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Electronic Flea Trap?

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marcdraco
(@marcdraco)
Posts: 453
Member
Topic starter
 

Yes, seriously... 

I won't go into the details except to say that my moggy has a bad infestation and despite my best efforts with all sorts of chemicals (some of which are toxic to felines) and he won't have a bath, I'm having a time getting rid of the buggers.

But I found some data that suggests fleas are attracted to three things:

  1. Warmth (most insects fit this one).
  2. Light - particularly light in the red-orange end of the spectrum.
  3. Carbon dioxide.

There are excellent biological reasons why this is but that's not relevant here, I wonder therefore if there's any call for a DIY flea trap for those of us with this issue. Trust me on this, if you have a cat or a dog, you probably have fleas in your home even if you haven't seen them. Even an indoor cat like mine can catch them as they hitch in on our shoes and clothing.

A flea trap is essentially either a sticky pad or some water mixed with dish soap.

Here's where the electronics come in though - nothing complex. Just enough to produce a feint light (say a couple of red or orange LEDs), a small heater - there are numerous ways of doing this and a CO2 generator: just some yeast and sugared water will do that. Course, the room will smell a little like a brewery if you're not careful but I wonder if anyone is interested in such a project?

This is pesticide free (pesticides get a terrible rap as anyone who read The Fear Babe would know) but pesticides are dangerous to something by the nature of being pesticides. The problem for cats in particular is their livers can't process the pyrethrins that are amazingly effective against many insects.  Vets will attest to this fact and many cats are sickened and even killed by the overuse of such pesticides in gardens. Home treatments are even more dangerous so if you have a cat(s) this could be a cracking project.

I'd love your thoughts.

Take everything I say with a pinch of salt, I might be wrong!

(Cybertruck avatar is a riff on my inability to deliver my designs in reasonable time so far.)

 
Posted : 05/04/2023 1:46 pm
(@lilon)
Posts: 16
Eminent Member
 

Wow, it sounds like you're dealing with a challenging flea infestation, and I appreciate your concern for the well-being of your moggy. It's interesting that fleas are attracted to warmth, light (especially in the red-orange spectrum), and carbon dioxide. Your idea of a DIY flea trap using simple electronics like LEDs, a small heater, and a Carbon monoxide generator sounds quite intriguing.

By using a sticky pad or a mixture of water and dish soap, along with the attractants you mentioned, you could potentially create a pesticide-free solution to catch fleas. This approach seems safer for cats, considering their sensitivity to certain pesticides.

 
Posted : 24/05/2023 9:52 am
marcdraco reacted
marcdraco
(@marcdraco)
Posts: 453
Member
Topic starter
 

Electronics might be over the top, but although I'm a proponent of pesticides, I'm a louder voice when it comes to safe and responsible use of pesticides and even certain plants which are toxic to cats (in particular) due to their limited ability to process pyrethroids in their liver. They also have highly specialised kidneys to survive in very hot, arid climates.
 
Pyrethroids (and the synthetics) are not something a feline would meet in nature so they never evolved a resilience to them because they are derived from the pollen of chrysanthemum. Even though this plant does appear in Asia it's not the sort of thing that a feline would naturally eat anyway. I expect the same is true of lilies.

Simplicity is the key here of course. I'm going to have to try a fly trap- the ones made from tree sap - and see if that's sufficiently soft to allow the flea to become snared like it does with flies. I've seen them trap fruit flies in some number so that's encouraging.

The trick (hence the electronics) is to attract the animals in the first place. Also (and perhaps more obviously) we need to keep the sticky trap away from a curious moggy. The kitten has already got himself (rather amusingly, to my shame) caught in one. He jumped for it, I believe, and it got stuck causing him to panic and become ensnared. Luckily I was there and cried laughing while I was removing it from the poor little chap. Clearly this isn't toxic, thankfully.
 

Take everything I say with a pinch of salt, I might be wrong!

(Cybertruck avatar is a riff on my inability to deliver my designs in reasonable time so far.)

 
Posted : 25/05/2023 2:54 pm
marcdraco
(@marcdraco)
Posts: 453
Member
Topic starter
 

And here's update number one... I've gone all simple. I've put a fluffy cotton (*heat resistant) mat over a heat pad (5W jobby from Amazon) and soaked the matt in some cypermethin --- that'll teach the little blighter and it'll also show just how many of these horrible critters are lurking in my home. Statistical biologyg shows that all we have to do is sample a few random square metres and then do a harmonic mean to find the likely amount. 

Yeeeeeahhh... don't think you want to know. But as an experiment its proving valuable data and more important, it's helping stop my poor fella getting covered in them!

Take everything I say with a pinch of salt, I might be wrong!

(Cybertruck avatar is a riff on my inability to deliver my designs in reasonable time so far.)

 
Posted : 28/05/2023 10:15 pm