Safe methods of flea extermination

Leila

Arachnobaron
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Any suggestions? We have 2 dogs and 2 cats, and summer has yielded some unwanted pests. Granted, our home is not housing an insane infestation at the moment. However, if any of you can lend some helpful ways to take care of this issue without any of the tarantulas undergoing harm, please please share.
 

Python

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Try diatomaceous earth. It's not a poison so it's environmentally safe. You can even eat it if you want. Don't, it's not pleasant, but it won't hurt you. Spread it around. Sprinkle into carpets, sweep it around hardwood floors. It won't hurt your T's unless you bury them in it.
 

Leila

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Try diatomaceous earth. It's not a poison so it's environmentally safe. You can even eat it if you want. Don't, it's not pleasant, but it won't hurt you. Spread it around. Sprinkle into carpets, sweep it around hardwood floors. It won't hurt your T's unless you bury them in it.
Thank you for the suggestion. :)
 

boina

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Pills. There are several anti-flea pills on the market, for dogs as well as for cats. They work reasonable well and are perfectly safe for your tarantulas since the work from inside your pets and you have no airborn pesticedes at all. I'd recommend Fluralaner (sold as Bravecto). Main disadvantage: It's really expensive.
 

Ellenantula

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These days I use Advantage flea spot on my cat for preventative treatment.
Back in 1994 we took in 4 feral kittens and the fleas took over our house! I didn't want to use flea bombs, poisonous sprays or carpet powders (we'd had never even heard of diatomaceous earth back then - so I mean sevin dust) so we basically spent a couple hours each day vacuuming and flea combing. We put the vacuum bag in the outdoor garbage can. The fleas combed out of each cat were dropped into a bowl of water that had a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap added. By the end of flea season, things were under control; and next flea season -- no fleas.
Flea combing and vacuuming are tried and true -- just time consuming. Plus with flea spots and diatomaceous earth readily available today -- you have more options.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Flea combing and vacuuming are tried and true -- just time consuming. Plus with flea spots and diatomaceous earth readily available today -- you have more options.
I can vouch for the vacuuming part. It is essential to vacuum everything very frequently to get rid of flea eggs and larvae to interrupt the life cycle of a flea. Every pest management company out there will tell you the adult fleas you see are a very small percentage of the total flea population. I wouldn't ever use the diatomaceous earth for flea control though. After viewing videos on YouTube on what it is and how it is applied, it is much too dusty for me to feel safe to use it. Sure it works, but I wouldn't want my carpets and furniture dusted with the stuff.

I have had to deal with fleas while having tarantulas so many times throughout the years, and when it comes down to it, my advice is to just stop wasting time on natural or so-called safe remedies, move the tarantulas and feeder insects out, then call the professionals to deal with the fleas. The pros don't use aerosol cans of pesticide but use a direct spray on the floors and furniture. When it comes to using chemicals with inverts or other pets, it's the spray from an aerosol can that poses the most danger as it throws the toxic liquids up into the air and settles on everything.

No matter what though, follow Ellenatula's advice and vacuum!
 

Leila

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I can vouch for the vacuuming part. It is essential to vacuum everything very frequently to get rid of flea eggs and larvae to interrupt the life cycle of a flea. Every pest management company out there will tell you the adult fleas you see are a very small percentage of the total flea population. I wouldn't ever use the diatomaceous earth for flea control though. After viewing videos on YouTube on what it is and how it is applied, it is much too dusty for me to feel safe to use it. Sure it works, but I wouldn't want my carpets and furniture dusted with the stuff.

I have had to deal with fleas while having tarantulas so many times throughout the years, and when it comes down to it, my advice is to just stop wasting time on natural or so-called safe remedies, move the tarantulas and feeder insects out, then call the professionals to deal with the fleas. The pros don't use aerosol cans of pesticide but use a direct spray on the floors and furniture. When it comes to using chemicals with inverts or other pets, it's the spray from an aerosol can that poses the most danger as it throws the toxic liquids up into the air and settles on everything.

No matter what though, follow Ellenatula's advice and vacuum!
How soon after the exterminator does his or her business is it safe to reintroduce the tarantulas into the house?
 

AphonopelmaTX

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How soon after the exterminator does his or her business is it safe to reintroduce the tarantulas into the house?
Whenever the exterminator says it is safe for you and your pets to come back in after the pesticide dries. The last time I got an exterminator out they gave me an instruction sheet and if I remember it correctly, it was a few hours. Call up a pest management company and explain the situation. Please don't take my advice at face value. Consult with the professionals and make a plan based on your own comfort level.
 

Python

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Most of the time, when using any kind of spray (not aerosol) as soon as it's dry it's safe to move things into. Most sprays are either contact killer or systemic. Indoor pesticides are usually contact killers meaning the offending bug has to actually step in it to be affected by it. Systemic insecticides are outdoors use chemicals that are sucked up by the roots of a plant or something like that (Frontline is systemic) so that the bug has to feed to ingest the poison. What you'll most likely be concerned with is a contact killer.

Once you spray whatever you spray and it dries, the only thing left is fumes. I can tell you from experience that the fumes, for the most part, are harmless and dissipate within a relatively short time. Unless you let your T's walk around on sprayed areas, it shouldn't have any harmful effects on them. I deal with some pretty wicked stuff at work (paraquat, chlorpyrifos, methomyl, etc) and I sometimes get covered in it from leaky jugs or some farmers sprayer. Yes I'll probably die from it eventually, but so far I've never had a problem with any of it. I use some of the chemicals at home from time to time without issue but not near my animals. As long as you don't introduce it into an enclosure, any residual effect will be kept safely out of harms way. The only other thing to worry about is a contaminated fly, for example, getting into an enclosure, becoming a meal, and transferring the poison that way. A little bit of care will prevent that though. Just be careful with whatever you decide to use and things will be just fine.
 

Ellenantula

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You've got the T/flea version of the old Fast, Cheap or Good triangle.
You can get rid of fleas quickly, but it won't be cheap. You can get rid of fleas cheaply, but it won't be as fast. You can go cheap and fast but it probably won't get rid of all the fleas.
My way is effective and cheap -- but slower.
An exterminator is effective and fast -- but costlier.
Decisions, decisions.
Glad you don't have full infestation yet -- good luck on eliminating fleas before it becomes an all-out infestation -- I wouldn't wish that on anyone. :(

The main thing is for your Ts to remain unharmed regardless of your choice.
 

Python

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I know that your situation is different than most of my customers but for most people, I offer cypermethrin and IGR (insect growth regulator) and tell them to spray every three days or so. It works for my customers if they follow it and it's not terribly expensive. It takes a little while to dry and leaves a little residual effect. I've also used DE on carpets, sweeping it in with a broom so it sinks down to where the fleas are hiding and breeding. I also have sold carbaryl powder (Sevin dust but generic is cheaper) for use the same way. Whatever you choose you should reapply every few days until you see the results you want. Otherwise they'll hatch out faster than you can kill them.
 

Goldcup

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I've been in the pest control industry for 25 years. While a competent tech can safely apply pesticides without affecting your spiders I would recommend regularly treating pets with available products such as frontline etc and vacuuming once or twice a day Throwing the vacuum bag away each time.
Without pets reintroducing fleas you can eliminate a Flea infestation with vacuuming alone.
If you want to get quicker results you can use an IGR only no residual insecticides!
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I've been in the pest control industry for 25 years. While a competent tech can safely apply pesticides without affecting your spiders I would recommend regularly treating pets with available products such as frontline etc and vacuuming once or twice a day Throwing the vacuum bag away each time.
Without pets reintroducing fleas you can eliminate a Flea infestation with vacuuming alone.
If you want to get quicker results you can use an IGR only no residual insecticides!
One question I have always had on the use of vacuuming. Is the use of those bagless vacuums with canisters you just empty in the trash really that ineffective when controlling fleas? Every pest management website says it is because the fleas or their eggs can fall right back onto the floor when being emptied. These days, it is getting harder and harder to find good vacuums with bags so I've always wondered just how ineffective using bagless really is.
 

Rittdk01

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I use frontline on my two cats and dog. Unless u are messing with their neck and then handle your spiders without washing up u shouldn't have a problem. I have never had any problems, and my hairy crew always gets their flea treatment. In the warm monthsanyway.
 

Rittdk01

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One question I have always had on the use of vacuuming. Is the use of those bagless vacuums with canisters you just empty in the trash really that ineffective when controlling fleas? Every pest management website says it is because the fleas or their eggs can fall right back onto the floor when being emptied. These days, it is getting harder and harder to find good vacuums with bags so I've always wondered just how ineffective using bagless really is.
I bought a sweeper about two months ago w a bag. They made it bagless or bagged. I have both and definitely find the bagged to be much cleaner. U would have to take your sweeper outside to empty it if bagless. i bought the new one cuz my allergies got effed emptying that bagless.
 

Goldcup

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Baffles vacume
One question I have always had on the use of vacuuming. Is the use of those bagless vacuums with canisters you just empty in the trash really that ineffective when controlling fleas? Every pest management website says it is because the fleas or their eggs can fall right back onto the floor when being emptied. These days, it is getting harder and harder to find good vacuums with bags so I've always wondered just how ineffective using bagless really is.
just take it outside to empty. You can always clean out the container with alcohol to eliminate any leftover eggs. Make sure you dump canister into a bag you can tie up so the fleas won't escape.
 

Leila

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@Leila -- how's the flea situation? Any improvement yet?
Sorry for being absent here. I did not mean to become one of those people who posts an issue and then disappears. (The weird thing, admins, is that I stop receiving notifications on threads after several members have responded. No idea why??)

Anyway. The flea issue has not been one of insane proportions. I will heed all advice here to prevent such infestations. :kiss:
 
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