Specific Flea Control Questions

Asked November 29, 2017, 12:15 AM EST

Hi, I have questions concerning ridding fleas in my apartment. I will not use the public washer and dryers because of the bed bug risks from them. I wash all my clothes, sheets by hand. The hot water temperature is 128 degrees F. Is this hot enough to kill fleas, eggs , larvae, pupae? Internet sites state to use dish soap to kill fleas, Is laundry detergent as good? Will vinegar kill fleas and all stages? Some sources state to treat the house by mixing vinegar, witch hazel and water and using a home garden sprayer - then apply to carpet furniture, everywhere. Would this kill all stages or some stages? I use wheat cat litter - is this a food source for the fleas? My cat has flea allergy dermititis and after a month - still is on prednisolone. I vacuum often, last 3 days vacuuming every day now and throw bag out each time. Some say to freeze the bag until the next vacuum time to save money on bags. Would that work? I know to focus cleaning where the 2 cats sleep. I recently stopped taking care of 2 outdoor strays (others helping them) because the internet said I will bring fleas back to my cats from them. Is this true? Do fleas hide in paper materials, books? I have plastic miniblinds, can they hide there? One website saisd to wash all clothes in the home. Would they be on clothes hanging in the closet also? As I do laundry by hand I can not wash everything at one time. I poured boiling water one time on bed sheets and cat bedding. Both cats still scratching. Given Advantage II, received second round before 1 month because non allergic cat began scratching and chewing self again. My allergic cat has a history of seizures and I do not plan to use it again. I found recommended 'Four Paws" brewers yeast and garlic pills as a natural method I ordered from Amazon. The flea infestation must be small as even the veterinarian did not see the fleas. After several flea combings I finally saw them and realized it was flea allergy. It is about 1 month since I first started Advantage. My cat needed antibiotic as she scratched her neck to look like raw meat. The elizabethan collar cone saved her skin. Thank You for helping.

Baltimore County Maryland

2 Responses

Normal hot/warm water temperatures will be fine. Soap or detergent is fine.
Fleas will not get in paper materials. Carpets are the biggest problem, especially along edges.
We do not recommend freezing. (Fleas survive outside over the winter, right?)
We do recommend putting moth balls in the vacuum bag. This will kill the fleas and you will not have to change bags as often.
We recommend:
Spray with a flea growth regulator product. They are very effective and safe for people and pets. Follow the directions. Remember that fleas can live 9 months without a meal and eggs can last many months.
Shampoo your rug. Use a good machine that vacuums up the wet shampoo foam and get as tight to wall edges as you can.
Read through our webpage on flea control: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/fleas


We wanted to get back to you in reference to the mothballs inside your vacuum bag.

We generally try not to suggest mothball use anymore, unless it is in a closed container.
Fumes from mothballs may be able to escape your vacuum cleaner. If the concentration is high and in the open, it can be unhealthful for you or your cats,
so unless that cleaner is stored closed away, we'd forgo the moth balls, or throw away the bag.