Asked on Jul 17, 2013

Flea infestation

Robin Miller CresciMadeline ShepherdKaren Sheilds


My elderly aunt's cat has died and left her home flea ridden. What is the best way to get rid of them?
My 8 year old grandson took this photo of me on the 4th of July--we always watch the fireworks together.
15 answers
  • Kim
    on Jul 17, 2013

    After using commercial products many times, I was told I could use equal amounts of borax and baking soda mix together and put in a shaker container (like a bulk size spice container) Or you could make one using an old mayonnaise jar just drill small holes in the top. Shake onto floor leave sit for a couple hours then vacuum up . Repeat in a week or 2 until they're gone!

  • You will need to bomb the house. And do it a few times every few days to remove the flees that hatch and were not killed. A good HEPA vacuum also is needed, every nook and cranny in the house will need to be gone over. I suggest that a professional should be consulted to do this. Using spray bombs can cause home explosions and all sorts of other issues if not done according to the directions and knowledge of using such a method. Using homemade remedies may also work, but if they are really bad, you need to get serious and do it correctly.

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jul 18, 2013

    You can kill the fleas with bombs but there's a lot of work involved!! Remember the furniture is also infested and the bombing spray must be able to get to every inch of that. Take couch cushions off before spraying. Take your beds down so the floor is not covered under the bed and the spray can settle on that area. All cabinets should be emptied of food and left open for the bomb spray to get inside. Cover your stove if it's gas, water heater as well or furnace if there's gas. Do not let the bomb solution get into those to avoid explosions. Sweep every inch of the house with a good heavy duty sweeper, put the sweeper bags into plastic bags to go in the trash. I suggest 2 bombings, 2 sweepings and then all carpet and furniture will have to be cleaned when you are sure there are no fleas. Good luck, I've been through it!! If you get professional help they come once a month for about 6 months to insure any dormant fleas/flea eggs are killed.

  • Debi spradley
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Buy Borax (Borateem in laundry aisle) Sprinkle everywhere, vacuum next day and repeat every few days til fleas and eggs are gone. A veterinarian told me this is same thing that flea removal professionals use and I KNOW it works. Had same problem at my mom's and got rid of all of them this way. Good Luck :) Can use on sofas, etc, just make sure to put under cushions.

  • Linda @ Mixed Kreations
    on Jul 18, 2013

    A all natural way that really does work is to get a pie pan add a squirt of dish washing soap then fill with water. Stir a little to get it mixed. Then sit the pan on the floor in the infested area at night (needs to be dark) get a desk lamp that you can adjust where the light shines in the water only. Prop up if needed so not to fall over in water. Leave on all night. Next morning empty dead fleas and water. Do again next night if needed. Fleas jump into light, drop in water and sink because of soap. This method really does work, and no harsh chemicals in your house. You will be amazed at all the fleas in your pan next morning.

  • JL Spring & Associates
    on Jul 19, 2013

    I believe in the Borax method and usually have combined "bombing" the house as well. If the an older type gas stove is present, DO NOT USE PAPER OR CLOTH TO COVER/PROTECT as there's more than likely pilot lights that some sprays and bombs can ignite. ALL GAS appliances should have a shut off valve within easy access and reach. Natural Gas or Propane are wonderfu sources of energy but safety precautions should be adhered to faithfully (a dishwash liquid/water mix in a re-purposed "windex type" plastic spray bottle can be used to test gas lines for leaks. A few spritzes on connections with NO BUBBLING and you are probably OK.) Had Florida Fleas in a rental unit near Ft. Meyers Fla. and no kidding, during the process of removing them from one particularly heavily infested room, their "last gasps" were heard as those husky sand fleas jumped against the inside of the wooden bedroom door! Several hundred thousand more and they could probably have turned the door-knob! Hope you get through it OK! JL

  • Phyllis W
    on Jul 19, 2013

    Linda Keesee's has the best solution with out polluting your home with chemicals. I had many dogs that caused an infestation. This method works. I use to keep it near the dogs area to catch the fleas when they first came inside. Make one for every room. You will be amazed.

  • Sherrie
    on Jul 20, 2013

    Flea's and roaches I wouldn't hesitate to use chemicals. Woodridge suggested bombs, but If they are really bad I wouldn't hesitate to call someone to exterminator. I don't use chemicals on my garden but really sometimes it is worse to get bit my bugs then it is to deal with the chemicals.

  • Melissa Gutilla
    on Jul 20, 2013

    I would bomb the house and vacuum everything very well! Make sure everything is up rooted-mattresses, couch cushions etc...

  • Cynthia
    on Jul 20, 2013

    I hear Borax and vacuuming works. Be sure to throw out vacuum bag!

  • Dawn MW
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Remember, flea eggs can be dormant for 6mths before repeat your treatment again in 6mths!

  • GR
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Your aunt has my sympathy, we have been tormented with fleas for the last few years! Apparently they become immune to commercial treatments after a while. It depends on your attitude to chemicals - since your aunt's cat is dead you don't have to worry about the impact on the pet but you do need to worry about her! I have used pest control (when I moved into an infested house but didn't have a cat myself) which was expensive but 100% effective. I have friends who bombed the house which also worked, at least until the cats got infested again. We have used diatomaceous earth which is a natural product that you sprinkle anywhere the fleas may be living, it dehydrates them and the eggs and they die. It is HORRENDOUSLY messy (the house looked like the Arizona desert) and I think I am still cleaning it up now a year later, but that may be because I have stone and wood floors, I think carpet would be easier. I have also tried the water and detergent in a bowl trick, I was told to put a candle in the middle as they are attracted to heat. It did catch some fleas but I fear they were just the tip of the iceberg! Washing anything the cat came into contact with and repeatedly vacuuming all helps. I wish you luck, I have come to the conclusion that if we ever do have a nuclear holocaust all that will survive are fleas and cockroaches because they are obviously indestructible :-D

  • Karen Sheilds
    on Aug 29, 2014

    I asked for help with this same problem, but I can't use the bombs, sprays or other conventional flea killers because of a lung & heart condition. I used Diatamatious Earth on the advice of other Hometalk posters. So far I have had good results. Best thing is the D.E. can be sprinkled onto the carpet and if it gets down in the fibers it will kill any eggs. Even if one hatches it will soon die once it comes in contact with the D.E. I dusted the carpets and the cats. They weren't happy but they are flea free now. Just be sure to use the food grade D.E., it won't hurt pets or humans and it's inexpensive! 10lbs for $20 on Amazon. Good Luck!

  • Madeline Shepherd
    on May 25, 2015

    Get another cat and treat it for fleas.

  • Robin Miller Cresci
    on May 25, 2015

    So sorry for your loss. There is Diatomaceous Earth packaged for treating such infestations. The trick is multiple treatments, LOTS of vacuuming, removing items, clothing etc that they will have laid eggs in. But you have to treat often and repeatedly to break the cycle of the egg hatch. I know. Gross. Makes me itchy just thinking about it!

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