I have to 'fumigate' two houses occupied until recently by elderly people
with flea ridden cats. After several weeks of non-occupation I assumed it
was safe to enter but I still get bites on my legs and I gather this will
continue as my footsteps disturb the fleas and 'activate' the
eggs/larvae/pupa. I've done the usual Google and it's all very interesting
Can anyone suggest where I can buy the supplies to fumigate the houses
myself please? Whatever I get needs to have a 'residual' effect to
eliminate future hatchings. Or am I right in thinking one can no longer get
these sort of chemicals and I have no choice but to bring in the pest
control experts and pay the bill?
The only thing I can get is a sulphur candle from the garden centres but I
doubt that will be very effective. I have face masks, pressurised mask,
protection suit, long gloves.
Flea eggs can last for months in the right conditions, but they don't
hatch immediately so there must be some live ones still left.
Go to a vet and get some spray (I've forgotten the name, but it comes in
a tall black & white spray) It's not cheap probably 8 quid a can. You'll
need a can or 2 per floor.
Vacuum the house, spray the floors, nooks & crannies, leave a day then
vacuum and spray again.
I have a cat which is allergic to fleas and this is what I do in the
house from time to time. End of summer is probably the worst time.
If you are bothered by them as you are working there, get some DEET from
an outdoorsy style shop and spray your legs and arms - look for stuff
with 50% DEET in it. DEET is horrible, nasty stuff, but seems to work
well on just about any biting insect I've used it against. IT won't be
called DEET, but look for it in the ingredients.
Friend of mine used DEET, after a change of tenant in a flat they
rented out. Despite the tenancy agreement, they had kept a number of
It melted the carpet ! Afterwards the pile was sticking together
with a thin solidified crust at the top of the strands.
Try a local vet surgery or the local council environmental department. I
had this problem a few years back and had to use "flea bombs" which are
probably similar to the sulphur candle. It may be that with recent
legislation regarding chemicals and pest control doing it yourself is no
longer an option.
Regardless of whether you can do it yourself or have to pay an "expert" I
would strongly recommend that all soft furnishings (carpets, curtains,
furniture) are removed and destroyed as these will harbour eggs.
To be honest I'd get the local pest control guy to come and have a
look. We had a rat visit our loft last winter so my wife called the
local council, they sent the guy over, he checked the loft and laid
some bait and then left. Cost was about 30 quid as I recall.
That might sound a lot based upon what he actually did in terms of
physical work, but he was extremely knowledgeable about the problem
and very willing to discuss what to do to resolve it. That sort of
expertise is worth a lot of money, and you can borrow his brains for a
half hour then set to with what he suggests. Well worth 30 quid for
Unlike a more commercial enterprise the pest control people don't seem
to want to come along and stroke their chin whilst saying "ooh, I
haven't seen one that bad before, let me see which week I can book in
to resolve this problem....".
Permethrin-based stuff is not too bad to use. Spray, close door for 30
minutes and then ventilate. A good vacuum to get the eggs up helps as
Don't buy from a vet - cheaper from a pet shop...vets often have a big
Is Pet City still in existence?
I had a similar problem with a former pub I bought. Walking through the bar
area activated fleas a couple of years after the last dog had sat there. A
good clean through with a powerful vacuum cleaner and a generous application
of pyrethrum dust got rid of them. The stuff you buy from the vets is
effective, but if there are no animals in the property you need to clear,
there is little point in paying the extra for a product that is guaranteed
to be safe for use with pets.
It may be an old wives' tale, but I've heard that if you put a bowl of hot
water on the floor, the heat attracts fleas - they jump towards it and
drown. Can't hurt to try!
Incidentally for anyone needing "Frontline" I recommend
http://www.pets-megastore.com.au/ - even with postage from Australia it's
about half the price we pay at the vet.
It works for adult fleas which can jump and then only those within
spitting distance while the water is warm. It is bugger all effect on
the larvae and the eggs which are the real problem in the longer term.
If I remember rightly, the vibrartion of you walking around causes the
fleas to hatch. However, they have to feed within a certain amount of
time after hatching before they starve to death. So you could spend half
an hour or so walking around the house in big clumpy boots, and then
leave the place empty for a week. :)
"Duncan Lees" <duncan-at-snsys-dot-com> wrote in message
Fleas also need to feed on the blood of their natural host. Ie. cat fleas
need cats blood, dog fleas need a dog, human fleas need people, for a
particular enzyme that will only be in the blood of the host. Without the
enzyme a flea can feed and irritate but it can't reproduce.
Well, lots of advice, but no-one's really hit it yet. I looked into
all this in depth several years back, due to having some persistent
The one effective method is to use those slow release flykillers like
Vapona - but - some of them kill fleas and some dont. Look for the
ones that use dichlorvos as the active ingerdient. With them in the
place, your flea problem is history.
As far as destroying all the furninshings - no.
Dichlorvos is cat safe.
One other possibility (I missed the earlier part of the thread) would be
diatomaceous earth - it looks a little like sand, but is extremely sharp
and happily carves slices out of fleas as they come into contact, so they
dry up and die.
If the house has been vacant, the flea eggs may still be lying dormant,
and will only hatch when they figure out there`s activity around them
If you are doing the house up and haven`t yet put carpeting down, it
might be worth just sprinking some about to see if it helps.
Failing that, get a "sacrificial" cat and some decent flea killer
(Frontline works great) and the problem should be resolved within a few
weeks with any luck :-p
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