Mystery flea infestation with no pets

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Suki:
A few weeks ago, we discovered that our house had fleas, but we have no pets. We don't know where they came from nor how to get rid of them.

The possible causes are:
1. There has been a raccoon hanging around outside our house near the garbage can, on our roof, in our yard. Could it have fleas and leave fleas in the yard? Perhaps some jumped on us as we entered the house? 2. I bought a basket weave tote bag in Jamaica around the time we first noticed them. Could I have brought fleas back from Jamaica? 3. Playing with dogs in our friends' houses this is not a frequent thing? Could some have gotten on us?
I think it is important to know the source so we don't get the problem again. Any ideas would help.
We went to Petco and got some flea spray and sprayed all the rugs before we went on a week's vacation. When we got back, the fleas were still there. I've been reading posts about borax, bombs (which we would really like to avoid), and lots of vacuuming. Which methods work and don't work? Should we just give up and call an exterminator?
Also, how long does it take for a flea to bite and for me to feel the bite? This would help me pinpoint what room I got bit in.
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cplus:
Well I can't be of much help as (thankfully) I've never had a flea problem but I did find a flea on me the other day while I was out shopping at IKEA. My only guess as to how it got on me (I do have 2 dogs but they're flea free) is that I caught it from lying down on their furniture. The place was over run with people (busy saturday afternoon) so it's not entirely impossible that I got it from there. I just happened to feel it on my neck and luckily got rid of it before I got home and gave it to the dogs (although they are treated).
Having said all that, I think you could have gotten a flea from a myriad of places. Your backyard is a very possible place if it's grassy (from what I've been told they like to live there). I wouldn't suspect your friend's dogs unless you noticed them scratching a lot but one sure way to find out is to call the friend and ask if she has a problem and if her dogs are treated for fleas. The bag also sounds plausible as I could see one hiding in the folds.
Like I said, not much help sorry. Good luck!
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---MIKE---:
Borrow a cat or dog for a few days. Apply Frontine or Advantage as directed on the package. The fleas will go to the animal for blood and the application will kill the fleas. DO NOT USE HARTZ PRODUCTS - only Frontline or Advantage from a vet.
-MIKE
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Niels Peter:
[nq:1]The possible causes are: 1. There has been a raccoon hanging around outside our house near the garbage can, on our roof, in our yard. Could it have fleas and leave fleas in the yard? Perhaps some jumped on us as we entered the house?[/nq]
Possible. If that's the case, I'm at a loss as to preventive suggestions.
[nq:1]2. I bought a basket weave tote bag in Jamaica around the time we first noticed them. Could I have brought fleas back from Jamaica?[/nq]
If you flew back home immidiately after purchasing the bag, it's possible, but not likely.
[nq:1]3. Playing with dogs in our friends' houses this is not a frequent thing? Could some have gotten on us?[/nq]
This is my favorite suspect. I once got fleas on my cats and all over the house, because a visitor, who also had cats, probably carried flea eggs in her clothes and dropped them off at my place. Most of the flea sprays you can buy kill grown fleas, but leave eggs and larvae untouched. This is probably why you haven't had success so far. Get hold of a spray with the ingredient methoprene. I don't know what the trade names for this are in your country, but any pet store or vet would know.
Methoprene is applied to any surface where flea eggs and larvae may dwell, in practice any horizontal surface. It prevents eggs and larvae from developing into adult fleas, and they die instead. If used correctly, this effect will last around five months.

Niels Peter
www.bluewhite.dk
"Cats Are People, Too!"
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diddy:
[nq:2]The possible causes are: 1. There has been a raccoon ... Perhaps some jumped on us as we entered the house?[/nq]
Or use IGR inhibitors sprayed in the yard. Diazanon sprinkled or sprayed in the yard will create immediate knockdoown.
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Sharon:
[nq:1]With vaccuming I'm sure you know to toss the bag as soon as you finish vaccuming. I think I've heard that the borax works really well[/nq]
And put a flea collar in the vacuum bag before vacuuming. It's about the only good use for them but a great use!
-Sharon
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Lisa Belec:
[nq:1]A few weeks ago, we discovered that our house had fleas, but we have no pets. We don't know where ... to bite and for me to feel the bite? This would help me pinpoint what room I got bit in.[/nq]
My grandmother blamed my dog for her flea problem..but my dog was only in her apartment for about 5 minutes, and didn't have fleas! The exterminator finally found a litter of raccoons in her chimney - once he got rid of them, the fleas mysteriously cleared up.
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Outsider:
[nq:1]Get hold of a spray with the ingredient methoprene. I don't know what the trade names for this are in ... they die instead. If used correctly, this effect will last around five months. Niels Peter www.bluewhite.dk "Cats Are People, Too!"[/nq]
Here in U.S. the last I knew (it was some time ago) Precor was one trade name.
Andy
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-L.:
[nq:1]A few weeks ago, we discovered that our house had fleas, but we have no pets. We don't know where ... Should we just give up and call an exterminator? Also, how long does it take for a flea to bite[/nq]
a millisecond
[nq:1]and for me to feel the bite?[/nq]
a millisecond
[nq:1]This would help me pinpoint what room I got bit in.[/nq]
Um, not necessarily. They will hitch a ride, then bite when they want.

Get some Frontline Spray. Use it twice, two weeks apart. No more fleas.

-L.
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