Fleas in the basement

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsFleas in the basement
aussie94 asked 3 weeks ago

So I recently had a cat that had fleas and so he infested my house. I have a dog that is treated with frontline and I recently got rid of the cat for other reasons. It has been 3 months since the infestation and I’ve noticed that most of my problem is gone. I’ve vacuumed and treated my furniture. However my basement is still infested. No pets go down there and I only go down there to do laundry. I sprayed with Hart’s flea killer all over the basement floor. I cannot flea bomb my house because I live in a duplex and it would be such a hassle to involve my neighbor too. I was just wondering how long it will take them to die. And also, can they reproduce if they bite me when I go down there? Please help!!

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 3 weeks ago

aussie94,

If your dog is treated, and the cat has been gone for 3 months, then all of the fleas in the basement should be fully matured at this point. Eggs reach adulthood in 17-26 days. Upon exiting their cocoons, the adults must find a host within about a week or they will starve. Usually infestations end 8 weeks after treatment beings or the infested pet leaves.

The reason you are still seeing fleas when you go into the basement is because of pre-emerged adults. After pupating, adults can stay inside their cocoons and enter into a quiescent (dormant-like) state for up to 5 months. However, they will rapidly wake up and emerge upon detecting heat and pressure, which indicates a host is resting on the cocoons.

Vacuuming is a good way to simulate the host cues (heat and pressure) and force emergence of these quiescent fleas.

Also, if your dog is properly treated, another possible option is to let him/her into the basement. The fleas will emerge from cocoons and jump onto the dog, and then succumb to the insecticide within a few hours. But, it may not be worth exposing your dog to the fleas, especially if they are limited to the basement and aren’t causing too much of an issue. They should be dying out soon regardless, since 5 months is the max pre-emerged adults can survive.

Cat fleas (C. felis) and dog fleas (C. canis) can’t survive or reproduce on human blood. These two species, predominantly cat fleas, make up almost all domestic infestations. The only species that could survive on human blood are human fleas (P. irritans), but the odds are low that you are dealing with this species.

Another condition you may want to be aware of is the potential for infested rodents. If mice and rats are living in your basement, they may be infested with fleas. Then the flea problem won’t resolve until the rodent problem resolves. Still, this is unlikely, because you mentioned your previous cat having fleas. Flea species of rodents don’t infests cats and dogs.

I hope this helps!
Adam

aussie94 replied 3 weeks ago

This helps a lot! Thank you:)

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