My wife and I are from Canada and are vacationing in Orange County. We have a challenge we are hoping you can help us solve.
We recently stayed for 2 weeks at a friend’s home – where we found out the hard way – the home had a dog flea problem. It seems fleas will usually munch on pets – but if no pets are around – tourists will do just fine. In this case the pets had been out of the home since January 1 and so had the homeowners so when we arrived on January 16 they said ‘BooYah’ and began munching on our feet, then ankles then legs. At least that is what we think happened.
We went in to an ‘Urgent Care’ office today as the itching was driving us crazy & the Dr. there said it looked to him like Scabies rather than fleas as the red itchy spots had started on our feet and rapidly (over a week) progressed up our legs and for my wife around her waist. He prescribed a Permetherin cream (5%) that we have covered ourselves in from tip of head hair to tip of toes and instructed us on enclosing all non-needed clothing in garbage bags for 5 days, to spray our car and the one non-sealed luggage container with Lysol and to wash and heat dry (and likely shrinking in the process) our clothes. We did all that this evening however we were looking on the Internet at photos of Scabies and they do not look like the red bite marks we have. Now this will be all fine and good if we did have scabies as the scabie mites are supposed to die after not eating for 5 days.
So we thought – what if it was dog fleas and what if the fleas had deposited eggs inside our luggage (which sat on the hosts carpeted floor for the 2 weeks we were there).
We are looking for ways to treat the possibility that it was fleas – and if so how to destroy the eggs that …might… have gotten into our luggage. One thought we had was to open the garbage bags and spray the heck out of the contents with Lysol then re-close the bag. But that is just us guessing at what to do.
We see all kinds of Internet sites talking about treating the pet (which we don’t have) and carpets (which are back at the host’s home) but nothing has been found on what to do with potentially infested luggage.
Any help or suggestions are appreciated & you can contact us by return email or by phone.
If you read through our FLEA CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn that what happened when you arrived at this home is in fact quite common with fleas. As our article explains, the flea pupae can live for up to a year waiting for someone or some pet to become available. And when someone or some pet does arrive, these pupae will hatch and attack. But have you seen fleas? When active they’re quite easy to see. And if you aren’t seeing any, scabies could be involved as could BEDBUGS.
As for the luggage; treat it with PRECOR 2000. This light aerosol will kill both Flea Eggs and Adult Fleas. I also recommend setting up FLEA TRAPS to help monitor the problem at both the vacation home and your home back in Canada. They’ll do a great job of alerting you to anything that might be present. Since they will catch a wide range of biting insects, they could help identify something else that might be feeding on you and your wife so that corrective measures can be taken.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Flea Control Article: www.flea.net/flea-control
Bedbug Article: www.bugspray.com/article/bedbugs.html
Precor 2000: www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page246.html
Flea Traps: www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page22.html