How long will it take for all fleas to die after treating my home and cat?

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsHow long will it take for all fleas to die after treating my home and cat?
Anonymous asked 2 years ago

Hi, I discovered my cat had fleas and then discovered fleas in my home mainly upstairs. I have now treated my cat with advantage and treated my home with indorex. It has been a week and I have found approximately 30 more fleas mostly adults I think and a few smaller ones and there are still fleas upstairs, I am hoovering regularly and have ordered another can of indorex. I am just wondering how long will the fleas that are left survive without my cat as the host as he has been treated. And also if they bite humans can they reproduce? I am just at the end of my tether with it all and hope it would just end. Hope you can help. Much appreciated. Many thanks

Tori replied 1 year ago

Hello , we currently have fleas in our house and have had them for probably a month in a half now … we treat our dog every month and have been treating him even more for the last 2 weeks , giving him multiple baths as well… we’ve swept , bombed our house about 3-4 times and have had an exterminator come out twice , even to spray our yard… yet we still keep seeing them ….

Sheila fallon replied 1 year ago

Hi
I have a small dog who we found had fleas at her grooming appointment. She has been dipped and given medication . She is on her second month of pills. I am full of flea bites . Could they live in my bed and in my sofa . She sleeps with me . I vacuum everyday, wash my blankets , spray flea spray we got from vet. What else can I do . The bites are painful . She does not seem to have fleas on her but I am still getting bit. Will I need to get rid of my mattress and sofa? Please help!

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago

Sheila,

The fleas could be developing anywhere your dog has access. The adult fleas permanently live on their host once it’s acquired. The eggs are laid on the host, but fall off within a few hours. So the eggs are falling anywhere the dog wanders. If your dog goes onto the sofa and bed, then eggs likely fell there.

Laundering your bedding will kill any fleas found there. There’s no need to get rid of the mattress. For the sofa, remove the cushions and pillows and vacuum thoroughly. Using a nozzle hose attachment, focus on the crevices and folds in the fabric.

You may also consider spraying the carpets with an insect growth regulator (IGR), either pyriproxyfen or methoprene. Most sprays come with one of these IGR ingredients.

It’s good that the treatments seem to be working and you aren’t seeing fleas on your dog. That means no new generation of eggs are being laid. You just have to contend with the fleas already developing in the environment. Continuing the vacuuming routine is the best way to control these until they are gone.

Fleas can’t bite through most fabrics, so wearing long pants and socks can help stop bites. Tuck the pant legs into the socks.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 2 years ago

Hello! Great questions.

Short Answers:
The infestation will take around 8 weeks to completely end, sometimes longer. However, most of the infestation will be gone within a month.

Fleas can’t survive and reproduce on human blood. You can read our article on it here.

Long Answers:
When you treat your pet, the adult fleas on the animal will be killed. Any new adults that jump on the pet will be killed before they can reproduce.

Unfortunately, the bulk of flea infestations are eggs, larvae and pupae living in the environment (carpets). Treating the environment and vacuuming will help speed up the elimination these environmental reservoirs, but it won’t eradicate them completely.

When you initiated treatment, it can be assumed that eggs were laid earlier that day. It takes around 2 days for those eggs to hatch, 7 days for the larvae to pupate, and another 7 days until the adult stage is reached. In homes, you can expect the full life cycle to complete in 17 to 26 days.

While no new fleas should be able to successfully develop past 26 days, one life stage is a problem. Flea pupae are fairly resistant to chemical treatments. And they can remain dormant for up to 5 months, waiting to detect heat and pressure before they emerge. Vacuuming will help stimulate their emergence.

Generally, it will take 8 weeks, maybe longer, for fleas in your home to be completely eradicated. Even if you don’t see fleas up to this point, it’s important to continue monthly Advantage treatments for the full recommended schedule. If one adult is able to find an untreated pet, it will begin laying eggs and the infestation will continue.

Hope this helps!

Sylvia replied 1 year ago

Hi Adam! This site is amazing! Like some people here, we moved into a house where the seller had cats. We don’t have any pets of our own and was mortified to discover flea bites on me after moving in. We flea bombed the house and called the exterminator a few days later after the seller promised to reimburse us. It’s been 6 days since treatment and although we thought we were out of the woods when we didn’t see any this weekend, we noticed a couple Monday (yesterday) and today. The exterminator is coming back this weekend. I know you said it could take up to eight weeks to totally eradicate the fleas, but do you think we need to schedule another exterminator session? Or should we just wait and see if we see any in another week or so? I was so glad to read your article that fleas can’t breed on human blood so my fears that each flea is reproducing dozens of eggs was at least alleviated.

PS we only have hardwood floors and tiles in our house. I’ve been trying to vacuum between cracks and along baseboards daily. Is there anything else I should be doing?

Thanks so much!

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago

Hi Sylvia,

It’s good to hear you were reimbursed for the exterminator fees.

The fleas you’re currently seeing are most likely emerging from cocoons. Once emerged, they can’t survive much longer than a week.

Cocooned stages are somewhat resistant to insecticide treatments. So it makes sense that they weren’t completely eliminated. The cocoon stages are what makes controlling fleas so difficult.

It sounds like you’ve taken the right actions to speed up the eradication process. Vacuuming is key, and it seems that you’re targeting the hot-spots.

Scheduling the exterminator again probably isn’t necessary. Plus, it’s unlikely that the chemical treatments will kill 100% of the cocooned stages.

I’m guessing you’re close to being in the clear. You’ll just have to deal with a few fleas here and there for a couple weeks.

To prevent getting bit while waiting for all the fleas to go extinct, it can be help to tuck your pant legs into socks. Or, alternatively, to use permethrin insect repellent for clothing on the socks.

You’re close to being flea free. Hang in there!
Adam

Sylvia replied 1 year ago

Thanks for the quick response, Adam!

Just s couple follow up questions I was hoping you could answer:

1) when you say that fleas that emerge from their cocoons now can’t last more than a week, is this because there are no pets or because the exterminator has treated the floors? Would the amount of time the flea can live change if they happen to bite a person in the house (I’m trying my best to be vigilante).

2) we bought some rugs and upholstered furniture but I have been delaying putting the rugs down and assembling the furniture until the fleas disappear (we have a couch already in the living room that I am constantly scanning for fleas). Do you think this is necessary or am I being overly cautious? How long would you recommend before we put down these items?

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago

Luckily you have no pets. So, these concerns shouldn’t be issues at all.

1) After fleas emerge from their cocoons, they must feed within around a week before they die of starvation. Human blood isn’t sufficient to supply them with sustenance. So the fleas biting a person won’t significantly increase their lifespan.

Related articles:
How long can fleas live without host blood
Can fleas survive and reproduce off human blood

2) You shouldn’t have any issues with adding furniture to the room or placing rugs on the floor. Fleas can’t jump high enough to get onto furniture. Usually they get there from pets. And, without pets, the fleas won’t be able to lay eggs. Thus, no eggs will fall onto the rugs and hatch into larvae.

Related articles:
How high can fleas jump
When do fleas lay eggs

Daniel replied 1 year ago

This website has been so helpful! I just moved into a studio apt 2 weeks ago where the previous owner had pets and four throw carpets which contained fleas. I immediately got rid of the carpets but continued to find fleas on the hardwood floor and on me! The exterminator has come twice since and sprayed but within days I see more fleas emerging (though I’m not sure where they’re coming from.) After two treatments and then finding 3 fleas on me this morning and many more just sitting on the floor, I began to get disheartened that even though I have no pets and no carpets this problem would persist. Hopefully these are just emerging fleas and they will all eventually die out. I was nervous that these new fleas would just lay eggs and the cycle would continue, but your site has dissuaded me mostly of those fears.

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago

Hello Daniel,

Yes, the fleas will die out on their own without pets in the home. The insecticide spray is less effective on immature stages than adult stages. This is likely why you’re still seeing some fleas, as they’re maturing and emerging from cocoons. It’s likely they’re coming from cracks in the hardwood floors, or crevices around baseboards. You’ll likely continue seeing them for a few weeks. You can help speed up the eradication process by frequently vacuuming these areas.

Kim replied 1 year ago

Hi Adam,
We have had a flea problem for two weeks now. We do have a dog, and have sprayed her every day with flea repellent. We have also given her two separate doses of the “flea pills” that are supposed to start getting rid of fleas in 30 mins-6 hours. We also vacuumed every room and around the cracks. We bought commercial grade spray and had to leave the house after spraying. We also sprayed the basement as that is where they are the worst. No idea how they got down there. We never go down there. Our 3 year old is being eaten alive by these things and we feel so bad! I believe he gets them at night. I have been putting long sleeve and pants pajamas and socks at night. We are still seeing fleas. What should we do??

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago

What specific products are you using (flea repellent, flea pills, spray)?

Even after all the proper treatments are in place, you’ll likely continue seeing fleas for 8 weeks (or longer). The immature stages live in the environment and make up 95-99% of the population. They are somewhat protected, because sprays can’t penetrate to where they live. These stages have to fully mature and then die before the infestation is completely ended.

It’s hard to give suggestions without knowing what products you’re currently using. However, one of the best things you can do is continuing to vacuum every other day, as well as laundering rugs and pet beds weekly.

It’s possible that urban wildlife got into your basement and initiated the infestation. Common hosts are feral cats, raccoons, and opossums.

Where is your 3-year-old sleeping? Most emerging fleas live in carpeting. Fleas can’t jump higher than the human ankle. So they can’t reach into beds, unless the sheets hang low to the ground. You may want to ensure the sheets are tucked in.

Mindy McDonald replied 12 months ago

We have an indoor /outdoor cat and dog. Our cat is on Advantage and our dog is on Nextguard. Our cat recently had a bad flea investation and has been on advantage for 6 weeks. I think like it’s doing a decent job but I feel like he keeps getting fleas again from visiting neighborhood cats. Will this cycle continue on if the neighborhood cats have fleas? How long does it take for new fleas to be killed that jump on your cat or dog?

Adam Retzer Staff replied 12 months ago

Mindy,

It’s possible that your cat is picking up new fleas from the neighborhood’s cats. However, often this is not directly from the cats. Fleas lay eggs on the cats, then the eggs fall into the environment and develop there. When your cat ventures into these zones, the adults emerge from their cocoons and jump onto the cat.

The cycle of re-infestation will continue as long as flea-infested animals live in the neighborhood, and your cat has access to the same habitats. Luckily, this is halted in the winter time (except in year-round warm locations, such as Florida). No life stage can survive in freezing temperatures, but they can survive on warm-blooded hosts, and in freeze-protected dens.

New fleas that jump onto the treated dog or cat will be killed quickly. Most will die within a few hours. However, sometimes it may take 12-24 hours for a complete kill.

Dorine replied 12 months ago

Hi Adam,

Thank you so much for all the info your site provide.
I discovered the fleas infestations on October 23rd 2016 about a month and a half after my son’s cats moved into my house. We treated the cats and found them a new home for other reasons, and as soon as the cats left I noticed a bad infestation all over my house and in every room I saw fleas as well as in the basement. The cats left on October 23rd 2016. I started with natural approach such as DE Powder and vacuuming every day sometimes twice a day and throwing the bag outside, saw some improvement but still saw more fleas everywhere and couldn’t tell where they were coming from.
I have carpets in two bedrooms and wood floors and tile in living room area and I saw the fleas jumping in and out of the wood floor cracks and also would see them on my cloths and socks (couldn’t see them on the carpets but saw some on glue traps that were placed on the carpet.

I then moved on to Zodiac fleas powder and that killed a lot of the adult ones but I still kept seeing more fleas not nearly as much but even after 3 weeks of the treatment, I would find them on my clothes and white socks and whenever I saw them on me I put scotch tape on them and killed them. But since it didn’t stop completely and I kept seeing more fleas I decided to hire professional pest control because I was worried about re-infestation and my back was killing me from vacuuming so much.

So on November 13th (3 weeks after I treated with the Zodiac) the exterminator came and treated the entire house with Pernethrin S FR and treated the area rugs out on the porch with IGR spray). He told me to continue the vacuuming everyday for the next few days, which I did for over a week just in case. But I keep seeing more fleas on glue traps and some dead on the floors aa well as some live ones on my socks even 4 weeks after his treatment, so I called the exterminator again (since he gave me 6 months warranty), and he came back on December 10th (4 weeks after treatment) and inspected the area I saw them again and he didn’t see any fleas, he said it must be eggs hatching because the treatment cannot destroy the eggs and that they will die soon after they emerging. He said that this treatment is heavily government regulated and he would hate to spray this chemical all over my house again. He said he believes it will stop soon.

I didn’t see any jumping fleas after he inspected but did found few on glue trap and some dead on the floor. I stopped vacuuming for about 5 days and then on Dec 23rd (which is almost 6 weeks after he used treatment) I vacuumed again just upstairs b/c I didn’t see any in the basement after his treatment, and on Dec 26th I saw about 3-4 jumping fleas on the wood floor in one of the rooms and today Dec 27th I saw one on my pants.

Its been 6 weeks since he treated my house and its been 8 weeks since I started treatment with the Zodiac.

I haven’t had any flea bites for over 6 weeks now because I wear socks over my pants and wear bright and light color clothing so I get rid of the fleas with scotch tape every time I see them on me. At this point I think I am suffering from PTSD from it all.

I called the exterminator again yesterday and he said the same thing again, that he believes its eggs hatching still…. Is this true? and if so how long will this end? Do you think I should demand another treatment?

Thank you so much for your help!

Dorine

Dorine replied 12 months ago

Should I continue to vacuum every day still? and if so, for how much longer.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I live in Western Mass so there is snow in the yard now and so I didn’t have to treat the yard even though I disposed a lot of fleas before the snow came that were vacuumed in shop-vec with no bag, (I’ve used both Shop-Vec and mostly regular vacuum with bags (the bags I disposed in plastic bag and in dumpster) but whatever I caught in the shop-vac I disposed at least about 10 feet away from my house which also lots of wild animal present and I am sure could have been the new host but now there is snow all over on the ground.

Thanks again, Dorine

Dorine replied 12 months ago

And is it still necessary to dispose the Vacuum bag after each vacuum session? I’ve used up at least 50 bags so far… I am using a progressive Kenmore canister… and should I consider buying a new vacuum that may work better?

Adam Retzer Staff replied 12 months ago

Hello Dorine,

I’ve created a question page for you, just to help with organization and clarity. You can find it here:

http://fleascience.com/question/sons-cats-moved-into-my-house/

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