Entomology (Study of Bugs)/fleas and flea eggs


I live in NJ. I had a flea infestation in my prior home at end of July At that time I had been treating the three  cats with Frontline Plus --One of the cats, Angel,  was VERY difficult and it was difficult to administer the meds properly. This is the same cat who would run out at 4;00PM and literally be gone all night. I tried to keep her in the house but with 2 teenagers and people in and out it was tough. Once I noticed the flea bites on myself and my children I immediately  re-treated the cats with Frontline Plus  and started with the Sentry spray everywhere. After spraying , within a day or two dead fleas were on all the baseboards. I then had the whole house treated with an exterminator ,-- but still getting  flea bites-- he then  re-treated certain areas and then after three weeks still getting bit so  I hired another company to fully exterminate. I vacuumed constantly and threw out the vacuum bags outside. Since the flea outbreak the cats have not gone out and have been continually treated. Each time I take them to the vet( it's been about 4 times, they check for fleas and say "no fleas"
       On Sept 26  , I moved to a new apt and to be on the safe side , had my apt treated three days after moving.Left the cats at the vet for three hours and they  gave them a Capstar pill before heading home .
    There was only one couch I brought to this apt and no area rugs. I threw them out.  I even got rid of my dresser because I thought maybe  fleas were  in that . This couch was on a floor that the cats didn't go to  except for Angel who went in occasionally.
    NOW a week after the extermination in my apt  I am still getting bit!!! Because I was selling my house , before I knew the cats had fleas I took one on them in my car because I didn't want to leave him out that long. Subsequently , that car got infested and I finally had to buy a new car. ( i told the dealer about the fleas)
     1. Question>>> Where are the fleas coming from? Could I have transported them from my home  to my new place? If the cats are properly treated then whatever fleas are on them will die and won't be able to lay eggs( or those eggs will be sterile--I don;t know
     Question#2  --  If a flea bites me can they lay eggs on the carpet in my room?  Then continue to reproduce ? Or can they only lay eggs on the host animal?    
     Question 3-- I left my house for a work meeting Tuesday  and when I got to the meeting I felt an intense itch on my foot -- DR. confirmed insect bite. Could fleas  be in my new car??? Or are they in my apt and I just reacted later?
  I am feeling desperate right now . I feel they have consumed me and Im fearful of what this all means . I just want to get RID OF THEM!!!
   Note--  the fleas were also in my son's car( its been a nightmare) But that  car hasn't been used in  a month and I have been treating it with baking soda and salt --leaving it on for a week or so , then vacuuming and repeating.

      What is happening? can any fleas if they are here after biting me lay eggs on my carpet??? This is AWFUL
    What should I do ? And will they go away assuming the cats continue their treatment? cats do not go out  

   Also the exterminator said don't vacuum or wash the floors for a week or two after treatment so as to let the insecticide work. I vacuumed after a week-- then someone else said -- No you are supposed to vacuum the next day and keep vacuuming!!   IM CONFUSED!!
       I want to get RID OF THESE FLEAS. They are ruining my life and iM very FEARFUL.  
   NOTE-- IT IS NOT bedbugs--  I got examined for bed bugs by THREE different exterminators and they all said " no evidence of bedbugs"  --  and Im not getting bit when i wake up- just intermittently throughout the day.
    Can you answer my questions and give me some advice???

         Thank you


Since fleas can only reproduce after feeding on their host animals it is not possible for them to infest homes (or cars) if the animals are flea-free (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/fleas.html for some general info about fleas). If the fleas are left over from a previous infestation, such as a previous home owner, they will eventually die off. Cleaning will help in this case, however since your apartment has been treated I think a residual infestation is unlikely.

Is it possible that what you are experiencing is not flea bites. I frequently get questions where insect or mite bites are suspected but the real culprit turns out to be allergies or a physical irritant. I would be especially suspicious since many of your symptoms started with moving into a new apartment. It is very common for a new environment to cause similar symptoms. I hope you will at least consider this possibility and perhaps talk with your MD or allergist.

Sorry I can't be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

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