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My daughters rental house and over 75 days of flea infestation, advice ?

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My daughter and her 3 roommates [all 1 yr just out of college] have rented an older pier & beam home that had an addition w a solid foundation to make it 4 bedrooms. because the crawl-space to the pier & beam was not secured, an animal entered and climbed into the walls of my daughters bathroom closet. She heard it scratching in the walls so she reported it to the landlord.

It was discovered that there was a sm water leak in the wall and the animal was seeking both water and prob shelter. This was the during a drought in austin tx this summer, w 30 days of straight 100+ temps and no rain. Once the wall was opened, the leak was found and fixed. he repair person said to leave the wall open until it dried out. This is when a massive flea infestation took place. If you went into the house, your white socks turned black in a matter of seconds.

I called their landlord and told him the house was uninhabitable and you needed to find a place for them to stay. He begrudgingly ok'ed an ABnB for a week. An extermination company came and did their thing, After spraying/laying powders, inside and out, then 2 weeks later. The fleas were still there. My daughter and her roommates came 2-4 times per day to vacuum up any and all eggs, larvae, etc. I am going to skip forward bc this would take too long.

After hiring another company bc the first one did not cut it, 82 days later my daughter found another flea on the flea trap in her room. She has not been able to sleep in her room in over 3+ months. The handyman, when trying to work on closing crawlspace and other, was bitten countless times on his back, neck, legs, etc My daughter had to buy a hazmat suit to go inside the house to vacuum each time, they all did, She's spent over $600 on supplies, recleaning her things, which are all in black plastic bags. This is the second time of cleaning.

In order not to make this a novel, I am seeking advice for anyone that has experienced a really bad flea infestation, what you did to rectify? More so if you were in a rental house. It's really taken a toll on her especially, bc her room has had the most and continued issues. Pls let me know what questions you have and sorry for the long post.
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My daughter and her 3 roommates [all 1 yr just out of college] have rented an older pier & beam home that had an addition w a solid foundation to make it 4 bedrooms. because the crawl-space to the pier & beam was not secured, an animal entered and climbed into the walls of my daughters bathroom closet. She heard it scratching in the walls so she reported it to the landlord.

It was discovered that there was a sm water leak in the wall and the animal was seeking both water and prob shelter. This was the during a drought in austin tx this summer, w 30 days of straight 100+ temps and no rain. Once the wall was opened, the leak was found and fixed. he repair person said to leave the wall open until it dried out. This is when a massive flea infestation took place. If you went into the house, your white socks turned black in a matter of seconds.

I called their landlord and told him the house was uninhabitable and you needed to find a place for them to stay. He begrudgingly ok'ed an ABnB for a week. An extermination company came and did their thing, After spraying/laying powders, inside and out, then 2 weeks later. The fleas were still there. My daughter and her roommates came 2-4 times per day to vacuum up any and all eggs, larvae, etc. I am going to skip forward bc this would take too long.

After hiring another company bc the first one did not cut it, 82 days later my daughter found another flea on the flea trap in her room. She has not been able to sleep in her room in over 3+ months. The handyman, when trying to work on closing crawlspace and other, was bitten countless times on his back, neck, legs, etc My daughter had to buy a hazmat suit to go inside the house to vacuum each time, they all did, She's spent over $600 on supplies, recleaning her things, which are all in black plastic bags. This is the second time of cleaning.

In order not to make this a novel, I am seeking advice for anyone that has experienced a really bad flea infestation, what you did to rectify? More so if you were in a rental house. It's really taken a toll on her especially, bc her room has had the most and continued issues. Pls let me know what questions you have and sorry for the long post.
Yike, and I thought I had a bad flea problem!

A few years ago a buddy brought a cat to my house which had kittens, and everyone got fleas that got established in the rugs.

A combination of foggers and diatomaceous earth in the rugs got rid of the fleas but it took time. (Plus de-flea-ing the kitties, over their vehement protests.)

DE works by shredding the fleas that contact it. Spread it on a rug, wait a day, then vacuum with a fresh new vacuum bag. Then, every day, keep vacuuming, using that same bag. What happens is that the DE gets into the bag, and fleas that get sucked in get shredded and killed too. Also apply new DE about once a week. I used the kind sold for pool filters (still have a bunch of it left over, no pool). It took a while, but, along with the fogging, I managed to get rid of the fleas.

Also, after, I've come to find out that growth inhibitors will work for fleas (as well as cockroaches). Using an Insect Growth Regulator for Fleas (vetinfo.com)

The growth inhibitor kills the larvae by preventing them from moulting and reaching maturity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you Dave !!

no pets here...I think the persistence here is the pier-in-beam allows fleas to stay under house and hardwood floors in the old house too. If there are in the walls, that's going to be an issue too. I was seeking add'l advice if anyone had the same type of house structure, and if they had to open up the walls.

There has been a total of 3 heavy flea treatments by Comp one [2 week intervals]. Since they did not get the job done, a 2nd company came w 2 major treatments 2 weeks apart. They used sprays, powders, foggers w growth regulating hormones, kill on contact for adult, larvae and others. After their 2nd treatment [and 3 prior treatments from another company], 10 days later yesterday morning, another adult flea was in my daughters trap.

She is spending the night at a friends house and is going to check the trap again this morning. I will post back w her findings...thanks again !!!
 

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thank you Dave !!

no pets here...I think the persistence here is the pier-in-beam allows fleas to stay under house and hardwood floors in the old house too. If there are in the walls, that's going to be an issue too. I was seeking add'l advice if anyone had the same type of house structure, and if they had to open up the walls.

There has been a total of 3 heavy flea treatments by Comp one [2 week intervals]. Since they did not get the job done, a 2nd company came w 2 major treatments 2 weeks apart. They used sprays, powders, foggers w growth regulating hormones, kill on contact for adult, larvae and others. After their 2nd treatment [and 3 prior treatments from another company], 10 days later yesterday morning, another adult flea was in my daughters trap.

She is spending the night at a friends house and is going to check the trap again this morning. I will post back w her findings...thanks again !!!
Hmm. Sounds like maybe tenting the place might be needed (costly). Might want to try growth inhibitor in the hidden places, though you indicate that hasn't worked.

Fleas can be persistent, as you already know.

Before I tented, I'd another couple more rounds of flea treatment, maybe DIY with the growth inhibitor all through the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm. Sounds like maybe tenting the place might be needed (costly). Might want to try growth inhibitor in the hidden places, though you indicate that hasn't worked.
I too am thinking that they might need to treat this like drywood termites, which requires tenting vs subterranean which you treat in the grd due to tunneling.
 

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I would check the local laws about habitability standards and find a legal way to move out.
 
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Never had a problem like that. I bought a puppy for my wife to show that had fleas. We treated the dog and finally I went to my old vet and pleaded with him. He said you will have to treat the dog and its environment every 30 days for a year to get rid of the fleas. When they are in the egg state nothing will kill them. So I did. Had it marked on the calendar and we treated the house and the dog every 30 days, after 6 months there were very few fleas. I kept going, really pissed me off the breeder would do something like this.

Nothing like how pissed off you are over you daughter. Move out find the legal needs to have to know and go after the SOB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would check the local laws about habitability standards and find a legal way to move out.
I hear you Thomas, thanks. Each girl has a lease w landlord. If she was able to move out, not sure what he would do or could do. My daughter would not want someone moving in that would wreak havoc w the 3 remaining girls. Their 1 yr lease is up in July 2023...After I got involved, he released her of $1K rent bc she was not able to stay in her room
 

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My daughter and her 3 roommates [all 1 yr just out of college] have rented an older pier & beam home that had an addition w a solid foundation
Dude this is not rocket science. Go to the garden store get a bag of Sevin Dust. Take an old empty dry clean mayonaise jar. Pour in Sevin Dust. Make small holes in the lid. You know what's next. Shake it all over the house let the light dusting go into all the crevices, cracks and holes.
Your fleas will die in two days, all gone. I'll guarantee it.
I've done this for 30-40 years. In fact, I even dust my dogs with it during the hot season. Sevin Dust is safe. I put it on my tomato plants, cucumbers and squash too. You can eat the stuff it will NOT hurt you or your dogs.

You're Welcome
 

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Hopefully they have been treating the surrounding yard at the same time as the house, as a barrier perimeter.

Lordy, I'd have moved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dude this is not rocket science. Go to the garden store get a bag of Sevin Dust. Take an old empty dry clean mayonaise jar. Pour in Sevin Dust. Make small holes in the lid. You know what's next. Shake it all over the house let the light dusting go into all the crevices, cracks and holes.
Your fleas will die in two days, all gone. I'll guarantee it.
I've done this for 30-40 years. In fact, I even dust my dogs with it during the hot season. Sevin Dust is safe. I put it on my tomato plants, cucumbers and squash too. You can eat the stuff it will NOT hurt you or your dogs.

You're Welcome
Dude, extermination companies have now come over 5 different times dispensing Precor IGR in concentrated form, Talstar P, Alpine WSG, Zenprox EC, all in various sprays, granules and powders, far exceeding sevin dusts active ingredients by 2000%. All of the girls had to leave for the 2 hrs of dispensing and 2 more hrs "while the dust settles". Nothing kills flea eggs, so those have to be vacuumed. The dust penetrated the hardwood floors in the older part of the house. If this was as easy as the non-rocket-science you stated, then why haven't 2 diff companies and over 5 diff extensive treatments be able to eradicate them? My belief is they are both in the walls and underneath the hardwood floors and in-btw the older pier & beam foundation and the new foundation. This is why I asked about pier and beam structures and treatment.

My brother renovated his MIL's rental house for the last time after the last tenants left the house flea infested. this was the fall of 2016. When he took off the screen door April 2017 to fix the mesh screen that was kicked off of the bottom, as he removed the trim, it was packed w live fleas. this was 6 months later and yes, the door, screen door and entire outside of the house was sprayed. These are resilient little bastards and it's more about access to unknown crevices than one mere product/powder spread on the floor
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Based on the one-flea-in-the-trap, I think the treatments are working, maybe just need to be repeated?
All of my daughters things are inside big, black, sealed-tight plastic trash bags. Her concern is if she puts all the stuff back into her room and one gets into her things, lays eggs, it's a deal done killer. She's very, very nervous about going to sleep and waking up w fleas. It's that thought alone that's causing so much mental anguish; the fear of the unknown. I am trying to be fair to all, but it has impeded her mental health and wellness. She also works from home for a large software company and her job is stressful, but more so w little sleep and what could be around the corner w another outbreak.
 

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All of my daughters things are inside big, black, sealed-tight plastic trash bags. Her concern is if she puts all the stuff back into her room and one gets into her things, lays eggs, it's a deal done killer.
Wherever she goes, make sure to wash and dry all her clothing and bedding items on the hottest settings to kill any eggs that may still be lying dormant there. Any other items need to be be kept above 95 degrees for 48 hours or above 103 degrees for a couple hours, or will need to be treated with diatomaceous earth, etc.
 

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All of my daughters things are inside big, black, sealed-tight plastic trash bags. Her concern is if she puts all the stuff back into her room and one gets into her things, lays eggs, it's a deal done killer. She's very, very nervous about going to sleep and waking up w fleas. It's that thought alone that's causing so much mental anguish; the fear of the unknown. I am trying to be fair to all, but it has impeded her mental health and wellness. She also works from home for a large software company and her job is stressful, but more so w little sleep and what could be around the corner w another outbreak.
Understood, though I had fleas up the wazoo, as they say, and I was able to get rid of them.

Sounds like a lease breaker, though I don't know how that works in Texas.

Let us know what happens, whatever happens. And, in any event, hope your daughter and her roommates are okay.

One more biological thing: fleas, as a group don't bite people. They much much prefer critters like cats, dogs, rats, etc., with all that fur to hide them, and much more tender skin. (An entomologist advised that we're like 'gators compared to their usual prey.) A female flea, to lay eggs, has to have a meal of blood first, which means she has to bite a critter first. Finding one flea isn't a big thing, if it's a male or a female looking for a rat cat or dog to bite. That said, I can also understand the collective anxiety.
 

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Dude, extermination companies have now come over 5 different times dispensing Precor IGR in concentrated form, Talstar P, Alpine WSG, Zenprox EC, all in various sprays, granules and powders, far exceeding sevin dusts active ingredients by 2000%. All of the girls had to leave for the 2 hrs of dispensing and 2 more hrs "while the dust settles". Nothing kills flea eggs, so those have to be vacuumed. The dust penetrated the hardwood floors in the older part of the house. If this was as easy as the non-rocket-science you stated, then why haven't 2 diff companies and over 5 diff extensive treatments be able to eradicate them? My belief is they are both in the walls and underneath the hardwood floors and in-btw the older pier & beam foundation and the new foundation. This is why I asked about pier and beam structures and treatment.

My brother renovated his MIL's rental house for the last time after the last tenants left the house flea infested. this was the fall of 2016. When he took off the screen door April 2017 to fix the mesh screen that was kicked off of the bottom, as he removed the trim, it was packed w live fleas. this was 6 months later and yes, the door, screen door and entire outside of the house was sprayed. These are resilient little bastards and it's more about access to unknown crevices than one mere product/powder spread on the floor
Sorry the OP was so long I didn't read all of it.
The Sevin Dust has had excellent results for me. The fleas have to come out to eat. They are attracted to light, movement, heat and co2 cause these elements help them find suitable host to feed on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sorry the OP was so long I didn't read all of it.
The Sevin Dust has had excellent results for me. The fleas have to come out to eat. They are attracted to light, movement, heat and co2 cause these elements help them find suitable host to feed on.
Yes, I tried to minimize the OPost bc I too hate reading [or writing] long posts...appreciate the follow up Frank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Understood, though I had fleas up the wazoo, as they say, and I was able to get rid of them.

Sounds like a lease breaker, though I don't know how that works in Texas.

Let us know what happens, whatever happens. And, in any event, hope your daughter and her roommates are okay.

One more biological thing: fleas, as a group don't bite people. They much much prefer critters like cats, dogs, rats, etc., with all that fur to hide them, and much more tender skin. (An entomologist advised that we're like 'gators compared to their usual prey.) A female flea, to lay eggs, has to have a meal of blood first, which means she has to bite a critter first. Finding one flea isn't a big thing, if it's a male or a female looking for a rat cat or dog to bite. That said, I can also understand the collective anxiety.
Will post back when i hear something of consequence. My daughter did tell me there were no fleas in the trap this am [Friday]....
 

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Will post back when i hear something of consequence. My daughter did tell me there were no fleas in the trap this am [Friday]....
That's good to hear! (Tried to get a Hooray meme to post but couldn't).

Did anyone in your daughter's household have a dog or a cat? It sounds awfully weird to get them from transient visits by a rodent or two.
 
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