I have a 4 month old baby and we live in a small 3 bedroom townhouse with 90% carpeted floors with our 12 year old cat.
Two weeks ago we found a flea on the baby's head and when I combed out the cat I got tons of fleas off of her coat - like 2 dozen. Ugh. Treated her that day with Advantage 18 (flea adulticide, not the one that gets them earlier in the life cycle too - we don't seem to have that in Canada). We found some larvae in our bed, and some cocoons in the sofa bed - quadruple ugh.
For the next 5 days we vacuumed the entire house once a day, boraxed the corners of the carpet, and washed everything on hot once and then ran all the bedding through the dryer for 30 minutes every day. Combed the cat out every day and got fewer and fewer adults off of her, maybe 3 or 4 slow ones a day.
We left on vacation for 9 days, before which we boraxed the entire house and sprayed a couple of key spots with carpet flea spray from Zodiac. The cat went to a friend's place for the time we were away. So really she was only around with her Advantage for 5 days before we left town.
We came home yesterday and went to vacuum up the loose borax before bringing the baby or cat in. We saw about 2 dozen live adults while vacuuming. It completely freaked us out and we finished vacuuming, sprayed the hotspots again and turned around with our bags still packed and spent the night at a hotel last night. I am still here with the baby but have to check out soon.
Am freaking out about my next steps here. My DP wants to call an exterminator which makes me feel sick to think about because of the baby. But the vacuuming is incredibly labour intensive with trying to take care of the baby all day and I have no idea if it's making any difference.
I suspect we just haven't been able to give the Advantage enough time to work through the life cycles with everyone including the cat being gone for most of the time since we discovered the problem. But am feeling pretty insane and wondering if we should just bite the bullet and spray.
Has anyone worked through a flea issue like this? At what point would you get the place professionally sprayed? Does anyone know how long the exterminator stuff stays toxic for? I called a company and they said 4-6 hours but that seems crazy. Please help and tell me what you would do. I am losing it over here.