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Perchik's avatar

My house has fleas. How can I get rid of them?

Asked by Perchik (4930 points ) July 13th, 2007

My dog came in covered with fleas. We gave him a bath with that flea killing soap, but now there's fleas in the carpet throughout the house and in the bathroom where we washed him. What can we do? (note...we're just 4 college kids so our budget isn't very large)

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34 Answers

ChrisCogdon's avatar

Use a "flea bomb", an aerosol can that you set off while the house is empty. Also, give your dog "Advantage" or "Program" for at least a year to keep fleas off, in case some eggs are not killed by the bomb.

bpeoples's avatar

Ditto the flea bomb -- one per room, make sure to follow the directions carefully (mainly about avoiding ignition sources like pilot lights and refrigerator starters)

zzztimbo's avatar

I would focus more on the dog than the house. We had a similar problem and we gave our dogs Capstar (http://www.capstar.novartis.us/) and Frontline (http://frontline.us.merial.com/home/)

Ma-goo's avatar

One of my daughters had this problem & fooled around with treating the dog for quite a while. In the end they had to bomb the house anyway, so my advice is to just do it. Also, throw out as many rugs, cushions, etc. as you can. Those little buggers lurk everywhere.

gailcalled's avatar

I had a friend sans dog who moved into a cottage that was flea-invested. He (friend, not dog) was told to vacate for several days while the exterminator bombed the place. I don't think the stuff is good to breathe, particularly for kids. Nasty situation...sorry.

Perchik's avatar

Well it looks like a bomb is the way to go thanks!

glosski's avatar

talcum powder - go get a bunch and sweep it into your rugs, strip your beds and do the mattresses real well, same for under your couch / chair cushions, etc
Also, see if you can get hold of eucalyptus tree leaves and steep them like tea to release the oils; saturate a cloth collar or bandana for your dog & it repells the fleas - both of these are personally tried and true - good luck! ;-)

Perchik's avatar

Do you know if the eucalyptus bandanna would be safe for me to wear on my head...?

glosski's avatar

I wouldn't wear it but you might try it in a rinse ... Why would you want to wear it? Just curious .... ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

For the women here, talcum powder is dangerous; many women who have had ovarian cancer (a bad one) and had their ovaries removed find that the ovaries are overlaid and enlarded w. talcum. The powder is so fine that it seeps into skin. Oncologists say, "NO. Stay away from the stuff."

And I wouldn't think that breathing the dust would be a good idea. Plus the mess. You'd need a dumptruck load to have enough to cover all surfaces where fleas, tiny buggers, can hide. However, dried eucalypus, easy to find at florist's, is pretty in a vase.

Perchik's avatar

@glosski I have dreadlocks...If I get fleas I pretty much have to shave my head.

ava's avatar

I am unfortunately an expert on this. Getting fleas out of carpets is a pain in the ass. I tried bombing, and flea sprays, but, the only thing that really worked borax. You need to sprinkle it all over the house and then vacuum it up with a vacuum that has bags. Then you must dispose of the bags, because flea eggs can live forever in them! Are you being bitten at all? I have advice for that too!

glosski's avatar

@perchik I think you should try it in a mist bottle but test it on a sensitive area first since DLs keep the scalp that way
and if the only time you use powder is to chase fleas I think your ovaries (and lungs) are safe - use common sense and you won't need a dump truck
the borax does the trick - wonder what it does to ovaries ???

gailcalled's avatar

It's is fineness of the talc particles that make them so easily absorbed. I wonder whether borax is so powdery.. I do have a box; use it instead of cleanser or sometimes in washing machine.

I guess that torching the house and rebuilding is impractical? :-)

glosski's avatar

I vote for torching ;-)

mabelrxu's avatar

i vote for no dogs (or other flee bringing pets) ... ^_^

Perchik's avatar

Yeah. one of the guys girlfriends gave him this dog ..and its a pain in the butt. Now i have an excuse to get rid of it! lol

gooch's avatar

put liquid soap in bowls around the house and the fleas will jump in and die....and unlike the bomb you don't have to leave your house

fred's avatar

Advantage. I've had many flea infestations.

jca's avatar

i have cats, a newborn and fleas at present. i am "bugging out" because i've seen fleas on the bed and it is gross. i have advantage coming in the mail from the internet, and when we get it we will use it and then bomb the house. we'll put the cats outside and sleep in a hotel for one night. this is a problem i want to get rid of quickly, as it is really disgusting to see fleas in your bed. we'll also flea bomb the basement, as i want to cover all the bases. i read that 95% of the fleas are in the egg stage, so in other words, if you see fleas you have way more eggs and larvae than the adults that are visible.

peggylou's avatar

@gailcalled: Can you prevent the problem with talc if you use a powder that does not contain talc—like baby powder?

gailcalled's avatar

My Oncologist says that everyone should stay away from any kind of dusting powder. I think it is the size of the particles that cause the problem. Since I am a breast cancer survivor, I use very few “products.” Shampoo, conditioner, body lotion (or massage oil), moisterizer and sun block from Health food store. That’s it. Ask YOUR doc. I don’t think that my neices use baby powder on their toddlers (4, 20 months, and 18 months) but will check.

madmary07's avatar

my son hangs out with a boy with 3 big dogs he has marks on his legs for a number of weeks now he went to see our gp who told him it was bad mites, but the other night he was away and i used his duvet in another bedroom and now i am covered in bites and so now i feel itchy in my own room so it has just come to me it must be fleas from the dogs, now i have 3 beds infected please someone out there tell me how to get rid of them i am going mad with the itch.

maietta's avatar

Hardwood floors and no animals! I don’t know if minty candies or oils could work for flees, but it sure does work for mice.

justwannaknow's avatar

Go to the Vet and get some stuff. Ours had a flea spray that worked not only on the existing fleas but also the new ones that hatched out much later. They are the sneaky ones that people miss and then think nothing worked at all. Sorry but the eggs will hatch.

jca's avatar

the vet has a shot he gives the animal and all the fleas and ticks drop dead within a half hour. i would recommend an exterminator, and pulling up the rugs for the future. once you have those chemicals on the rug (either that you got from over the counter stuff or from an exterminator) you don’t want to walk on the rugs barefoot anyway, it doesn’t seem too healthy.

star_bug's avatar

Ok, I have no pets, me and my fiance have lived in our new apartment for 8 months, never had fleas before, no family members have fleas/pets. How the hell did we get them? our hoover is a bagless one and ive seen from past comments they are best to dispose, what can we do to get rid of the bleeders?

sarahny's avatar

We are dealing with a flea infestation at the moment as well. We bombed the house and I still see fleas everywhere. It’s disgusting! I’m going to try the soapy water in bowls trick tonight and see if that helps. We used the Harts foggers. Is there a better brand of flea bomb out there?

MaryW's avatar

I hate the flea bombs. The Frontline plus on their skin between their shoulder blades is great and the dogs will continue to attract all the fleas and the fleas die out over time. It works great. I know it is expensive but it works. I just use it summer til November. It lasts on my dogs about fourty days an application. Do not use the dog stuff on cats. Cats need their own different packet.
If you are really infested, you can also put a flat bowl of water down with a bit of dish soap in it and put a light near it ( not so it can fall in it) and over night the fleas will go there and drown.

rebeccayhb's avatar

when we rescued our dog she had fleas all over her…we used capstar(that will kill all the adult fleas on her), flea spray, flea shampoo and sevin dust in our yard. I put baby powder on her and surprisingly found out that it kills fleas! plus, it smells like a baby! haha.

masterk's avatar

i have fleas in my room , i bombed it but yet i still have more & more bites . i dont know what to do . right now im trying to do that thing where i leave the bowl with dish soap in the light . lets see if this works . but if it doesnt work anyone have any suggestions ?

towm's avatar

We have two dogs and we found that for baths Ajax Orange dish soap works really well. As you wash them you can see the little buggers running for their lives it is kind of amusing. It does not solve the problem but it does help kill some of the ones on the dog, plus its really good for the dogs coat (well for boxers).

yellowbird5411's avatar

I have many cats, and carpet in the bedrooms. I have had flea problems on and off for years. But most recently, the best flea control I have used is talcum powder. If you “whoosh” it out over the carpet and bare floors from the container, then spread the thicker bunches around with a broom, it is invisible. Leave it. Use it fairly sparingly, as it will be going into your vacuum. It tends to clog up filters, so keep that in mind when you are “dusting” the area. It doesn’t take much. The powder dries up the flea and clogs their breathing apparatus. I got rid of a horrendous ant problem by spreading it along the ant trail to the entry point. They died right in the powder, immediately. I also spread it around the foundation of my house outside and on my driveway cracks. No more ants. Some “talcum” powder is made from cornstarch now. Sometimes half and half. The diatomacious earth works well, too, but it can eat up a vacuum cleaner. I lost two that way. I use it in the yard, though. It’s great. Use a duster designed for dust applications. Another great yard treatment is a hose end-sprayer and dish soap. Fill up the container about half way and set to a medium or higher setting. Make as many foamy areas as you can, but cover the yard. Flea larvae have nothing to eat when they hatch, as their food is now soapy, which makes them sick and they die. This will kill many insects, good and bad. Good for getting rid of mites, white flies, etc. with less soap. In general it will not hurt plants. Use Ivory or other pure soap with no antibacterial chemicals. Borax works very well indoors only. It will kill plants and grass. I lost a yard full of plants and small trees that way.

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