Fleas are extremely hard to kill. Their bodies are wafer-thin, and they jump incredibly high. I've tried drowning them in the toilet, but somehow they manage to get themselves to the sides and out. They won't drown very easily at all, and you'd have to boil your pet to make it too hot for them. There are a variety of ways to control fleas, and you'll have to see what works for you. I recommend using as many methods as you can in parallel. First of all, there is the chemical killer found in Advantage, Frontline, and Capstar. Some of these chemicals you apply to the animal's body, and Capstar is ingested. You can also get Program, which is basically flea birth control. The fleas will bite your pet, but they won't be able to reproduce. And persistent vacuuming is a good idea, too - although flea eggs and larvae are very tiny and tenacious. Good luck with the flea battles. I've again taken up the fight myself, as the cats come in from outdoors. My current weapons are Capstar and Program, and judicious vacuuming. Unfortunately, I think some of these fleas are living off human, not cat, and so the poisons aren't doing as much good as I'd hoped. We'll see. "I have not yet begun to fight."
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Hey, Jenny, I've been battling fleas on my cats as well, and I've found that fleas drown far more quickly in hot water than in cold. I was combing one of the cats and dropping the fleas into a jar of water. I started with cold, soapy water, and they would struggle for 30 seconds to a minute before dying. When I switched to hot tap water, it took less than five seconds. Most of them barely even twitched.
Oh, and are you making sure to kill the fleas in the vacuum bag? Either put a flea collar in there or vacuum up some flea powder after each use, otherwise you're providing an excellent nursery for them.