Fleas on my cats and in house

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsFleas on my cats and in house
mriel asked 9 months ago

I just found out we have fleas in our house and on our cats. I’ve treated the two cats with Revolution today and also with a pill that kills adult fleas within hours. I think the worst is on their cat condo where I found the flea feces (which has been vacuumed). I have not seen any live fleas but have being watching for 2 wks now. Our vet suspected fleas since my one cat has crusted sores on her back. I have also had maybe 4-5 bites on my calves since November (hindsight is great). The second spot would be on our bed as both cats like to cuddle with me in the evenings and overnight. I have vacuumed the living room where the condo is (hardwoods) really well, I have also vacuumed the main floor including the kitchen chairs. Also vacuumed the stairs and our bedroom including under the bed and boxspring. I’m in the process of washing pet bedding, human bedding and any clothes that was on the floor.  I will also be vacuuming the basement and kids rooms as well as washing stuff although the cats don’t spend too much time there.  An exterminator will be coming in 5 days to spray some growth inhibitor. 
My questions are… do I need to vacuum as crazy as we are now as I’ve moved every thing away from the walls (papers, furniture, boxes etc) to vacuum to the baseboards in every room or can I just vacuum the main paths such as stairs, flooring, cat condo, bedrooms etc?  And is every other day ok or daily?
Do I worry about hard surfaces?  
In the article it says fleas can’t get onto sofa, bed etc unless an animal brings it up there, bit I’ve also read fleas can jump a long way. Is that only horizontal jumps or vertical?
My daughter is having a birthday party sleepover in our basement 3 days after the exterminator comes. Should I still go ahead with this or postpone?  For how long?  They will be sleeping on air mattresses using their own sleeping bags and pillows. I of course will be vacuuming the couch and carpet tomorrow as well as a few times before the party which is next week Friday (9 days from now)  bit I don’t want to pass off fleas to another household  
Thanks in advance for you answers. The article was helpful, but this is very overwhelming still as I have so much laundry to do that will take me days to do and all the vacuuming to look forward too. 🙁 
Michele

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 9 months ago

Hello Mriel,

Vacuuming
After the first thorough vacuuming, you can focus your efforts on to the hot-spots. However, you’ll want to do your normal vacuuming routine for the full house (before you had fleas) more frequently. On hard surfaces, focus on areas where the cat spends the most time, as this is where eggs will drop. And focus on cracks and crevices, as these are areas where the larvae will move into.

Vacuuming doesn’t need to be done every day. Flea eggs are laid on pets and fall into the environment. They hatch in around 2 days. This is why it’s recommended to vacuum every other day. The eggs are the easier stage to remove with vacuuming. Once they hatch, the larvae move deeper into the carpet fibers or other hard-to-reach areas like cracks in hardwood. The larvae avoid light.

With the cat properly treated, you can start dialing back the vacuuming to a few times per week. No new eggs should be being laid once the cat is treated. The adults will succumb to insecticide before they can mate and reproduce.

Still, even no new eggs, vacuuming is important for flea control. This is because fleas develop in the environment. The biggest problem with fleas is that, after maturing, adult fleas can stay inside their cocoons in a quiescent state for up to 5 months. The normal life cycle from egg to adult lasts 17-26 days, so the pre-emerged adult state significantly increases longevity and causes control issues.

Pre-emerged adults wake up and emerge within seconds once they detect a host on the cocoon. The two stimuli are heat and pressure. Vacuuming simulates these host cues and triggers emergence. This is why continued vacuuming is important for eliminating the infestation as fast as possible.

Flea Jumps
Fleas can only jump to the height of around a human ankle. This is still an incredible feat for their size. Still, they can’t get onto most objects unless the host takes them there. However, sometimes they may crawl up objects, such as bedding hanging low to the floor.

Sleep Over
The best thing to do is vacuum thoroughly before the guests come over. Since they are sleeping so close the floor, they may get bitten.

The risk of spreading the infestation to new homes is slim. Fleas don’t spread this way. Almost all infestations spread from a host bringing eggs into another hosts environment. To help reduce the odds of spreading fleas, you can lay your own sheets down on the floor, then the air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows on top. This will create a layer of protection from any potential immature fleas in the environment that could get on their belongings. And before the guests leave, have them shake/brush off their belongings.

Hope this helps!
Adam

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