Generally, only adult fleas are found on pets. Females commonly lay eggs inside the house in cracks, crevices, and carpeting, or outside in damp areas. Over the lifespan of a female flea several thousand eggs can be laid. The eggs can hatch and become larvae as early as two weeks after being laid and then they enter a pupae stage. After the pupae stage they molt out of a cocoon-like encasement and become an adult flea. Under warm conditions, like those common in Santa Barbara, the entire lifecycle can be carried out as little as 16 days, or it may take as long as a year during unfavorable conditions.
Treating your cat:
Apply a topical treatment monthly to every pet in your household. It is recommended to treat the pets for at least 3 months.
Recommended topical flea treatments:
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Over the Counter: Cheristin and Catego
Flea comb the cats regularly. Discard infested hair into warm soapy water.
Treating the environment:
Boric acid powder (not the detergent)
Boric acid can be used to treat both indoor and outdoor environments.
Sprinkle the boric acid generously on carpet. Focus on corners, under beds, under furniture, couch cushions, cat trees, welcome mats, etc. Generally, sprinkle it in all corners of the room and on anything with a weave which is where fleas like to lay eggs.
Work the boric acid into the fibers (one way this can be done is to use a broom).
Leave the boric acid on for 5-7 days then vacuum.
Immediately after vacuuming be sure to throw out the bag or if your vacuum does not use bags, empty the contents into a sealable bag and discard it.
Boric acid can also be sprinkled outdoors around the house.
Boric acid does not kill adult fleas but it can prevent their eggs, either those that have been laid or those that will be laid, from hatching.
Along with boric acid, we recommend washing everything in the household that can be washed in hot water. For example, pet beds, towels, bedding, furniture covers, etc.
Another method of household treatment is to vacuum the entire house twice a day for 10 days. Again, be sure to discard of the bag and/or vacuum contents immediately.