Hope you’re well. I just read your Flea Science page. Great info!
Got a question for ya. I am currently driving my daughter home from college. Today, while I was packing her things into a UHaul trailer, I discovered that she has a flea infestation.
Much of her belongings are packed into plastic boxes (not air tight) and everything is is the trailer. I am super concerned about bringing her things into my flea free home.
I bought some Raid flea foggers, and set them off in the trailer. I’m now driving from Tallahassee to south Florida and the thermostat has been a pretty consistent 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do you think that leaving the stuff in the trailer will kill everything?
Thank you for the compliments on the site, I’m glad you find it useful.
First of all, the thing to be most concerned about is bringing a flea-infested pet into your home. Was her cat or dog infested? After adults emerge from cocoons, they seek out a host, and, once on a host, they stay there permanently (unless groomed off). They’ll feed, mate, and lay eggs on the animal. The eggs will then fall off into the environment, where they develop into the next generation.
As far as her belongings, it sounds like you shouldn’t have a problem. Very few fleas should be living on her things to begin with. The majority of immature fleas live in carpeting. However, many can also be found in pet bedding and rugs. Pay special attention to these items, or any other items that a pet could’ve been resting on and eggs could’ve fall onto. Washing and drying rugs, pet bedding, and garments will kill any fleas (though they shouldn’t be on clothes unless they were laying on the ground).
If there are fleas (of any stage) on her belongings, leaving them in the trailer outside in the summer heat will kill them. 95°F is the upper limit they can survive in. It should get much hotter than this in the trailer.
At 95°F, adult fleas die in 0.5 to 9.5 days, depending on relative humidity (RH). The more humid, the longer they can survive. Eggs won’t hatch unless RH exceeds 75%. Larvae can survive long enough to spin cocoons, but they’ll all die during the pupation process inside the silk structure. From eggs, larvae hatch and begin forming cocoons in 7 to 11 days in most settings.
Again, these stats are for 95°F, the upper-threshold for survival. Temperatures should greatly exceed this inside a UHaul trailer. Ensure nothing is buried in the trailer, they may be insulated in cooler air.
I hope everything works out well for you! Thank you for posting your question here.