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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsReady to Burn My House Down!
cedeen asked 5 months ago

Around 12/28/16 we realized that the bites on our 2 year old were flea bites. Since then we have bathed and treated the cat to get rid of all fleas. We used capstar for several days and treated him with frontline. We check him daily to ensure there are no more fleas. He has not been allowed to go back outside. We have also removed all floor length curtains, throw rugs, throw pillows, and stuffed animals until we are sure the problem is gone. We have laminate flooring and only 2 large area rugs now. I have washed all bedding twice and we have thoroughly vacuumed all the furniture multiple times. We have moved all the furniture and treated behind it and under and along base boards in every room with ortho home defense and enforcer flea spray twice. I’ve sprayed all the furniture and remaining area rugs multiple times. We have treated mattresses and and up under beds. We have flea traps in every room and have still been catching 3-6 fleas a day in each one. It seems to be the worse in our bedroom since this is where the car used to sleep. He has not been allowed back in since this all began. The fleas actually seemed to get worse after the 2nd treatment. During the 1st week I was vacuuming twice a day, then once day, and now about every other day. I’m exhausted and frustrated and upset about still finding flea bites on my child. I just a found a flea on him earlier today after vacuuming. What else can I do? Is this something we are going to just have to wait out a while longer? 

1 Answers
Adam Retzer FleaScience answered 5 months ago

Cedeen,

It sounds like you’ve taken all the correct procedures. Vacuuming and a bit more patience are likely all that’s required.

It’s not uncommon for infestations to seem worse after the 1st treatments. Right before treatment is when the largest number of fleas were alive and reproducing. At this point, the most eggs are in the environment. However, they aren’t noticed until 2-3 weeks later when they emerge as adults.

95-99% of the infestation are eggs, larvae, and pupae, and they live in the environment. They are somewhat unaffected by insecticides, because they develop in protected microhabitats. The continued emergence of adult fleas after treatment can be perplexing, but it’s normal.

The Frontline treatments will kill adults on the cat before they can reproduce. So, no new eggs will be laid. As an added layer of protection, the Enforcer treatments will prevent any new eggs that may fall into the environment from developing for 7 months. This is thanks to the pyriproxyfen (Nylar).

With no new generation of fleas, the only thing you’ll need to do is wait for the current population to mature, emerge, and die. Usually this takes around 8 weeks, but it can be longer. Eggs reach adulthood in 17-26 days. Unfortunately, there’s a problem stage: The pre-emerged adult.

Cocooned adults can stay quiescent for up to 5 months. Most don’t enter into this sleep-like state, but some do and they cause control issues. When pre-emerged adults detect heat and pressure, they’ll rapidly wake up and emerge. These stimuli indicate that a host is resting on the cocoon. Vacuuming is the best way to simulate these host cues and force early emergence. The vacuum will then suck up and kill the emerging fleas.

Fleas can’t bite through most clothes (unless the fabric is very thin and tight-fitting). So wearing socks and pants, while tucking the pant legs into the socks, can help prevent their bites.

Hope this helps!
Adam

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