treating hardwood and tiled floors

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Hi there…I came across your Flea Control Article and now better understand the flea cycle. I think with the help that you gave in it I have a good idea of where to start in order to rid the house of the pests.  But I have a couple more questions.  Let me fill you in on our problem first…We have 2 indoor cats and 1 primarily indoor dog (he goes out no more than an hour a day).  We have treated them all with Capstar and the monthly preventative Program.  It will be fine for several days and then all hell breaks loss.  I finally hit the roof the other day when I found one on my 5 year old while I was brushing her hair.  Our dog seems to not be as infested as the cats.  He does have some probably but he primarily stays in the laundry room and kitchen where the cats do not go.  However, the cats are COVERED and they are all over the house mainly in my room and my girls room.  I am going to purchase the items in our article (Precor, Permethrin, and the gallon sprayer). I am prepared and willing to spray once a week for as long as I need to spray.  But here are my questions…Since the cats sleep pretty much all the time on our beds can I spray mine and my girls beds and it not harm us?  Should I strip the beds and wash all sheets when I spray in hot water?  As for the cats…they HATE baths.  What can I go to get the fleas off of them?  Should I dose them with Capstar every time I spray the house?  I think they might let me spray them down but bathing is out of the question.  Also one last thing.  We have carpets.  We have hardwoods and tile.  Will the sprays I mentioned I am getting harm my floors?  Thank you Thank you Thank you so much!  I now have hope that we can defeat this nasty things!

Sincerely,

Worried Mom and pet owner.

As explained in our FLEA CONTROL ARTICLE, there is usually a key location or “flea generator” in most homes with bad problems. In your environment, I’m pretty sure it’s the cats. And though treating the rest of the house is most definitely needed, in the end the fleas will most likely be controlled when you’ve successfully gotten them off the cats. To accomplish this task, here’s what I suggest.

1) In the home where you have carpets, use the PRECOR and PERMETHRIN at the rate of 1 gallon per 800 sq/ft of carpet. As you know, it could take upwards of weekly treatments depending on whether or not the carpets are hatching out a regular supply of pupae, for you to see a dramatic drop off of adults. Stay the course and you’ll eventually get there.

2) On the hardwood and tiled floors, apply PRECOR 2000 lightly. If you vacuum these areas thoroughly to start, it’s quite possible the cleaning and one good treatment will take care of these parts in the home since a good vacuum job alone can remove most all eggs, larvae and pupae as well as their food. As our article explains, this is not so easy to do with carpets which is why they usually need to be treated repeatedly but tiled and hardwood sections should be the easiest to maintain.

3) Set out FLEA TRAPS throughout the home. At least 4 should be employed. After a few days to a week, you’ll be able to learn what, if any, of the home is still in need of extra attention treatment wise. These traps do a good job of collecting fleas and where you find the most will be a good indicator of where you need to focus more treatments and extra effort.

4) For the beds, you’ll need to remove any part that can be washed such as sheets and blankets. The mattress is being used as a pet resting area since the cats spend so much time there and may be treated with the Precor 2000 at least once. After being treated, go ahead and place sheets and blankets back on and if you find a flea on the blankets every now and then, it would be okay to spot treat with AQUACIDE from time to time. I wouldn’t use the Precor 2000 over the top of blankets and sheets repeatedly but the Aquacide is okay for this area since it’s only pyrethrin. In other words, compared to the Precor 2000, the Aquacide does not leave a long lasting residual. This means there will be very little if any exposure to you and the family if it’s used from time to time as needed.

5) Lastly but not least important, you’ll need to get some of the PETCOR to use on the cats. As our article explains, use it to break the cycle on the cats by treating them every couple of days till you can’t find any fleas on them. I know they won’t want to be sprayed so to get them treated, use the method outlined in our article where you first spray down a towel 5-10 times and then place a cat in the towel. Next, you’ll wipe the cat down with the treated towel with the goal being to transfer the treatment from the towel onto their fur. This won’t be as quick of a way to treat them compared to spraying them directly but it will allow you to get product on them which is most definitely needed to break the local flea infestation. You might also find holding the cat in a towel and then spraying Petcor onto a rag or paper towel and wiping the pet down with the wet rag is easier. In our experience, whatever it is the cat or cats are willing to accept you must do. And the key here is to do it every couple of days till you don’t find any fleas on them. At that point you can cut back the treatments to once a week for a month and then after a month, if you don’t find any fleas on them with weekly inspections, you may have broken the cycle and can cut back even more. The one thing about flea development on pets is that it will happen quickly. That means if you keep treating you’ll be able to both kill them all and see if fleas are still developing so you know you still have to keep treating or not.

In summary, if you follow this regime, you should be able to get rid of the fleas throughout the home. And though I haven’t mentioned the yard, I don’t think it factors into this equation since yards are rarely the main problem for inside infestations which harbor inside pets – especially cats. I’m certain if you get control of the problem on the cats you’ll eventually get control of the problem in the home. To do this you’ll need to stay the course and be persistent. Good luck!

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Flea Control Article:  www.flea.net/flea-control

Precor:  www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page240.html

Permethrin:  www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page20.html

Precor 2000:  www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page246.html

Flea Traps:  www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page22.html

Aquacide:  www.bugspray.com/item/aquacide_aerosol.html

Petcor:  www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page2011.html

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