Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
Determined to paper the Internet with articles about ME, Jody Smith brings some additional focus to Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance on Aug. 8, 2017 ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Fleas- How do you pet owners deal with this?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Strawberry, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

    Messages:
    799
    Likes:
    1,490
    Seattle, WA USA
    The best way to reduce fleas is to vacuum every 2 or 3 days. Obviously, we can't do this! What do you guys do?

    I decided a few weeks ago to throw all caution to the wind and started vacuuming, only to have my vacuum die a minute later (it turned off and won't turn back on). I guess the universe was saving me! I've not been well since that day (crash from over doing it), but fleas are out of control. I've been too sick to go buy a new vacuum, my robot isn't working (either it needs a really good clean itself and/or maybe even a new battery), so my cat now entertains me by playing the child's game "floor is hot lava." Which isn't actually entertaining, its heart breaking watching her freak out at fleas on the floor.

    Sometimes I will shuffle around the floor for one minute wearing white socks, then pick off the fleas and drown them in soapy water, but that wipes me out for days also if I do it more than once. Plus, I only get a few at a time. Not truly effective flea management, let alone a reducing strategy!

    I'm desperate for some sort of solution. If I could leave for the weekend and pay someone to bomb and clean up after, I'd do it. But I would still react to the toxins when I came home, so not feasible.

    My poor, itchy baby... (fleas aren't on the piano bench, one of her few safe places near me)
    Itchy baby.jpg
     
    ahimsa, MeSci, Jennifer J and 2 others like this.
  2. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

    Messages:
    923
    Likes:
    2,172
    Pennsylvania
    I wish I knew a non toxic answer to that! We had a really bad flea situation in a house we used to live in, because the previous owners had a dog. As soon as we moved in, those dormant fleas woke up and tormented my poor cat like crazy. We didn't even have carpeting and they were pretty bad! We tried only a few things because they were all so toxic both to us and to our cat, but finally we tried a medication known as Comfortis. I hated giving pills to my cat, but darn if they didn't work really fast. I think that they make the cat's blood not so tasty or something but after that it was easy to get rid of the fleas because they couldn't feed on her anymore. She did seem to freak out the first time she was treated with it, but after that (we had to pill her three months in a row) it got better.

    Fortunately my husband was able to comb her and rinse the comb in soapy water until the fleas died, and he also vacuumed. But if you could get your darling treated with this medication, perhaps it will help even if you can't vacuum?
     
  3. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,212
    Likes:
    7,414
    Aaaaarggghh! Sounds horrible @Strawberry!

    My furbaby is treated against ticks, fleas & mange (as we get foxes 'round here).

    I don't cuddle her on the day she is treated, but after that we're good.

    Luckily we haven't had a flea problem (apart from the night they managed to sneak a fully grown hedgehog in :rolleyes:).
     
    MeSci and belize44 like this.
  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,378
    Likes:
    24,193
    USA
    We use "Frontline Plus" four times a year. The box says once a month but this is excessive an not necessary based on life cycle of the flea. (It might be relevant for ticks but no ticks in my area).

    My dog has never had any fleas even though a million dogs & fleas in my area. If you live where it snows and the ground freezes then supposedly there are no fleas but this does not happen where I live!
     
  5. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

    Messages:
    923
    Likes:
    2,172
    Pennsylvania
    We used to live in Florida, and for some reason when we tried Frontline, it didn't work for us. The fleas were horrible down there! We found that anything topical for our cat wasn't effective, but I have also heard that it works wonderfully for dogs!
     
  6. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes:
    1,401
    New Mexico
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  7. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,378
    Likes:
    24,193
    USA
    I have always lived in CA and have never had a cat but hoping some of the cat people might have some suggestions for you guys! I have always used Frontline Plus and you just have to make sure it is the right version based on the weight of your dog. Not sure how it works for cats.
     
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  8. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

    Messages:
    799
    Likes:
    1,490
    Seattle, WA USA
    @belize44
    I just looked into this, and it sounds cool. Is it a pill or a chewable? I just treated my cat last weekend, even though she wasn't due until this coming weekend. Drops just do. not. work. I can trap her in the kitchen by shutting the doors (old 50s era kitchen) but then I chase her around and around the island until I finally catch her. It has to be comical to watch, but it makes me crash! If it is a chewable like her dental treats, that might work! I have vowed to never EVER give a pill to a cat again for the rest of my life. :rofl:

    @Gingergrrl I'm glad Frontline works for your fur baby! It didn't work well (enough) even using frontline monthly.

    @Invisible Woman I MUST hear that story! Sounds like it might be similar to my coworker, she got up one morning to find a possum sleeping in her office chair. Possum looked sleepily up at them and said "cats said it was okay". It was the defining moment of the decision "we need to get rid of the cat door."
     
  9. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

    Messages:
    923
    Likes:
    2,172
    Pennsylvania
    Yes, on the box it says that they are chewable; and I totally agree about not wanting to give a cat a pill. We were fortunate enough to have a vet who would pill our cat for us without charge, at the time. I have some leftover because after we left FL we didn't need them anymore. I absolutely cannot give pills to my cat, and I have had her for 12 years! It is emotionally distressing for us both.
     
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  10. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,378
    Likes:
    24,193
    USA
    It's works great using it every 3-4 months but it must be different for dogs vs. cats.

    I don't know if this would apply to cats (and I literally have zero experience with cats) but for my dog, who takes a few meds regularly now that she is older, we use "Pill Pockets". They come in different doggie flavors (chicken, beef, peanut butter, etc) and they are like crack cocaine to her. You could literally stick anything inside the pill pocket and she will grab it out of your hand and swallow it. Just opening the bag makes her come running b/c of the smell.
     
    AndyPandy and Invisible Woman like this.
  11. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes:
    3,404
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    My current cat (Bella, my Avatar) has never had a flea problem but my previous cat did until I started using Advantage which kept the fleas away. When she did have fleas a good combing several times a day with a flea comb really helped to get rid of them.
     
  12. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

    Messages:
    799
    Likes:
    1,490
    Seattle, WA USA
    @Tammy That website is interesting. I will have to remember the diatomaceous earth, I wonder if Pixie would let me rub it into her fur? We do use the flea light trap. Works great in my daughter's room!

    @TigerLilea Bella looks like an old cat of mine! If I don't have success with Comfortis I will try Advantage.

    @Gingergrrl and @belize44 I haven't given a cat a pill since before the era of pill pockets! Ugh, I detest that job. I might try pill pockets though, although crushing into canned food may work better. Not sure...

    gotta run
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  13. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

    Messages:
    719
    Likes:
    1,663
    Iowa
    Yeah, seriously? The only thing that works around me is prevention... because treatment after the fact is a royal pain.

    Last time when we had no money (back many, many moons ago) and my ex-husband decided that HIS dog had to breed a litter... and we were just "watching" a friend's dog when she moved out of state. We had a dozen puppies, a female and a male we couldn't afford to treat for fleas, let alone get them medical aid. I ended up dropping them off at a shelter, they deserved better. BUT... in a house without any animals and a serious flea infestation? I became their favorite source of food. I got several hundred flea bites when I went in to try to bomb the house and clean up the mess after we moved out. Which turned into impatago, which lead to hundreds of scars. Terrible experience. After that, no pets in my house that are not Fixed and in a situation where we can afford FULL vet treatment as well as flea prevention.

    We use Frontline Plus on my dog and SHOULD be applied to at least the one cat who insists against my preference that she must be an indoor/outdoor cat. We tried Advantage on her before to try to save money, but she got seriously ill from it... foaming at the mouth and I thought we were going to lose her. The vets do NOT recommend Advantage for cats. At least not the most affordable version. We've got two more indoor only cats... but so far this summer, with treating the dog, the cats haven't gotten any fleas ... so ?? Not sure if it's because the neighborhood I'm in has fewer fleas than the last neighborhood?
     
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  14. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

    Messages:
    851
    Likes:
    4,236
    Southern California
    A relative in Florida uses Diatomaceous-Earth for fleas and also cockroaches. I don't remember everything he told me. He was telling me something about Borax too. I can't remember. So maybe google that one if interested.

    I'll email him yet might not hear back for a few weeks or longer. Here's something that came up on google (I only looked at it for a moment). You can google and look up more if it sounds good to you.

    http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/diatomaceous-earth-kill-fleas/

    You would want food grade. I think if you vacuum it a hepa filter vacuum would be good and maybe a facemask to protect your lungs.

    Poor kitty (and you). Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
    MeSci and Invisible Woman like this.
  15. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    I use Cheristin monthly on my two cats. Works great. Fleas are no longer a problem.

    Advantage stopped working effectively, so we switched to Cheristin when the vet recommended it.
     
  16. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

    Messages:
    640
    Likes:
    1,392
    Tucson
    OK. There's one good thing about living in Arizona: no fleas! Actually, didn't see any fleas when we lived in the mountain in Utah, either! But in the SF Bay Area, fleas were a way of life, at least if you were a pet owner. Probably a cause of my illness, too—Bartonella! I could never win the battle against the fleas. I also have wondered if toxicity from too much exposure to insecticides could have contributed to my illness (organophosphate poisoning) as we would "flea bomb" excessively.

    On the other hand, ticks are everywhere. Around here (Tucson), mainly brown dog ticks. They don't carry Lyme disease, "just" Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Then, there's Valley Fever (coccidiomycosis) which my puppy got when we moved to Tucson. :(

    Sorry, not an answer (unless you want to move to Arizona :p). I do commiserate, however!
     
    MeSci, Invisible Woman and Valentijn like this.
  17. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes:
    2,560
    San Francisco
    Cats are really good at spitting out pills.
     
    erin and Gingergrrl like this.
  18. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes:
    2,560
    San Francisco
    I use a drop-on med sold as Revolution or Stronghold. I used to order it from Australia, but the last batch we got from an internet pharmacy in Vanuatu. It works much better than Advantage or Frontline and the only problem we have is getting the cat to hold still while we apply it. We have never had any problems with it. I've been using it for over a decade. Maybe 15 years.
     
  19. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

    Messages:
    531
    Likes:
    875
    @Strawberry I've refused to use topical flea treatments on my dog/cats so for many years now because I don't want the stuff to transfer to myself and my home. I have controlled them well by using a flea comb on them daily or every other day during flea season.

    I fill a 28oz empty tin can with hot tap water and dip the flea comb in it between strokes and push the fleas that get stuck in/on the comb into the hot water and make sure to push them down into the water a lil so they drown and dont try and climb up the side of the can & hop out. I've come to like doing it...satisfying to kill the buggers!


    However a few years ago when I have had 2 pets with a flea allergy I used an oral flea medication that is given once a month called "Comfortis". I had an older a cat and an older dog who both tolerated it very well.
     
  20. lafarfelue

    lafarfelue Senior Member

    Messages:
    138
    Likes:
    483
    Australia
    Borax powder works to kill fleas that live in carpets, and does require vacuuming once it's been down for 1-4 days. It's best to apply it again in about 2wks after the first application, to get the fleas that are starting to hatch in the second cycle.

    It's relatively non-toxic when applied like this or casual contact with hands when applying, but it's not good to let pets walk or lie on it, as they may consume it internally (licking their paws, fur etc).

    I used borax on carpet in my current home, that was vacated by the previous tenant and their cat, and it worked. It worked (phewf) but it was horrible til I could get the borax (SO MANY FLEA BITES and they fleas were jumping everywhere!). I imagine that diatomaceous earth may work similarly..? I know it's safely used for bird and chicken dust baths to suppress bird mite etc.

    Any house treatment is best used in conjunction with a flea/tick/mite treatment for the pet/s, otherwise it'd be a neverending cycle of flea! :C *shudders*
     
    MeSci and erin like this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page