In early October we found out that our indoor/outdoor cat had contracted fleas, as well as the dog. After visiting the vet for both animals we got house treatment and 3 months worth of flea treatments. The next one is due the 15th of January.
The cat had more then I want to think about, and the area I’m in has a flea problem due to the amount of squirrels we have.
It’s below freezing here, both animals have been religiously treated and I sprayed the house repeatedly for about a month. So, why did a flea just jump on me? I’m fed up and I feel disgusting! What am I doing wrong? I’ve scrubbed the carpets with salt and carpet cleaned them. Sprayed the house 4 times in the span of a month. Bagged what I could, washed what I couldn’t…
Please help me
It sounds like your infestation is coming to an end. You are likely seeing the last fleas emerging from their cocoons. After treatment began, no more eggs should have been laid. The last eggs took 17-26 days to mature. However, once they reach adulthood, fleas can stay inside their cocoons and enter into a quiescent (dormant-like) state for up to 5 months. Most don’t, but some do. These are the fleas you are probably seeing emerge now.
The cocooned pre-emerged adults will rapidly wake up and emerge upon detecting heat and pressure. When treated pets rest on the cocoons, it will help cause the fleas to emerge. Also, vacuuming is a good way to simulate the host cues to force emergence.
It sounds like you had a severe infestation, as you mentioned about the population on the cat. And for every adult flea, there are around 100 immature stages unseen in the environment. Since your infestation was moderate to severe, and you are still seeing a few fleas emerge, it may be a good idea to continue the pet treatments for a couple more months. If these last fleas find an untreated pet, it could start the infestation over again.
As a side note, squirrels don’t carry flea species that infest dogs and cats. Rodent fleas are specific to rodents. However, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, and feral cats and dogs are common wild hosts that spread cat fleas (C. felis) around neighborhoods.
In summary, it sounds like things are going well, despite still seeing a couple fleas here and there. Continue the vacuuming and monthly pet treatments. None of the fleas should be able to survive longer than 6 months from when treatment began (1 month to mature from eggs, 5 months as quiescent cocooned adults).