Have fleas!

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rand
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Have fleas!

Postby rand » 9 Sep 2012, 11:08am

I'm sure I have fleas in my bedroom and they're making my life a sleepless, scratching, misery.
Anyone out there with firsthand knowledge of eradication of them?
I'd prefer something which would allow me to return safely to my house after a ten hour evacuation. Is this overly optimistic?

Rand.

byegad
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby byegad » 9 Sep 2012, 12:26pm

If they're only in your bed room think bed bugs, they are becoming more common I'm told.
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Manx Cat
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby Manx Cat » 9 Sep 2012, 1:03pm

Over the years of cat partnership I have become an expert sadly.

But dont worry, there is help to hand. If your sure they are fleas, ie you have pets or someone nearby has pets. Front line for the cat/dog is the way to go. You cant beat that stuff. One (expensive) vial is rubbed onto cat or dog scruff for up to 6 weeks relief for fleas or 3 weeks if ticks are an issue. Any remaining fleas that go to the pet for a blood feed will die shortly.

Cat fleas at any rate, might feed from time to time off a human, but we are not ideal hosts for them. So, if you get your pets sorted teh problem will go away. :)

If your sure its fleas, get your bed stripped off and wash everything at at least 60 degrees to kill off eggs or larvae.

Then spray your mattress with 'Indorex Spray' available from local Vet.

Do both sides of it. Allow to air for the rest of the day, then remake your bed with fresh linen.

I usually use the Indorex on the carpet too, paying attention to corners and under radiators where the devils like to breed where its warmest.

If its other insects/mites etc, I can t help.

Front line at 'Pets at home' costs £15 for 3 vials.

rand
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby rand » 9 Sep 2012, 2:41pm

Thank you all.
If bed bugs bite and leave a red, very itchy spot up to half an inch in diameter, then it's possible.
I don't have pets but I believe the problem started after one of my landlord's chickens found it's way into my porch which adjoins my kitchen, so with kitchen door open it's possible that I could have carried one or more of the little critters into the house.
Next week I'll treat the house (as per advice on this site) and wash all clothing etc in bedroom.
Impossible to treat all chickens as they are part of a breeding flock and don't belong to me, but I'll certainly make certain that chickens are unable to enter house in future.

Rand.

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gaz
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby gaz » 9 Sep 2012, 3:56pm

rand wrote:I'd prefer something which would allow me to return safely to my house after a ten hour evacuation. Is this overly optimistic?

Whatever's invaded your home try to catch one, you can't beat a specimen to assist with positive identification. Once you know what's doing the biting you can plan how best to get rid of them.

rand wrote:If bed bugs bite and leave a red, very itchy spot up to half an inch in diameter, then it's possible.

Bed bugs can leave marks like this, so it's very possible.

Common ways to acquire bed bugs are staying in budget accomodation (pick them up from fellow travellers) and buying second hand furniture (complete with hidden bugs). There are of course plenty of other ways to get them.

rand wrote:Anyone out there with firsthand knowledge of eradication of them?


Google bed bugs and you'll find lots of information to help you identify signs of bed bug activity, where they hide (not just beds and mattresses), what they look like and the steps required to eradicate them.

Their eggs and first stage larvae are virtually transparent, they can live up to two years off of one feed, hide in unimaginably small places and sometimes survive a 60 degree wash. It only takes two to breed. You can waste a lot of time, effort and possibly money attemtping DIY methods to defeat bed bugs.

If they are bed bugs get professional help as soon as you can.
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MarkF
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby MarkF » 10 Sep 2012, 9:36am

Got 3 cats and I don't think they are ever flea-free, within maybe 20 metres live 5 other cats, it's an ongoing task to keep them relatively flea free.

We returned from our family holiday a month ago, the cats were boarded, on opening the rear door and entering our dining room, small fleas immediately attached themselves to our lower legs, they were bouncing all over the place, the room was totally infested! A quick reconnaissance mission revealed that it was just that one room. A troubled nights sleep and I headed to the supermarket, I knew what to buy because this had happened once before maybe 4/5 years ago.

Bob Martins HOME flea spray does the trick, it's about £4 per 200ml aerosol, I used 3, 2 for the house and an entire 200ml just for the dining room, job sported by by lunchtime. :D

It's good stuff and amazing considering every other Bob Martin flea control product that I used on our cats has proved to be totally useless.

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Re: Have fleas!

Postby Vorpal » 10 Sep 2012, 10:18am

Fleas don't usually leave a red mark, except on people who are allergic to them. Fleas bad enough to bite people in a house with no pets will be visible, and so will their eggs. I would suggest Googling some pictures, and going on a flea hunt. If there are no fleas to be found, it's probably bed bugs. :(
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rand
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby rand » 10 Sep 2012, 11:19am

Vorpal wrote:Fleas don't usually leave a red mark, except on people who are allergic to them. Fleas bad enough to bite people in a house with no pets will be visible, and so will their eggs. I would suggest Googling some pictures, and going on a flea hunt. If there are no fleas to be found, it's probably bed bugs. :(


The more info I'm given the more convinced I am that I have bed bugs. I've searched for evidence of fleas etc and I can find no evidence of any foreign body in my bed, so I'll go down the washing ( above 60deg ) and vacuuming route.

Thank you all for your help.

Rand.

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gaz
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby gaz » 10 Sep 2012, 8:54pm

rand wrote:The more info I'm given the more convinced I am that I have bed bugs.

Have you found any evidence of bed bugs?

There are plenty of websites with pictures of what to look for, but they tend to show extreme cases. Look for smaller amounts of the same sort of thing.

Bed bugs leave deposits (faecal marks) which may be easier to spot than the bugs themselves. The bugs tend to hide around the mattress seams, headboards, cracks in bed frames, etc. If you have a wooden bed with slats search any gaps between the slats and the bed frame. If you can slide a sheet of paper into a gap it's probably big enough to hide a bed bug. Check these places first. If you find them here they'll be in other places as well.

They don't just live on the bed. Think bedside cabinets, gaps around skirting boards and electrical sockets.

If you find evidence of bed bugs seek advice from a professional exterminator. Attempting DIY solutions can be a living hell.
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cycleruk
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby cycleruk » 10 Sep 2012, 10:04pm

gaz wrote:
rand wrote:The more info I'm given the more convinced I am that I have bed bugs.

Have you found any evidence of bed bugs?

There are plenty of websites with pictures of what to look for, but they tend to show extreme cases. Look for smaller amounts of the same sort of thing.

Bed bugs leave deposits (faecal marks) which may be easier to spot than the bugs themselves. The bugs tend to hide around the mattress seams, headboards, cracks in bed frames, etc. If you have a wooden bed with slats search any gaps between the slats and the bed frame. If you can slide a sheet of paper into a gap it's probably big enough to hide a bed bug. Check these places first. If you find them here they'll be in other places as well.

They don't just live on the bed. Think bedside cabinets, gaps around skirting boards and electrical sockets.

If you find evidence of bed bugs seek advice from a professional exterminator. Attempting DIY solutions can be a living hell.


+1 and local councils are worth contacting if bed bugs are suspected.

Sister in law's bed was infected and suspect that the blighters were brought back from a cruise in the Bahamas. (Probably in the suitcases.)
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Audax67
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby Audax67 » 16 Sep 2012, 2:54pm

A possible alternative for the time of year is harvest mites, which are similar to fleas but get carried in from the fields, usually on socks. Once you've got them they're hard to eradicate: I had an infestation in 1983 that eventually succumbed to stuff called Eurax, an ointment that both soothes the bites and kills the biters. Dunno if it's still available and if so, if it's on sale in the UK.
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rand
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby rand » 16 Sep 2012, 5:38pm

Audax67 wrote:A possible alternative for the time of year is harvest mites, which are similar to fleas but get carried in from the fields, usually on socks. Once you've got them they're hard to eradicate: I had an infestation in 1983 that eventually succumbed to stuff called Eurax, an ointment that both soothes the bites and kills the biters. Dunno if it's still available and if so, if it's on sale in the UK.


My house is surrounded by farmland and the past few weeks has seen much harvesting and the more I consider your mite suggestion the more I think you've hit the nail on the head.
I've seached my bedroom for evidence of fleas and bed bugs, but to no avail. After my fruitless search I washed every bit of clothing and all bed linen and sprayed flea killer (will it have any effect on mites?) onto all surfaces, into drawers, under bed and onto every carpet join.
I'm still getting the occasional nip, but nowhere near as frequently as before and immediately after writing this posting I shall search the net for "Eurax".
Thank you "Audax67" and all you other helpful posters.

Rand

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Audax67
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby Audax67 » 16 Sep 2012, 9:44pm

If you do find Eurax, Rand, you should be aware that it makes the bites itch like hell when you put it on, but that quickly subsides and thereafter they're OK.

I picked up my dose when we moved house on August, and the garden of the new place had been allowed to run wild. I had to go off on a long business trip a few days later: I thought at first that it was the bed in the hotel that were infested, but when my wife phoned up both she and the kids had them as well. Dog too.

Just had a Google and Eurax is still available. Good luck!
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby HPFlashman » 19 Sep 2012, 8:11pm

Eurax do a lot of good on Mosquitobites and other winged orribles as well... :D
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jan19
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Re: Have fleas!

Postby jan19 » 20 Sep 2012, 12:22pm

If they're only in your bed room think bed bugs, they are becoming more common I'm told.


Yes, they are and one of the reasons is that we're all being encouraged to do our washing at ever lower temperatures. This is good advice - both from an environmental and financial point of view - but unfortunately bed bugs can survive a wash of 40 degrees. We had a bit of a problem earlier in the year, but now I always wash the bedding at 60 the problem has gone away.

Mary's advice on fleas is good - the only other tip I can offer (it won't work for you but others might be interested) is for when you are away. Shut the room up, then ask for someone to open it after a few days and walk around for a bit - if you've got someone watering plants or picking up post for example. Flea eggs respond to movement, and they will hatch. If the room is shut up again the fleas will die without having found a victim to lay more eggs on, and you should finish the cycle. Never tried this myself, but I know some one who did and she was delighted with the result.

Jan