flea infestation

Asked November 5, 2015, 12:50 PM EST

I have battled a flea infestation in my mobile home for the past 1-1/2 months. I am in a park of about 100 homes. There is an open field behind me, and a bank of trees along the inner edge. Can the fleas live under my house? I've had exterminators out twice, and have bombed countless times and vacuum daily. We inherited an outside cat with the home; we treat her w/drops. I'm the only one bothered by the fleas (a canary in the coal mine) and they're eating me up. Any suggestions?

Linn County Oregon

4 Responses

Are you certain that fleas are the problem? Flea bites are usually confined to the lower legs and everyone in the home is normally affected. Have you been able to find fleas on the cat using a flea comb? This would confirm a flea infestation.

Fleas don't live outside so treating under the home probably won't do much good in this case. Adult fleas live mainly on the host animal or where the host animal sleeps. Outside kennels can also be infested and wild animals such as raccoons can have fleas that will bite pets and us.

The best thing to do now is to determine if fleas are present. Next, if fleas are present treat them on the host animal (not extermination). If your flea meds are not working ask your vet to suggest an alternative treatment.

The cat has no fleas -- she has the drops between the shoulder blades.

They are indeed fleas. I"ve drowned a few in soapy water. And I don't know of any other insect of similar size and shape that springs away before you can get it. They're kind of flat (vertically) and kinda transparent looking, and match the flea pictures I've seen. They get in my hair --- I do 2 showers daily, washing my hair w/Head & Shoulders. Bed has been thoroughly vacuumed (mattress and box) - changing sheets almost nightly.

Is there anything I can eat to make them not like me (ie., garlic, etc.)?

If you can't find fleas on your cat I think it is very unlikely that fleas are infesting your home since they can't live on us alone. It is possible that a rodent or small mammal has made a nest in the walls or under the home and this is the source. If you find fleas in only one part of the home then I'd suspect a nest. There are some home remedies such as garlic but they won't work well in general and don't work at all for most people. Again, I'd concentrate on locating the source first. You may want to take a sample to your county Extension office so that the id can be confirmed.

Thanks for your help Jack. You might be right that something else is also involved here. I haven't actually seen the fleas for several weeks and it's probable the exterminators took care of it ..... it probably just happened that I was simultaneously exposed to lice or something similar at the beauty salon or elsewhere -- I'm going to proceed on that premise. Appreciate you giving me some light at the end of the tunnel with your info.