Fleas *sob!*

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BabyReba
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Fleas *sob!*

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:49 pm

I've kept dogs for going on 20 years now, and I have never had a real flea "problem" or infestation. I don't know if I can chalk that up to luck, good diet, good management or what. But my lucky streak has come to an end.

We've been using Advantage down here because we heard from a billion people that Frontline isn't all that effective, and we talked to the vet about Comfortis, but in the end, he said if Advantage is working, stick with it. So we've been using it.

Doc came back from the vet after surgery for his sock-eating habit with a couple of fleas on him. I figured he must have picked up a couple of fleas in the parking lot or something and he'd been on regular Advantage, and I figured that'd kill any fleas I didn't get off him. As per usual, I dosed all 3 of the dogs with Advantage at the end of December and didn't think about it. They're all scheduled for their next dose of preventative at the end of this month.

No problems. Until this week when it suddenly went from a nice, cool 65 degrees during the day to 78 and muggy. Apparently, this is the right condition for fleas to hatch. All of a sudden, we have fleas. I found some on all three dogs yesterday. Not an infestation but more than one or two stray fleas. I took two off Tucker, one off Button and three or four off Doc, bathed everyone, stripped down all the blankets, bedding, etc., vacuumed Button's crates out. This morning I went to work late so I could get some Borax and Boraxed the rugs in the bedrooms, and I'll vacuum it up tonight. Got a packet of Frontline Plus, dosed all the dogs. Haven't seen any more fleas on them or around since then, but I read online that only about 5 percent of fleas are on the dogs -- 95 percent are laying in wait to hatch and infest your home. :wow

It's so gross. I've never had this before. Ever. Seriously. I'm so disgusted, and I barely slept last night. We kept the dogs out of our room last night, and Button was pitiful squeaking like a bird at the door because he always sleeps in his crate in our bedroom. :crybaby:

What happens next? Do I just wait to see if they disappear? It's supposed to go up to 80 degrees today -- Will I come home this evening to fleas everywhere? How do I know (and when will I know) if we've licked this problem?

Southerners, do you do diatomaceous earth in the yard to keep the fleas outside at bay? Anything else I should be thinking of besides Borax for safe environmental control?

And if Frontline Plus doesn't do the trick, then Comfortis, here we come.

"Hi, my name is Button Fleabag. What's yours?"

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:51 pm

Can't offer a whole lot of advice except for the heat and vibration from the vaccum will hatch out the eggs as well. So vaccum once, and then once again about 30 minutes later. Or so I've been told.

Thankfully here, winter kills off the little blood-suckers by this time of the year.

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Adrianne
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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby Adrianne » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:02 pm

AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:Can't offer a whole lot of advice except for the heat and vibration from the vaccum will hatch out the eggs as well. So vaccum once, and then once again about 30 minutes later. Or so I've been told.

Thankfully here, winter kills off the little blood-suckers by this time of the year.

:skurrd: :yucky:

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jamielvsaustin
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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby jamielvsaustin » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:14 pm

BabyReba wrote:What happens next? Do I just wait to see if they disappear? It's supposed to go up to 80 degrees today -- Will I come home this evening to fleas everywhere? How do I know (and when will I know) if we've licked this problem?

Southerners, do you do diatomaceous earth in the yard to keep the fleas outside at bay? Anything else I should be thinking of besides Borax for safe environmental control?

Awww, I'm sorry. Florida has not been good to you.
My suggestion is to retreat everyone in a week. Put the borax down, and get the yard sprayed. We had to switch to comfortis because we had this issue.

We did everything we could-ended up using the flea treatment (I believe it was frontline at the time) for 3 weeks in a row. We had the yard sprayed (I believe it was twice in one month) and we bombed the house.

It SUCKED!!

I'm pretty sure our episode happened in December...but we didn't have Resi so it must have been two Christmases (sp) ago. Can't you also add a cap full of the apple cider vinegar to the dog's water dish? Or is that for something else? (yeast maybe)

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby mtlu » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:21 pm

I've used very finely powdered DE indoors with great success before. When we first moved into our apartment, we inherited a flea problem from previous tenant's cat. Since we have lovebirds, I didn't want to do any kind of chemical or have to house the birds somewhere else for a week. It takes a few repeated applications (dusting DE into cracks/around furniture legs/etc; waiting 24hrs and then vacuum up) but it won't hurt the dogs as long as it's food grade. DE basically cuts up fleas, eggs and larvae so they dry out and die – they won't live/hatch in the vacuum cleaner as long as you have sprinkled DE everywhere.

You can also dust DE into the boys' fur. I had to do that with Molly after one of her topical flea preventatives (forget which brand) burned her skin and gave her bald streaks for a few weeks.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:27 pm

i think florida is just trying to make me a stronger person. at least that's what i keep telling myself. if i can make it through year one, it should be smooth sailing and nothing in life will ever phase me! :)

ok, so once a week doing the borax thing is certainly doable. and as long as people have had success with DE, i'll try that. food grade is good to know! i know you can't use the pool stuff, but i wasn't clear what to look for.

i feel bad for the dogs, who have not encountered this kind of thing before ... they were certainly confused by the sudden rush to the bath and banishment to an unfamiliar bedroom for the night. well, doc doesn't seem to care. button and tucker are babies, though, and they weren't too happy.

i hope to god this dose of frontline is effective and the borax/salt treatment does the trick, at least just to get us through this. i don't have any time to get to the vet (again) in the next week.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby Otis » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Ugh, what a pain! Even after bringing many a flea bitten foster into my home I never had a problem with fleas and I don't treat regularly with preventative. For some reason they just didn't last in my Baltimore dwellings. As violent, gross and insane as that city can be it does have its upsides :thumbsup:

Now out in the country everyone and their mother has fleas, so I'm expecting my happy go lucky outlook on fleas is about to change drastically when things warm up.

Good luck and give baby button a hug for me!

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:23 pm

I just went to a huge conference here in Florida and went to a lecture by an independent researcher at the university of Florida and his research has shown that for the 4th year in a row Frontline was equally as effective as other treatments. The issues that made treatments less effective were untreated members of the household, travel to untreated households and wildlife or feral cats in the yard.

Frontline, advantage, promeris and the like are all effective so long as they kill both adults and eggs/larvae.

Vacuum Vacuum VACUUM the cracks in the couches the corners beneath and behind furniture and really focus anywhere your dogs spend time. Flip over and vacuum the bottoms of cushions and throw any washable bedding in the wash.

I would treat monthly forever from the numbers I saw at the conference this week.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:41 pm

I just went to a huge conference here in Florida and went to a lecture by an independent researcher at the university of Florida and his research has shown that for the 4th year in a row Frontline was equally as effective as other treatments. The issues that made treatments less effective were untreated members of the household, travel to untreated households and wildlife or feral cats in the yard.


Well, the dogs have all been treated with Advantage (but not Frontline) every month since we've been here, none have traveled to any other households (not all that dog social, save for Tucker, so they don't visit much) and I haven't seen any cats. But it's Florida, and it's notorious for having insane flea populations. I knew that before I moved here. I think they were picked up in/around/near the vet's office since Doc got home and had fleas. They probably settled into the household, laid their eggs, and all was dormant til the warm streak hit.

Regardless, I'm hoping the Frontline Plus takes them out, at least long enough for us to get the house clear. We have an exterminator who the landlords pay to come by every six months and uses natural remedies in the yard, I may call him to see if we can pay him for an in-between visit.

ETA: It was suggested to me by someone that the betadine/iodine they use to prep a dog for surgery may have had something to do with the Advantage application on Doc losing effectiveness. Is that even possible? If so, it'd explain why the fleas on him didn't die off.

Between that and DE and Borax I'm hoping we will be covered.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:11 pm

It's also possible the advantage has been taking care of the low numbers of fleas and the temperature change caused the population explosion. in pets that were not proactively treated it is expected that the number of fleas seen are ongoing or even worse before they get better. The flea population grows exponentially and it can take 20-60 days to break the cycle. Just make sure every furry creature in the house is a walking flea trap and it will get better.The fleas will literally hatch out as fast as the insecticide kills them.

Also remember to vacuum every square inch of every place your pets sleep.

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BabyReba
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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:49 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:It's also possible the advantage has been taking care of the low numbers of fleas and the temperature change caused the population explosion. in pets that were not proactively treated it is expected that the number of fleas seen are ongoing or even worse before they get better. The flea population grows exponentially and it can take 20-60 days to break the cycle. Just make sure every furry creature in the house is a walking flea trap and it will get better.The fleas will literally hatch out as fast as the insecticide kills them.

Also remember to vacuum every square inch of every place your pets sleep.


ok, now you've got me confused. so are you thinking that there have been fleas here all along since i've been here and the advantage has been just keeping me from seeing them? and i'm not sure what you mean that my dogs might not be treated proactively.

i have 3 dogs, and they've all been on the vet-recommended stuff since july, when they arrived. the only other thing the vet mentioned to me is that i could consider oral preventatives if i wasn't happy with the topicals. but until now, the topicals seemed to be doing OK for me.

if there's more, i'm looking for/open to suggestions, but i think i need specifics because this isn't something i've had much experience with.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby ProudMommy77 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:51 pm

Why don't you use some capstar, until you figure out if there are fleas in the house, or have it taken care of.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:04 pm

i guess i could try capstar, too, but i just frontlined everyone ... boraxed and vacuumed the crap out of everything i could. now i guess i should just try to relax and see what happens next. i guess people have been battling fleas for as long as people have dogs and everyone lives to see another day.

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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby lilangel » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:43 pm

fleas <shudder>

We got some leas from a cat we had in foster for a few weeks. It was gross. The worst part about them is they can transmit tapeworm! eeew.

Multiple DE dustings and vacuumings worked for us but it was a nightmare just imagining them bouncing all over us...

good luck.

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JenLeigh
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Re: Fleas *sob!*

Postby JenLeigh » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:13 pm

ewe. i dont envy you at all. we don't have fleas up here, i would have NO idea how to deal with them if Finn got them. groooossssssssssssssssssssssssss.


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