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Another flea problem

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We are in southern New England and having a horrible summer with fleas. I have never had fleas before. We have 2 indoor cats as well as 2 dogs plus I foster for a Labrador retriever group. I have not been able to find diatomaceous earth at my local stores. I have been vacuuming like a mad woman and given all the animals flea baths. Both of our dogs are elderly so I hate to put chemicals on them plus I have kids. The cats have been good about baths but no longer. I have been using a flea comb and catching and killing the ones I find. Just when I think I have it in order we have a problem all over again.

Has anyone noticed an upswing in fleas this year? Also if you can't find the diatomaceous earth what other natural things can you use?
post #2 of 10
You can use borax (found in the laundry soap aisle). Just sprinkle it on your carpets and floors. If you have carpets, use a broom to sweep it down into the carpet. Leave it overnight, then vacuum it up in the morning. Use a broom to get it under furniture and wash all bedding in the washer with Borax.
post #3 of 10
using Advantage or another comparable vet recommended treatment. The life cycle of fleas is such that you will kill some with home remedies, but as you said, they come right back. I have no problem with using the above with my grandchildren around. Talk to your vet about the older dog. When dry, Advantage is not a problem. I cuddle my cats as soon as it is dry and would not hesitate to let my grand kids do the same. Fleas can so quickly get out of control, then you are looking at exterminators. When the world ends, a flea will still survive!!
post #4 of 10
I'm not a fan of borax as it is toxic to the animals should they ingest it. Diatomaceous Earth is available online. I had to call around to a number of nurseries before I found one that carried it but goodness it lasts a long, long time. I've had my litre sized container for at least 3 years now and it is still only half gone and I've shared some with our daughter for when she moved.

It's worth going to the trouble to find IMO.
post #5 of 10
I agree with Yosemite, I'm not a fan of the borax either. I order my DE from Perma-Guard (the food grade).
post #6 of 10
I live in PA and when we got our puppy the first concern I had was him being outside and getting fleas inside. I wash him with flea shampoo every other week and I got Home Defense Max bug spray that I sprayed outside the whole house and inside at the doorways and windows. I havent had a flea problem at all using that and dont have to use flea drops for my pets....Normally around here if your going to get fleas youll have them by august. We are surrounded by corn fields also and the sprays they use probably also help with keeping fleas away. But Id try and Home Defense for around your house you can get it at Lowes or Walmart for about 17 bucks for a big jug of it. I still have half a bottle left and used it inside and out of my house! Good luck!!!!
post #7 of 10
The only comment I really have is that I wouldn't recommend shampooing your cat with a flea shampoo. I also prefer the DE to any chemical treatment as I know it is safer for me and the animals.
post #8 of 10
After my experience with fleas last year and reading everything people had to say on this site. I got the food grade DE, I haven't had any problems with fleas since. I did bomb our house with bombs the vet sold me before I used the DE. I got carried away with the DE and it looked like a sack of flour blew up in my house.
post #9 of 10
Borax isn't THAT bad. If you can sprinkle it on the carpets then keep the animals off it over night that's just fine. They have to eat a bit of it before they are going to get sick.

Don't worry about throwing borax in your laundry though, fleas will drown in soapy water - although the borax certainly won't hurt your laundry! They will jump off water with no soap because of surface tension, the soap breaks the surface tension. This works with ants & other insects too, in fact I killed all the ant nests on my walkway this year with a little dish soap & some rain .

You can also try laying out some flea traps, a shallow dish of soapy water with a light over it in a dark room is supposed to collect LOTS of fleas. I'm actually about to try that one out tonight .
post #10 of 10
For DE to be effective, it must be applied very lightly and thinly. If you can see it, it's too heavy. You really want it to be barely visible to the eye. When we moved in to the house we currently live in, we treated the carpets with Borax for fleas. We came in, sprinkled it on in the evening and brushed it in with a broom, left it overnight, then vacuumed it up in the morning. If you keep your cats out of the room, and vacuum well, the Borax shouldn't be an issue.
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