We just bought a new house, and when we went to take measurements a couple days ago (two weeks after we first were in it), there were fleas jumping on all of us. The house is vacant, and has been for a few weeks at this point. I know now from your website that this sounds typical of the life cycle, and these must be the fleas that hatched from eggs left behind coming out to try to find a host.
We move in 4.5 weeks from now, and we have a dog and two cats of our own. The question is, what’s the best plan of attack to get this under control, and prevent ongoing infestation after we arrive? I treated our dog with her flea pill from the vet yesterday, and I got Advantage II for the cats today. We have an exterminator going to the house two days from now, and are going to call tomorrow to ask what their plan is. It sounds like the plan is to just spray once, but I’m hoping that’s not it. I’d love to get in and vacuum, but we don’t have access to do that, since it’s not our house yet. With the house empty, this seems the prime time to try to hit this hard. Once all our furniture and stuff, and especially our pets, are there, it will be much harder. Not to mention we have five kids, including a newborn, so the thought of dealing with all this on top of moving is overwhelming. It has been warm here (80’s) and the air conditioning is shut off, so I’m hoping that helps speed things up.
What would you suggest?
Oh, there’s a dog run on the shady side of the house, so I know we need to hit that hard with something also. Nematodes?
Thank you for all the information you provide here!
This exact thing is happening to us right now! It seems like a nightmare and is so discouraging. I will be watching your post for how to attack this situation. We didn’t find this out until after we closed and went in to clean before we moved. So moving day has been changed to 4 weeks from now so we can throw everything we can at it. We had an exterminator come in a spray the day we found out and they come back in 3 weeks to respray. In the meantime we are to vacuum every other day and I’m considering flea bombing as well but and concerned with the “mess” it will make with all the chemicals. I also think I’m going to sweep borax into all of the carpets and let that sit for 2 days before sweeping it up. You’re not alone in this and we need to be strong to beat them!!!
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this too! We’ve gotten permission now to go in and vacuum whenever we want, because we don’t close for almost 4 weeks from now, but at least we can vacuum now. We brought our Roomba vacuum yesterday and after vacuuming with the regular upright, we left it running on a program cycle, so it will keep vacuuming and then going back to the base to charge, in the hopes not so much that it will be the thing that vacuums them up, but that it roaming around will wake up the pupae. If we can get them all to wake up now, none of the adults will live long enough to make it to move-in day.
We can’t put off or on move-in day, unfortunately, because we have to be moved out of our house to get it on the market (see above–five kids, including a newborn ;)). Let me know how it goes for you!
Vacuuming before you move in a good idea. Even better would be to rent a steam cleaner or carpet shampooer. Wet carpet cleaning should be avoided after insecticides are sprayed, but it can be helpful for establishing control.
Ensure the pest control specialist is using an insect growth regulator (IGR) in the spray. IGRs mimic natural insect hormones and will prevent any eggs and larvae from reaching adulthood. It stays active indoors for 7 months. So if fleas happened to get past the pet treatments, the new eggs wouldn’t be able to survive in the environment.
Ensuring your pets are treated is crucial. Make sure you don’t miss a monthly treatment or allow a lapse in treatment. This is going to be the most important step to prevent re-infestation.
The indoor climate with the AC off probably won’t have much effect, unfortunately.
For outdoor flea control, please visit our page on the best flea sprays for yards. It contains a wealth of information about where fleas live outdoors and ways to treat them.
Hope this helps!
We had a second visit from the exterminator a few days ago, and the house was retreated with an IGR insecticide. We have professional carpet cleaners schedule for next week, and after reading your response, I wish we’d scheduled them to come first, before the exterminator. On the other hand, with an infant in the house, I’m not very comfortable leaving the chemicals on the floors. Similar problem for the hardwoods. That’s actually the only surface we have found fleas on so far, but we want to mop it before we move in. The house has a strong odor from perfumed air fresheners, and I’m hoping to remove it with the carpet cleaning and vinegar mopping, as I find it to nauseating to live with. I’m troubled that I’ll be mopping up all the IGR, though (but it’s not like we could go long without mopping anyway–I mean, we have five kids and a dog).