Instructables
Picture of How to catch fleas
Having been laid up on the couch for a couple of weeks, I have come to discover what I had suspected all along, my apartment is infested with fleas. I've been making various efforts to get rid of the fleas, but it has been slow going since I have one arm in a sling and combatting fleas requires ungodly amounts of house cleaning.

Since I've been such a good host to these fleas, so many have moved in that I once in a while I might see one around. I've taken to catching them on pieces of tape and throwing them away (they are too small and too tough to crunch in your fingers). My girlfriend saw me doing this the other day and suggested that I should keep them in a jar (I suggested, in turn, that she should clean my apartment).

Anyhow, I took to her suggestion and have been catching fleas and placing them in a glass vial. Follows is everything you need to know to do it yourself.
 
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Step 1: Get fleas

Before you can catch fleas, you have to get fleas. To do this I highly recommend having your roommate get a cat.

Make certain that she never brushes, cleans, or cleans up after it in any regard. It particularly helps if she doesn't give the cat flea medicine regularly. This will help increase your chances of getting fleas in your apartment.

Step 2: Become the host

In order to really catch fleas, you need to become the host.

I found the best way to do this is to have a two prong approach:

1. Get rid of the old host (the cat)
2. The next day, get shoulder surgery and lay on the couch for two weeks where the cat used to sleep

Step 3: Spread the infestation

Once your shoulder starts to heal, you can move from the couch back into your bed, bringing the fleas with you to establish a new colony.

The more you sleep in your bed, the more fleas there will be!
KDS444412 days ago

You know what also works? Imidacloprid. "Advantage" topical flea medication. Just rub some on yourself. Fleas are paralyzed by it, and die of heart attacks (fleas have HEARTS? Okay, not really, but they do have a tube that pumps fluid around their bodies, and if this tube stops pumping, they die, and that's what imidacloprid does). Just for future reference.

Vampyra658 months ago
Fleas can not live off humans though they might bite you to test your taste.
i think lizard food would be a wonderful example of a use for them
randofo (author)  thecrazymagnetman2 years ago
They would probably escape. They are fast, and good jumpers.
phearce5 years ago
Excellent use of tape. During a recent epic battle against fleas that my tenant left behind, I found that diatomaceous earth is the most effective deterrent. It's available in gardening centers as a soil supplement. It's basically finely ground seashells. It looks like talc. On a microscopic scale it's like shards of broken glass. Simply sprinkle on the carpet (or whatever) and wait (I waited several days). Vacuum. Repeat. It works by literally cutting the fleas to death. The flea's shells are hard and provide protection, but they also keep the flea from dehydrating. Once cut, it's only a matter of time (minutes, hours) before they die. This is pretty much the only safe way to break their cycle. Good luck.
I second the diatomaceous earth recommendation, for anyone reading this. Spray it on your pets, for one thing. When I had a flea problem, I applied it to myself as well. [WARNING: it is considered potentially hazardous to breath the stuff in while you're applying it, especially if it is in powder form, as opposed to having been mixed with water and then sprayed on. So as you apply it, just hold your breath, or keep it away from your nose and mouth face -- same goes for your animals. Read the safety information before applying it to yourself or your pets, to make sure you know what you're doing]. I don't know that I would apply it to carpet(s), unless you only have a small carpet or happen to know exactly where the breeding ground is (neither were the case for me). If they're attacking you and/or your pet(s), then the most efficient means of getting rid of them is to put the diatomaceous earth on yourself and/or your pet.

It stops their reproduction and kills them, but it only kills them after they've had time to contaminate their "nest" and the larvae (or whatever baby fleas are called), so it's your one-stop solution and it also works faster than probably anything else. And, as anyone who has a flea problem knows, the faster the better. At least if you plan on retaining your sanity.
im going to microwave mine :D
You should launch them into space.
randofo (author)  mcbrownfield4 years ago
Let me know if you have any good leads on doing that.
Some Danes just did that yesterday. You should have FedEx'd them the fleas.
epizeuxis4 years ago
If you are looking for an alternative way to attract them,I believe using carbon dioxide attracts many small blood sucking insects (ticks, chiggers, fleas, bed bugs). They smell the carbon dioxide in your breath sooo anyways... whatever works
Nickie454 years ago
This is a cool Instructable I thought you'd like. Check it out!
If you want to get rid of the fleas even in a sling you can do do it youself pest control, go to a professional pest control supply place-they will sell to you. Get a flea killer and precore, precore steralizes the fleas so they cannot have anymore eggs. I week later do it again to get the eggs that are now steralized and that should be the end of the problem
 i've had fleas loads of times. one time it got so bad that i couldn't walk across the carpet without finding at least two on my feet and/or in my socks. i put out glasses of water around my house so that, when i found a flea and trapped it between my small fingers, i would drop it into the water, thus keeping the flea there until it drowned. this didn't solve the problem, but it did keep me a little saner.
I love this!
This happened to me when my cats got fleas and then slept in my bed. I used masking tape (I hadn't learned of the awesomeness of Gaffers tape at the time) and just folded the piece of tape over onto the fleas, sealing them in the tape. Worked pretty well for me.
when you grab a flea from your arm or leg, you cannot simple crunch them with your fingers in a tightning motion. becuase if this is all you do then when you open up your fingers they will jump away. what you do is crunch tight with you fingers and then roll the flea between you fingers verry hard (simular to when your checking dollar bils that may be stuck to each other) and this will kill them. what this does is actually twist them up and crushes them.
fallnlog5 years ago
These ideas are all very brilliant, house got infested when I brought my parents dogs over while they were on vacation. My parents have a huge black lab that lives outside and I don't have a fence so inside she stayed. My parents assured me they had flea stuff, but in a single day, our two kittens, who had fresh flea med and haven't been outside yet were completely covered and the meds weren't working because there were so many. I am thinking of trying this as an incentive to get my room mates to clean up after themselves.
randofo (author)  fallnlog5 years ago
Yes, a jar full of fleas is definitely inspirational to help motivate people to clean. In the meantime, I recommend long socks and sweatpants with tight elastic around the ankles. It's not the most stylish of attire, but it made a difference.
boredsahm5 years ago
very very funny :)
gabe.lopez15 years ago
If you would like to get rid of the fleas, try putting a night light in every room near the floor then place a bowl of water with mild detergent in it directly under the night light. Basically what happens is the fleas "GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT"... and end up drowning. If this does not cure your flea problem it will at least thin the herd. Happy hunting.
wreck5 years ago
Smashing them between the flat part of your finger nail and a hard surface works well for killing lone fleas. Enjoy the satisfying "pop" sound, then go wash your hands. Any final numbers on how long those suckers live without food?
pinch & roll my friends, PINCH & ROLL.
randofo (author)  wreck5 years ago
They went about 5 days to a week. Although, I'm not sure if they killed each other being trapped in such close proximity (who knows what their love life is like).
jongscx5 years ago
Any luck with the gamma radiation? I think you could give the Tick a run for his money...
randofo (author)  jongscx5 years ago
Not so far, but I hope I end up like the Tick. Everything I know about being a superhero I learned from the Tick.
lemonie5 years ago
How long do they live without food? L
phearce lemonie5 years ago
Potentially, weeks. The jumping around ones aren't the problem -- the dormant ones are. See, as part of their life-cycle they form this sort of cocoon with a hard shell. They go dormant in there, waiting for heat/movement from a nearby host. Then they spring forth (literally) and latch onto their new host. They can hang out in the cyst-thingy for weeks.
lemonie phearce5 years ago
Randofo probably won't be able to catch them in that stage? Is the springing forth triggered by environmental factors?

L
phearce lemonie5 years ago
Yup, they can't be caught when they're "cyst". Even foggers can't touch them. They are awakened (think the egg-scene in Aliens...) by body heat and vibration/motion. That's why after you're *certain* the fogger worked you'll still find a couple jumping on you minutes after you air the place out: they escaped the gas by hiding dormant in their cases.

I spent an unfortunate summer learning about the life cycle of fleas. At least you're taking a positive approach to the whole mess. :)
lemonie phearce5 years ago
Interesting - was your summer of learning by choice or necessity..? L
phearce lemonie5 years ago
LOL, DEFINATELY not by choice. On the day the tenant left I went through cleaned up -- swept and vacuumed. When I came back a week later, at first everything was fine. I walked through the family room bringing in supplies. When I came back a couple minutes later there was literally a cloud of fleas.
lemonie phearce5 years ago
Eeew! L
randofo (author)  lemonie5 years ago
At least 4 days.
I just pick them off the cat and pinch their head off. These are very advanced techniques, sir!
randofo (author)  jessyratfink5 years ago
Yours seems more advanced. You must have good eyesight and sharp nails.
bumpus5 years ago
:o Curious George blanket!
randofo (author)  bumpus5 years ago
The only way to sleep.
crapflinger5 years ago
"My girlfriend saw me doing this the other day and suggested that I should keep them in a jar (I suggested, in turn, that she should clean my apartment). " i guess the part in parentheses explains why your arm's in a sling? hehe
randofo (author)  crapflinger5 years ago
Yes. She hits me and calls me names.