HELP! Fleas are carrying us off, have a baby & baby chicks to protect. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I read all the threads in the Pest archive about fleas. I like the boric acid idea and the DE from Garden's Alive (I'm checking on this right now). However I have a 6 month old baby, as well as a 4yr old boy. This means they are always on the floor/carpet. Of secondary concern is the 50 baby chicks we have (currently confined)outside. The fleas are EVERYWHERE!

Its possible for me to do the carpets in boric acid & confine the children to two rooms in the house with tile floors. Is either product dangerous if inhaled in dust form which might be kicked up by walking? How about outside for the chickens?

Thanks in advance for your time. My 6 mo old is covered in flea bites, I pick them off my ankles anytime I walk anywhere inside or out.

Brightest Blessings, Anatida

-- Devera Morgan (, July 17, 2001


This may be a long-term strategy, but have you considered the possibility of eliminating carpets altogether? We ripped out our carpets and refinished the old wood floors underneath. This provides a cleaner environment for our family, and greatly discourages bugs/fleas and allergen build-up. If things are beyond your toleration level, you may have to resort to "bombing" your home with a chemical fogger. You will have to be out of the house for a few days, of course. Good luck to you and your family.

-- Liz Rhein (, July 17, 2001.

Dust good with DE and leave for at least 24 hours. Then vaccuum. Should be no dust (or flea carcasses). Don't think it would hurt anyway unless there is some allergy.

-- paul (, July 17, 2001.

I don't like chemicals either , but I would probally bomb the house .What is bringing the fleas in ? Treat them also .You may have to do the yard also .Good luck .The poor baby must be very uncomfortable.

-- Patty {NY State} (, July 17, 2001.

Not a total solution, but every little bit helps!

Plug a night light in (make sure it has an exposed bulb), and set a bowl of water underneath it. Make sure to add a drop or two of dish detergent to the water as well. Fleas will jump for the light, and some will fall into the bowl and drown.

-- Eric in TN (, July 17, 2001.

You can sprinkel 20 mule team borax laundry soap!! I works like a charm. You sprinkel you carpet at night and vacume up in the morning. I dosn't discolor you carpet or hurt you pets. It even kills flee eggs. Its also cheep as far as a flee control product.

-- Teresa Bourgoin (, July 17, 2001.

Something is bringing the fleas in. Cats, dogs, whatever - for now, shut them out, then treat their bedding (or burn it), then treat the surrounds to their bedding (or burn it), then treat them (or ... nah.) You should be able to get flea collars - use them on the animals. This is a situation which you must get under control, and chemical warfare is justified. Fleas can carry some really nasty diseases - the Black Death is an example. Which brings up the point - clear up other vectors of the fleas (for instance, rats, but could be anything - squirrels, feral or half-wild or barn cats, whatever). It's also a good idea not to allow animals to sleep under an elevated house. They create what the pest exterminators call "flea nests".

Carpets are bad news if you've ever had fleas. The eggs stay there, can keep hatching for a long time, and the carpets will be re- infested again and again. Unless you live in a climate where you need the carpets for insulation, you'd be better off without them.

Flea-bomb the place, then go shopping (make sure you turn off every electrical appliance and every pilot light before you do - they may use hydro-carbons as propellant - you don't want a flame or a spark on dispersed hydrocarbons. FAE (fuel-air explosive) is second only to nuclear weapons as an explosive, way ahead of TNT, and it's a seriously overstated way of getting rid of the fleas. When you come home, air the place out, then vacuum thoroughly (which should pick up a lot of the eggs as well).

At this stage, if you can plan things accordingly, go on holidays. Seriously. Flea eggs hatch (when they're ready) in response to vibration - that's why you can clean everything up, go away, come back, see no fleas, then a couple of minutes later be swarmed under with them. So, if you can arrange things that way, do it. Come back from vacation, stomp around the place for five minutes, set off more flea bombs to catch the new generation then wait a few hours, then back in and vacuum again.

This works - you will have to keep up the bombing until you see no more fleas, but it solves the problem. For control, diatomaceous earth may work after that - can't speak from experience. Don't use borax on the floor in the house - it will get dragged around to where the babies are on the floor, and it is a poison.

Rethink your attitude to carpets - even if you need them, must they be fitted carpets, or can they be squares you can take outside and clean, and clean under where they're been? Old-fashioned, I know - carpet over the line and a carpet-beater. Point is, it worked.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 17, 2001.

Devera, where did you get that name? Unique dear; I have used boric acid for years with no one dieing; boric acis is a powder that is deluted with water to make eye wash for humans with sty,s, get a plastic jar of it, take out the liner, burn holes in the lid with a hot neddle, put the lid back on it and "spray" it in all places that have moisture, i.e. under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, where the pets sleep, ect. You can put it on the pets, protecting their eyes and nose. Do not let them lick it, it can cause loose bowels.

As for the pets, spray ordinary rubbing alcohol on them and comb them with a fine tooth brush, flea death on contact. Add garlic powder to their diet, not garlic salt, reduces fleas; I have seen more fleas in my beard than on chickens, not a concern.

-- mitch hearn (, July 17, 2001.

When we moved into our house 5 years ago we had a flea infestation. it was so bad they were climbing the walls! my son was 5 months old so we had a company come in called flea busters and they used a non toxic powder which they pounded into the carpets it had a flea steralint so they couldnt reproduce, and three days latter no fleas and even after 5 years with 6 cats and 2 dogs no flea problem.The vets also carried the powder for the rugs [ much cheaper] but we payed and had it done.

-- kathy h (, July 18, 2001.

Hi Kathy, do you happen to know what the product was that they used so successfullY?

-- Earthmama (, July 18, 2001.

Earthmamma, cant remember the name of it but there # is 676- 1551 in either the 925 or 510 area code, if you like I will call them tommorow and ask them places which carry it and the name of the powder.

-- kathy h (, July 18, 2001.

Horse hair is a natural flea repellant. This won't help your infestation problem but its something to know. Horse hair is easy to come by in the spring when the horses are shedding out (they shed out in the fall too just alot less hair). Its good to put it down around cat/dog bedding.

-- Stacia in OK (, July 18, 2001.

Borax works! - But only on carpeted areas. The best solution we have found is Frontline. It is not a pesticide (which I will not use,) but kills the fleas by doing something to their neurological system. You put it on the dog and/or cat, and let them gather up the fleas. It takes 2 or 3 days, then you will never have fleas or ticks again, as long as you put it on the animals every month. If you don't have a tick problem, you can stretch it to every 2 months. It is not cheap, but in my book it beats having bugs or exposing your family to pesticides.

-- Paula (, July 18, 2001.

Unless you first find the reason for the fleas, you won't be able to control it. Putting anything, even cleaning solutions down into carpet pad, and having an infant that will be crawling in it for the next several months, is just asking for allergies, rashes and even asthma. Find the dogs or cats that are infesting your place and rid yourself of them or start them on flea control. We use Bio-spot, since you are starting so late in the year, you will also have to use all the horrid, flea sprays, shampoos, premise sprays the whole nine yards, until the Bio-spot has a chance to take effect. We have very few fleas, none in the house and none on our dogs. Our cats are barn cats so treating them is impossible and I know that they must have some fleas. But we start our flea and fly control in very early spring, discontinuing it in late fall. Prevention once again is the key. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, July 18, 2001.

I went through this when my daughter was an infant. I tried all of the shampoos, dips, flea lights, flea bombs, flea sprays, and more, but found that they only truly went away when I put all my furred animals on Program pills. These pills are available through Jeffers (or liquid for cats) and they completely eliminated my flea problem in 6 months. They aren't cheap, but they were less expensive than all the nasty chemicals I was investing in! They work via birth control, so it does take a little time. The fleas bite your dog or cat and get a dose of birth control. We had a mouse problem at the time also, and because the dogs and cat were on Program, the mice were debugged also! I'm not sure that all the other non-chemical flea programs will affect fleas on other animals. As long as the fleas bite the animals treated, they are rendered sterile. Incidentally, we figured out where the mice were coming in and no longer have a mouse problem. The Program eliminated the flea problem. Now the only pests are the kids occasionally, and that can be solved via behavior modification! Life is good!

-- Sheryl in ME (, July 19, 2001.

It seems to me that the serious flea infestations always happen around the high heat of July. That's about the time the collers stops working on the house pets and I just want to get the little flea beasties dead.

For instant relief try vacuuming with a micro-filter bag in your vac, then immediatly take the vac outside to remove the bag and burn it or tie it into a plastic bag of it's own, but get it out! Vaccum first the chairs and couches then the floors without turning off the vacuum during the process. Spray avon skin-so-soft on you and your child if you do not want anything stronger. It will help keep the lingering beasties off of you. I buy a carpet powder from wal-mart that kills fleas after 20 minutes on the carpet. It claims to be safe after using the vac. and letting the place air. Ruth was 5 or 6 monthes old the first time and we didn't have any problems that I am aware of. I usually find I need the powder only once if I continue to vacuum often, and banish the offending pets until I wash them and their bedding with over the counter soaps for fleas. Then I put on new collers and hope the first frost beats the next wave of fleas.

Oh, and the night light over the cake pan works great. It's also a good test to see if you're starting to have a flea problem before it gets out of control. Five tonight can be 5,000 in very short order.

-- Marty (, July 19, 2001.

I have used a couple of methods that work. Salt all carpets and leave overnite. This kills the eggs. Vaccuum in the morning to catch adult fleas. And again in the evening. Make sure that you put the vaccuum cleaner outside as the fleas will crawl out. Also fleas hate Avon Skin so Soft. I spray this on my dog and ourselves with good results.

Good Luck LIsa

-- Lisa Leonard (, July 23, 2001.

Marty's right - after vacuming, get rid of the vacume cleaner bag ASAP.

The vacume just pics up the fleas & eggs - it doesn't kill them. After the cleaner is turned off, they can crawl right back out again...

Best to burn the bag and make sure *all* the little critters are dead.

-- Deb Mc. (not@this.time.pls), July 23, 2001.

I had a cat with a major flea problem, and found that a spray (about $14.00 Cdn) worked it at a pet food store, and spray the corners and edges or your furniture, baseboards, carpets, etc...the fleas lay their eggs at edges of furniture to prevent them from being walked on, and damaged...this treatment was safe for me and my kitty, and fixed the get a handle on how many fleas you're dealing with, place an aluminum pie place, or a shallow dish, with an inch of vegetable oil in it, near a night-light...this attracts them, and the oil doesn't allow them to hop out. Good Luck!

-- Adrianne (trypl_x@yahoo.ccom), April 16, 2002.

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