R Ranson wrote:Oh noses. Fleas suck!
My first thought is that the toxic stuff might have made the fleas resistant to pesticides. A bit like how super-bugs are made from antibiotics. Personally I don't use that stuff anymore because it stopped being effective, and then I learned what nasty stuff is in it, so now I have even less reason to try it. But I understand that desperate times call for desperate measures.
However, we did have a massive flea infection this year. I tried this approach and the flea population decreased noticeably after the first day. It took about three weeks. What I like about this, other than being non-toxic, is that it kills 100% of the fleas it comes in contact with. Leaving no survivors means no resistance.
I didn't try any of the other things like borax, so I don't know much about them.
The other thing I did was to find the source of the fleas into the house. We have no pets, so it was probably us humans. But I've seen houses with rat and mice problems get some major flea issues, so it might be an idea to check for rodents living in or near the house. Bushes next to the house encourage rats, and the fleas might be coming in under the door? I don't know. Probably not, but it is a possibility.
R Ranson wrote:With the DE, it took vacuuming every three days like the article said. I noticed, the time I left it for five days, the fleas grew in numbers. So I went back to every three days and they seem to have gone.
I wonder if the fleas are coming into the house somehow. Could it be that you kill off one population then more come in?
Casie Becker wrote:Is there any way they could be gaining access to your home from outdoors? One of the life stage of fleas is in soil. I actually found out on accident (was treating for fire ants) that beneficial nematodes sprayed across my yard greatly reduced the number of fleas that our indoor/outdoor cats carried in.
Paul has a whole article entirely about dealing with fleas http://richsoil.com/flea-control.jsp if there is anything there you haven't tried, try it now.
One of the big things there is the comment about eggs sometimes surviving as long as 8 months. Most solutions have a much harder time impacting the eggs.
Something that we did after my sister brought home bed bugs from the hospital, to deal with bed bugs and their possible eggs in wooden furniture was to use rubbing alcohol (same as you'd pour on a cut) to saturate into all the crevices. This broke through the protective coatings that kept the bugs and eggs from dehydrating. We didn't see any signs of the bugs after the first week, it's been years at this point. I think most people consider bed bugs to be one of the most challenging pests, so maybe this could be a dire straights solution for fleas.
Miranda Converse wrote:A couple things;
When you vacuumed, did you immediately bring the vacuum outside and dispose of the contents? Fleas are hardy little brats and will survive even a thorough vacuuming. Best thing to do is to empty the contents into a bag (if you have a bagless vacuum) tied shut tightly and right into the trash. You could even douse the contents in some alcohol to have some added security.
Did you vacuum the non-carpeted areas? May seem silly but every flea you can remove is one less to reproduce.
Have you tried salt? When I moved into my house I was lucky enough to inherit an existing flea infestation along with it. How I handled it was to spread copious amounts of salt (probably 3-4lbs total) on all of the carpets and let it sit for a couple days. The salt is supposed to dehydrate them. Then I just vacuumed as often as possible. I also treated my cats at the same time.
I also think part of what help get rid of my flea problem was my chickens. Our flea problem was probably worse in our yard than in our house. They would jump on you while walking through the grass. Shortly after our chickens were let free range, the fleas disappeared.
One other thing maybe worth looking into would be Neem oil. I haven't used it for fleas but I've read that it can be used to control them on animals. The stuff stinks to high hell though.
steve bossie wrote:get some cedar and neem oils. mix in a tsp. each into a sprayer w/ 2c warm water. spray liberally everywhere. fleas and eggs are killed by both those oils. i use that mix in the house every couple weeks and directly on the dogs. peppermint , basil, citronella . garlic and rosemary oils work good too but the cedar/ neem seems to work best. good luck!
steve bossie wrote:also, if you have skunks or raccoons hanging around in your yard, they bring the fleas back. when i see signs that the skunks have been digging grubs on my lawn i live trap them right away and release them in the woods about 5 miles away. only then can i control the fleas. if not they just keep jumping on the cats and back in the house!