Borax For Fleas

Using Borax for Fleas is a common cure to getting rid of Fleas in your home.If you are looking for a simple and cost-effective way to kill these uninvited and unwanted guest using borax could be the solution you have been searching for. For a number of years my wife and I struggled to keep fleas out of our home with little to no success. until a friend told us about using borax to kill fleas. Borax like the one we used is a common washing powder made by the Dial corp. under the name of 20 Mule team Boraxlaundry detergent is not to be confused with boric acid. They are totally different and not to be used together.I mention this because after reading a few articles while searching for borax it seems there are quit a few people who don’t know the difference.Now getting back to – After some searching  and visiting  over ten stores we finally found two boxes which we bought both of them. After only one evening’s effort and waiting overnight our flea problems were solved. Since then using Borax for fleas has become a major part of our total flea program which we continue to this day.If you follow these simple steps your house will be flea free in no time at all.

What you will need:

1. A container like a mason jar or something with a lid you can poke hole in.Your just making a big salt shaker, I used an old gape jelly 32 oz,jar the last time I did this. A coffee can would also work. Just use what ever works best for you.

2. A stiff bristle  broom. This is for working the borax down into the carpet or the cracks of wooden floors.

3. A vacuum with a new empty bag and one more afterwords you will want to remove and discard outside the house.

4.  Gloves, eye protection dust mask and an old pair of shoes are a good idea.

5. A box of 20 Mule team Borax.

On a side note :
Sprinkle a little borax on a the back of any fabric as a test to see if there will be any discoloration the night before.I have never had this happen,but better safe then sorry.

 

Planning your attack:

If possible start in the room you have the most fleas in.This is usually where your pets hang out the most,but not always. My living room was once had a problem but dog and cats never went in there.

Where your pets sleeps or a heavy traffic area. Always a good place to start off with.You will need to give them a different place to rest for the night,as what ever room you start with “it needs to be closed or gated off for the night.”

Also wash your pets bedding and add a quarter cup of borax 20 mule team to the wash.

furniture couches and recliners or any other type of fabric material your pets like to lounge on.

Room Preparation

Whatever room you decide to begin with remove everything you can. Small things setting on coffee tables,pictures anything you don’t want to dust off later. As far as the dust goes it is minimal. take all of the throw pillows and  cushions set them aside. Don’t take them out of the room, they may have fleas on them. If you have area rugs. Take everything off of them.you will need to sprinkle borax under them as well. Move all furniture away from the wall where you can gain accesses to the back of them.

 Using Borax for Fleas:

Now that you have all your supplies together and have poked holes in a jar lid. Fill it about half way with borax,then replace the jar top.
Start in the far corner of the room and begin to shake your jar with a light dusting .Like if you where powdering a baby’s bottom. You need to put more holes in your jar lid to increase your coverage.Don’t worry about covering ever square inch.it’s not necessary . A half of a jar will do a 12 x 12 room.After the floor is done.including under everything. All of the furniture needs to be covered as well. What we want is to get everywhere fleas maybe hiding and I do mean everywhere. This is where the your broom comes into play. Using it to work the borax down into the fabric of the carpet and or the cracks and seams of a hardwood floor. You just want to work it in not sweep it up. I like to raise the broom up and just drop it onto the carpet repeatedly to increase the amount of detergent getting to the bottom.

borax for fleasWhat the borax is doing is etching into the skin of the fleas and being a descendent it is drying the fleas from the inside out. This will not only kill the fleas,but their larvae as well. Borax will kill fleas in all stages of its life cycle. There are not many other products than can claim that and for the price you can’t beat it.

After you are done close off this room for as long as possible.I always do this in the evening and let it set overnight. It only a suggestion use any time frame that fits you and your family’ routine. If you are short on time wait a minimum of 8 hours.

After you have let the borax sit awhile the next step is to vacuum up all of it .I always like to go over everything twice just to make sure I get all of it. Then remove the vacuum cleaner bag from the house asap. If  you continue this process to all of the rooms in your house the battle with fleas will soon be won.

Using Borax for fleas is a cheap an effective way to get rid of these pests once and for all . Using borax in my opinion is safer for pets and humans alike than other man made chemicals that we all know are very poisonous.
Good Luck

P.S. Don’t forget your pets need protection when they are outside or around other animals.Our dog Gracie stays outside 24/7 and every year in the spring we always use the Little City Dogs CHICKEN FLAVORED Flea Killer Capsules for Cats and Small Dogs . They can be used on daily and  it begins to kill fleas in as little as 30 minutes. In 4 – 6 hours, it will reach it’s peak efficiency and will be completely out of your pet’s system within 24 hours. This is why I use this product. I have used others in the past and they would make our pets sick for a couple of days. Not only is it cheaper, you get more pills per container (12) for only $15.99. There are 944 positive reviews counting mine on Amazon – you can read the reviews here and it’s the only one we use and we have 4 cats and a dog. They are chicken flavored and only at half the price of other brand names.I feel like it is the most flea med you can buy for your money, I say this because it works for me.It is  best flea treatment for your cat or your small dog, bar none. By the next day  scratching and digging stops.   During the summer months you can use one a day for those bad break outs and cut back to one a month the rest of the year.I order two packs for our cats and Gracie every year. For $15.99  a pack it’s a lot of flea protection for those summer out breaks, or you can use the  once-a-month capsule for for a reasonable price of $25.99 once-a-month capsule for for a reasonable price of  $25.99  if you  have one pets. If you divide that by 12 it’s a $2.33 a month. That’s pretty good in my book. They have them for larger dogs and cats as well.
For an extra shot of flea and tick protection I like to use Brewers Yeast Tablets with Garlic it not only repels fleas,but ticks cant stand garlic, it will also keep your pets coat shiny and healthy. It is not necessary, It is something I like to give them.I did see a difference with our cats dirty ears over a couple weeks. I cant say that the brewers yeast cleared them up, but they did look cleaner and healthier over time.Just think of them like vitamins for your cat or dog.

and have a great day and go kill some fleas…

P.S. in case you are wondering -their names are Gracie our dog. The cats are Macie, Allison, Rusty and Abigail that I like to call “moe”

{ 172 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim February 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for this information. I have a 2 months old premee at home and need to get rid of these fleas asap. They have bitten me so bad mid calf down that I had to go buy claritin and itch and pain oint. This problem has me sick to my stomach and everytime I feel a tickle on my skin I jump. So hopefully this will work. Oh, do you know if this will kill lics and their larva as well? I found out yesterday I have lice and have gotten ris to get rid of it. Don’t know where I got it from. I am always home. Thinking maybe the dog or could be that we live in the woods and maybe got it from the trees. Do you know if fleas carry lice? Please email me back if you know that answer to this.
Again thank you!

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Michael February 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Using borax for fleas will kill the fleas,but I don’t think it will work for the lice on your dog. As for the fleas they don’t carry lice .
I found this-http://www.organic-pet-digest.com/dog-lice.html
Here are a few recommended natural treatments:
Bathe your dog daily with a good natural dog shampoo such as Halo Cloud-Nine Herbal Shampoo for Cats and Dogs Leave the lather on the hair for ten minutes
After bathing your dog, try applying a natural lemon rinse, also effective for the treatment of fleas and ticks. This lemon rinse will help to slowly kill of the remaining eggs. See our Dog Flea Medicine page to learn how to make and use an effective natural lemon rinse.
Removing the eggs attached to the hair follicles is the most difficult part of eliminating them. Try rubbing mayonnaise into the hair of your dog and massaging with your fingertips. This may help to loosen the eggs and then you can follow up with a nice firm shampooing to wash the eggs down the drain.
If you have tried all of these natural treatments and you still have a problem, ask your veterinarian or one of our veterinarians for additional recommendations and possibly a stronger, more potent potion.
Hope this helps.

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Brenda February 16, 2013 at 2:38 am

I’m so glad to have found this info. I have been pretty much going thru this flea thing since I got a new puppy last July. I have done almost everything possible to get rid of these things and they keep coming back. I flea comb constantly and flea bathe every two weeks, as well as using topical every month. I’m beyond frustrated with this. Before the puppy I never in 7 years of having 3 other dogs, ever saw a flea. I’m seeing about 4-5 on the puppy every week, they are large adults. I am going to try the Borax and next step will be bombing the house…I am desperate!!!

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juanita van leer November 4, 2013 at 6:27 am

stop bathing your dog and applying frontline. just use frontline or comfortis. bathing removes the oils essential for distributing the products. no baths. comfortis seems to work when frontline doesn’t.

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Michael November 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I will give it a try. Thank you for your response.

Erin May 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Unfortunately for me and my two cats, we have a severe infestation. Aside from the bathrooms and kitchen, the entire apt is carpeted, so taking the time to sprinkle borax and flea powder everywhere was quite consuming. In addition to the borax, I also bought a flea spray for the upholstery and used a bleach water solution on all the tile and walls. I really hope that this works… my poor babies are COVERED and we cannot afford to take them to the vet for professional help :(

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Michael May 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Sorry to here about your cats. I was thinking last night maybe you could do the borax in one room. Getting rid of them and moving you cats in there. Giving them a flea free place to hang out while you get the rest of your apt under control and you don’t have to leave it on over night. Just leave it on for a few hours then vacuum it up. Anything you do will help kill the fleas.I would also vacuum twice a day and if you don’t empty your vacuum cleaner bag every time , set it outside to keep them from reentering you house.
Good luck.

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Elisa J. May 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

So we have a completely wooded home and one small rug in the entire house. The most problematic room is our bedroom. Keep in mind we discovered the first flea only on thursday (4 days ago). We don’t have any pets, but some feral cats were getting into our storage unit/garage and we found that was infested. So anyway, now i’m being eaten alive every night (even using bug spray and a citrus spray). We were about to fog/bomb with hot shot’s, but I’m reading horrible reviews :( So if we do borax, we would start in our room. Do we put it on our bed? our bedding? In our drawer? ON our clothes? a little help please!

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Michael May 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Sorry to hear the bad news. As for your bedding and cloths ,I would just run them through a wash cycle and then the dryer. That should take care of them.Where ever the cats are staying at cover this area with borax and leave it over night. In your bedroom cover the floor and close it off overnight and vacuum the next morning.I would also take that rug outside and hang it up.If you can do a room a day try cover as much of the floor as you can. Your vacuum is your best friend right now. Use it twice a day on everything.Make sure you leave it outside as well when you are not using it,as it may have live fleas in it.Hope this helps.

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Eileen August 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

Do you have to move the bed and sprinkle the borax under there? Is it safe to sleep in the same room that is being done? What about pillows? You can’t really wash them. Is it good enough just to wash the pillow cases?

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Michael August 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

Sprinkle it back no farther than your vacuum will reach and you can sleep in the room,but you have to keep your pets out.Just dont walk on it bare footed. For your pillows run them through the dryer on low heat,this will kill any on them.

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Jim June 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hello, We have a terrible flea problem in the Dallas area. I want to try to treat the yard with a mix of Ortho insect lawn treatment together with 20 mule team borax mixed in the lawn spreader. Will the borax mix hurt my grass ? Thanks

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Michael June 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

Borax will not hurt your grass. All though I would not recommend mixing it with the Ortho. If you are going to use both, apply one and wait a few days then the other. To be on the safe side.

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Steve June 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

>>Borax will not hurt your grass.<<

Yeah, it will. And if you're not careful, it will render the soil useless and nothing will grow in it until the borax(which is boron) is washed out of the soil which can take years.

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Michael June 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Steve I have used borax on my yard several time and it has not as you say “burned the grass”. You not going to be covering your yard in a blanket of borax,your just dusting the grass. I used a box that’s 76ozs on my backyard which is almost a 1/2 acre.I did this with my spreader on the lowest setting.If you use it in moderation there should not be a problem.

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Tammy Richardson June 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Thanks for this information..I have a Boxer and a hound dog that have fleas and flea allergies, I have tried just about everything the vet office has to offer and it’s all a week or two then back to the invasions…Is there a solution to spray around my yard as well, I can bath them get all flea off and they out for a potty break and have them right back on them…I wonder can I mix borax into some water and spray my yard with a yard sprayer???
Is it toxic for the dogs to be around the Borax?

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Michael June 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I have though of using water to mix up a spray mixer,but I could not come up with the mix ratio.If you are looking for something to get the fleas off your dogs, give them a bath with pert plus shampoo.I found it at the dollar store,my walmart didnt have it.It gets rid of the fleas and they smell great and it a lot cheaper than those flea dips from the vet.If you going to do the yard you need to keep them off of it for a few days.Maybe you could do the front yard then block it off and do the back.good luck

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Lynn-Ann November 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

My husband also got information from the vet and a pet store clerk that blue Dawn dish soap works better then flea shampoo. we used it on our 3 cats and we got quite a few fleas. Now to do the borax on the carpet for preventative measures.

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Michael November 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I like dawn better than any other flea shampoo. It works and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Thanks for stopping by.

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Sandy June 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

We’re in south Florida, and suddenly we have an overwhelming flea infestation. We bathed the dog in water with Dawn, used a commercial flea shampoo, the after rinsing her, we poured a misture 50/50 of water and apple cider vinegar. Two days later, the fleas are back!, put repellent on a brush and brushed it into the re-infested areas, which seemed to work. the fleas were crawling down her legs. This was outdoors. Today, she is pretty flea-free, but I need a permanent solution. I will brush her again tomorrow. I am over the commercial flea protection products.
The weather has been very dry, but recently we’ve had more rain, high temperatures and humidity. Could this have an effect on the fleas infestation. Also, our yard (2-1/2 acres) has been sprayed. Help!

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Michael June 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I was just telling Sandy. I use Pert Plus Shampoo on our dog. It gets the fleas off.Florida is one of the most flea infested states in the U.S..The humidity is what is bringing them out looking for a host. Try the pert and see if it helps.

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Curri June 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

We never had a flea problem until we moved. Apparently the cleaning and vacuuming I did when we moved in didn’t help because there are now fleas everywhere! And my husbands cat had babies on April 19th of this year. Most everything I find says not to use on kittens under 12 weeks for fleas. I’m going to use the Borax on my carpets and floors tomorrow before I leave for the day. I’m just not sure what to do about the 5 kittens… They’re very healthy otherwise. (thank goodness!) Do I use the Borax, let it sit and bathe kitties in kitten shampoo then vacuum up the borax? In this case I’m not sure which is the cart or the horse! lol

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Michael June 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Let it set as long as you can. Wash the kittens bedding and make sure to dust where ever they hang out most. Make sure you get it cleaned up before you let them go. I try to get a “room” flea free and let our cats hang out in there while I get the rest of the house done. They dont like it much,but what you gonna do. Fleas hate a clean environment and a clean host.
1. Use Borax
2.clean up borax
3.Bath kittens
4. make sure you take the vacuum bags outside. They can live inside and get back into your carpets.
Hope it all works out.

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COURTNEY June 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I’m am so over the fleas. I have NO animals in my house. I do have 3 small children. My son whom is 1 is getting ate up terribly! From head to toe. No one else in the house has been bit, but the baby. I know it’s fleas, because I can see them jump on me. They just won’t bite me. Well, needless to say, I’ve tried the hartz carpet and spray, I’ve tried bombing my house using a bomb in each room, and nothing works~!!!! Although the bombing did keep them abay for a week. I just used an entire box of Borax through the entire house, each room. Hopefully this will clear them. Now, my question is, is it safe to walk on? Will it be safe for the children to walk on?

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Michael June 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

No, each room you do should be closed off until it is vacuumed up. Keep your son as well as yourself off of the treated area . Try doing one room at a time. As for the untreated rooms try vacuuming them each day. Also if you have a dehumidifier use it to pull moisture out of the air. This will help slow down the fleas too.

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Cheri June 23, 2013 at 8:54 am

How can I use borax on my tile floors .i used it on the carpet yesterday and can see a difference but when I go in the kitchen or laundry room the fleas attack my legs.

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Michael June 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Use it like you did on your carpet. Sprinkle it on and let sit over night if you can.After you vacuum you may need to use a mop to get up any fine powder that was left behind.Using borax on a bare floor should be more effective than in carpet. The fleas will have a greater chance of coming in contact quicker. I would cover the floor like a snow storm tonight and let them have it.

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david June 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Can I mix borax with water or anything to spray for a yard that is covered and I mean covered in fleas? Thank you hope to hear back soon

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Michael June 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I have heard of people doing this and having success with this method. I personally have not tried this. The crystal like surface of borax is what cuts into the fleas outer shell and kills them, so I dont know if using it in water would dilute it enough to be effective. You could try. If you do please let me know how it goes. I would like to pass on the information. Thanks Mike

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david June 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Will do I’m hoping it will BC my mother in law has been fighting pleas for a long time now and the pleas r so bad they was killing her dog and cat and she has even tried demon and still doesn’t work but ill try it and let u know for sure

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Gloria June 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Hello- I’m learning about this issue as I’m fighting against them as we speak. Out side in my porch i knew there were a lot of fleas since the kittens were staying there. I mixed 2 tablespoons (even though I found a website that gave the ratio 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of water) with 2 cups of water and put on a spray bottle. I sprayed it outside and I’m telling you, the fleas hate it so much they began jumping to my jeans and walls on the porch, so i sprayed my jeans and tennis shoes and walls. Of course I needed about two bottle of the mixture (with the 2:2 ratio until I filled the bottle). I did it and went back to check about 3 days later, and it seems that there were a lot less fleas. But still there were some so I again did it again, this time I added Palmolive dish washer liquid (which I tossed out of the kitchen since I did not like how it left my dishes, but I still kept it to use it somewhere else …?) I sprayed it again and that was 2 days ago, I need to go check again. So, been said that, i think if you can make the mixture the same way, spray it and leave the house for a while? now, BE CAREFUL, floors are going to be supper slippery, since borax is a detergent basically… hopefully this helps!

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Michael June 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I will have to give this a try.

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"Frankie July 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Can I use this on my 10 yr old dachshund?

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Michael July 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

You cant use borax on your dog. Just apply it to your home and where he hangs out. Let it sit over night and vacuum up the next morning.

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Gloria July 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hello. I’m happy to report that the Borax did work in my house. We had the fleas self-contained (lol) to our master bedroom, so it was easier to give them battle. I applied the borax about 8 pm and cleaned it in about 36 hours later. I can certainly tell you that I could see the fleas in the white power in my bag-less vaccum! It did work! I hope it helps you too! Thanks so much!

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Michael July 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

I am glad to hear that it worked for you. Seeing the fleas in the Borax must have been a relief. I will have to try a bag-less vacuum the next time. Thanks for comment, I am sure others will find it comfort in knowing they can also rid there home of fleas. Glad to have helped, have a great day.

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Vicki July 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I put this on in my great room today about 12:30pm and left for work. My disabled son and his care provider were there about 3pm today and there were fleas jumping all over the place. Is this a good sign? I am extremely frustrated with this flea situation and am ready to call an exterminator..

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Michael July 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

If you can let it set overnight. The longer you leave it down the more fleas it will kill. Check tomorrow morning to she if any are left after you run the vacuum over it. I would hold of on an exterminator for now.

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Vicki July 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Just wanted to let you know, since this is a great room, there is no way to block it off and I did NOT borax the kitchen area at all. Just the carpeting. But that is where the fleas were.

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Vicki July 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

the good news, an exterminator came out and they could not find any fleas.

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Michael July 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Awsome, glad you your flea problem is over. Good job!

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lolo July 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

Very well written article, Informative and straightforward. Thanks so much!

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Karen July 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Problem is I used 20 mule borax and it does work. Unfortunately I think my dog ingested some because I notice she is not running around as much as usual. Is there anything I can try at home before taking her to the vet?

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Michael July 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

No,I would take her to the vet asap.

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roberta July 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Well me and my daughter have been trying to battle with the fleas in her room we have tried everything we even went as far as ripping out carpet tried bleach,vinegar,lemon juice,even tried citranella candles floating in soap water and nothing so went bought box this borax laundry detergent and gonna try it so will see what happens I pray it works cause I’m going crazy with this

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Michael July 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm

It will work. Borax for fleas works for me every time. Just be patience and give it time to work.As for your living room rug. If you can take it outside and hang it up and sprinkle it with borax. That is if it is not going to rain tomorrow. You may also try sprinkle the borax on it and roll it up. This would certainly kill the fleas in it.good luck

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"Frankie July 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Roberta,
I purchased generic capstar capsules off of ebay, they seem to do the trick

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roberta July 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Oh by the way I’ll let y’all know

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roberta July 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Also needed to know wanted to do my living to rug where my dog is most of the time now I know the dog cant be their over night but I have caged birds will it harm my birds .

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Michael July 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving them in there overnight and would move them to a different room just to be on the safe side.

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roberta July 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

well so far the borax worked great vacumed it up this morning from my daughters bedroom and so far no fleas i give this a number 1 cause i have tried everything .Now is thier something i can use to treat my pets dogs/cats cause i have tried everything and nothing is working here is everything i tried so far frontline flea drops ,bathing in dawn dish soap,bathing in lemon juice,even tried boiled rosemary leaves and they still got fleas and itching someone help me with this please

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Michael July 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

So glad it worked. I would recommended Little city capsules for your pets. They are cheap and they work very well.There is a link near the bottom of the main page.

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roberta July 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

don’t know what happened but thier back uh i hate fleas

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susan July 31, 2013 at 1:41 am

My dogs Izzy and Tatum are severely infested with Fleas we have given them flea baths and sprayed down the house but the seem to be coming back, Tatum I believe is the worst out of the both, All he does is whimper and cry all day, we will be taking them both to the groomers on Thursday to see if they can get rid of the ones on the dogs and that way we can take care of the house while they are out, any advice on what should we do, I live in a small 2 bedroom apt. all carpet except for the kitchen and bathroom, do you think that this would work for my home? Please help me

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Michael July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

Try shampooing them with pert plus shampoo,for great on fleas. I would do every room with borax and you and the dogs go somewhere and spend the day.Don’t let the dogs back in until you vacuum up all the borax. Your flea problem may be coming from your neighbors. good luck.

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Karin July 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Where will I keep my cats overnight? Can I do different rooms each night?

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Michael August 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

Doing one room at a time is how I like to do it. This way gives you a “clean room” for your pets to hang out. It is easier on them and you if you are not trying to do the whole house at one time.

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K Cole August 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

I just tried the Borax to kill fleas and it didn’t work very well. Now some I think were dead but when I vacuumed with the bagless vacuum, I could see a bunch of fleas jumping around in the bag. I dusted the room like I was dancing with the box, throwing powder everywhere and left it for two days. The ones that I could see were big ones so I don’i know what I did wrong. I’m going to redo the same room and see if I get the same result.

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Michael August 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Don’t know why it didn’t work. I have had good luck using borax to kill fleas. Try agian maybe spreading it a little heavier this time.

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Lynn August 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Anyone that says the Borax did not work, do you have burber carpets?

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Michael August 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

No I have not used borax on a burber carpet. I cant see why it would not work. Burber is a short tight woven and the fleas would have less room to hide. It may take more effort to work it into the fibers.

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Teek August 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I have 3 cats and a stray that i have come in our garage to eat and may stay overnight sometimes. My question is, If I sprinkle the Borax on the carpets, it is hard to keep my cats at night in one room for the fact I have all OPEN areas. Could i afterwards just lay some old sheets on the carpets for 24 hrs, then sweep? It may look kinda weird but it is only me and hubby. haha
Covering up the carpets after Borax down, is it ok?

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Michael August 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

You really need to keep your cats off and out of any rooms where you put down borax.If you could keep them in a room for the night and do the rest or half of the open areas would help. As far as covering with old carpet, some of the fleas may work there way into it and escape the borax. I just dont think I would try this.

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"Frankie August 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

My dog lays on it all of the time and it hasn’t hurt him at all

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cherilyn August 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hello-I found your website last week. I went right out & bought the Borax at our HEB grocery store. I put it in large container with large holes (as a shaker) I have dusted the whole house except for one room where I’ve put the 2 cats. I spray my ankles with a insect repellent. The whole house looks like it snowed in here! I used A LOT!! The cat box used to be in our bathroom-so I put extra in there. When I am sitting on toilet I noticed how bad it is. I also put a very large bowl of hot water in front of the toilet to attract fleas (so theyd jump in & drown & to also get an idea how many) The first day while on toilet-I watched about 8-10 fleas hop on both my feet. I slowly lifted my feet & brushed the fleas off into the bowl of hot water. Going on day 3 now-Ive definitely noticed the fleas getting much smaller in size-and a few less-but as I stare at the floor-sadly Im seeing the black specks hopping! They don’t appear to be weak or dying as I expected.
Im willing to keep the house “snow covered” as long as a week or 2 if needed) But it sounded like others were having much quicker results! My floors are simple linoleum tile(Not large cracks between tiles) Anything else I can try? Im so tempted to go buy the expensive poisonous bombs/foggers as I did in the past-but I’m trying to be patient!

Ps-AS far as the cats-they are being treated with the capsule on back of neck & Ive ordered the pills. But I refuse to bring them back into free roam of house when they have become paranoid & immobilized by the fleas on floor & so traumatic for all of us! Thank you

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Michael August 15, 2013 at 11:12 am

It sounds like you have a lot of fleas hatching from eggs.As long as they are in the eggs they are safe, it is not until they hatch when the borax can get to them. If I where you I would vacuum up what you have down already ,to get rid of as many you can. Then Hit them again with another batch.Leaving the borax down for an extended amount of time will only make it harder to get up. Hang in there you will get them .

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Maria August 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

Hi Michael, I thank you very much for all the information. I will like to know if this is one time “operation” or I have to repeat it like, the next day or so. I have been using salt and baking soda on my carpets for 3 days, works well so far, but I want to try the borax to make sure I solve this horrible situation. I have a jack Russell terrier and a husky, very easy with the terrier, but the husky just imagine with so much hair. I used frontline plus, flea comb, down soap, bio spot shampoo, essentials oils (tea tree, lemon, lavender) all of them with one week apart…I am desperate! I also buy for the next month, pills called trifexis because I am worry using frontline because I have kids. Any suggestions are very appreciate.

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Michael August 16, 2013 at 9:29 am

A “one time operation” all depends on how many fleas you have. For some it is one and done,but others with a whole house of carpet have to do two treatments. I try to do one room at a time,this puts less stress on the whole house and everyone in it. As for your husky. Give him a bath with pert plus shampoo.It works. Kills fleas and he will smell great. Both are still way cheaper than any other flea med you can buy. Thanks, Mike

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Paulette August 17, 2013 at 3:20 am

Would it work to vacuum up a half cup or so of Borax so that the bag doesn’t have to be emptied so often? Would the Borax in the vac bag kill them?

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Michael August 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

Yes it will work as long as you dont have that big of a fleas problem. I often do the same even when I dont have any fleas just in case.

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Mike August 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Curious,

I know Borax has been around forever, remember the commercials on TV as a kid, but I never heard there was any dangers to pet if they were in same room, so reading through this excellent thread, I see no explanation of dangers of inhaling Borax dust or contact issues. What are the ill effects on exposing a pet or people with treated room? My Sheba-Inu had never had fleas before in nine years, but we moved, and bam, now he has fleas, so what gives, house is new, no pets, so is it just a bad year due to high humidity in NY this summer? Outside of walking him, he is not on lawn laying about for any length of time, so I am trying to figure out why he got fleas all of a sudden. He is alergic this time on summer anyhow, so now it is ten times worse, crying and scratching all day and night, and I have only found a dozen fleas in the last week on him. His fur is so dense it is hard to find them, and they disappear so fast, thank God he has light colored beige fur.

Thanks,

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Michael August 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

20 mule team borax is just a laundry detergent additive and was not intended to be used as a pest control. I dont view it as a poison – I just like to be careful and I never let any of our pets in a treated room because if they get it on their paws naturally they will want to lick it off. As for your dog, give him a bath with pert plus shampoo. This will get rid of any fleas he has, without using any damaging chemicals.

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Matt September 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Hi Michael – excellent info and thread! I am in the middle of treating the floors with 4 parts Borax and 1 part table salt and I applied it in the manner you suggested. I saw this 4-to-1 mixture on another website before I found yours. What is your opinion of the effectiveness of this mix and is there any benefit to adding the salt? I presently have this down on my floor in one room going on 24 hours now. What is the most effective length of time to keep the Borax mix on the floor before vacuuming it up? Is there a certain time when leaving down has no additional effectiveness? I can leave it down for weeks if I have to! Also, do you recommend Borax on mattresses if they are vacuumed in the same manner as the carpeting? Thanks in advance for your reply!

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Michael September 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I have never used borax with salt,but I could not see why it would not work.As for how long to leave it down 24 hours is what I always try to do any longer and you risk the borax in absorbing to much moisture. This makes it difficult to get up with a vacuum. For the mattress i do the same,just use an attachment from your sweeper to get it up. Hope using borax for fleas is working for you, Mike

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Harry September 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

Haven’t had a flea problem in years until this year. My sister sent me to this site because she too has been struggling with fleas this year! Dogs on Advantage, flea and tick collars and still problems. My sister told me about this site! Surprise! I have used borax for years on ant problems! Mix borax and sugar together and sprinkle where the ants are. They take it back to the nest and they also do not appear again! Also, a very nice employee at a local pet store saw me looking at flea soaps and gave me some good tips! Get the Blue Dawn detergent (much less money and great results) they use on all the wildlife oil spills!!! Give the dog/cat a good bath in this, leaving the lathered up soap on for at least 5 minutes and WALA! it kills the live fleas! So once a week Dawn bath plus borax sprinkles……..bye bye fleas!!!

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Michael September 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I have not tried Dawn, I like to use Pert Plus shampoo, but I will give it a go next time. Thanks for the tip

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lela February 26, 2014 at 5:32 pm

You can also use basic table grits on ants too, it does the same thing. Dawn works wonder’s as well :)

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Shemrah September 10, 2013 at 10:47 am

Borax DOES indeed work in eradicating fleas, flea eggs, larvae and pupae – it is a life safer. However, I want to stress that it is VERY IMPORTANT, as mentioned in the article above, to wear gloves and a protective mask when sprinkling and vacuuming the borax in order to AVOID DEHYDRATION. Borax will suck any moisture right out of the air in your home, leaving it bone dry. I learned this lesson the hard way in that with my first borax application, I did not protect myself thinking, heck, this is just a natural substance. I became dehydrated as well as my cat who developed labored breathing. Fortunately, she improved when I re-humidified the air in the home as well as cleansed the borax dust from the air with air purifiers.

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Michael September 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I thought the same way about Borax. It can do damage if it is not used correctly. Glad your cat is okay.

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Shemrah September 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Thank you, Michael.

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Mike Gaffney September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

We use the blue dawn dish soap to bath dogs in for fleas and it works great. I found it out from a breeder in Tennessee. In the yard I use a barn yard spray called Permetherin, I found it at Tractor Supply farm store. It has several different ways in the directions you can use it. I use a 3 gallon sprayer mixing 1 oz. to 1 gallon of water and after mowing the grass I apply with the sprayer and let it dry before letting the dogs in the yard. You just have to be careful with it because it is a strong flea killing chemical used on farms in barns ect. Mike

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Michael September 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I will give the dawn a try. I have used pert plus shampoo in the past,but I am sure dawn would be cheaper. I have not heard of Permetherin, will have to look into it.Thanks for the tips. Mike

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Jennifer September 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I have 2 cats that have been treated for fleas with Frontline the last 3 months and I still have a severe flea infestation….my 2 year old’s legs are getting eaten alive! I just bought 2 boxes of the Borax tonight after reading your posts and finding your website. I haven’t seen anymore live fleas on my cats but my one cat is loaded with flea dust. How will treating each room of my house impact the fleas that are still on the cats? Should I try and bathe them (that would be a nightmare though because cats hate water). I tried to find a groomer nearby for flea bathes for cats but nobody would take cats.

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Michael September 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm

By treating each room with borax you can get rid of fleas with out having to do the whole house at once.It is just an option,if you can do the all the rooms at the same time . This will increase the amount of fleas you can kill. As for your cats and giving them a bath. I would try shampooing them with pert plus ,but yesterday a reader “Mike” said he uses dawn dish washing soap with very good results. If you do decide to bath your cats, a heavy pair of gloves may not be a bad idea. Good luck..

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Will September 15, 2013 at 8:04 am

Michael,
I wanted to make you aware of additional information regarding Borax. The information you are providing, while being well-meaning, could possibly result in severe injury to someone. As you will see from the below information, Borax is NOT a safe solution for controlling fleas. Borax was actually registered for one year as an insecticide with the EPA, but the registration was not renewed because the product was not viable as a consumer product. The links below will show you that Borax was classified as a dangerous insecticide by the EPA, and should not be favorably compared to other borate-based products. A product that is labeled with the signal word DANGER is not legal to sell to the general public, in fact, it is not even legal for a licensed pest control company to apply in a residential setting. Please peruse the below links regarding pesticides and Borax in particular.

The first link is regarding the meaning of the various signal words and pesticide labels. The second is to the actual registration of Borax (Sodium Tetraborate, Decahydrate). Take note that the registration went inactive in the Summer of 1995 after being registered in 1993. That accounts for 12 months and a 6 month grace period before cancellation for non-payment. You can google search to see that the two products are the same. This third is the actual approved label for Borax when it was approved under the name Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate. Note the word DANGER on the pdf label.

Fleas are very frustrating, but there are much better and proven safer options for controlling fleas. I would ask that you update your website to reflect the information that Borax is not a safe alternative. Think about the likelihood of a child placing their fingers in their eyes after being on carpet treated with Borax. This is a very dangerous situation. The possibility exists that children have already permanently damaged their vision through this very situation, but their parents have been unaware of why their child’s eyes were burning, or perhaps even why their young toddler was crying because they think Borax is completely harmless. This information is very important, and should be passed on to the public, particularly the parents of young children.

Feel free to email me at if you would like to have a more detailed conversation regarding the above use, or other products in general.

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id100/id100.htm

http://iaspub.epa.gov/apex/pesticides/f?p=PPLS:8:20866953461463::NO::P8_PUID:24596

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/ppls/001624-00126-19931122.pdf

Regards,
Will Evans

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Michael September 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

On a box of 20 mule team borax the ingredients listed are:Sodium Tetraborate and the word danger is not given anywhere, caution is but not danger. I have stressed safety as much as possible to anyone using borax for fleas. It was not intended by the manufacture for this use. Even though numerous uses are listed on the side like cleaning pots and pans. I would think if one was going to eat out of a pot that had been cleaned with borax. Carpets would not not be far off. I do agree with you in the fact that if proper care is not taken to remove all traces of borax there maybe unwanted side effects. What I would like to know is what salt like agent are you using to kill fleas ,as listed on your website. I would like to pass this information on.

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Kelly September 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi,

I read through most of these posts and just have a few questions.
Can I use Borax throughout the ENTIRE house?
I already wash our clothes using Borax quite a bit, but can I use it on our couch? Our bed? Rugs? I figure I can put it everywhere before I go to work and then come back and vaccuum the entire house when I get home, so thatll be about 8hours. Will this be enough time? I do worry if putting it on these things will cause skin reactions, but I know they are staying on our couch and bed!
Is it harmful to birds, I have a small parrot and wouldnt want to hurt him. They are mainly in our living room and in our bedroom and my boyfriend woke up with over 30bites on his arms at 2am a couple nights ago! We are just completely fed up with them! I used Frontline on our dog and have some flea/tick shampoo I plan to use as well for him. We have a boston terrier and it is so hard to see him so miserable! This is the first time I have ever dealt with a flea infestation, we normally put vinegar in our dogs water and give them garlic tabs a couple times per week and never had any trouble with my other dogs. With our Boston I hadnt been using anything and stray dogs and cats are always up around our home.

Now just need to figure out the best thing to use in the yard! I personally dont like a lot of chemicals in or around my home, but becoming desperate at this point.

Thanks!

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Michael September 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Yes, You can use it in the entire house,both carpets and hardwood floors. It can be used on the couch,but do a test area to see if the borax will effect the color. Do this on the back is best. As for your bed. Strip it down to the mattress and sprinkle lightly over the whole thing and cover with a old sheet or blanket. Vacuum off when you get home. For your bird and dog, Dont leave them exposed to the Borax while you are at work. If possible move them to an room you could do last. In other words do the everything except one room, keep your pets there. Treat the rest of your house,Vacuum it up when you get home. Then treat the room where the pets where last.For a shampoo use dawn dish soap or pert plus. Both will kill fleas. Works great! You can use borax on the yard.I have a how to on the website. If you need any more help, let me know.good luck…

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Laura September 20, 2013 at 1:17 am

I first noticed a problem when my normally aloof cat wanted to be loved and scratched endlessly. Yesterday I realized my three cats had a flea problem. My vet recommended this: EcoSMART spray (got 64 oz for 8 bucks at the Home Depot). Frontlined the cats. I’m treating my bedroom first because that is where I found the most fleas (the cats spend a lot of time on my bed). The first step was some giant garbage bags: all the bedding, pillows, and clothes went straight to the laundry mat. Then in new garbage bags when they come back home, so the fleas can’t get in. Dirty clothes will also go in garbage bags until this flea thing is taken care of. It’s kind of a bummer using the garbage bags for a closet/hamper but it’s fine considering the alternative. Vacuumed first, then sprayed ecosmart on the matress, under the bed, around the baseboards and then, yes, on the wood floors to get in the crevices. I also went ahead and sprayed it all along the baseboards and doorways of my house, since it said it was safe. Door shut. 24 hours later (this evening) I found dead fleas around, and less from the flea comb, yay! Still live ones on the cats… I want to make sure I really get rid of them, so round 2 is the borax method. Again just the bedroom to start. the borax is on the mattress as we speak…It’s been hanging out for almost 3 hours, but I’ll have to wait till after work tomorrow to vacuum it up. I hope that’ll be ok… It will be less than 24 hours. Once I don’t find live fleas on the cats, they can go to the bedroom and I’ll treat the last room. Gonna have to work on this slowly… One room at a time, keep vacuuming daily. Ok off to bed… This is night number two on the couch, but I hope it will be worth it!

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Michael September 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

This EcoSmart spray, would you use it again and where there any after effects? Sounds like you have a great plan for the whole house. Putting forth that much effort I can see no reason you should have the entire house fleas free in no time flat.Hope all goes well.

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Laura September 21, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Hi Michael – the EcoSmart spray – yes I would/will use it again. Saw a few dead fleas after just one night, and many dead fleas after 24 hours, that was before the Borax. I didn’t feel the need to use Borax in all the rooms. I just used it in the two rooms that had the worst infestation (bedroom and bathroom) and on all the furniture (couch, etc) and boy could I see those fleas in the vacuum when I was done, gross but glad to know they were dead in my vacuum! The only side effect of the EcoSmart spray is that some people may not like the smell. I like it because I very much enjoy aromatherapy with essential oils. EcoSmart has 2-phenethyl propionate which is a derivative of peanut oil but without the enzyme that causes peanut allergies. It is safe for skin contact as well as ingestion for humans and animals. It also has Clove, Rosemary, Pepperment, and Thyme oils. I did all that I said I would above, plus gave the cats a dose of Capstar (I didn’t see this blog about littlecity products until I already had the capstar). I am happy to say that we are flea free as of this moment! My three cats are content tonight…. I think they are smiling. I am going to continue vacuuming daily, Boraxing the “hot spots” weekly, and spraying with EcoSmart weekly for several months until we get several days of a hard freeze. That will ensure that all the fleas and their eggs are gone from my life, I hope. Thanks for the tips!

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Michael September 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

Glad everything is back to normal. I will give the Ecosmart spray a try next time.

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Laura October 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Well we did get another infestation… I know this can be an ongoing process because of the flea cycle but WOW! We also got tapeworms. Went to the vet for those $50 pills (ouch) and all three of my cats puked them up! Anyway I did order the Little City products (I asked about them in another thread below)… Hope I will get those soon, and yes, I’m going to get some more Borax…

Lori September 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Hi, I have been dealing with fleas for about a month now. I first notice a few fleas a month ago (i have NO pets) and i immediately went out and bought some cheap flea bombs at a local family dollar the brand was tat. i bombed the entire apartment ( i only have 3 rooms, bedroom, kitchen/living room, and bathroom as well as only 2 closets in house) I came back cleaned up (i only have hardwood flooring and linoleum in bathroom) i didnt see any fleas for few days then i saw a few once again (i have never seen more that 2-4 fleas in a full day), so i went out bought a flea spray with IGR sprayed down all my floors cracks and crevices and next day saw a flea already! i went out bought more bombs this time i got zodiac with a IGR set them off left the house etc when i returned didnt see fleas for almost a week, i thought i had finally got rid of them, but no i once again began seeing them mostly only smaller ones havent seen any bigger ones in a while, so after this i went out bought more flea spray figuring the bombs missed some and sprayed everything again and it didnt help i continued to see a few a day, so now 3 weeks in i went and bought more bombs once again the cheap tat ones again cause i figured if the more expensive ones didnt work long what was the point? i bombed again this was a week ago and i saw a flea the same night i then went and got boric acid cause i heard good things i dusted every inch of my floors left it about 24 hours and vacuumed (bagless) it up i could see the fleas still alive in the vacuum then i only started seeing fleas only in the bathroom so i figured i at least got rid of them in the other 2 rooms, i treated the bathroom again with the boric acid few days ago left it overnight then vacuumed but still saw a few fleas later that day! I talked to my landlord who lives downstairs and found out that the tenant across the hall from me moved out and was infested with fleas so i guess thats why i have them, yesterday i cleaned for 4 hours straight vacucmed all floors (moving furniture) and cracks and crevices then washed all my flooring twice with lemon pinesol and dish soap then once dried vacuumed again and didnt see any fleas for a day but guess what a few hours ago i went onto my kitchen area and had a flea on my ankle went into bathroom and had another on me! i am bombing again tomorrow and so is my landlord, i honestly dont know what else to do anymore? any suggestions?

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Michael September 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

The fleas are looking for a new home. They are attracted the vibrations and activity you are making,thinking they can find another host. I’am assuming they are getting through the front door. I think I would block off the bottom of the door with a rolled up towel, using wide blue tape from the outside when you are at work and lay down some of the boric acid powder if you have any left. A second option is to use fleas traps or a sticky rodent paper that you could keep in by the door when you are away. You just need to stop as many of them getting in at their point of entry. Since you dont have any pets I would say they will move on and try to find a new home,at least I hope so..good luck

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Lori September 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I dont think they are coming through my front door because i live on 2nd floor in rear of house, i think the initially came through my back door which is right across from the apartment who had fleas and up and moved without telling anyone! The positive news i have at this point is after fogging again for the 4th time saturday then vacuuming and laying down borax for 24 hours, then vacuuming it all up and whole house everywhere possible in the past 2 days i have only seen 1 flea and it was very very small i was able to grab it and flush it down the toliet, i am continuing with vacuuming 3 times daily but im hoping this is a sign that its almost over? I will be fogging again this saturday with a IGR fogger just to be safe.

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Lori September 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm

oh and forgot to mention as of today i havent even seen any in vacuum (bagless) when i have been vacuuming and left of flea traps (light over a shallow bowl) for few nights and caught none! Just hoping eggs arent waiting to hatch again somewhere

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Michael September 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Good for you, hope all goes well.

Karen in RI September 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Hello Michael,
I have two male foster cats, brothers, and my girl of 16yrs. Last night I found the 1st flea on Maggie. I worked thru her fur around her neck and found nodule after nodule and did not know what to make of it. I have never seen this on her and have been brushing her for years. She is short hair but thick coated. A cold shiver traveled down my back as I questioned: “Are these flea “nests?”. She seems so unhappy and acting out of character I thought I was losing her. I now believe the fleas are the problem.
I have read thru, gathered my information and understand the warnings. The battle begins! I will let you know the results.
Thank You,
Karen

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Michael September 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

I have never seen or heard of fleas in a nest. Could you send me a photo at mustang5497@gmail.com. I would like to see this.

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Karen in RI September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Hi Michael,
I will try to take pictures of these “nests”, “bundles”, “nodules” on her neck. Perhaps I used the wrong word. There are just so many and nothing I have encountered before. Yesterday, while in the store, I spoke with folks experiencing the same flea explosion.

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Carol November 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm

My 14 year old cat had the same thing. I took her to the vet and spent $250 on lab work to find out that she had a bacterial infection from the flea bites. They gave her a steroid shot and she is doing much better. I am still battling fleas, getting ready to try the Borax.

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Michael November 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

Hope your cat gets back to normal soon. Let me know how things turn out with the fleas.

lauren September 24, 2013 at 1:54 am

Hi, just found fleas on my dog a few days ago, gave her two baths and then put frontline on her after she was dry. found the flea dirt on our bed tonight along with one flea. I understand what you are saying to do, but have one question. do we do an initial vacuming first before we use borax? or just do the borax, let sit as long as we can and then vacumm? should we take down curtains? do baseboards? Thanks!
So, it’s okay to do one room per day? we also have a four year old, which makes closing off more than one room at a time challenging. Thanks

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Michael September 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I like to vacuum first before I use Borax.This will help catch a few fleas,but it also gets them up and running around. When you do spread out the borax they will have a better chance of coming in contact with it.In my living room the curtains are all the way to the floor, I just pin them up about a foot off the floor. You dont have to do the baseboards just get close to the edge as you can.Little ones are a challenge, best of luck.

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Susan October 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

When I got to the part that sad, “Gracie stays out 24/7, it completely bummed me out. hope you bring her in during extremes.

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Michael October 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

A figure of speech. She loves the outdoors

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Kevin October 8, 2013 at 12:09 am

I live in a 2nd floor apartment. I just bought the borax and am going to use it. I will also be bathing my schnauzer with either dawn or pert plus (haven’t decided yet). The issue that I have is that we don’t control the flea treatment outside. Infestation is a good word for the all of the common areas. I can’t keep the dog in all the time as she needs to “do her business.” I have requested that the grass be treated but am not getting far with this. Killing the fleas is one thing. But how can I keep them off of her?

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Michael October 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

As far as shampooing your dog go with the Dawn. It is thicker and it drowns the fleas quicker. I use the Little City flea capsules and they half the price of the brand names .

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Laura October 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Michael I am wondering if you’ve ever had trouble getting your orders from Little City? I ordered over $200 worth of items (flea killer, flea control, and tapeworm control), over a week ago and not only have I not recieved anything, I haven’t heard back fro Little City. This dissappoints me because you reccomend them and also there were many great reviews in amazon. I went straight through their website, though. Anyway, any insight you have would be appreciated! Thank you!

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MV in NC October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

I have been battling fleas from our shelter cat that we adopted at the end of July for almost 3 months, now. I’m sure by the time I had realized the cat had a flea problem. The house was fairly infested. In addition to the monthly “drop medication” vacuum carpeting each and every day, and a flea shampoo treatment, which still did not seem to help the flea problem. Aside from my ankles being chewed to pieces by these nasty little critters. I’ve decided I was at my wits end and was going to try the 20 mule team Borax to kill off some of the flea population. I secured my cat away in a bathroom for 8 hours (as that is the MOST time I can devote to leaving the Borax to set on the carpets) Then, 8 hours later as I am vacuuming the Borax up. I’m seeing little black “specks” in the canister. I’m hoping this is flea body parts. The next morning I vacuum, again. Still sucking up the Borax powder that I broomed deep into the carpet fibers. Yes!!! I see black “specks” again!! I do think that Borax is attacking those pesky little fleas that have invaded my home for so many months!!!!!

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Michael October 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I think the “black specks” you are seeing may be flea dirt and not flea parts. I understand this is a hard time.but is there any way you could leave the Borax down over night or at least 12 hours. The longer you can leave it the better chances are that a flea will come in contact with it.Borax does not poison the fleas it cuts into them as they get around. Then drys them out. Using your broom on the carpet is a step in the right direction. It may take two or three applications ,but you will get there.

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Susan October 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I don’t know if I saw it on your site but I’ve been creating “flea traps” using shallow pie plates and frisbees filled with water and a drop of dish soap placed strategically around the living room, under a light source. The fleas jump off the carpet and into the water where they drown. Best, most satisfying thing ever. Trying the Borax this weekend.

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Michael October 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Great idea I will have to try that and pass it long.Thanks

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Louie October 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I have been battling fleas for weeks from a tenants dog. They are through the entire house. Bombed upstairs and it worked. Downstairs not so. Trying the Borax as of 4 hours and counting. Will let you know how it works.

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Michael October 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Let it set as long as you can. Longer the better over night if possible. Good luck

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lauren October 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

does it kill every stage in their life cycle? larvae, egg, etcc?

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Michael October 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

It does. Borax does not poison the fleas,it drys them out.As long as they come in contact with it will kill off all stages.

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Andrea October 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hi! I wanted to know if it makes a difference to vacuum up after the Borax? Or can I just sweep up the next day? I have hard wood floors and our vacuum broke months ago and we haven’t had a need for a new one.
thanks!

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Michael October 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

It makes no difference as long as you can get it up off the floor.If you are going to sweep it up you may need to use something like a Swiffer broom and a clean pad to get any fine powder up.

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chris October 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I have bad flea problem and my poor dog is going bald and bleeding in places. I have used sprays and stuff want to try the borax but i have my sons turtle and his aquarium is too heavy to move, how do i use the borax and not kill the turtle? as it is in my bedroom which is where the worst of the fleas are. Help i need them gone for my poor dogs sake

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Michael November 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

Sorry for the delay Chris,I cant see anyway around other than moving the turtle to a different room. Then you could treat that room first. Is it possible to just remove the turtle and cover his tank and keep him elsewhere for 24 hours? Maybe in one of those plastic storage totes. It would not be safe to treat the room with him in it.
good luck..

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Judy Shumaker November 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I just finished reading your article, since a clerk at a local store wsuggested thee use of Borax for our fleas, just to be on the safe side. We’ve used other flea sprays, vacuumed, several times, and still have fleas, so I’m really anxious to try your remedy. Also, since we sprayed and vacuumed the carpeting, our cat refuses to walk on it, and jumps from piecees of furniture to other pieces to get where she’s going. Thanks so much for your advice – I’m tired of a flea-bitten body!!!

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Michael November 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Hope it works for you, let me know how it turns out. Good luck..

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courtney November 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

How fast do you see improvement? I did the borax last night and have still found 2 live ones today. Is that normal? We have been going at this battle for 2 weeks and I just want to cry!

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Michael November 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Yes it is normal. It is hard to kill all of them at the same time. Since they are in different stages of there life it can be difficult to kill the ones still in the egg. It does sound like you are making progress and that you do have the upper hand.Keep it up you are almost there.

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Margie November 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

Our older daughter told me this morning about the use of Borax powder for fleas. Our little 4 pound Yorkie is the one who is polluted with fleas as is our Jack Russell mix (30 pounds). So, it is off to the store to bet some Borax for sure. Also, we will be ordering some of the Queen City Animals Chicken Flavored Flea Killing Capsules. I assume the best place to get them is Amazon, or do pet stores carry them? You also mentioned Pert Plus Shampoo. I’ll check Amazon for that also. Finally, we are iinterested in using the Brewers Yeast Tablets with Garlic as well. So, thank you so much for the great article on the use of these products. We are senior citizens and have never been polluted with fleas as we are now. Frontline no longer works for us, nor does Advantix 9.

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Michael November 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Sorry to hear about your pets. I have never seen the Queen city items in store anywhere, I just buy them off Amazon and have them sent to the house. As for the pert plus if you cant find it just use Dawn for dishes. It will do the same and the tablets the garlic are my favorite they seam to give longer protection. Hope it all works out okay.

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Natasha November 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Should I be worried that the instruction manual for our vacuum specifically states not to use it in an I closed space where vapors are present from paint, flammable dust or other explosive or toxic materials

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Michael November 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I would not think so. 20 mule team borax is not ground up to a super fine dust that would be needed to com bust. If you are concerned, you could crack open a window if possible or turn on a fan to help move the air around. What I like to do is place a box fan in a window facing out to remove any dust while cleaning up. It does save on having to dust off the table tops and what nots.

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Amy November 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Just came across your article and I’m going to try it out tomorrow. We are pet sitting for a friend whose cat unexpectedly brought along some friends. Ugh. So the three cats are now all covered, the house is covered, and I am not amused. We tried the room sprays, animal spray, fogger, all of that. Borax is my next step. If it doesn’t work I’m moving to Hawaii :)
But I did want to mention one thing. I see a lot of people recommending the water under the lamp trick and just wanted to throw in another positive review on that. It works really well. On another note, we actually found the little buggers hopping around on my little girl’s head. Gross. So I washed her with baby shampoo, planning to use a lice comb after to pick the suckers out. But no need- the baby shampoo completely killed the fleas on the spot. Makes me wonder what’s in baby shampoo, but whatever. It worked.
Starting borax treatment this Thursday. Will try to remember to update on how things go. Thanks for the information!

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Michael November 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm

The water and a lamp is a primitive flea trap. It will only work if a few drops of dawn dish liquid or baby shampoo is added. They drown the fleas by reducing the surface tension of the water allowing them to sink. The lamp is for heat, fleas being attracted to warm blooded animals think it is your pet. Hope you get them all. good luck..
P.S.Hawaii does not sound like a bad idea.

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Judy Shumaker November 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm

What exactly is the water & lamp idea that is mentioned? Thanks!

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Danielle November 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I moved into a flea infested apartment and I didn’t even know about this but I had 20 mule borax for my laundry, that was the only powder I had in the house, so I figured why not it’s worth a shot. So I spread it all over the place, went to work and when I returned I vacuumed. I have not seen 1 flea since……Mind you I don’t have animals, the people before me did, but ready this NOW AFTER I have done it, this is simply TRUE! and Cheap!

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Michael November 10, 2013 at 7:04 am

I am glad it worked out for you and you cant go wrong with cheap.

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Stephanie November 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

HI Michael,

I noticed a flea issue on my 2 dogs this past weekend. We are treating our yard and are hoping to treat the house. We have no carpet only Laminate and Ceramic Tile floors. Will this method still work? I haven’t seen any fleas on any of the flooring or bedding only on the dogs themselves so far.

Thank you!
Stephanie

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Michael November 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Yes it will work. It would be the same as a hardwood floor. All you want to do is get the fleas to come in contact with the borax, just pay attention to the corners and around the baseboards. They will always seem to find a hiding place. It sounds like you caught them early, it should not take much to get rid of them.

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Alice November 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I just wanted to Thank you for all your info. My husband and I spent the whole day Tues. with the borax and apple cider vinegar and pert plus. I found 6 fleas on the bathroom floor after I let my cat out of his cat box. There were dead ones in the box also. The dog is still biting ( he is a husky lab and very thick fur) and if I see another flea I am going to bomb and I do not mean flea bomb. I am so tired after doing 7 rooms and 2 pets. I hope this all works. Thank you again. Alice

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Michael November 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Sounds like a full days work. Hope you get all of them. Mike

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Bonita November 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

I have had Borax down throughout my house now for 3 days, vet suggested 10, and have seen no difference so far at all. Should I just go ahead and sweep it up, and chalk it up to I Superfleas?

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Michael November 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Sorry it took me do long to get back to you, but 10 days is way to long. I would say go ahead and sweep up and wait a few days for doing it again. Try doing one room at a time and clear each room before moving to the next. Good Luck

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Bonita November 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Well, I swept most of it up. He is the CEO/Director of a Veterinary Hospital, so I thought he would give me good advice. Before this, we tried the salt, de, and soda variations. Done helped, thinking I might have to just go ahead and bomb. :(

Thanks for your reply.

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Claudia Kirkpatrick November 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

In the kitchen: do I need to take everything out of all the cupboards and do all of them? I’m going one room at a time.

And THANK YOU, Michael, for all your very helpful suggestions.

Claudia

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Michael November 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

As long as you keep the cabinet doors closed you will be alright. Although everything on the counter tops has to be removed, Make sure you clean real good before using your kitchen again.

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Claudia Kirkpatrick November 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm

THANK YOU — especially for the reminder to clean everything really really really good before using the kitchen.

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Eden November 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I’ve torn my house apart taking everything out of closets and from under beds to do the borax treatment. I’ve sprinkled it on all carpeted areas and furniture for 3 nights in a row now and vacuumed it up every morning. I’ve been washing all bedding and vacuuming some of the mattresses. We treat all 3 of our animals with comfortis or revolution. Today after 3 days of this I found a flea on my dog. It looked like it was dieing but it was still there none the less! I am about to go insane with this! What am I doing wrong?!?! It is frozen outside so I know they aren’t coming from outside anymore. I’m desperate!!! HELP!

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Michael December 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

They are coming inside to get warm and find a host to live on. It sounds like you are wining the war, I would follow up by vacuuming each room in a daily rotation. This would pick up any strays that have been left behind. You could also make a couple of flea traps with a lamp and a shallow pan filled with water and a few drops of dawn dish liquid in rooms that are not in use. It easy,place a small lamp on the floor and put the pan with the water mix under it. The heat from the lamp will attract any fleas and the dawn will reduce the surface tension allowing the fleas to drown. keep up the fight you will get there.

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Vince December 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

I Have a 2 bedroom condo with carpet, the rest is tiled. Is it ok if I leave the 2 rooms open so my cat can still use his liter box or is it not safe for him to enter.

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Michael December 8, 2013 at 7:32 am

Sorry for the delay Vince, not really you need to keep the rooms you are treating closed off. If you cats walked across the borax he would clean his feet sooner or later. Maybe you could do one room at a time and move the litter box only once.

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Brent December 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I’ve used 8 lbs of Borax on a small one bedroom apartment. I’ve had the stuff down for 3 days now. I am still getting fleas jump on me from time to time, but I think they are getting less frequent. Why would I vacuum if the stuff can stay there and kill more as they come out of their pupae stage?

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Michael December 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

The borax will dry out any fabric if left down to long. After awhile the colors will fade and become more noticeable in time.

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Margaret December 31, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for this information. I am curious you may have stated this before but when you are treating an area how safe would it be for a cat to encounter Borax. For instance while one was locked up they escaped and ran across the carpet with Borax on it. Just wondering, also have you had anyone comment about small animals like ferrets and how they might react to the borax treatment. Thank you again.

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Michael January 1, 2014 at 10:37 am

I have never said it is safe to let any kind of animal come in contact with Borax.

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Claudia Kirkpatrick January 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I have some good proof of the importance of keeping pets locked away from any area where there is Borax: when I started working in my house with Borax, I was very careful to keep the pets locked away — but I was foolish enough to do the cleaning up without wearing rubber gloves. My hands were raw and open and sore for quite a while, til they healed. I wouldn’t have wanted that to happen to my pets’ paws.

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Carlene January 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I am having a flea infestation now and remember having great results with borax years ago when I had carpet and nothing else worked. I now have wood laminate floors and am going to buy some tonight. I am concerned about leaving my house empty in a couple of months wheh we move and how to control any remaining fleas. I will never get it sold it there are fleas. Any suggestions?

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Michael January 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm

If the house is empty (no pets) the fleas will not have a food supply and will die off. If it was me I think I would treat the yard before I go. This would clear the surrounding area around the house. This would keep them from getting close to your home and keep them off of any potential buyers.

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Anne Dyer January 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Can I use Bonami instead of Borax? on the floors?
Annie

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Michael January 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I dont think it will work.it does not have the same crystal structure that borax has.

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Helen January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am

I think I have a flea problem, we live near Boston and it is below freezing. However it was warm 40-50 degrees, about two weeks ago. All of a sudden I am getting bug bites, which I noticed the first or second warmer weather day. I have an indoor kitten, (about 5 mths old) and a 13 year old out door cat that comes in to eat because if I leave her food outside all the other animals get at it.
My out door cat has had tic’s on her lately, and she has stayed in the house on the cold nights. I have seen both of them scratch, but they are not scratching like crazy. In the past I have had experiences with fleas where, they would attack my legs, now I am finding no bites on my legs, but a few on my back, arms and neck. The kitten does sleep on our chairs, so I am thinking that is why. What do you think and what should I do? (None of my kids or my husband are getting bitten, just me.)

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Helen January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

Also, I haven’t seen any fleas yet, could they be so small I don’t see them yet?

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Michael January 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Iam not really sure what is going on. Try using a flea comb to see if in fact they do have fleas. Maybe there are only a few right now or like you say they are small. Just keep an eye out over the next week or two.

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Patrice January 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Hi Michael,

Thank you so much for your article. I really appreciate it. I have a small dog I just adopted that keeps scratching. Animal Control put Frontline on him a week ago (which I never use as that is a pesticide) and I have bathed him with organic itch relief shampoo. But he keeps scratching like crazy. I do not see any fleas or get bidden but will try the Borax anyway as per your suggestions. I have also just ordered the brewers Yeast from Amazon. (I am also currently using HomeoPet Skin & Itch.

Question: I have a cloth couch and a cloth ottoman Should I put borax on these too? May be really hard to take off afterwards. Again, I see/feel no fleas, but want to cover all the bases.

I will place the pillows in the dryer as well. Will leave on overnight.

Thanks again.

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Michael February 6, 2014 at 11:02 am

First off, sorry it took me so long to get back with you. In regards to your furniture since you have not seen any fleas I would wait a week or two . It may take your dog a couple of days to stop scratching. If you see any fleas in the meantime go ahead and start treating with borax. If you do get fleas then your couch and ottoman will also have to be treated as well. For now try to run the vacuum cleaner every couple of days to make sure.

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Patrice February 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Hi Michael, thanks for getting back. I already used and sprinkled on couch, ottoman as well and left overnight before vacuuming.

There are no fleas, but this was good to do anyway. He is probably having an allergic reaction to something. I am switching food and giving him Brewers Yeast with Garlic to help with the skin, itch issues. Has been 4 days now. Hoping it will help.

Thank you again for your helpful post.

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lela FL February 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Hey Michael,
I have a flea infested house, i have hardwood floors. I just read through the whole article and the comments and i am going to get some borax and treat the house. The only thing is that is will dry out the air and i am pregnant. What can i do to keep some(not alot due to it being a detergent) moisutre in the air for 24 hours so i can breathe and be safe while treating the house. I am not going to be able to leave it in all the rooms for 24 hours but the nursery i can. I will leave on the rest of the house as long as possible. I will keep you updated on how it goes

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Michael February 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

If you are concerned about drying out the air. Try treating one room at a time and keep it closed off as you go. Let me know how it going.

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Jeff March 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Learned this little trick from my grandmother ages ago. Just don’t use it on a shag carpet or you’ll never get it out.

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BJ March 25, 2014 at 7:10 am

Hello Michael. Thanks so much for your clear and concise advice. Have no pets and was surprised that home could become flea infested. Also did not realize I had a flea problem until it was almost out of control. Most of fleas found under memory foam mattress cover. When cover was removed I was horrified to see what looked like thousands of fleas. Noticed painful bumps on head some time back but did not relate to flea bites until they began biting my face. Treated bedroom today with Borax. I have pillow top mattress so took some time putting Borax into mattress folds. Also treated bedroom carpet and closed door. Have been sleeping on sofa so fleas followed me to living room. Cannot provide feedback regarding Borax treatment but will report back. Although I have been vacuuming carpets and mopping floors i was pleasantly surprised to see how many fleas I mopped up on linoleum floors. Left mop in soapy water (lemon Pine-Sol, bleach and laundry detergent) overnight to ensure all fleas were dead. Am also using large pizza pan with lemon dishwashing liquid placed under night light. Pan is always full. Looking forward to seeing results of Borax treatment.

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Michael March 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Sorry to hear about your fleas problem, it sounds like you have everything under control. Hope to hear some good news from you soon.

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Claudia April 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Hi Michael, I live in an apartment with five girls. One of my roommates brought a cat when first moved in. The fact that she had a cat didn’t bother me although I’ve never had a pet before, but what bothered me is that when march rolled around I started to severely itch like crazy. I found out it was fleas and although my other roommates have been as bit as much as I have, I found out since I live in the corner of the coldest room in the apartment, this is why I have been bit so harshly because fleas love cold spaces. I’m trying to get the fleas off my sheets, pillows, comforter and comfort what do I do? I keep the cat out of my room now and close the door behind me. Will this at least prevent the fleas from infesting again if I apply a thick layer on the living room and my room? I bought a carpet protectant for fleas and applied it on my bed, but in the morning when I wake I still find larvae and other flea related excess. Also the bites, do you know if vicks and other menthol related creams and scents repel the fleas from biting humans? Thank you very much for the help

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Michael April 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

I would have to disagree with you on that fleas like cold places. It always been my understanding that fleas are cold-blooded and need the warmth of their host a.k.a. your cats to keep them warm. They’re also more active in the summer months when things begin to heat up. The chances are though you’re going to have to treat your bedroom and the living room as well. You can do this separately by giving each room a slight dusting of borax letting it sit overnight 24 hours if possible. And then do the next one. I don’t know about using menthol to keep fleas from biting you, this is a new one on me. The only way I have been able to keep fleas from biting me is to get rid of them.

Best of luck. Sorry it took me so long to reply but have been out of town. If you need anything please feel free to write back

Mike

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rhhardin April 5, 2014 at 9:59 am

I did this in 1986, just sprinking a snow of borax on the carpets and scuffing it in, and it’s been there ever since, through a series of four dog lifetimes. No fleas ever.

Apparently just apply once and forget it. The granuies stay down there and I guess pierce the flea shells and kill them. So they don’t wear out.

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