Seeing More Fleas after 3 Weeks/No Pet

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsSeeing More Fleas after 3 Weeks/No Pet
NCGal asked 4 months ago

I posted a few weeks ago — my cat passed in August and we had fleas afterwords. Our floors are tile and wood, no carpet. We did several rounds of Knockout and bombing. We’re home from vacation now 3 weeks, no bites. Still vacuuming often and spot treated with Knockout 2 again on a problem area at our sofa, where we set up two Victor traps and occasionally find a flea in one. 
I vacuumed this afternoon and 10+ new fleas are in one of the traps beside the sofa. Did I rouse a pupae? We’re spraying the sofa area again tonight with Knockout but do you think this is still the end of my original problem? Or am I dealing with a new problem? My husband wants to bomb again. Would you just stay the course with vacuuming and occasional spot treatments? 
Thank you for your help.

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 4 months ago


In all likelihood you are still dealing with the remnants of the original problem. Without the pet, and with the treatments you’ve employed, it shouldn’t be possible for a new generation to take hold. Cocooned adults can sometimes stay quiescent for up to 5 months. So it is possible to see them up to this point. You shouldn’t need to do another bombing. Vacuuming and spot treatments should be sufficient.

You may want to take a close look at a trapped flea. Human fleas (p. irritans) can survive and reproduce on human blood. However, this is a relatively rare species and the environmental control methods you’ve already employed should be enough to control this species as well. Still, it may be useful to know the exact species.

Take a look at this image. Cat fleas (C. felis) and dog fleas (C. canis) are in images D and E. They have dark rows of bristles on their heads called combs. Human fleas (img H) have no combs on the head, and the head is more compressed.

Hope this helps!

NCGal replied 4 months ago

Thank you so much, Adam. I appreciate all the help you provide here.

I’ll pick up a magnifying glass today to inspect further. I’m fairly certain they’re cat fleas since I see no evidence of bites and I suspect human fleas would find me and I’d have an allergic reaction. When the fleas were first discovered I had numerous bites with swelling requiring Benadryl and cortisone cream. But better to be certain.

Thanks, again!

P.S. Do you take donations for maintaining the site? After all the misinformation I’ve found in the blogosphere, and the fact that you are so responsive, I’d be happy to support you.

Adam Retzer Staff replied 4 months ago

I’m glad I could help. I don’t have any donation area set up yet. But thank you for the offer!