Recommend Me An Exterminator
July 20, 2009 11:24 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend me an exterminator within the Los Angeles area that will get rid of our flea infestation once and for all inside and outside our home. What are the things to look for in a reputable company, and what to expect in the process of treating the house?
posted by Yasuo to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Exterminators will contaminate the whole house, man. Vacuum everywhere. Throw away the bag. Vacuum again. Wash all bedding. Buy some flea treatment from the vet for your pet(s). In a week vacuum again and depending on the severity of the flea infestation you could see anywhere from the problem solved to a marked improvement.

The flea stuff (we prefer Frontline over Advantage for our 40 lb. dogs) should take care of your problem within 2 weeks. If it hasn't improved in 2 weeks vacuum again and retreat the pet(s) and you'll definitely be free of the evil blood suckers soon after. Fleas are on a 2 week life cycle so even if you kill the adult fleas today you'll have a new crop in 2 weeks to contend with. Vacuuming vibrates the flea eggs into hatching early so you'll kill a bunch just by doing a thorough vacuuming.

I know I know, but the flea treatments for animals are not nice. FLEA BITES are 100 times worse for humans and pets!!! We used to take the hippy view about flea treatments, tried all the natural remedies, but after 2 nightmare flea infestations 2 years in a row we treat the dogs and don't feel bad about it. Fortunately, we just have to treat them over the summer months. When you see your furry buddies scratching like crazy in absolute agony and then see them at peace 2 weeks later you'll know you made the right decision.
posted by wherever, whatever at 12:46 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding wherever, whatever's suggestion of Frontline (or Revolution) - the little ampules of flea treatment that you apply directly to your pet work incredibly well and are much healthier for everyone - human or animal than bombing or spraying the house. The recommended use is once a month and while they are pricey they really work. There are two or three different brands out there depending on whether you're treating dogs or cats and the differences are mainly in what other things they repel -heartworm, mosquitos, ticks so your choice will depend on those issues.
posted by leslies at 5:22 AM on July 21, 2009

What they said, and. Sprinkle flea powder. Leave for a long walk. Come home & vacuum. Repeat frequently during flea season.
posted by theora55 at 7:11 AM on July 21, 2009

Unfortunately in LA you might as well try tossing money at the fleas in the hopes they will die of paper cuts. LA is infested and it never gets cold enough to kill 'em. Best bet is to treat the animals and as noted above use flea powder and vacuum like crazy.
posted by fshgrl at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2009

Agreed on the Vet provided Advantage or Frontline.

Agreed on the frequent vacuuming.

I find however that when I put powders down and then vacuum that inevitably the powder gets into the air and consequently my lungs. So no powders for me. I have used with success a non-powder canned carpet and furniture spray product that prevents the fleas from maturing. ("Enforcer" flea spray I believe). You can get a can at a most Target/Walmart/Petco/Petsmart stores for 5 or 10 bucks.
posted by SantosLHalper at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2009

I really like Program (lufenuron) Flea Control tablets given by mouth once at month. It is non-prescription & very easy, especially since my 2 (almost 50 llb) dogs consider the chewable tablets a tasty treat.

Years ago, in the bad old days before Program, summer meant weekly flea shampoos/vacuuming (throw out the vacuum bag every time) & flea combing several times a week. Occasionally I even "bombed" the house for fleas with a "fogger" (what a awful process that was).

Now I give a pill once a month. I give it year round. I suppose in some locations, you could get away with just giving it in the summer. I don't have to do anything else other than remember to give a pill, & I literally have not seen a flea on my dogs or in the house in years. This is in spite of the 2 hounds being regularly out & about to the dog park & other places where they could acquire fleas.

Program works by preventing flea larvae and pupae from developing. Because it works at the larvae/pupae stage, theoretically it can take weeks before the fleas are entirely gone, so Program is thought of as a maintenance product. Topical products like Advantage & Frontline are usually recommended for acute flea infestations. Program tablet can be used together with Advantage or Frontline for an acute flea infestation, but I never found it necessary. I just started giving the tablets once a month, & the fleas were gone!
posted by easilyamused at 5:45 PM on July 21, 2009

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