Sudden flea infestation, no pets

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QuestionsCategory: Flea InfestationsSudden flea infestation, no pets
recovernment asked 3 months ago

Hi! Your website is amazing and it has helped greatly, I just want to ask a question or two to make sure I am on the right track.
We moved into a new apartment about 4 months ago (top floor, ~20 apartments). Two weeks ago my girlfriend started getting bites on her lower legs, and a few days later we realized it was fleas and started treating. I vacuumed a few times and treated with some IGR/Insecticide spray from home depot a week ago. I have been vacuuming regularly, except the last 3 days we went on a weekend trip and when we got back my four flea traps (Desk lamp + plate + water + dish soap) had caught ~15-20 fleas in total. Before we left on Thursday we vacuumed and sprayed with the IGR/Insecticide. This was the largest amount I’ve caught yet, even if divided up into 3 days. I have ordered some Ultracide and am hoping it will be better than the cheap $7 bottles I bought. We have also vacuumed and treated our cars. 
Is there anything else I should be doing? Is it normal to see the numbers caught in traps to continue to increase after vacuuming and treating with insecticide/IGR? Should we be contacting our apartment management about possible sources? We have no pets but I do know our neighbor has a dog. 

recovernment replied 3 months ago

Is there any way we could figure out of it is human fleas or cat fleas?

1 Answers
Adam Retzer Staff answered 3 months ago


It sounds like you are doing everything correctly. After the IGR is sprayed, just continue the vacuuming regimen. Here’s a page on how often to vacuum.

Yes, it’s normal to see an increase of fleas after treatment. This is because the infestation likely went unnoticed for a little while. In that time eggs, were being laid. Eggs, larvae, and pupae make up 95-99% of infestations. What you are seeing now is these immature stages emerging as adults.

The IGR will prevent future generations of fleas from being able to develop. Unfortunately, the fleas already developing the carpets won’t be affected all that much. The sprays can’t penetrate to the depth of carpets where they live. These fleas need to mature, emerge, and die before the infestation ends.

Yeah, you may want to consider talking to your apartment manager. It’s strange you got fleas on the top floor without any pets.

You can identify the flea species by taking a close look at their heads. Take a look at this image. Cat fleas (img D) and dog fleas (img E) have combs (dark rows of bristles) on their heads. Human fleas (img H) have shorter heads with no combs.

Only human fleas can survive and reproduce on human blood. If you find cat fleas or dog fleas, then something strange is going on. For example, maybe your neighbor is infested and it spread to your apartment. Or maybe infested wildlife got into the building somehow.

Warm regards,