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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/when is the flea war over


We adopted two dogs with fleas, We brought them home in our car Infested). Into our home infested. We caught this problem the same day and they got flea baths and each a shot of Advantage. Then a week later they got Trifecta. We have given them repeated baths and the fleas seem to be gone from them and any fleas that now bite them hopefully DIE before laying eggs.

We have sprayed IGR and flea killer sprays on the carpet, have flea bombed several times. My wife still feels as if she is always getting bit. I do not.

We have set out soap water fleas. We do not ever see any fleas but she still feels like she is getting bite and cleans thoroughly each and every day now for two weeks vacuuming vacuuming vacuuming, moping down hardwood floors cleans, cleans, cleans.  

She feels they are in her clothes she washes washes washes everything we wair, bath towels the dogs bedding day after day afte day.

We have a dehumidifier going keeping the humidity levels down below 40% and move it from room to room.

SHe stills feels like she is getting bite and now wants to wash every stitch of clothing we own, pillows bedding etc

With all that we are doing is this last part necessary? She runs a piano business out of the house and we are losing money. Can you please advise.

Hi Brad,

Thanks for the question and I am sorry you are having this problem. I have owned dogs all my life and know how hard it can be to get rid of fleas. You said your wife "feels they are in her clothes" and "feels like she is getting bit," which sounds like you are unsure. Is she actually getting bit and are you seeing any fleas in your home? Does she have any skin irritations?

I ask in this way only because it is possible she is noticing some other problem that you are less sensitive to. For example, it could be mites, which are much smaller and can cause itchy skin and rashes. She would need to show her skin irritations to a doctor to know for sure.

However, if you can see bites on her skin, then you probably still have fleas. If you do still have fleas, then you need to continue to treat the problem. Vacuuming carpets, using insecticides, and clearing up any tall grass or brush around the house/near the windows and doors should help. Do this until you are not seeing any fleas and your wife has no visible bites. You mentioned that you don't see fleas anymore: they are small but clearly visible, so if you check your clothes carefully and don't see any, then you probably don't need to wash them. Fleas need hosts or they won't stick around, so if they are not visible on your dogs' skin and your wife doesn't have bites, then you can stop all the cleaning and washing.

It is hard to give you specific advice without seeing the problem, but I hope this helps you figure out how to proceed. Good luck!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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