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Fleas? Help please!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by sparkleghirl, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I don't have pets but I seem to have a lot of bites. Most of them seemed to appear in the space of 24 hours or so about 5 days ago. They still itch, but I'm not 100% sure there are actually any new ones.

    Some time back a note was put up in the block where I live asking those residents with pets to check for fleas because the fleas were affecting other people and other flats, so I think it could be something like that, although it didn't affect me that time.

    At first I considered bed bugs but having checked regularly, at all hours of day and night, I can't find any signs of them other than my own bites.

    So, I need advice. Do I need to spray insecticide throughout my flat? Or can I hope that this was a one off?

    Is it likely that I got them from a neighbours pet? (The other possibility is that I occasionally get a lift from a colleague who has a dog, could I have got it from her car?) How else might it have happened?

    If not fleas, what else could it be?

    Any advice will be welcome.....I'm feeling quite embarrassed by this :(
     
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I don't have pets but I seem to have a lot of bites. Most of them seemed to appear in the space of 24 hours or so about 5 days ago. They still itch, but I'm not 100% sure there are actually any new ones.

    Some time back a note was put up in the block where I live asking those residents with pets to check for fleas because the fleas were affecting other people and other flats, so I think it could be something like that, although it didn't affect me that time.

    At first I considered bed bugs but having checked regularly, at all hours of day and night, I can't find any signs of them other than my own bites.

    So, I need advice. Do I need to spray insecticide throughout my flat? Or can I hope that this was a one off?

    Is it likely that I got them from a neighbours pet? (The other possibility is that I occasionally get a lift from a colleague who has a dog, could I have got it from her car?) How else might it have happened?

    If not fleas, what else could it be?

    Any advice will be welcome.....I'm feeling quite embarrassed by this :(
     
  3. I don't have too many suggestions regarding the house situation, hopefully someone else can help with that, but citrus based body products (shower gel etc.) or tea tree oil/based products used to help to stop the little *** biting me and my mum when the cat had fleas!
    Also works for midgies and mosquitoes, and apparently tea tree oil in shampoo works for headlice!
     
  4. I'd be surprised if they were flea bites at this time of year. Even when I was living in Africa fleas were not a problem in winter. Flea bites last only a few days. You can get an odourless powder to sprinkle on your carpets if that is your problem. Don't be embarrassed, I was mortified a few years ago when I went to the doctor with an allergy and was told it was scabies!!!!
     
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thanks for the replies.

    Fortunately I don't have carpets, it's more the sofa I was worrying about.
    If not fleas, what is the most likely cause? I'm pretty sure it's not scabies - I've had that as well in the past and these are individual bites rather than clusters/tracks.

    I bought a flea-killer spray but the warnings on it are so dire that it made me feel I only want to use it as a last resort.
     
  6. I know you said that you don't think it's bed bugs, but it might be worth washing the sheets on a high setting and hoovering the mattress just in case.
     
  7. Flea bites are quite obvious. They are smaller than mosquito bites, hard and have a dark spot in the middle. In summer in South Africa we could watch them jumping on our carpet no matter which remedies we used on the dogs. I know the powder we used was the best, you sprinkle it like shake n vac, not harmful to our cats. If they disappear in winter they're insect based I would say.
     
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thanks, I've done the sheets and am going to get a protective cover for the mattress.

    As far as i can tell (from internet) bedbugs prefer to bite exposed areas rather than through clothes, whereas fleas look for warmth so try to get under your clothes. My bites all seem to be in clothed areas.

    Thanks for the tip about citrus and tea tree oil, I will try that meantime but really want to get rid of them rather than just stopping them biting. I daren't invite anybody round in case they get bitten :(
     
  9. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Unfortunately I have't been able to get a powder, just a liquid and it has severe warnings about keeping pets and people out of the way. I'm reluctant to use it for that reason unless I'm certain it's necessary.
     
  10. There has been quite a problem with fleas this year ... the mild winter has meant they have not been killed off and are still a real nuisance. My cat has had awful problems with them, as have we. I've had to spray the house over and over again and treat my cat with a new flea treatment; the old one was no longer effective.
    It is perfectly possible you have fleas in your sofa although it is odd as you dont have pets. Have you had anyone else's pet in your house? I think fleas can also hide anywhere in cracks in floors, walls etc. It would be a good idea to spray your sofa if you think this is where the problem lies and then see if the bites continue.
     
  11. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thanks - would you recommend using the liquid spray with all its horrible warnings or should i wait until I can get a power?
     
  12. When Millie was diagnosed with her flea allergy, despite us not ever seeing a flea/being bitten we were advised to buy Indorex house spray. Its a huge can for about £9 - our vet recommended and sold it to us. You have to keep pets out until its dry, but the can does a fair amount of surface area. If you dont have carpets it will easily do your sofa - i'd spray down the cracks around any edges of your flooring too.
    Its not the fleas that are the issue, its the eggs.
     
  13. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Fab, so if I use the spray, once it's dry it's ok?

    I was worried it might be poison forever, will spray before bed tonight :)
     
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Actually no, I'll wait and use it in the morning so I can leave it all day. Don't want to not wake up because I've poisoned myself
     
  15. anotherauntsally

    anotherauntsally Lead commenter

    Not suggesting you've got this but what I thought were flea bites turned out to be shingles. I had no pain but they itched like mad.
     
  16. All insecticides have dire warnings on them. It's for killing things. If you think you have flea eggs in your house you need to wash/spray everything or the cycle will just start over. Animal fleas don't live on people but they will lay in clothing, carpets, curtains, bedding etc. Vet Uk online have a good range of products for de-bugging your house...
     
  17. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Everywhere, every day. In the end, it was the only thing that worked for me - that, and washing the pets' bedding every day.
     
  18. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    I've never had a flea problem, but have heard about these devices.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/STV-Big-Cheese-5036200120205-Killer/dp/B001R4PA12/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1324455997&sr=8-4
    Might be a good alternative to insecticide? I hate using poisons as well.
    At least if you trapped some, you'd know whether the problem is fleas or not.

    I discourage my daughters from stroking cats and make sure they don't take coats int the house beyond the hallway when they've been travelling by bus or train. Fleas can jump onto you in a second.
    I once had a flea jump onto my hand from a pupil at school as a class filed past me going into assembly. I felt it tickle and looked down to see a big fat flea looking straight back at me. ewww!
     
  19. I can recommend Indorex also - although I bought two cans from Amazon.co.uk (not from a vet).
    I was alarmed by all the warnings on the can, but sprayed one morning (following all the precautions listed on the can)... went out for the day, then on my return just wiped down all surfaces etc. I did the same thing the following day, and have not had any problems since. I also washed everything (pretty much) and replaced the duvet (we were in need of a new one anyway!).
    Flea problem resolved!
     
  20. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    wot she sed
     

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