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Clean and Clutter-free: I have no pets but I found millions of fleas in my basement.

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Pinita
Annandale, VA

August 17, 2006
1:27 PM

Post #2631194

I could not find where to post the question about fleas. I did not posted in pets because I have no pets. I do not know how did I get this tiniest bugs but persistent. My husband bought two 32 oz of some spray in Home Depot. The fleas were still there. He went and bought a two gallon and sprayed the whole house. The fleas are less but they are still there.

Anyone can help. Before to call an exterminator than in this area is very expensive we want to try to cure this infestation by ourselves. Does any body knows what product to buy. I googled the question but most of the sites talk about pets. If someone knows any information I would like to know the name of the product and where to buy, or if someone knows a home based formula I will appreciate give me the information.

Thank you.

Rosa
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 17, 2006
2:08 PM

Post #2631343

I guess my first question would be are you positive that they're fleas? I don't think fleas are going to survive very long unless they have an animal to live on so I wouldn't be surprised if they're actually something else. Unless you just bought the house and the last people had pets? If you're sure they're fleas, you may actually want to shop around at pet places, they sell lots of things to treat fleas on the pets but they also sell things to control the fleas in the house itself, so that's probably your best bet. You could post in the pet forum too, I'm sure people over there have used the stuff to control fleas in the house and could provide advice on what works the best.
ericalynne
Windham, NY
(Zone 4b)

August 17, 2006
3:35 PM

Post #2631635

fleas can live on people and mice too. you don't need domestic animals in your house to get fleas. the golf course next to my house always has fleas. i have a cat and she gets fleas once in a while. the answer is vaccuum, vaccuum, vaccuum. put a mothball, or flea powder in the bag to kill the fleas. everyday for a week or so. and don't forget to toss the vaccuum bag.
Pinita
Annandale, VA

August 18, 2006
5:31 PM

Post #2635439

Thanks Ecrane3 & Ericalynne for your answers and your ideas. I do not know if they are fleas. My husband says they are fleas. They are very tiny insect. When I came to the basement the other day in a barefoot they jumped to my feets, and ankles. I try to kill them with the palm of my hand and they jumped quickly. This is the only description I can give. Ericalynne mention of a flea powder. I guess you get that at the pet store? My husband found a spray at Home Depot. I will go today to a pet store to see if I find the powder. I also I will post this in the pets. Thank You, Thank You.

Rosa
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

August 18, 2006
5:47 PM

Post #2635487

I got a product a few years ago - Ortho Flea-B-Gone. Came in a small spray bottle, less than a quart - used at the doorways - stopped the fireants and tree roaches from entering, too. Lots of "critters" on the Gulf coast.

We have pets, but they are treated - internally with Prevention - so any fleas that do get on them are killed when they bite. Keeps the yard free of fleas, too. Unfortunately, it does not work on the fireants in the yard - that's a whole separate issue.

FIL had major sand flea infestation in the country (NE TX). Treated the house floors with sevin - got the fleas but was a mess to clean up. Took several applications - dogs would wander the fields and creeks and bring more home. Told him to get the dogs on one of the prescription preventatives - very few problems after that. Some fleas would hitch-hike on people's clothing, but nothing like it was.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2006
9:28 PM

Post #2636138

If they were jumping then they likely are fleas. I would definitely recommend checking pet stores for flea sprays, unless the stuff hubby found at HD specifically said fleas on it (most of the stuff they sell is for ants, wasps, etc, and I'm not sure if the things that kill them are good on fleas or not, better to go to the pet store and get something that's specifically for fleas)
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2006
6:12 AM

Post #2637513

Fleas can live for two years without host animals. They hatch and live long enough to breed again, and the eggs are viable for a long time. I've had luck with the 'bomb' type that you turn on the spray and leave the area for a day or two, which is ideal for basements. Our Home depot sells them, there are a lot of rental properties around here.
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 23, 2006
1:59 PM

Post #2651150

I agree that you'll need to spray, then spray again to catch the hatchlings. However, a friend of mine had a horrible infestation in her basement. She sprayed, too, but she also had a pan of water sitting in the middle of the basement floor and then she hung a light bulb about 10 inches or so over the pan of water. The fleas are looking for somewhere warm and will jump to the light bulb and then end up in the water and drown. It's weird but it really works. Use a fairly large roasting pan and fill it up with a couple inches of water and let the swimming party begin!

Diann
Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

August 31, 2006
3:17 AM

Post #2677265

Try Boric Acid powder. You can sprinkle it on the carpet and use a broom to brush it in or even disolve in water and mop with it on hard floors. This will kill them. The light and water trick does work, too.

Lana
Pinita
Annandale, VA

August 31, 2006
12:59 PM

Post #2677968

Daysi:

Thank You but the boric acid does not work. I tried. The jar says that will kill ants and coakroaches. I do not have coakroaches but I have ant that come from the kitchen window. The boric acid does not kill even the ants.

I am treating the area with some type of fogger and with a type of dust that I bought at Kmart. Then I vacuum after three days. I found less but they are some still there.

I will do the treatment this weekend again. Hopefully I break the cycle of the eggs. I will let you know.

Thanks

Rosa
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2006
1:16 PM

Post #2678005

You might want to go to a vets office to get the fogger and spray. I know it costs more, but..

Diann
Pinita
Annandale, VA

August 31, 2006
5:31 PM

Post #2678720

Ticker:

Actually the fogger that I bought at a pet store cost more and did not help. The fogger that I bought at Kmart was better and it was $3.00 less and I found a barbain in HOme Depot that it was even cheaper than Kmart.

If it work I will tell what kind is. All I know now because I am not at home is that the can is green.

Thanks

Rosa

Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

August 31, 2006
8:13 PM

Post #2679079

The boric acid has worked for me before and worked for my neighbor this year.

Lana
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 6, 2006
12:03 AM

Post #2695450

I am way late to this chat, but get some Diatomaceous Earth. I found a 5 lb bag of food grade on the internet; I forget the company's name, so just Google "diatomaceous earth".

I was plagued by ants this spring. I have pets (click on my name) and I didn't want any of us exposed to insecticides. And, if you drop a "bomb" of insectacide, the creatures might still come back. Diatomaceous Earth sticks to the insect and kills it by drying it out, therefore it is effective on any and all insects. This stuff is a white powder; it's kind of messy, but better than bugs. I dumped it behind my appliances, in baseboards, all over the cellar and dusted the carpets with it. No more ants!!! It will kill your bugs, be they fleas or not.

I don't own a diatomaceous earth company or anything! I was just happy to find a safe inscet-killer!
DanceyTx
Midway, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 6, 2006
12:16 AM

Post #2695466

If it is fleas you have they will surely bite! If you don't have any bites it must not be fleas.

If there is a flea within a mile it will surely get on me and bite the dickens out of my ankles. :( This year has really been bad for sand fleas due to the drought and heat. My pets are all treated and have been since early spring.
Pinita
Annandale, VA

September 7, 2006
1:31 AM

Post #2698730

jax4ever:

Never late! Ifound in the internet in mastergardening.com what you are talking about. It comes in a small pail 3.5 lb. Is that the one you are talking about?

I went to the basement and I did not find any fleas today. I will wait because I just treated with the fogger named SHOT and I also put the dust in the carpet that I bought at Kmart.

I think I like your suggestion because this you can put inside and outside.

I keep you posted and let you know what happen. thanks

Rosa
Manders77
Glenpool, OK

September 13, 2006
9:21 AM

Post #2718202

I have found that the boric acid works for me and the dish with a little dawn and water under the light. I have seen many sites on how to apply the boric acid to your carpets, but hubby put it in a sock of all things and sprinkled the dust out. It worked great and was easy to do. I never get bit by the fleas but my husband does. And a great way to see if you still have them is to put on a fresh pair of white socks and walk the basement, if you find them on your socks you still have em.. I know it sounds crazy but fleas are attracted not only to heat but to white. Try it and see. Good luck with it.. its such a pain.

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Pinita
Annandale, VA

September 13, 2006
6:46 PM

Post #2719546

Manders:

Thanks for your advice. I already tried boric acid, but it did not work for me. I received yesterday a order of five pounds of Diatomaceous Earth that I ordered through the internet. This will be my last resort. I hope this will work.

I will wait at least one week and then I will let everybody know if this work.

Tahnk You again.

Rosa
Pinita
Annandale, VA

September 14, 2006
12:56 PM

Post #2721856

Hi all:

I believe that the winner of this tread is Jax4ever. I ordered the Diatomaceous Earth that you advised through the internet from a gardening company. The dust came in a small bucket of 3 1/3 lbs. I put it only in the area that the fleas appear to be and then I put it around the edges of the kitchen and the window's kitchen. This happened three days ago. Since that night I have no see an ant or moth in the kitchen. I still have to check of the fleas downstairs.

I will keep you informed and let you know the website that I ordered the product. Thanks Jax4ever.

Rosa
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 25, 2006
3:58 AM

Post #2756556

I have always been a magnet for fleas and chiggers. Someone here on Dave's about 3 years ago suggested that they will not bite you if you take a Super B complex daily. I have not had a single bite from either since I started taking these. We have frequent feral cats on our porch and I used to get bit a lot. Now they jump on and right back off. The fleas, not the chiggers. They also sell them for dogs.

trois
Pinita
Annandale, VA

September 29, 2006
2:53 AM

Post #2768684

Thanks Trois for the hint about Super B Complex. I am taking simple complex B. I guess is not the same because the fleas bite me big times.
Rosa
weedyone
Seattle, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 8, 2006
10:01 PM

Post #2797772

Did you recently buy this house? When we moved into our house we had fleas and it was because the previous owner had a dog. This is what we did to get rid of them: changed the furnace filter then let off a couple foggers/flea bombs and left the house for 24 hours. We had to fog the downstairs twice but it worked!
Weedyone
LnKann
Shawano, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 9, 2006
12:25 AM

Post #2798201

I went to an exterminator's office and found that they sold products that killed fleas on the spot but also left a residual that killed the eggs after hatching. I had a huge infestation and this producted killed them all within a week.
Lellie
Anna Maria Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2006
12:53 PM

Post #2799585

Pinita...hoping you have eliminated your flea infestation by now, but if you haven't...and you need more diatomaceous earth, buy it from a pool store...it's way cheaper than off the Internet.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 9, 2006
2:41 PM

Post #2799951

You're not supposed to use the pool grade DE, it's processed differently and is not appropriate for this, you need the regular kind.
Pinita
Annandale, VA

October 11, 2006
3:50 PM

Post #2807123

Thanks Ecrane I have read that we do not suppost to use the DE for the pool. I guess Lellie did not read the whole thread. I notice that this is commun some people advice something that has already written that we shoudn't do. I am aware of all this.
Rosa
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 11, 2006
7:39 PM

Post #2807787

I think the discussion of pool vs garden DE might have been on a different thread and not this one, that's why I mentioned it again to make sure people who read this thread but maybe not the other one would still have the info.

This message was edited Oct 11, 2006 12:40 PM
hey_jude
Scottsdale, AZ

November 3, 2006
6:53 PM

Post #2878572

Fast, cheap and easily vacuumed up afterwards.

Sprinkle the floor/carpet with garden lime. It suffocates the fleas and eggs. Leave it for more than 2 weeks to make sure the eggs are dead. Then vacuum.

You';ll know after that period that they're gone. If any remained in the cracks along floorboards, baseboards etc, repeat.
Pinita
Annandale, VA

November 3, 2006
6:57 PM

Post #2878590

I cannot believe that garden lime kill the fleas. I wish I had know. I spent so much amout of money trying one advice and other. However they were gone with the last try of DE. Now I know garden lime is a lot cheaper.
Thanks Lee
hey_jude
Scottsdale, AZ

November 3, 2006
7:24 PM

Post #2878671

It worked for me when I lived in Florida (the flea capitol of the world to my knowledge). I spread it all ovet the property, looked like it had snowed but it WORKS!!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 4, 2006
10:28 PM

Post #2881862

5% Sevin Dust killed the fleas in our house. Sprinkled it in the carpet. Couple of days later and the problem was gone. Vaccumed up what was left. Had tried sprays and foggers but to no avail. I love that Sevin Dust! LOL
Pinita
Annandale, VA

November 16, 2006
1:18 PM

Post #2918757

The problem with 5% Sevin Dust you can not spread in your house. It is so toxic that you cannot do that. Be careful. I bought it and I was told not to use inside the house. I use only for the garden.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 17, 2006
6:04 PM

Post #2922516

None of us had any ill effects at all. It didn't do the fleas any good, though. LOL We have always used it to dust the dog houses and their bedding straw. It has never bothered any of our animals. We even dust them with it. It doesn't kill slugs. They nearly ate my peppers and cucumbers up. But the beer got 'em. The moral: Drinking and sliming don't mix.
graceful0917
denver
United States

July 8, 2007
6:48 PM

Post #3711509

HI, Pinita:
We live in apartment, and we do not have pet. We have some flea, too. May I ask you what do you think the most effective way to kill flea, thanks,
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2007
6:57 PM

Post #3711550

I'm inclined to agree that the fleas wouldn't survive unless they had a source of food - ie a mammal to feed on. Have you put down traps for rodents? I would recommend that you do that to see if they are bringing in the fleas. If you do have a rodent colony, then a one-time flea infestation treatment probably wouldn't bring you long-term relief.

Gardens Alive has a variety of what they call environmentally responsible products for gardening and weed and pest conrol. I searched there are found these flea-control nematodes. It's the first I've heard about a treatment like this and it may not be even as cost-effective as a professional exterminator, but I thought I'd share it.

http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=2779&ss=fleas

Here's another suggestion for a yard treatment for fleas:

http://www.fleasmart.com/fleayard.htm

Again, I'd also double-check to make sure that there is no rodent problem first/simultaneously.

Good luck. Keep us posted!!

Kathy



Monacc
Roslyn Heights, NY

August 7, 2007
12:52 AM

Post #3826386

Hi Everyone:
I'm desperate, I have fleas in my room I don't know how they got here, I just know they've been bitting me non stop, but they don't bite anybody else just me, my family doesn't think they're fleas but they bite and jump, we don't have pets but we had a cat over a couple of onths ago and like a month after that they started to bite me, i don't know what to do, I read about the complex B and i'm gonna star taking it, hopefully i'll work until i get ride of them. is it possible they are just living from bitting "me"?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 7, 2007
1:20 AM

Post #3826514

I don't see how it could be fleas from the cat--they wouldn't have waited a month after the cat left to start biting you. If it had started right after the cat was there then maybe it's possible, but if they went a month without an animal to feed off of they would have died. Any chance you've got mice? If you've got rats or mice, then they can have fleas which could be in your room. If they really are fleas, I'd read through the previous responses in this thread, there are lots of suggestions here and I don't know why one of them wouldn't work for you.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

August 7, 2007
3:08 AM

Post #3826949

We have had the worst flea problem in history for here. We have switched to a commercial livestock spray. They still don't bite me though, just the dog. They don't seem to be in the house at all.
We are using Permethrin 10%. 5cc mixes with water for a quart. We spray the porch also.
Len123
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

August 7, 2007
3:15 AM

Post #3826976

borax. 20 mule team. wears holes in their shells and they leak fluid. i think boric acid is the variety used on roaches.
EbbyLou
Troy, NY

August 19, 2007
1:40 PM

Post #3873792

I when into my basement by the washer and dryer and there they were fleas. I have a cat the lives in the basement, but she never goes out side. She catches a mouse about 6 times a year.I gave the cat a flea bath. I went to HD and purchased Hot Shot foggers. I bombed all three floors of my home with 9 bombs. Came back and did not get any bites. Till the next day. I got 12 more bombs and repeated the the treatment again. Came back and they are still in the basement. I have never seen any on the first or second flloor of my home. For the thrid time now I got 12 more bombs for a totoal of 33 bombs and guess what. I still have fleas in the basement. I went to the vets office and he gave me some spray told me to spray it all over the basement and not to go in the basement for 24 hours. Guess what I still have fleas in the basement. I got another can at $30 a pop. did it again. I STILL HAVE FLEAS.
The cat is no longer in the basement and she does not have fleas

Any suggestion!!!!! they are driving me crazy
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 19, 2007
2:34 PM

Post #3873960

This is going to sound really weird, but a friend of mine had fleas in her basement and no amount of spraying or bombing would take them out. She finally resorted to a couple of cake plans of water with a light bulb hanging about a foot over the pans. The fleas jump into the light, per-say, and bounce off or miss and land in the water and drown. That is the only way she was able to get rid of them. I would think that if you have as many as you say a small kids wading pool would be the route to go and then hang a treble light over the pool about a 12 to 18 inches. Good luck.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 19, 2007
3:50 PM

Post #3874216

My guess is you've got rats or mice around, they tend to have fleas and as long as the rats and mice are around, the fleas are not going to go away. I'd call an exterminator and have them come set some traps (don't let them use poison in case your cat were to catch one of the mice). Once the flea hosts are gone, you'll have a much easier time getting rid of the fleas.
Len123
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

August 19, 2007
9:00 PM

Post #3875299

the eggs can live for a long time after the fleas. sprays only get the fleas. try the borax.
it should destroy the eggs also.
rosewynd
Anza, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 18, 2007
3:43 AM

Post #4205424

The borax works. If you have carpet, spread it and work it in with a broom.
peter123
Los Angeles, CA

September 9, 2009
5:22 AM

Post #7043142

I have fleas and no pets. I've been living in a one bedroom apartment that had new carpets put in, for alomost two years but in the last month I some how got fleas. I fogged both rooms and they were gone for two weeks but now there back. I have found two since the fogger and five before that. I'm a fastidious person espeacially when it comes to cleanliness. I'm seriously losing my mind over it, I feel totaly violated and disgusted in my own home. I am throwing out all my fabric furniture, washing everything, vacumming everything and going to stay in a hotel for a night or two while I come in to constantly set foggers off. If this doesn't work I'm getting rid of everything I own (except electronics) and moving out.

One thing that seems suspicous to me is that about a month ago (the same time I noticed fleas) I had complained to my landlord about dogs constanly barking, all day and even in the middle of the night. A few neighbors have dogs in this building but swear they keep there dogs clean and free of fleas. Anway one of the neighbors was so upset when the landlord confronted him about the barking dogs that he moved out. Another tenant with a dog has also moved out since then. Maybe I'm paranoid but I sometimes suspect that they could comb the fleas and eggs off their dog and put it by my front door.

As for rodents, I highly doubt it because I don't like to keep food in my house, again the cleanliness. Instead I always eat out, maybe I will bring home a salad or some sliced fruit but never anything I need to heat up. I don't even use my stove, I turned off the gas line.

Anyway best of luck to everyone with their flea problem, vile creature.
jmp24
Medford, NJ

September 9, 2009
2:21 PM

Post #7043836

I had one of my outdoor cats bring fleas in one year, and got infested. I bought Ortho Home Pest Insect control and drenched my entire home with it. It worked.

I also am skeptical about how anyone could get fleas without pets - very strange. Once you have seen and been bitten by fleas, you will always recognize them. If you are not sure, I'd catch one and take it to an exterminator and get a solid ID. There is such a thing as sand fleas too, alot of places in my area get them due to our sandy soil - the ocean once came this far inland. The sand fleas also bite, but they don't look exactly like regular fleas. And you don't need pets to get them.

What freaks me out is how they - whatever they are - can stand up to all the pesticides that you all have been using! That scares me, that these critters are becoming immune to these hard core chemicals - and is probably the result of long term or misuse of such pesticides.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

September 9, 2009
11:11 PM

Post #7045469

I was wondering how long a flea could live without a host. This site says only a few days, so you must have something living down there to feed on. I found this statement at the bottom of the site. I thought it was worth posting:

"Fleas, but no pets?

Buildings sometimes become infested with fleas even when there are no pets around. Other animals such as bats, roof rats, squirrels, raccoons, and wild dogs and cats commonly nest in structures and may be the source of an infestation. An experienced pest control company can treat for fleas and seal openings through which wildlife may enter your home. "

http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l-1738.html
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 10, 2009
12:52 AM

Post #7045799

I would contact your landlord, they can have a professional come out and treat for the fleas which will probably be more effective than you going after them with foggers (and they can treat other apartments besides yours to help completely get rid of the problem). And as Katie pointed out they can probably figure out what sort of critters might be getting into the building to cause the problem in the first place and seal up openings, set traps, etc.

Also don't assume just because you keep your place clean that you couldn't have problems with rodents, etc. Some critters will come inside because they're looking for shelter or a place to build a nest. And in an apartment situation where you share a building with other people, their lack of cleanliness could attract mice and things and once they're in the building, they can get in the walls and go all over the building.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

September 10, 2009
2:08 AM

Post #7046044

What ecrane said . . .I have 12 cats and I found mouse droppings recently when I moved my old fridge out to get a new one!!! He would have had to cross at least one linoleum floor to get into the house . . .
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 10, 2009
2:48 AM

Post #7046197

They got in our carpet once and we had trouble getting rid of them. Finally sprinkled sevin dust liberally in the carpet, let it sit for several days and vaccumed it up. No more fleas!
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

September 10, 2009
7:18 PM

Post #7048340

FIL in East TX had a problem in his house - dog brought them in. Wooden floors, but they lived in the spaces between the boards. He did the sevin dust trick - no more fleas, but it did have to be done several times a year. Vacuming removed so much of the powder.
paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2010
3:54 PM

Post #7586799

I know this is an old thread, but I have been dealing with fleas for decades and wanted to share the ways I've learned to deal with them. You can get fleas without having pets because if you walk around in grass, they will jump onto your clothing (they especially like light colors). They need a water source if they don't have an animal around, which is why they like a moist basement. I have six cats, but periodically the fleas bloom in the basement, where the cats are not allowed to go. I dust with diatomaceous earth. It works great. Just sprinkle and sweep up after a couple of days. A thin dust will still be left. I also use it in the house if fleas turn up there. I have wood floors, and it works well to just sweep it into the cracks, leave a day or so, and vacuum up. Works well on carpets, too. You can dust it on bedding without having to worry about toxocity as long is it is not puffed into the air, since the dust is sharp and can cause lung irritation if you breathed in a lot.

Vitamin B complex does work to keep fleas off, but garlic pills work even better. However, garlic does not seem to work on pets, IME. For a while I made all my cats' food and added a lot of garlic and brewers yeast and all that, and it had no effect on the fleas at all.

Sevin is a suspected carcinogen and causes birth defects in dogs, so you shouldn't use it on yourself or your pets or in your house. But you should especially NOT use Sevin in the garden, because it kills bees. It lets them live long enough to take the Sevin-contaminated pollen and dust back to the hive numerous times, where it kills more bees. It's a strong suspect in Colony Collapse Disorder because it's so widespread. It is toxic enough to be illegal in a number of European countries. If you need to use a pesticide in the garden, try insecticidal soap or neem--or better, try to figure out what you are doing in your garden that is causing such infestation--probably too much fertilizer. IME, bugs are drawn to heavily fertilized (esp. high nitrogen) plants like magnets. I've been gardening for 30 years and have never had to use Sevin.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

February 25, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7587298

I like all your suggestions for non-toxic ways to control fleas and I'll keep this information my arsenal.

I do think, though, that garlic can be toxic for cats as for dogs, it contains a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Onions contains a similar substance in a greater amount.
paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2010
7:34 PM

Post #7587349

That's good to know about the garlic. I have found it works great on me to keep fleas off, and it is also good for lowering blood pressure and blood sugar. And keeps away vampires.:)
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

February 25, 2010
7:36 PM

Post #7587358

Yeah, I think it's great stuff for us. I did also learn recently (I think I was watching Dr. Oz on television) that onions and garlic actually change the angle of the connection between the esophagus and stomach. That change in angle is what allows gastric acid to get into the esophagus. So that's why onions and garlic cause reflux for some people. Little known fact . . .
nrainey
Charleston, SC

May 21, 2010
11:01 AM

Post #7813977

I was hoping someone could tell me what the best method for killing fleas with a small child would be! I have a 7 and 1/2 month old crawler and am very paranoid of a lot of these chemicals. They don't seem to be attacking anyone but me at the moment. My plan was to spray a flea treatment into the carpet and let it sit for 5 hours then vaccum vaccum vaccum. I was going to repeat in 3 days. I was then going to rent a steam cleaner and try to clean the chemicals up. I'm very leary of using these chemicals and then putting my baby on the floor after I have vaccumed. Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2010
11:12 AM

Post #7814002

Use chemicals only as a last resort - especially if you have a kid who will be on the floor. Cancer cases are on the rise and products like weed and feed for lawns and household cleaners and chemical treatments are being touted as likely reasons.

First you need to figure out why you have the fleas. Have your pets been treated for them? I use Frontline or Advantage on my pets and it keeps the fleas off of them. General opinion is that they are safe for pets. You must follow the directions and re-apply the medications regularly. Some people like the oral medications better and if you have a kid who will be around the pets, that may be the way to go. Get more information on flea and tick control for pets here: http://www.peteducation.com.

If you take the time to read through the posts above, you will see that many people have success with Boric Acid or Diotomaceous Earth. Scatter them on surfaces and then vacuum them up.

After the infestation is gone, flea control on pets and then regular vacuuming will decrease the likelihood of another infestation.

Good luck,

Kathy
nrainey
Charleston, SC

May 21, 2010
11:23 AM

Post #7814029

The thing is I HAVE NO PETS!! I live near marsh land and think its just the area I live in. We had them last year and I did what I said in my last comment. It worked but the baby wasn't born yet. I like the idea of using the Diotomaceous Earth but everyone is saying they leave it on there floors for a few days. Do you know if I can put it on the floor for a couple of hours then vaccuum it up? I can try that but the 2 rooms that have the worst of the fleas are the only two rooms the baby is usually in. Thanks.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2010
12:02 PM

Post #7814137

The thing with fleas is that you need to kill both the existing adults and the flea eggs of the next generation. And often theyare killed by different treatments.

The powders take longer to work because they have to actually desiccate the flea: http://www.fleabuster.com/Products/Rx_Plus/. While they say they are safe, I wouldn't want my kid to crawl around in them either.

If you can't allow for a couple of days for the powder to work, then you might try steam cleaning in those rooms. If you do it thoroughly, that should capture both the fleas and the eggs. You may have to do it a few times. Remember, of course, to also wash bedding or steam clean other fabrics/furniture in the room because they can hide there.

Frequent vacuuming is a good follow up. Leave some white socks on the floor to see if you've been effective.

Fleas need a host to feed on, so I'd make sure that you don't have mice or other rodents around that are bringing them in. If they continue to come back and you don't have pets, I'd consider getting rid of your carpets in the infested rooms.

I find in my house that any fleas do gravitate toward the pets and the flea control kills them right off.

As a last resort, you can use some sort of flea bomb, but it generally requires that you leave the room or your home for awhile: http://www.fleabomb.org/. And it won't get rid of an ongoing problem.

Kathy
nrainey
Charleston, SC

May 21, 2010
12:12 PM

Post #7814172

Thanks so much!! I'm gonna go rent a steam cleaner this weekend and try that. I appreciate your advice.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2010
12:19 PM

Post #7814191

I'd consider investing in a steam cleaner - they aren't cheap, but they aren't prohibitively expensive if this is a priority. With one in your home, you can steam clean on an ongoing basis.

http://www.target.com/s/185-1920416-4918610?_encoding=UTF8&CPNG=Appliances&LID=21596210&search-alias=tgt-index&keywords=steam-cleaners-bissell&ref=tgt_adv_XSGT0003&searchNodeID=1038576|1287991011&AFID=Google&searchPage=1&LNM=steam_cleaners_bissell

I really like mine, which is a little different than these, but is a Bissell.
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

May 21, 2010
2:41 PM

Post #7814536

You may be bringing them in when anyone comes in from outdoors. I would have the yard treated to at least slow down the source of the infestation.

Steaming should kill the adults and sime of the eggs, but will require repeating within a few days to catch the next generation.

If you can mount an incandescent light over a pan of soapy water, you can check for any "live" ones at night. They will seek the heat source and fall into the water where they cannot escape.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2010
2:42 PM

Post #7814541

Hey Bubba -

Would you treat the out of doors with a desiccating powder as well? Or is the only solution a chemical solution?

Kathy
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

May 21, 2010
3:06 PM

Post #7814598

Since you have no pets, I would use chemical treatment. You could also use some DE arount your entrances in addition of the chemicals on the yard. It would provide somewhat of a bufer zone. Also do not forget to treat the area near the driveway or whereever people are entering and leaving vehicles. We once had them in the carpet of our cars - so whenever we drove thay would bite us and then stay with us as we walked into the house.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

May 21, 2010
3:42 PM

Post #7814665

As always, be careful with chemicals - they are carcinogens that can mess with the balance of the environment, affect your ground water, harm you and stay around for a long time.

Of course, if they break down and don't stay around for a long time, then small animals can bring the fleas back just as quickly as you can get rid of them. So outside, I'd also focus on getting rid of hosts (whatever wild animals are in your area).
curvesarein
Kingman, AZ
(Zone 7b)

June 3, 2010
8:45 PM

Post #7857183

This thread interested me, only I had a Knat infestation in my greenhouse living in soil. Any suggestions for next winter? I guess it was all the humidity. The plants loved it but so did the Knats.
gavafriend
northeastern, AZ

June 3, 2010
8:58 PM

Post #7857217

We get small flying insects in houseplants occasionally, too. I think you are right that they love the humidity. I was told that the only way to get rid of them is to let the soil get pretty dry, before watering again.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 3, 2010
9:00 PM

Post #7857219

So nrainey - how is it going?
paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 4, 2010
3:28 AM

Post #7857547

For fungus gnats, try watering once or twice with strong but tepid chamomile tea. Works pretty good.
Ret_Sgt_Yates
Sparta , TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7858051

BUG B GONE FROM YOUR GARDEN SPRAY
THE NATURAL WAY
6 Jalapeños
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Yellow (Hot) Onion
1 Cup of Ground /Crushed Red Pepper
*Grind all ingredients in blender let set.
* Boil 4 Quarts of water to raging boil.
Put Ingredients in one (1) Gallon (Wide Mouth) Jug or Equivalent.
Pour Hot water in on top, let stand 48 hours.
Strain mix through panty hose.(NOT wife’s good ones! Ya could get hurt)
Mix will yield one gallon that can be mixed in 2 ½ gal sprayer.(Add cool water to fill line)
***Spray New and growing plants until fruit starts to grow well.
There is not a bug or critter around that will bother you garden.
*** The Bees don’t Care****
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2010
10:20 AM

Post #7858505

Sgt Yates - the bees are okay with it? What about things like cutworm and earwigs? And it doesn't hurt your plants?
Ret_Sgt_Yates
Sparta , TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2010
11:10 AM

Post #7858598

Nope bees dont care at all they pollanat onions and peppers all the time .It will kill the grubbs and pill buggs, cutworm and earwigs. and no it dont hurt any type of plants .

Thumbnail by Ret_Sgt_Yates
Click the image for an enlarged view.

katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2010
12:14 PM

Post #7858758

Nice garden. I'm struggling this spring with earwigs and slugs on all my plants - and our 3 week bout of rain isn't helping at all.

I'm pretty concerned about keeping a healthy environment, so I don't use pesticides at all - this might just help me make it through spring. Thanks!
Ret_Sgt_Yates
Sparta , TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2010
12:34 PM

Post #7858835

im in the same boat but it works i dont use the pesticides either so I come up with this a few years back and have worked on it every since and it works good .
gavafriend
northeastern, AZ

June 4, 2010
12:40 PM

Post #7858857

I'm thinking it might be too good for the bugs. I might just have a taste of it for myself.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2010
12:44 PM

Post #7858871

LOL gava - I hate to share my jalapenos, too!
Ret_Sgt_Yates
Sparta , TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2010
5:57 PM

Post #7859568

lol
lovefuct
East Orange, NJ

September 8, 2010
10:26 AM

Post #8087243

get a cat, let the fleas jump aboard, then get rid of the cat

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

September 8, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #8088212

lol, that is sooo wrong...funny but wrong
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

September 9, 2010
6:34 AM

Post #8088712

You will have to repeat that in a week or two to get the ones that haven't hatched yet. LOL

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

September 9, 2010
7:23 AM

Post #8088798

I went to Jamaica for two weeks back in 2000. The sand fleas and "no-see-ums"were eating me and a little German baby alive in the cabana we stayed in. No one else -- just us. I was in tears the whole first week. Then, the bartender had mercy on me, and sent me a glass of Overproof alcohol to rub down with. It worked, and I kept a steady bath in it for the next week. My vacation was saved.

I came home and promptly emptied my suitcase and washed everything right away. I repacked the suitcase with all my beach gear and put it away, til the next beach vacation.

Fast forward to TWO YEARS LATER. Do you know when I opened that suitcase, there were at least TWO sandfleas still alive...?

My mom had a flea infestation throughout the whole house one summer. She used garden lime sprinkled liberally throughout, and vacuumed profusely. Cleared it all up in no time.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 13, 2010
7:02 AM

Post #8096321

Iam a fan of the laundry borax and a bit of sugar,no ants all summer ,i do apply more than once a season,seems to keep spiders down too,I know it works on roaches too,and wouldnt be suprized that it would work on fleas also,maybe without the sugar.I sprinkle the mix outside at the corners of the foundation,doors,screened porch.I have ant issuses at times ,borax sure seems to work fast.
Organic_Joe
Berne, IN

March 28, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8455279

The pool grade DE will work for killing fleas; however it is very bad for your lungs should you breath it in. That is why one should only use the food grade version of diatomaceous earth when using it around your home or in your garden. Here is an online source should anyone need it, http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/ProductCart/pc/Diatomaceous-Earth-Food-Grade-p39.htm
msdremie
Boiling Springs, SC

August 6, 2011
9:29 AM

Post #8740089

Been trying to find some help getting rid of fleas. I have no pets. The last pet I have a miniature dachshund was over 10 years ago. I gave him away as could no longer care for him. And I never had a flea problem. So where are the fleas coming from? Outside. I can not walk far or stand for long periods of time (maybe a few minutes). I am disabled and housebound. No energy. I see all this about washing bedding and vacuuming which I can't do. I can try but it be little and I mean little bit at a time (like washing bedding). I don't see many of them at all but my ankles and feet tell me what few there are enjoying my blood.

But these are fleas as they jump and I don't need any more diseases. Will table salt get rid of fleas? I need a safe natural way to get rid of them as I am chemically sensitive.

Thank you for your help.
Reneeness
Coram, NY

April 19, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #9089569

Nematodes for Fleas! I'm looking forward to trying them in my basement. I have a crawl space down there that is just dirt and want to spray it in there and all around the edges of my concrete basement floor. [unfinished] The company I found sells a combo product that also takes care of termites. I thought spray it all around the foundation from downstairs. Then, of course, spray all around outside. I've yet to order this product as I'm waiting for the perfect temps but I'm really looking forward to it. After we test it out I will report back on the progress.
brinalynn1973
Quinby, SC

April 9, 2013
8:28 AM

Post #9477393

I just moved into a home with hardwood floors throughout and do not have pets yet there are fleas all over the house. I've read online that fleas can survive without a host to feed off for over a year so I have no idea whether there was animals in the home before me. My husband is not being bitten but I can't take a step without having fleas on me. The little nuggets can jump up to 6 feet and they apparently love my blood. How do I get rid of these pests that have me scratching all day and leaving bites all over me? Please help!!!!!

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2013
8:38 AM

Post #9477402

Fleas CAN NOT live without a host, they die within 2-14 days.
If you read thru this thread you can see where people have said that the fleas are probably from mice or other rodents(if the house was empty for awhile and/or the people didn't have pets) , also read back thru the thread and you can get ideas on how to get rid of them
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

April 9, 2013
2:20 PM

Post #9477827

Re-read the thread; there are posts in which people talk about how fleas as a population CAN survive without a host depending on their stage. Here are two paragraphs from a well-sourced Wikipedia entry:

"After another week or two, the adult flea is fully developed and ready to emerge from the cocoon. They may however remain resting during this period until they receive a signal that a host is near - vibrations (including sound), heat, and carbon dioxide are all stimuli indicating the probable presence of a host.[3] Fleas are known to overwinter in the larval or pupal stages."

"Newly emerged adult fleas live only about one week if a blood meal is not obtained. However, completely developed adult fleas can live for several months without eating, so long as they do not emerge from their puparia. [8]"

I found this information interesting:

"Humidity is critical to flea survival. Eggs need relative humidity of at least 70–75% to hatch, and larvae need at least 50% humidity to survive. In humid areas, about 20% of the eggs survive to adulthood; in arid areas, less than 5% complete the cycle.[24] Fleas thrive at higher temperatures, but need 70° to 90°F (21° to 32°C) to survive. Lower temperatures slow down or completely interrupt the flea life-cycle. A laboratory study done at the University of California showed that vacuuming catches about 96% of adult fleas. A combination of controlled humidity, temperature, and vacuuming should eliminate fleas from an environment. Altering even one of these environmental factors may be enough to drastically lower and eliminate an infestation."

Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

April 11, 2013
10:16 AM

Post #9480109

Father-n-law's property was FULL of fleas, and dog as well as people would bring them in, and some eggs were hiding in the cracks between the floor boards.

Since the land was very sandy, they were constantly tracking it in, so he figured a little more "dust" wouldn't matter. He spread a bag of Sevin on the floor and swept it into all the cracks and crevices, then left it for a week, before vacuuming. Seemed to work for about 2 months at a time.

He also treated the land around the house, too.

It is a bit of a messy process, but if you are desperate...
Papa_Squee
Cairo, IL

June 4, 2014
6:33 PM

Post #9859304

After I payed an exterminator to kill the fleas in my basement, I asked him what he uses. Malathion. I bought a pump-style sprayer and a quart of Malathion at Wal-mart, and I haven't seen fleas nor exterminator bills for 3 years.
I also spray my entire yard before any plants bloom, and I am not bothered by any biting insects when I am outside. I spray my grass, 3 feet up my wooden fence, my garden plants, and the underside of lower tree limbs.
I have seen no decrease in bee population, as all killing is done before the flowers open and attract them.
I also spray my vegetable garden plot before I seed.
It may not be "green", but it sure works! After it dries, it is safe for pets to be in the yard also.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2014
11:23 AM

Post #9860860

You've got to be kidding me.

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