Returning home from Wales yesterday I noticed my dog had fleas, I treated her with Advocate before allowing her into our house, within 24 hours they have pretty much disappeared off her aswell as me picking any live ones I’ve seen off and drowning them. Now I am completely obsessed with making sure my home is not going to become infested… I used rentokil flea powder this morning on the sofa and carpet (we have confined her to 2 rooms) and washed all her blankets and bedding and our clothes on 50 degree wash. I have vaccumed 4 times today, but what i am wanting to query is….. because we treated her before she came into the house.. will any eggs on her be successful in hatching? I have also bought strike back spray which I intend to spray everywhere once I have vaccumed in the morning!! This is the first time I have ever had to deal with this and I’m not coping too well at the thought of a flea infestation in the house.
Thank you in advance
It’s good that you’ve caught the fleas before they were in your home. The actions you’ve taken likely went a long way in stopping a home infestation before it began.
Fleas lay their eggs on the animal. However, the eggs aren’t sticky and fall off within a few hours. There’s a possibility that some of the eggs were in your dog’s fur when you let her back into the home. They then may have fallen into the home. Luckily, vacuuming is pretty effective at removing freshly fallen eggs, and it sounds like you’ve been extremely diligent with the vacuuming.
Sprays and powders with traditional insecticides aren’t that useful for controlling immature fleas in the environment. Insect growth regulators (IGR) are a better option, because of their long-lasting residual effect. They’ll prevent eggs and larvae from developing for 7 months. Look for the active ingredients pyriproxyfen (Nylar) or (s)-methoprene (Precor). Plus, these compounds are considered safer than traditional insecticides because they specifically target the insect endocrine system. IGRs mimic natural hormones that regulate development. While present, the young insects can’t pupate and instead die as eggs or larvae.
These environmental treatments may not even be necessary in your case, because you’ve been proactive. There shouldn’t be many eggs in the environment, if any at all. Still, IGRs are nice because they prevent re-infestation for 7 months.
Continue the monthly treatments of Advocate for the labeled duration. If any eggs managed to fall in the home and survive, upon emerging from cocoons the adults will die when they jump onto the treated dog. There will be no new generation of fleas to continue the infestation.
Vacuuming every other day is recommended in severe infestations. Eggs hatch in around 2 days. So vacuuming removes the eggs from the carpets before they become larvae and move deeper in the fibers. In your case, you shouldn’t need to vacuum more than a few times per week. Your infestation sounds mild, and with the dog treated, any potential fleas will die before they’re able to lay eggs.
Weekly laundering of pet bedding and rugs, as you’ve done, is also beneficial for killing any potential immature stages.
Hope this helps!