My flea nightmare

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsMy flea nightmare
AngieM asked 1 year ago

So, we’ve  been dealing with this since 11/5/16. That is thE day I discovered the bites my family had were from fleas.  Started the vacuuming daily process immediately . Did a DE treatment a few days later. Thought to be effective, but problem grew worse. Cats were living in the garage at this point, eventually we rehomed the cats. We were covered in bites. To make a long story short, since then we have bombed twice, once with Raid and once with syphotrol, one salt and baking soda treatment, another DE treatment, precor 2000 premise spray behind /under all furniture twice, flea bully to mattreses/furniture at least 5 times, and consistent daily vacuuming without missing a single day since 12/26. ( got lax with the holidays). We have not had a single bite since before the 1st bomb, aprox. 4 weeks. We were seeing aprox. 1 flea a week in our homemade trap from aprox 12/10- 12/28. As of 12/28 have not had any fleas in the trap. No live fleas seen since second bomb. Then all of a sudden found 3 live fleas on my sock on 12/30. Followed by nothing live or in trap for 9 days. Then on 1/8/17 found one live flea on my sock, 1/11 another live flea on my sock, and 1/15 one dead flea in the trap. Have sprayed twice more in past week with Raid house spray. All clothing, linens, etc in closets and bottom dresser drawers has been washed in hot water and what could go in the dryer has. Furniture is Vacuumed daily along with the rest. So here’s my question, do I need to consider bombing again? Or hiring a professional? Why do I keep seeing the occasional flea, but on the days I don’t see any can go around the house in white socks and nothing? Does it still hold true that  of of I see one there are 100 in my home? Or are we on the verge of being done with this nightmare and these are just a few pupae that emerged? Please help! After 2 and 1/2 months I am ready to be done with this and never see another flea again for the rest of my life. 🙁 thanks in advance, Angie

2 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 1 year ago


You shouldn’t need to do any further treatments. Just continue the vacuuming. The problem should be over soon.

Usually it takes around 8 weeks for a flea infestation to completely end. Sometimes this can be longer, especially if the problem went untreated for a while or if the infestation was severe.

The flea life cycle from egg to adult takes around 17-26 days in homes. The problem is that adult fleas can stay within cocoons for up to 5 months. They enter in a quiescent state, but will rapidly wake up and emerge upon detecting heat and pressure on the cocoon (such as a host). Most adults won’t go quiescent, but some will. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see fleas here or there for a few months, even after treatment. Vacuuming is the best way to simulate the host cues (heat and pressure) and force emergence.

The “100 immature stages for every adult” doesn’t apply to you. This is because you’ve removed the primary hosts and have been treating the environment. Fleas can’t reproduce on human blood. So, there will be no new eggs and no new generation of fleas.

You’ll just have to wait for the few remaining fleas in the environment to emerge and die. Then you’ll be flea-free.

Hope this helps,

AngieM answered 1 year ago

Thank you Adam for your quick and informative response. We have been doing well…knock on wood. So heres my next question. I have been terrified to go in my garage. We live in Wisconsin, and the weather has been anything but consistent. We have had cold snaps, just above zero and negative Temps for a few days in a row. Other weeks it was teens and twenties. But otherwise the winter has been rather mild this winter. Thirties. Right now it\’s low forties. My garage is not insulated, but does share two walls with the house, and one wall with another garage. I know it\’s the garage  than outside, but how much I don\’t know. My family assures me that fleas can\’t  survive the cold. But I\’ve seen how resilient they are, and after the cats being in the garage for about 3 weeks from late Nov through middle Dec I\’m still nervous. Their are no linens in the garage, at least not on the floor. Some old towels up high and coats on a hook on the wall, both high enough that I don\’t think the fleas could reach. But there are two strollers and a bike  trailer. The cats hid in the back of the bike trailer for quite some time. There are also a number of stacked up boxes of my exes belongings  that he never took. I guess my point is there are places for the little buggers to hide. It\’s concrete flooring however so no carpet less one door mat. We bombed in there once with syphotrol , but no other treatments since it\’s not carpet. I plan on bombing one more time. Could they have survived? Should I be nervous to go out there or use the garage? There are several plastic totes of clothing that came from inside the house originally, and I don\’t recall which ones were open with no lid and which were closed. Do I need to wash all.the clothes in the totes because the fleas could hide and survive in the clothing? Or would the cold have taken care of that too? Thank you again for your help. Angie

Adam Retzer Staff replied 1 year ago


No life stage can survive in freezing temperatures. I’m not sure how cold your garage gets, but from your description, it sounds like fleas would have a difficult time surviving there.

You shouldn’t have much to worry about, but it’s possible some fleas were present in garage. They may preserve if it doesn’t get cold enough. Regardless, with the cats gone, the infestation won’t continue. 5 months is the maximum duration pre-emerged adults can survive.

The only places fleas can develop are where eggs fell from the cats. Unless the cats slept on clothing, there wouldn’t be fleas on the garments (especially in closed totes).

You shouldn’t need to do any further treatments in the garage, or wash the clothing, to resolve your problem.