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How the heck do you use a flea comb?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I bought a flea comb at the recommendation of some folks here for the 2 week old kittens we've got and I have to say even though it should be a simple thing to use - I'm having trouble. I had a bowl of water with some soap in it and I started combing the kits. I only found 3 fleas (I know - one is enough to get things rolling) and I did comb out some eggs. Problem is I then dip the comb in the water and the little buggers won't come off it. They won't drown! So I started wiping the comb off with a wet papertowel to get the eggs and fleas off, but I don't want them crawling off the papertowels.
Also - should I be brushing the kits with these combs wet? Is the intent to actually give them a "mini" bath using the comb wet and with soap on it? then comb them with just water to get rid of the soap?

I gave up for now. Got a bunch of eggs off the kits and the 3 fleas. I figured I'd let them rest a bit then try again and this time after I comb each one I want to move them to a new bed so I want to make sure I get every single flea.
post #2 of 12
The one time I had to deflea kittens, I'd take the kitten in the bathroom and sit him on a towel (white). Then flea combed him - and took a small piece of toilet paper to get the fleas off and put the paper and fleas in the toilet and flushed them down.
post #3 of 12
Some will say dry the comb so the kittens don't get wet - but personally I think what you are doing is fine. The tiny bit of water that the comb holds doesn't get them any more damp than momma cat's tongue would. That's my experience, anyway. Just make sure they are warm and reasonably dry afterwards
post #4 of 12
To get the stuck fleas out of the comb you're going to have to use your fingers kind of icky.
Pull them out, flick them in the water, give the comb a shake in the water, dry comb, comb kitty, repeat till tired.

Sometimes the smaller fleas aren't picked up by the comb, if you can catch these and squish them it helps. With a combination of squishing fleas and combing you should be able to get rid of a lot of them.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
To get the stuck fleas out of the comb you're going to have to use your fingers kind of icky.
Eeeewwww.....I discovered this last night. Stubborn little buggers!

I sat last night with a towel and a bowl of soapy water and I put each Kit one by one on the towel and combed them best I could. After a thorough combing I moved them to another set of bedding the worked on mom. I only found about 4 more fleas on the babies and none on mom. They babies had some other stuff as well, not sure if it's the excretement of the fleas or the eggs or what, but they did have some other stuff. Not that much though and again - mom came up clean.
I took all the old bedding in a garbage bag directly down cellar and into a hot washer.
I plan on repeating the process again tonite and rotating bedding again. I figure if I do this enough times they'll eventually come up clean. They don't have that many at all so as long as I keep it that way - to very little or none until they can get chemically treated we'll all be better off.
post #6 of 12
You are doing a great job, keep up the good work, I am sending hugs for you from Mississipppi.

post #7 of 12
Whether for humans or pets, combing out is one of the most important parts of getting rid of lice.
The life cycle of a louse has the eggs hatching in 7 to 10 days, a juvenile stage for another 7 to 10 days, then they can start laying eggs (10/day for each adult). They rarely drown as they can shut down their breathing for up to 54 hours. And this is why you don't want to use the sprays in the house - they won't breathe them in.

Everything they touch and everywhere they've been needs to be considered possibiity contaminated. You want to eliminate the opportunity to spread the lice and eggs. All it takes is an egg falling somewhere, hatching and crawling back onto one of the cats. Use a different towel for each cat. Washing the bedding daily is perfect. Lice are affected by heat, so make sure you use hot water and a hot dryer on the bedding.
Lice are very choosey about their hosts - animal lice can not live on people and people lice cannot live on pets. They can fall off their host and temporarily stay there until they find their host again - which is why it can be difficult to get rid of them.

Combing out daily for two weeks should do the trick. Though I would continue to comb them out every couple of days for an additional two weeks. You are ost likely to see them again two weeks and four weeks out from the original date you found them.

Did you know that the eggs are called nits? Congrats! You are now a nit-picker!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
I plan on repeating the process again tonite and rotating bedding again. I figure if I do this enough times they'll eventually come up clean. They don't have that many at all so as long as I keep it that way - to very little or none until they can get chemically treated we'll all be better off.
I was under the impression that Revolution was safe for pregnant and nursing mothers.
post #9 of 12
I believe they are trying to get rid fleas, not lice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
Whether for humans or pets, combing out is one of the most important parts of getting rid of lice.
The life cycle of a louse has the eggs hatching in 7 to 10 days, a juvenile stage for another 7 to 10 days, then they can start laying eggs (10/day for each adult). They rarely drown as they can shut down their breathing for up to 54 hours. And this is why you don't want to use the sprays in the house - they won't breathe them in.

Everything they touch and everywhere they've been needs to be considered possibiity contaminated. You want to eliminate the opportunity to spread the lice and eggs. All it takes is an egg falling somewhere, hatching and crawling back onto one of the cats. Use a different towel for each cat. Washing the bedding daily is perfect. Lice are affected by heat, so make sure you use hot water and a hot dryer on the bedding.
Lice are very choosey about their hosts - animal lice can not live on people and people lice cannot live on pets. They can fall off their host and temporarily stay there until they find their host again - which is why it can be difficult to get rid of them.

Combing out daily for two weeks should do the trick. Though I would continue to comb them out every couple of days for an additional two weeks. You are ost likely to see them again two weeks and four weeks out from the original date you found them.

Did you know that the eggs are called nits? Congrats! You are now a nit-picker!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I was under the impression that Revolution was safe for pregnant and nursing mothers.
It might be, but the babies are too young to be treated chemically. I actually already think mom has been treated because she has not a single flea, excretement, or egg on her anywhere. I do have Advantage though and will treat her if necessary.

We just went through our daily combing tonite and only one flea this time and very very little excretement.
I think if I continue the daily combings we should be ok. They are also on white bedding so I can see anything and there are no other carpets, towels, etc in the room they are in so there would be no where else to infest other than the bed and the babies.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
It might be, but the babies are too young to be treated chemically. I actually already think mom has been treated because she has not a single flea, excretement, or egg on her anywhere. I do have Advantage though and will treat her if necessary.

We just went through our daily combing tonite and only one flea this time and very very little excretement.
I think if I continue the daily combings we should be ok. They are also on white bedding so I can see anything and there are no other carpets, towels, etc in the room they are in so there would be no where else to infest other than the bed and the babies.
Oh, OK...sorry. I misunderstood. I thought that the momma cat hadn't been treated and/or had a lot of fleas. I'm glad it's all improving!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
Oh, OK...sorry. I misunderstood. I thought that the momma cat hadn't been treated and/or had a lot of fleas. I'm glad it's all improving!
Yes it is improving a great deal! Still none on mom and only one between all the kits tonite with no excretement.
I may nip this in the bud yet!!!
(then of course treat them when they are old enough)
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