Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

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Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:10 pm

I am about to go out of my mind from the fleas this year. I am to the point of having nightmares about fleas. I can only imagine how the poor animals feel - it makes me sick to my stomach.

My poor dog looks like a cruelty case since she has been scratching so much. My Mom's dog is almost as bad. A couple of the cats have bare patches.

This is what I have been doing:

The dogs both get monthly Trifexis (Comfortis + Interceptor in one pill)
They also get topical Frontline Plus about two weeks after the pill (since it seems to be not working).
The cats all get monthly Frontline Plus.
The rabbits get dusted with diatomaceous earth twice a week since there isn't much they can safely be given.
All animals get flea combed daily.
I vaccuum daily and dispose of the bag outside the house immediately.
Every crack and crevice, carpeting, etc. is dusted with DE daily.
All bedding and everything that can be washed is washed 2-3 times a week.
The dogs get 1 tsp apple cider vinegar daily in their evening meal. I also spray them down with 50/50 water-ACV mixture, especially before they go outside.
The dogs get weekly baths. I don't normally bathe them so often but it seems to make them feel better for a day or so.

I have tried giving Brewer's Yeast - Moira doesn't tolerate it well. I have ordered some neem oil to try on the dogs - I understand it is safe to use around the cats (but not on them) since it is expeller pressed (like olive or coconut oil) as opposed to being an essential oil.

I am very reluctant to try flea bombing, and even if I did I have nowhere else to put the animals for that length of time while I did it.

What the heck else can I do?! I feel like I have read every post here and article online, tried every conventional as well as natural remedy known to man.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:23 pm

Sounds like you need to treat the yard. We have a guy that comes out about every three months and sprays. The animals have to stay inside for a couple hours, but no big deal.

We had to change from frontline-the fleas in our area evolved.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:51 pm

jamielvsaustin wrote:Sounds like you need to treat the yard. We have a guy that comes out about every three months and sprays. The animals have to stay inside for a couple hours, but no big deal.

We had to change from frontline-the fleas in our area evolved.


We live on 10 acres. Do you think it would make any difference if we treat the area the dogs spend time in, or will that not help?
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:13 pm

Ooooh...I don't know. But there has to be an option for you, surely you not the only person who lives in a farm that wants it to flea free. I'd call a pest control service and see what they come up with.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby Curly_07 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:43 pm

My moms farm and the house I lived at in Tampa area was like this with the fleas. The fleas are CRAZY in FL! The pest company said that only the acre surrounding the house needed to be treated every 3 months. Basically it puts up like a barrier. I also had them treat the house every 3 months as well. The animals and people only had to be out of the house for 4 hours during the inside treatment. It cost me $65/every 3 months if that helps you any... I also would use Adams Flea Spray every now and then inbetween monthly flea treaments on the dogs. Within a week after the pest service treated, I didn't see/find any fleas anywhere, and haven't since.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:53 pm

I'm pretty sure that a vet I used to work with used Advantage on rabbits?
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:36 pm

AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:I'm pretty sure that a vet I used to work with used Advantage on rabbits?


Yes, Advantage, Program, and Revolution are safe to use on them. Sadly our fleas seem immune to the Advantage anymore. So far, the diatomaceous earth and flea combing seems to be doing the trick for the buns.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby Boss*sMom » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:46 pm

I sprinkle Twenty mule team borax (found in detergent isle). On the carpet. It works for me, for fleas and roaches. My dad lives on about 30 acres and had an AWFUL flea infestation, he only had one dog. And had 7 horses at the time, they were in the barn (weird since horses dont get fleas) and in the house. He used some type of spray from the pest control store to spray every inch of the land with every 2 weeks, and had a pest control man out to treat the house. Took about 4 months and over 700$ but he doenst have any fleas now.

All of the hunting dogs get the off brand flea stuff that is new at WalMart... It has worked well for them.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby rgyoung777 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:16 pm

Don't flea bomb or use a fogger--those products are be overkill and will result in the pesticide going places where you don't want it to go and where it doesn't need to be. Do treat your carpets and pet bedding with an appropriate water-based insecticide that is suitable for indoor use.

The product that I've used in the past comes in a gallon jug that has its own spray applicator, which makes it easy to apply. Look for a brand that targets fleas at all life stages--that way one application will last you 6 months at least, and possibly longer. You can usually find it at a home and garden store, and probably at Wal-mart or Target as well.

You shouldn't need to treat the yard if you spray your carpets and any bedding/upholstered surface that your pets spend time on with a chemical that will kill eggs, larvae and adults--that way you'll stop the cycle and reinfestations won't happen even if your pets bring new fleas in to the house. Go room by room and let the carpet/bedding dry before allowing your animals back in each room. That way you won't have to clear out the entire house like you would for a fogger/flea bomb.

I'm not a big fan of insecticide, but our house has been flea-free since the last application two years ago.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:40 am

rgyoung777 wrote:Don't flea bomb or use a fogger--those products are be overkill and will result in the pesticide going places where you don't want it to go and where it doesn't need to be. Do treat your carpets and pet bedding with an appropriate water-based insecticide that is suitable for indoor use.

The product that I've used in the past comes in a gallon jug that has its own spray applicator, which makes it easy to apply. Look for a brand that targets fleas at all life stages--that way one application will last you 6 months at least, and possibly longer. You can usually find it at a home and garden store, and probably at Wal-mart or Target as well.

You shouldn't need to treat the yard if you spray your carpets and any bedding/upholstered surface that your pets spend time on with a chemical that will kill eggs, larvae and adults--that way you'll stop the cycle and reinfestations won't happen even if your pets bring new fleas in to the house. Go room by room and let the carpet/bedding dry before allowing your animals back in each room. That way you won't have to clear out the entire house like you would for a fogger/flea bomb.

I'm not a big fan of insecticide, but our house has been flea-free since the last application two years ago.


This is a good suggestion. I am just not sure what/where to spray. The animals are in the basement, which is concrete/ concrete block with a wooden ceiling. Old house that has settled over the years, so lots of cracks and crevices. The only bits of carpeting are throw rugs which I wash a couple times a week. They do have some beds I could spray. My bed is down there - should I spray my mattress and box spring?
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby Inaras mom » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:26 am

I feel you. I actually blogged about the "fleapocalypse" going on at my house: http://inaradog.wordpress.com .

What has worked for me is pretty much what you've already done. I treated the girls (dog & cat) with Revolution and spray Inara down with 50/50 ACV/water every time she goes outside. I also spray myself down with it a couple times a day, especially my ankles. The house was thoroughly vacuumed, mopped with a water/white vinegar mix and EVERYTHING was washed in hot water with a great deal of Borax added. All area and throw rugs were pulled up, washed and put away until I'm sure the fleas are gone. All throw pillows and excess blankets were put away until this is over. I put a flea collar in the canister of my Dyson to kill anything that was sucked up. I used Seven Dust on the yard. I kept the AC running even though it was cool out because they need a certain level of humidity for the eggs to hatch. I vacuum daily and wash my bedding and Inara's bedding every 2 days.

This seems to be working. I haven't seen a flea in two weeks. I did get a couple flea bites on my ankles earlier this week but I know that it takes a while to entirely get rid of them 'cause you have to go through the egg hatching.

Good luck.
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby rgyoung777 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:44 am

star_frances wrote:This is a good suggestion. I am just not sure what/where to spray. The animals are in the basement, which is concrete/ concrete block with a wooden ceiling. Old house that has settled over the years, so lots of cracks and crevices. The only bits of carpeting are throw rugs which I wash a couple times a week. They do have some beds I could spray. My bed is down there - should I spray my mattress and box spring?


Hmm... I didn't realize you had that little carpet. What about the rest of the house? Do the pets ever have access to it?

If it were me, I would check the mattress for flea dirt before spraying it. If the mattress is light-colored, you should be able to see the dirt pretty easily, but to double-check, you could spray an area with water first. Unfortunately, if that's where the fleas are hanging out, you're going to get a dark rust-colored stain from the dirt. And if you do find flea dirt on your mattress, yes, vacuum it and then spray it (obviously, let it dry before using it :))). If I were in your shoes, I might also spray down the concrete in the basement just as an added precaution.

Are the fleas biting you at all? In my case, that was one of the first indications that we had an infestation in our apartment. Well, that, and the fact that my dog was terribly itchy and raw near her tail. Oddly, both of the cats gave no indication that they were crawling with fleas, even though they were.

Obviously your pooches go outside, but do the cats and buns?

One other thing that occurred to me is that with that little carpet (provided they're not picking the little buggers up from somewhere in the rest of the house), it could be possible that your pets are just continually being bitten by fleas outside. Unfortunately, I don't know that any of the flea treatments you're using stop the fleas from biting--they just die after they've gotten their lunch but before they can lay eggs, correct? If you've got pets with flea allergies, they're still going to get a reaction from the bites. If the neem oil will work as a repellent, that might be worth using on any animals that go outdoors (and can safely tolerate it, of course!). If the fleas are running amok outside and nesting in the immediate vicinity of your house, in addition to treating the house with a flea spray, it might indeed be a good idea to hire a pest-control company to treat the acre around your house, as others have suggested.

Before embarking on any of this, it might be worth calling your local pest-control business to see if they have any suggestions for you. Obviously they're going to try to push their service, but they might have additional information that will help you decide whether or not their approach would be suitable for your situation.

Flea infestations are a real pain in the rear, and I definitely feel your frustration. Here's hoping you get to the bottom of it soon! :hug:
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:57 pm

Inaras mom wrote:I feel you. I actually blogged about the "fleapocalypse" going on at my house: http://inaradog.wordpress.com .


Thank you - I am going to try your idea of putting a flea collar in each of the vaccuum cleaner bags. That will at least save me some money not having to toss out the bag every time!
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby star_frances » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:05 pm

Thank you for the ideas and suggestions and sympathy! I have been trying as much as possible to go the natural route and it's a real quandary, because of the rabbits and to a certain extent the cats and their safety. The cats and buns stay indoors. None of my animals have access to the rest of the house - we have our own entry to and from the basement for walkies. My Mom's cat and her birds are up in her bodroom exclusively. She too is limited on what she can safely use because of her birds. She has been doing her own regiment of vaccuuming, washing, and putting down DE as well as conventional treatments for her cat. He is covered in fleas too, is indoors only, and has not had contact with my animals. She flea combs him daily and takes off a ton of fleas. I also got her a flea trap today which should help (I forgot to mention on my looong list that I have a homemade flea trap in the basement and it catches a lot). I do vaccuum and wash in the rest of the house regularly because it is inevitable they have spread just from our comings and goings. I know I have seen fleas jumping on me when I have been out in the yard.

rgyoung777 wrote:
star_frances wrote:This is a good suggestion. I am just not sure what/where to spray. The animals are in the basement, which is concrete/ concrete block with a wooden ceiling. Old house that has settled over the years, so lots of cracks and crevices. The only bits of carpeting are throw rugs which I wash a couple times a week. They do have some beds I could spray. My bed is down there - should I spray my mattress and box spring?


Hmm... I didn't realize you had that little carpet. What about the rest of the house? Do the pets ever have access to it?

If it were me, I would check the mattress for flea dirt before spraying it. If the mattress is light-colored, you should be able to see the dirt pretty easily, but to double-check, you could spray an area with water first. Unfortunately, if that's where the fleas are hanging out, you're going to get a dark rust-colored stain from the dirt. And if you do find flea dirt on your mattress, yes, vacuum it and then spray it (obviously, let it dry before using it :))). If I were in your shoes, I might also spray down the concrete in the basement just as an added precaution.

Are the fleas biting you at all? In my case, that was one of the first indications that we had an infestation in our apartment. Well, that, and the fact that my dog was terribly itchy and raw near her tail. Oddly, both of the cats gave no indication that they were crawling with fleas, even though they were.

Obviously your pooches go outside, but do the cats and buns?

One other thing that occurred to me is that with that little carpet (provided they're not picking the little buggers up from somewhere in the rest of the house), it could be possible that your pets are just continually being bitten by fleas outside. Unfortunately, I don't know that any of the flea treatments you're using stop the fleas from biting--they just die after they've gotten their lunch but before they can lay eggs, correct? If you've got pets with flea allergies, they're still going to get a reaction from the bites. If the neem oil will work as a repellent, that might be worth using on any animals that go outdoors (and can safely tolerate it, of course!). If the fleas are running amok outside and nesting in the immediate vicinity of your house, in addition to treating the house with a flea spray, it might indeed be a good idea to hire a pest-control company to treat the acre around your house, as others have suggested.

Before embarking on any of this, it might be worth calling your local pest-control business to see if they have any suggestions for you. Obviously they're going to try to push their service, but they might have additional information that will help you decide whether or not their approach would be suitable for your situation.

Flea infestations are a real pain in the rear, and I definitely feel your frustration. Here's hoping you get to the bottom of it soon! :hug:
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Re: Fed up. #$%^%#^$ fleas.

Postby BrokenAquarian » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:32 pm

Don't ants eat flea eggs and larvae?
Have you guys recently wiped out the ant population around there?
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