Fleas in the wood shop

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Forum topic by willhime posted 06-02-2020 06:21 AM 481 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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156 posts in 2309 days

06-02-2020 06:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource tip trick pest control fleas

Everything I’ve read on fleas says that they like to survive in crevices and dust, but not to worry! Just vacuum your hardwood floor crevices and mop then throw the vacuum bags away in a sealed bag. Bing bang boom!

This of course doesn’t apply too well to a shop. Especially a wood shop. I have tons of lumber and scraps and probably vacuum my entire shop (1500 sq ft) twice a week. Now that it’s summer and humid (Austin,Tx), I have fleas galore. The 5 shop cats all have treatment programs but that doesn’t stop the fleas from breeding and jumping onto my ankles while I’m working. It’s gotten so bad now that I check every 15 mins or so and sure enough there’s 1-3 on my lower legs that get plucked off and smashed on a flat surface with my aluminum right angle bracket.

Are there any tips on how to handle this ? I have an exterminator coming out but every time he’s sprayed the shop he kind of lets me know it’s the equivalent of holding up a sheet of plywood during a hurricane.

-- Burn your fire for no witness

9 replies so far

View pontic's profile


797 posts in 1379 days

#1 posted 06-02-2020 10:24 AM

Ultrasonic ringer and UVlights turned on at night. Take the cats out when you do this.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View Jsok's profile


6 posts in 1001 days

#2 posted 06-02-2020 03:05 PM

I had a similar problem a while back. No cats here but I think the possums or mice brought them in. I used Bifen XTS in a pump sprayer twice a week for a few weeks and haven’t seen a flea since. Sprayed the floors and walls. Bifen has a residual effect good for about 90 days they say.

View Robert's profile


3738 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 06-02-2020 03:20 PM

If your shop is infested, so are the cats. Unless there is another source, they need a blood meal to complete the life cycle. So if the fleas on the animal aren’t controlled you will continue to have fleas hatching out. They are looking for a warm blooded animal to jump on. If a cat or dog isn’t available, that means you.

What kind of flea treatment are you giving cats? If its the topical drops Frontline or Advantage, neither of them work that well. Bravecto topical will do a good job. I prefer to use oral Comfortis tablets monthly. If you have a dog, keep him on oral flea control, too.

Once you get the fleas on the cats under control the problem should resolve. I suggest you let them live in the shop if possible. Once on the meds they will become a “black hole” for fleas. IOW any flea that jumps on them and bites WILL die, usually within 15 minutes.

I’m in the animal health care industry.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View LesB's profile


2551 posts in 4213 days

#4 posted 06-02-2020 09:13 PM

If you don’t want to use a pesticide then try diatomaceous earth. It comes as a fine white dust. Scatter it around the areas where the fleas hang out. You can also use it as a dusting powder on your pets fur. Put on your ankles too. Like most dust and powder it is not a good idea to inhale it.

I comes from the shells of ancient diatoms and kills insects that have hard exoskeletons by cutting the joints between the skeleton sections causing the insect to dehydrate. It does not harm soft bodies creatures like earth worms. It is a must have for treating chicken coops and nests for lice and other insects without using pesticides.

-- Les B, Oregon

View JCamp's profile


1179 posts in 1321 days

#5 posted 06-02-2020 10:40 PM

I use vinegar to kill them on my critters. I believe if you’ll clean the place up and spray it down with vinegar a few times that should take care of them.
Might also wash ur clothes in it. Don’t want them to get into your house too

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3408 days

#6 posted 06-02-2020 11:10 PM

On the cats, the best I’ve seen is revolution, but it’s mighty pricy.

For the shop, long term, an insect growth regulator Will break the cycle. Also, not cheap. I had years ago 4 cats in the house and had an outbreak bathed the cats every 5 days, vacuum every day especially where cats hang out, and spray a mix of pesticide and IGR every week. Also, at night use flea traps, night lights with pans of soapy water under them. Keep it up until you find no fleas in the flea traps for a couple of weeks.

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4069 days

#7 posted 06-03-2020 03:19 AM

You could spray permethrin on your shoes, then put some in the washing machine with your socks and pants.

You can’t spray it on your skin, of course, but it works on fleas if you use it on clothes/shoes.

View Axis39's profile


232 posts in 367 days

#8 posted 06-03-2020 05:20 AM

Do you have eucalyptus trees in Austin?

If so, grab a few branches and stick ‘em around in the shop. Fleas can’t stand it.

If not, maybe try some eucalyptus oil on your ankles?

I’ve dealt with a couple of infestations in the house. We used foggers every time with decent success. We did find a pill you give to your pet and it kills the fleas almost instantly. You can literally see them dying, and jumping off. The cat or dog will itch for a minute as the fleas flee. Five ten minutes later, no more fleas!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View therealSteveN's profile


5754 posts in 1344 days

#9 posted 06-03-2020 12:25 PM

First, and foremost get the cats professionally treated. I agree with Robert, they are likely not totally free of the problem.

Once they are good, then get them out of the shop, and use something like below, in LARGE quantities for the sq/footage.. Make sure nothing is in there except the fleas, close the place as tight as you can, and go bombing

-- Think safe, be safe

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