How to get rid of cat fleas in your home: I've tried everything and found out what work and what doesn't.
When you experience a severe flea infestation on indoor cats, this usually means the house is infested with fleas as well.
In my experience it became so bad that just walking over the carpet caused fleas to jump out of the carpet pile and onto my socks! Just sitting on the sofa resulted in itchy flea bites on my ankles, legs and arms.
If you don't know if you have fleas in your carpets, try wearing white socks and walk across the carpet. Fleas are attracted to bright materials. I found fleas jumped on to my socks immediately! They'll be easy to spot on a white sock - you'll see black/dark brown flecks.
In my experience flea bombs/foggers did not work.
Flea foggers consist of very strong chemicals that are released from an aerosol container. In order to use them, we had to remove all seat cushions and sofa cushions and scatter them around the room so the chemicals could sink into the sofas. We covered and turned off all electrical items because foggers contain flammable chemicals.
I had to choose a time where we could be out of the house for at least 4 hours. Of course I also had to place our cat somewhere away from the fogger too.
After use the room must be aired out for at least one hour.
If you choose to try a flea bomb to get rid of cat fleas, please remember that everything in the room will be covered in a toxic chemical film.
Before returning small children and pets to the room, make sure to wipe down table tops, shelves and any other objects that were exposed during treatment.
In my experience, yes it does! Borax is a very cheap way to get rid of cat fleas embedded in furniture, clothing, cat beds, carpets and other fabrics.
Borax is available at all major supermarkets in the laundry aisle. One common brand name is 20 Mule Team Borax. It's a white power that looks just like any powered laundry detergent. (It's not to be confused with Boric Acid which is a different product altogether and is much more toxic).
Borax acts as a drying agent which destroys the exoskeleton of fleas and dehydrates their bodies. Adding regular table salt to the treatments below will also help kill fleas.
How to Use Borax
Manual Application for Carpets/Sofas/Floors
Get an empty Pringles can (or something similar) and poke holes in the plastic lid. Fill half way with borax and a few tablespoons of salt and shake over cushions, underneath sofa seats, under the sofa itself, along the edges of the room and over carpeted areas. Using a broom or garden rake; sweep over the carpet - this helps the Borax to penetrate deeper into carpet fibers.
Leave for at least an hour - or a few hours if possible. Then vacuum over each surface it has been applied to.
If you have a cylinder dust collector on your vacuum you will be able to see little flecks jumping and darting inside - fleas captured!
Now don't let them escape from the vacuum cleaner! Either, place a little borax and salt inside the bag/cylinder and leave them to die, or better still empty the bag into a trash bag, tie it shut and remove from the house immediately. Then rinse out the cylinder or replace the bag.
You may need to repeat this treatment (as I did) a few times over. I did this once per day because it was so bad. It was hard work but it did work.
Another tip to get rid of cat fleas is to apply borax under sofa cushions and over the external parts of the sofa, then cover with a large sheet. This way you don't have to vacuum it all up right away, you can still sit on your furniture and it gives the borax more time to work. (Of course wash the sheet afterwards too).
Using Borax in your laundry is actually what the product is intended for. All you have to do is gather together the affected items, add a couple of tablespoons of Borax into the wash or 1/2 cup- either directly in the drum or via the pull out compartment. Wash as usual.
Is Borax safe to use around cats?
It's certain that large amounts ingested can cause illness. This article discusses the possible dangers.
When using products like Borax, don't leave your cat exposed to it. Cats can walk across floors sprinkled with it and then lick their paws. Ingesting borax can be toxic.
Never apply borax directly on to your cat.
When it comes to your cat's health, be on the safe side and clean up any borax before introducing your cat back into the treated room.
In my own research on the subject, I found that steam cleaning carpets infested with fleas can actually worsen the problem.
The moisture and heat used during the cleaning process is heavenly for fleas and may speed up the egg hatching cycle.
Now this method is as cheap as it gets to get rid of cat fleas! Fleas are attracted to bright light. Use this against them!
Fill a shallow wide white plate or dish with water and a little dish soap. Place on the floor directly underneath a lamp. Do this at night so there is a greater contrast between the bright light and the rest of the room.
Turn off all other lights. Leave the bowl overnight and the following morning you should see if any cat fleas have jumped into the bowl.
These are all flea treatments I have tried to get rid of cat fleas. There are other methods that will work. Let me know what you have tried and what worked for you and what didn't.
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