We first noticed fleas on our dogs on September 2nd. We treated with Capsta and Frontline. We laundered all bedding, vacuumed rugs, hardwood, mattresses and furniture and mopped the hardwood. I have been continuing to vacuum usually every other day and washing the pet bedding two to three times a week. We did not see the Frontline working so our vet recommended the Nexgard chew a week later. We had a pest control company treat our home and do a follow up two weeks later. Servpro came and professionally vacuumed and cleaned our rugs and furniture. I have been giving the dogs Capstar pills once a week. We are over a month in and the dogs are still itching like crazy. Last night I pulled more live fleas off of our small dog than I have ever seen at once. I feel like I have gone above and beyond to take care of this but nothing is working. I have tried the dish soap trap six or eight times and only caught two or three fleas. We don\’t see them around the house, just on the dogs, but I am concerned about why there are still so many and how they are still alive after everything I have done to get rid of them. I don\’t know what else to do and I feel like I am losing the battle. This is taking over my life – please help!
It sounds like you’ve taken all the correct steps. Even when treatments are working properly, it will take around 8 weeks for the infestation to end. You will see fleas until then, but in diminishing numbers. When treatments don’t solve the problem quickly, it can sometimes seem like they aren’t working, but it just takes more patience.
This is because 95-99% of infestation are eggs, larvae, and pupae living in the environment (often deep within carpets). Before the infestation ends, all of these immature stages need to mature and emerge. The fleas you are finding your dogs are these newly emerged fleas. They will succumb to the insecticide on the treated dog before they can lay eggs. So, the current generation you are fighting should be the last.
Vacuuming, steaming cleaning, and other sanitation methods can help kill some of the immature stages, but it won’t kill them all. This is because they reside at the base of the carpet and are somewhat protected. The same goes for sprays, which can’t penetrate to the carpet’s depth.
You may want to consider applying an insect growth regulator (IGR) to the carpets. It will add another layer of control, and it lasts for 7 months. IGRs mimic natural insect hormones, and exposed eggs and larvae won’t be able to reach adulthood. So even if adult fleas somehow survived and laid eggs on your treated dogs, the eggs wouldn’t survive upon falling to the carpets/floor. Look for the ingredients pyriproxyfen (Nylar) or methoprene (Precor) in sprays. Or you can find concentrates such as Martin’s IGR.
Hope this helps!