Hi, this is my first time owning a cat. We got him last year and he has been an indoor cat (didn\’t realize he would need flea protection – 1st mistake). This past spring and summer a stray brought her kittens around and even though I kept telling him to stop my husband started feeding them (2nd mistake). The last of them finally left a couple of weeks ago. Prior to that our cat started licking and grooming himself more often (3rd mistake – not realizing he is doing that because of something). I started being bit around the first week of November (wasn\’t sure what it was at first. Thought maybe some sort of allergic reaction but from the first week til about November 15th I was bit over 60 times ankles, legs, arms. My husband and my 6 month old son have no bites). Found a flea November 14th in my bathroom sink (wasn\’t sure what it was. Sent pics on the 17th to an exterminator family uses. He had me mail it to him as he was on vacation). On November 21st it was confirmed it was fleas. And since it was Thanksgiving that week the soonest someone could come was the 24th. Between the 21st and 24th we cleaned, gave the cat a bath. Got him a Seresto flea collar. On the 23rd we put down DE on the bedroom carpet (where we have seen them the most), vacuumed it up about 6 hrs later. Exterminator came Friday the 24th and sprayed. Went home that night (pants tucked into long white socks and didn\’t see any. Found two on my sock early Sunday morning – the 26th. My dad came over later that day with a shop vac and him and my husband vacuumed all 3 bedrooms (carpet), 2 bathrooms (tile), dining room and living room (hardwood), couches and beds. I came home and swept and mopped kitchen. My husband and I decided we would vacuum and sweep every other day (with the next day to vacuum would be the 28th). I saw no fleas the following day (27th) but woke up on the 28th and found 1 on each sock. Both super tiny. I don\’t know how many others there are as my husband doesn\’t wear socks around the house. I am going crazy here. I check my socks before getting into bed every night and before getting out of bed (don\’t know if my husband is bringing any into bed with him). He combs the cat with a flea comb and says he doesnt see anything (but the ones I am seeing on my socks are so tiny that maybe he is missing them on the cat as the cat is still scratching not sure of that is normal) The cat also received a capstar tablet on the 25th. This is causing me extreme anxiety – to the point where I don\’t want to go home and want to just leave everything and move. We have washed everything, thrown a lot of stuff out. My son is at the age where he will start crawling and I am afraid to put him on the floor or any place really as I don\’t want him to be bit. The ones I have are pretty itchy and hurt. I just dont know what else to do.
It sounds like you are taking all of the correct steps needed to end an infestation. It usually takes around 8 weeks for infestations to end after treatment. Even if you aren’t seeing adult fleas while combing, there are probably still large amounts of fleas in your home. This is because 95-99% of the infestation are eggs, larvae, and pupae developing in the environment. They will continue to mature and emerge.
The Seresto collar should kill any emerging fleas that jump onto the cat. It sounds like it is working if you aren’t finding fleas on the cat. They shouldn’t be able to lay any new eggs. As a result, the current generation of fleas developing in your home should be last.
Environmental treatments are useful for preventing future eggs from being able to develop. Most flea treatments contain an insect growth regulator (IGR) that will remain active for 7 months. IGRs mimic natural insect hormones that control development. Exposed eggs and larvae can’t reach adulthood. Unfortunately, the fleas already developing in the environment will have moved deep to the base of carpets, where sprays can’t penetrate well. Many of these fleas will avoid the treatments. Patience will be required for these fleas to mature, emerge, and die.
Vacuuming is one of the best things you can do to speed up the eradication process. It sounds like you already have a pretty good routine going. However, here is a page with a bunch of information on how often to vacuum, which you may find useful.
I hope this helps! Sorry to hear about the flea problem and related anxiety. Dealing with fleas can be really stressful.