Hi there, we recently found fleas on our dog who we have treated monthly for years with frontline. After discovering the fleas we switched to advantix and have rid our dog of the fleas. Unfortunately, we also discovered fleas in multiple throw rugs throughout our home which is all hardwood and tile. In 2-3 weeks we felt we had addressed the issue with aggressive vacuuming, laundering of all blankets, furniture covers, etc. only to discover some pupae and adults under the throw rugs 1-2 weeks later. We then proceeded to remove all rugs from our house, have continued to vacuum regularly and treated the most infested room with Bonide flea & Roach spray which includes an IGR. It has been 1-2 weeks since applying the Bonide and we are still seeing adults popping up on our hardwood floors in specific reoccurring locations.
1. Are these adults the aftermath of the infestation and if we continue vacuuming is it likely that we will see them diminish over the next few weeks?
2. I am combing our dog regularly and can confirm he does not have fleas. He is on advantix and will be treated monthly as recommended. Are we giving these stragglers an opportunity to feed/produce/multiply by allowing our dog inside even though he is treated?
3. Do you have any other recommendations for us other than vacuuming, laundering pet beds regularly until we stop seeing fleas?
4. Should we also have an exterminator come treat the exterior of our home to minimize a reinfestation?
Thanks in advance!
1. Yes, these fleas are the remnants of the infestation. It’s hard to get rid of all of the environmental stages with insecticide sprays, because some will be developing in protected, hard-to-reach areas. You’ll have to wait for them to mature into adults and emerge. Vacuuming will speed up the process.
2. The fleas won’t have a chance to mate and reproduce on the treated dog. The treatment should kill them quickly, within a few hours. At most, they may be able to survive for 24 hours. This isn’t long enough to mate and lay eggs. Also, Advantix contains pyriproxyfen, an IGR, which will sterilize any females even if they could survive long enough to lay eggs.
3. Vacuuming and laundering are the main things you can do to speed up the eradication process. Applying an IGR in the environment is helpful for preventing re-infestation for 7 months, but you’ve covered that already also.
One thing you may want to consider is that almost all infestations begin outside. Urban wildlife—the prime culprits are raccoons, opossums, and feral cats—traverse neighborhoods and spread flea eggs around. This is inevitable, especially as the weather warms up. There will be a continuous re-infestation cycle wherever their territories overlap with domestic animals. They acquire fleas from each other (not directly, but through dropped eggs).
Immature fleas can’t develop in many places outside. Viable habitats must be shady, humid, and protected from wind. Even grass isn’t suitable. Common habitats include dense brush, especially around buildings. And areas beneath decks and porches, as these are places where animals, domestic and wild, seek refuge to escape the sun. So they are often flea hot-spots.
It may be a good idea to clear away dead vegetation, and weed-wack away any dense growth. Focus on areas where your dog frequents. And, if possible, try to block access to areas beneath the home or deck.
4. It’s probably not necessary to treat the yard. Outdoor treatments won’t last very long. Even the most effective treatment, pyriproxyfen, will only remain active for around 3 weeks. And this won’t affect adult fleas, which live on their host (wildlife). If you want to treat the yard to ensure control is established, you could do it yourself with less cost than a pest control specialist.
As I mentioned, pyriproxyfen is the best option. I’ve created a page on this, with as much comprehensive information as I could: Best Flea Spray for Yards.