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Would I know if there were fleas in the house?

(6 Posts)
HeidiKat Sun 16-Oct-11 14:13:08

My DH took my cat to the vets yesterday for her annual booster jag and health check, the vet had a good look in her fur and said there was evidence of flea droppings and sold gullible DH stuff to treat both the cat and the house. When he came home with it I made him take the house treating stuff back as we have a ten month old DD who is crawling and getting into everything at the minute and I'm really not comfortable using such a strong insectiside near her. I'm a bit sceptical as to whether we actually have fleas in the house itself anyway, we don't have much carpet downstairs and the cat isn't allowed in any rooms upstairs, the doors are kept shut so she doesn't have access to bedrooms. My couches are leather and I'm pretty sure fleas couldn't live in leather, only soft material with some pile for them to nest in. If we had fleas living in the little amount of carpet there is surely I would have noticed flea bites on DD after being on it or on mine and DH's ankles, there have been none and I have seen no flea like creatures when hoovering or anything. I am happy to keep the back of the neck stuff and treat the cat herself, but surely even if she had fleas in her coat, treating her would eventually kill any in the house as they need an animal food source to survive? I just don't want to use strong chemicals which are covered in dire poison control warnings around my DD unless absolutely necessary.

BulstrodeTheApatosaurus Sun 16-Oct-11 14:17:38

You probably won't have fleas in your home if you vaccuum regularly as your friendly Dyson is their worst enemy. Makr sure you get all crevices & do thr cat's bedding to suck up all traces then put the contets of the cleaner straight in the wheelie bin.

Checking your cat for fleas is easy. Just comb/brush them and then put the fur
On some damp kitchen roll. Flea poo is basically dried blood & will rehydrate as blood spots on the towel.

HeidiKat Sun 16-Oct-11 14:31:42

Thanks, I will try to remember to do the cat's bedding as well as the carpet and stick the bedding through the washing machine a bit more often.

girlywhirly Mon 17-Oct-11 09:10:57

It isn't just the fleas themselves that you need to kill, it is their eggs. These don't stick to the animal's fur, but drop off and can get lodged under skirtings, in floorings, and upholstery. They can lie dormant for many months before hatching, when they will jump back on the cat. If there is a heavy infestation they will bite humans too, so it is really important to treat both the cat and the home environment for adult fleas and their eggs. The vet was right to sell your DH the spray, as it penetrates the tough egg coverings and kills the larvae.

Don't worry about the spray, you can treat the home and go out for a while, once it's dry it won't be harmul to children.

ElderberrySyrup Mon 17-Oct-11 09:17:41

have a look in your tumble drier fluff, for flea dirts and eggs.

Lizcat Mon 17-Oct-11 14:20:53

The figures are roughly if you have 5 fleas on the cat you have 95 eggs in your house waiting to hatch. Using an adulticide is a really long winded way of controlling the fleas.

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