Flea Battle Aftermath

August 19, 2009

As many of you know, we have been fighting fleas in our home and on our cat.  We were determined to do so without chemicals, and we are nearing an end.  For an account of the brutal fight and our perceived solution, visit the original post here.

I say perceived solution, because we weren’t as done as we thought we were at the time.  So I will add this to the solution (which, in the end, did work): you must be patient and persistent.  I had a conversation just the other day with a former employee of an unnamed pest control company, and he said that ridding your home of fleas without chemicals is impossible.  Not true!

I think the first key to beating fleas is this: catch them early.  We began washing Greta at first itch, but we stopped there.  It’s likely they were reproducing at riciculous rates (remember, fleas lay as many as 20 eggs a day) for a week or more before we addressed fleas in our home.  So we had spotted the fleas an early lead.  When you first see an itch, bathe your animal and vacuum your home often for at least a week.  After the week, you will have an idea of how bad the problem is.  As I said in our solution, it helped to isolate Greta while we worked to control the flea population in our home.  Because the fleas need a meal to reproduce, we were able to combine picking them off our ankles with vacuuming, and they have slowly declined.

We were catching 20-40 fleas a day for quite a while, but yesterday we only saw three, and this morning (when the fleas are usually eager to find a juicy ankle), we didn’t see any.

Fleas can be defeated without chemicals, and though Courtney and I nearly drove ourselves mad in the process, I firmly believe that it was worth it.  Neither Greta nor we breathed or absorbed toxic substances, and our home is nearly flea free.

We are determined to keep the fleas under control, so we are prepared to bathe Greta once or twice a month, and we are prepared to vacuum more regularly, which our guests will probably appreciate anyway.  Now we know that chemical-free flea control is about patience and persistence.

And knowing is half the battle.

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2 Responses to “Flea Battle Aftermath”

  1. Ark Lady said

    Glad you were successful. You’ll need to repeat every two to three weeks for a while until you make sure all the eggs, larvae, and pupae are completely gone.

    Adult fleas are usually only about 5% of the total population.

  2. […] announce our home has been flea-free for two years! You can read about our initial debacle here and here. I like to think it’s because we’re taking better care of our kitty by feeding her a […]

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