Fleas in the homestead

Fleas!  Yup we’ve got ’em.  We discovered about a week after moving in that one of the rooms in our house had a flea problem.  And it wasn’t from our dogs, they seem fine and they aren’t allowed in the bedrooms.  I gave them each a good bath though, just to be safe.

So what do you do, especially if you ‘re a hippie like us and refuse to use those highly effective but dangerous aerosol flea bombs?  For the record, a friend who spent some time working at the CDC told us the flea bombs are very dangerous and that young children have died from being exposed to the powder that comes from them.

There are a few ways of dealing with this naturally.

Vacuuming – Courtney read that fleas are activated and hatch when they sense heat and vibrations.  Since we moved in, we’ve kept the thermostat higher than it was while the house was vacant, and simply being in those rooms probably causes enough vibration to bring the fleas out of their eggs.  A vacuum cleaner causes plenty of vibration.  Running that baby today will cause a large hatch over the next few days.  So the idea is to vacuum every day for 21 to 30 days or so and you will capture the entire life cycle of the fleas and then be flea free.

That seemed like a lot of work to us.

Then we learned about borax.  Sprinkling borax around the edges of your room(s) will kill the fleas in any stage of life.  Let it sit for a day and then vacuum it up and you should be rid of them.  We did that and let it sit for four days.

Diatomaceous earth is another chemical free option, but it must be combined with vacuuming and be reapplied after each vacuum session.  The diatomaceous earth is a powder with very sharp edges and cuts the fleas as they move past it and then they die.  It would be the equivalent to us humans of taking a bunch of broken glass and spreading it all over the floor and having to walk barefoot.  I also spread diatomaceous earth everywhere along with the borax.

We’ve done the final vacuuming and moved the furniture back into that room.  Neither Courtney nor I have seen any signs of fleas in the past week, so we count this treatment as a success and give it our highest recommendation.

Thanks, Robert.

4 responses to “Fleas in the homestead

  1. scatteredsurvivor

    Hi Robert,

    I was glad to see that you were considering Diatomaceous Earth. I have been using it for the past several months for flea and worm control for our three dogs and five cats (that includes the ‘neighborhood cats’ that we take care of). I’m thinking that it is working because we have not had a problem. It is much safer than worming medication or flea drops, which was a concern for me. I bought a gallon size bottle of it on Amazon.com, it was cheap and lasts forever. As a matter of fact my neighbor has my bottle right now as she is treating all of her pets. Just be careful not to inhale it because, as you stated it is like tiny shards of glass and you don’t want that in your lungs.

    Take care,

    • Robert @ hisandhershomesteading


      That is something I’d like to do as well.

      Thanks for sharing.


  2. Good to know there are better healthier options for flea control. Thanks.

    • Robert @ hisandhershomesteading


      The borax definitely did some killing, but we’re no longer convinced they were fleas. We live out in the country now, and things just get a little buggy from time to time.

      Thanks, Robert

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