Fleas, fleas EVERYWHERE!!! - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 07-27-2005, 12:09 PM
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I like most creatures, can even co-exist relatively happily with spiders and beetles, but I HATE fleas.

And, of course, it's Flea Central in my apartment at the moment. I've Frontlined my three adult cats, but I have four aprox eight week old foster kittens that I haven't been able to afford Frontline for them quite yet (next paycheck in two weeks).

I wash my sheets and vacuum every other day, but I wake up scratching and slapping my arms and face because fleas are biting me while I sleep. I wash the counters (which the cats jump up on occasionally) and I find flea refuse and grossness the very next day. I brush my cats and dunk the loose fur into soapy water, to try and kill any eggs that I've collected. But whenever I check their necks or abdomens, they always have more fleas.

Help! What should I do? Should I be feeding my cats Brewer's yeast? Should I make us all go into the bathroom, shove a towel under the door and set off some bombs in the apartment? I don't even know how much those'll cost or how dangerous their poison is... Agh! My original plan was to Frontline the kittens in two weeks, wait a few days, then maybe bomb, then rent a steam cleaner and go over all the carpets and furniture. But I don't know if I can wait that long.
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#2 Old 07-27-2005, 02:16 PM
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One option that is cheaper than tubes of Frontline is Frontline spray, which is the same stuff, but in a spray bottle. A LOT harder to use because you have to spray it all over the cats' bodies, but it is less expensive if you have a whole gaggle of cats.

I think Advantage works better than Frontline on Fleas when you have an infestation, but thats just my opinion (also shared by several vets and other people I've worked with). You may want to check prices just the same.

Definitely vacuum daily. Make sure you're vacuuming the hardwood as well as the carpets, because they can get down into the cracks in the wood. When you're done vacuuming, throw away the vacuum bag OUTSIDE of the house! The fleas can jump back out of the vacuum. Also vacuum furinture, and wash all bedding in hot water.

If you can't afford any form of Frontline/Advantage, DO NOT resort to the store brands. MANY of them are NEUROTOXIC in cats, and fleas are bad enough without a seizuring cat and the vet bills associated with one.

Brewers Yeast isn't going to help the cats with an infestation in the magnitude that you're describing. My understanding is it works more as a repellant, but once you've got an infestation, its too late. YOU might try eating it and lots of garlic, but that may not work either (Garlic = very bad for cats btw. So, none for them)

Rather than bombing, you may just want to get some flea spray and spray it in corners and along edges and places the vacuum can't get to. Also around places the cats tend to hang out.

Once you get this all under control, you need to treat ALL the cats with Frontline/Advantage for AT LEAST 3 consecutive months to insure that you won't get your fleas back. Also, you need to get them all treated for tapeworms, since they are transmitted by swallowing a flea... and cats do a lot of that when they've got fleas.

Good luck!

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#3 Old 07-27-2005, 02:41 PM
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You can also set up bowls of soap water in places under nightlights at night. They will jump towards the light and sink into the water.

Make sure to vacuum and/or wash thoroughly all places where your cats sleep. Do you recognize the eggs? They will accumulate where your pets sleep. crush them, wash them down the drain, whatever. Frontline/advantage will only kill the adults, so it will take a couple of months before it really starts to work because there are still eggs and larvae developing in your house.
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#4 Old 07-27-2005, 03:59 PM
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"flea larvae developing in your house" has such an unpleasant ring to it! Gross...

Thanks you two. I'm off to vacuum and soap up my house. Yet again... I have no idea how it got to be like this this summer. Yeck.
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#5 Old 07-27-2005, 04:07 PM
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Oh, it's going to take at least 4-8 weeks to break the cycle. Frontline/Advantage is necessary, but nothing really gets rid of pupa an nymphs.
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#6 Old 07-27-2005, 04:13 PM
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Two more months of this?! OMG. Are you sure?
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#7 Old 07-27-2005, 04:23 PM
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hmm. my dogs get organic ACV daily to help repel fleas. also, i found this info online when we were having tick issues:

Flea Prevention Spray

2 cups water

1 large, unpeeled lemon (slice paper thin)

1 long branch/sprig of rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried)

5 drops tea tree oil

Heat the water to almost boiling & pour over the lemon slices. Add the rosemary branch & tea tree oil. Steep overnight. Strain & pour into a spray bottle.

Spray daily to repel fleas. Also reported to be effective aggainst ticks & 'skitters' (mosquitoes).


Flea Spritzer Blend:

2 drops of cedarwood, lemongrass, rose geranium

1 teaspoon AVC (apple cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon vodka

1 cup of dried peppermint, eucalyptus, bay leaf herbs

1- 2 cups of water

Add the essential oils and vodka in a bottle, tighten the lid and shake well. Once the mixture blended (should turn white), add apple cider vinegar. If you have some herbs mentioned above you can make an herbal tea to use in your spritzer.

Boil 2-4 cups of water and remove from heat. Add your dried herbs in the water and let is simmer for 30 minutes. Once cool, drain and use instead of plain water in your spritzer. If you are using an herbal tea, this mixture must be kept in the refrigerator as the herbal teas have the tendency to go bad faster.

Once you have your spritzer you can use this by gently spraying it in to your dogs coat, legs, tummy and back. Rub it in well and apply it as necessary. Do not use any of the essential oils on your dogs face or around nose, ears and eyes. Respect the sensitive nose he/she has and go easy when using aromatic substances such as essential oils.

And I know definitely that the Hartz brand flea stuff was being recalled.
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#8 Old 07-27-2005, 04:30 PM
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I prefer Revolution. One application once a month during spring and summer months, and you get control over fleas, heartworm, earmites, hookworm and roundworm. It kills off the adults pretty quickly too, within a couple days. It also prevents them from having viable eggs.
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#9 Old 11-02-2005, 07:38 PM
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try some borax and walk it into the carpet.
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#10 Old 11-02-2005, 08:04 PM
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Frontline, takes awhile, but it works good in the end. I had the same problem a few years ago. I bought the spray also and sprayed everything down. It worked and they have never came back since.
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#11 Old 11-02-2005, 08:29 PM
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If you do flea bomb.. take the cats out of the house. Don't hide out in your bathroom.
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#12 Old 11-03-2005, 09:13 AM
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Frontline PLUS is the only thing that stopped the infestation we had when we moved into our new home. I was being cheap and got the cheaper stuff and it didnt work. I had 30-50 bites at any given time. Make sure you put flea powder in you vacuum bags to kill the eggs and larva that you vacuum up or they will just hatch and escape.
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#13 Old 11-03-2005, 11:14 AM
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Lord, am I glad the flea season is over. That was just nasty. I used a combo of Revolution and Frontline Plus (on different cats) and kept a strict every-three-week policy (vet said it was safe) for the cats. And all fleas are gone. Whew! I'm going to be proactive next year and start the meds in April or May, when those little buggers start to breed again.
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#14 Old 11-03-2005, 01:45 PM
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Also put a good flea collar in your vacuum bag.
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#15 Old 11-05-2005, 11:08 AM
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Add a very small amount (a capful or two, no more) of flea and tick shampoo to a carpet cleaner. That should do the trick.
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#16 Old 11-05-2005, 11:23 AM
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My two adopted kittens had fleas when I got them. Summer was horrible.

What worked was going to the co-op and looking for an insecticide called "Permethrin". Its sold under a variety of brand names, and is toxic to fish and all insects. Plus, it may or may not be a carcinogen in humans.

But it works. Dilute it according to the instructions, vacuum your carpet first, and then spray every inch of floor in your house, as well as the baseboards. Open the windows and go for a walk in fresh air.

Vacuum every day, and repeat the spraying every 7-14 days. Spray the cats every 3 weeks or so. Flea comb the cats often.

There are only two non-toxic methods that I've had any success with. The first is a flea combing the kittens daily (dropping the fleas in a cup of soapy after). The second is using a nightlight and putting a pan of soapy water underneath it. They won't cure a flea problem, in my experience, but they will kill some fleas.

This winter, I only have a few fleas, so I'll probably switch to Frontline, which is very effective and should kill the few remaining fleas. Then I'll be flea-free until my cats escape outside and pick up a new batch.

PS: Everything that Walmart sells for flea control is a joke. Even the flea collars.
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#17 Old 11-05-2005, 11:34 AM
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You can stay flea free if you use frontline plus during the flea season. I dont know were you live but in CT, we have to start protection in April and continue through sometimes the beginning of October depending if theres any early frost.

If you use preventative measures, you will most likely not need to use sprays and powders too much in the house. Its once your house is infested that you need to use that stuff.
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