July 31st, 2006, 11:44 AM
My babysitter is an animal lover with multiple cats and dogs.
I'm afraid maybe her pets have a bit of a flea problem because suddenly I see tiny hopping, biting bugs around my house! It started a week ago. I thought since I had no animals myself, it would just go away... but it hasn't yet.
I don't want to insult my babysitter by telling her she brought fleas (because I certainly can't know for sure)... but where else could they have come from?
Any advice on how to talk to her about this?
Any advice on how to get rid of the fleas?
I have a 1 year old baby and am afraid of toxic flea bombs...
July 31st, 2006, 12:03 PM
I think you MUST speak to her, cats and dogs with fleas are unhappy critters and all that scratching can lead to skin problems, not to mention allergies. People who let their animals become infested with fleas are not doing them, or themselves, any favours. But you have to present it as a problem for you, and especially your baby.
I'm sorry, I don't know how you rid your house of fleas, but you might have to take the baby out of there for a day or two after spraying. For want of an animal, they will go to humans, breed in your carpets, etc. But all of this would be wasted effort if your babysitter keeps bringing hitchhikers over. Unless you spray her down at the door lol.
Funny story: my brother-in-law is a doctor and many years ago they adopted two kittens who arrived with, you guessed it, fleas. One day he was with a patient and he saw a flea hop from somewhere on his clothes onto a patient! Luckily the patient didn't see it but he had a hard time not laughing. Of course, the kitties got treated, end of story.
So don't delay. There are topical treatments that are easy to use, no excuses.
I feel sorry for her animals. People who let their animals walk around with fleas are usually not great about getting them other necessary treatments either.
July 31st, 2006, 01:11 PM
I agree, you must say something to your sitter about it. In the meantime, vacuum everything you can, put a flea collar inside the vacuum bag. keep this up for a while, even change your vacuum bag, put a new collar in... the collar will kill the fleas you suck up. (make sure you toss the bags too)
wash everything you can in HOT HOT water.
my dog got fleas last xmas time, and I wasn't sure which rooms were affected, so I made flea-traps. a shallow dish (dinner plate) of water w/ dish soap mixed in. place dish in center of room, and put a lamp or light source right next to the plate (I used those electric window candles - the ones you see during the holidays). turn off all other lights in the room. do this overnight if possible. Next morning, check for fleas in the water. the fleas are drawn to the heat of the light, fall onto the dinner plate of water, and can't jump out because the dish soap changes the surface tension of the water. the fleas drown, and you know whether or not you have them in that room. it's not a sure-fire method, but it worked for me.
I vaccumed, wiped, washed, and did crazy amounts of laundry for 2 full weeks until I was sure there were no more. (I've been flea free since)
be on the lookout for flea bites on you & your family. I hope you get rid of them fast - fleas are aweful.
July 31st, 2006, 02:38 PM
Your baby sitters pets have to be how your house became infested with fleas, unless somehow mice or some other pest have gotten into your home at one time or another.
Since you have no pets in your house, the fleas will not be able to complete their life cycle and will just die off (eventually) if you don't let any other animals into your home, but this takes awhile, and I doubt you'd want to deal with the biting for that long, as it would get extremely annoying.
I don't know about the soap thing that jessi mentioned, as I've never tried it, but they do make carpet powders and sprays to kill them (though I don't know how toxic these are). If you search the net you should be able to find some of these. I know they also make non-toxic flea sprays and stuff, but I'm not sure how well they work.
Since you have a baby, I would maybe try doing one room at a time and keeping the child out of that room for a couple of days or until whenever the bottle says it's safe (it usually says on the back).
Since you don't have any pets and there's little chance of reinfestation, I don't think a flea bomb would be necessary.
July 31st, 2006, 02:41 PM
Here's a website with some information on getting rid of fleas.