticides products. The DE can be irratating to the eyes. And oppions on its effectenness varies. I used to be vary pro into pesticides, but having a dog that has sever allergies has taken me down new paths, probably more healthful.

Biggest mistake people make with pesitcides is not following through when eggs hatch. My past experience was about two months to control and rid fleas. Not what people want to hear, but you need to follow through at least two three cycles to be effective.

You can read DR Messoniers recomendation below.



answers from Dallas on

Getting them out of your house and your hard is nearly impossible. Burn the house down or move, seriously. We had the same problem, thankfully our house sold and we dont have the problem anymore.



answers from Minneapolis on

About 10 years ago, we got a bad case of fleas in the house (I didn't catch it right away) and to top it off, one of my kids is allergic to flea bites :(

I didn't use any commerical products other than flea dip on the animals (follow the bottle carefully following up if necessary). For the house, I vacuumed EVERYTHING, washed everything in the house that fit in the washing machine on the hottest temp possible and dried it as hot as possible too. Vacuumed the cars, threw the pillows away and got new ones (they were due for that anyways), vacuumed ALL hard surfaces as well, and bagged all stuffed animals and put them in the shed for a week. Also, I emptied my vacuum constantly in the OUTSIDE garbage and then stored my vacuum in the shed for a few days when I was done. Took me an entire day from sun up to sun down, but I got rid of the little buggers without bombing the house.

One way that I could tell if they were gone was to lay a white sheet on the floor for 30 minutes, they will jump on the sheet (who knows why) and you will see them. Better fleas than lice - lice is WAY harder to get rid of!

Good luck!

** Edit - I also kenneled the animals for 3 days after I dipped them just to be safe - other than the dip and new pillows, that was the only other cost. My dogs couldn't be kenneled outside so paying to kennel was the only option for me.



answers from Fort Wayne on

To know for sure, put dish soap into a shallow pan or tub or water on the floor tonight and in the morning if you have fleas they will have been trapped into the bubbles of the soap and be in the water. That is how you can narrow it down cheaply. It won't solve your problem but at least then you will know what you are dealing with.

Fleas are miserable. I hope that you can get a good solve for your problem.

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