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Fleas!!!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
OMG I am so sick and tired of them! Seems TN is having an infestation of them because of the weather not doing it's normal thing.... but.... My cats are indoor cats, never had fleas until we took them somewhere last year with us and picked them up there. We thought we had gotten rid of them, but they came back... witha vengance. We are trying all sorts of things to get rid of them- flea powder for the cats (can't afford frontline, etc) we have mostly hardwood floors, flea sprays on the couple rugs we have, etc.

The biggest problems we have are : 1. dd11 is highly allergic to them, so her ankles are horrid looking, has been on steroid creme to heal them, but then they come back, 2. Ijust noticed the female cat is losing hair on her back/tail tip, had noticed it on her tummy before and 3. If we bomb the house... what do we do with all these pets? They are indoor cats, so they would have to leave, and we have 2 birds as well.......

I tried borax, a light with water and dishsoap, skin so soft, carpet flea powder, etc....... any other ideas? Still can't afford frontline......
post #2 of 19
Can I add to that list of questions:

How long can fleas live with out a host?

(Maybe that's an option for you JW, if you're going away for a holiday in the near future).
post #3 of 19
^Several months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywren93 View Post
If we bomb the house... what do we do with all these pets? They are indoor cats, so they would have to leave, and we have 2 birds as well.......
You take them all with you, there's no other option. The birds will have to stay away a bit longer than you and the cats need to.

Honestly, you need some sort of effective flea treatment directly for the cats. I wouldn't use frontline myself, but that's because it stopped working for the cat I was using it on 6 years ago. How many cats do you have?


It does sound like you've done quite a bit. Treating the cats and setting off some bug bombs or having someone come in and professionally deal with the fleas would be the next step.
Is your yard infested, too? That will present another problem.
post #4 of 19
Fleas/eggs can live in furniture and carpeting for up to a year apparently.

Flea sprays don't work - at least none of the ones you can buy OTC and most are toxic and dangerous. You would be better off spending the money you are throwing away on OTC products and get Revolution or Advantage from your vet for your cats, get some diatomaceous earth to sprinkle around your home and into the fibres of carpeting and furniture. Some folks say Borax will work as well, but Borax is toxic so I prefer DE.

You should be able to get DE from a plant nursery or feed store or if not, you can get it online (just google it). It is perfectly safe for humans and animals. It is not "earth" per se, it is ground diatoms which are a microscopic crustacean and although it feels like a fine powder to us, it is like shards of glass to insects. Some farmers add it to the feed for their livestock to rid them of internal parasites and some folks even take some internally for the same reasons.

It is vitally important though that you get HUMAN/FOOD grade. The industrial grade is toxic.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Fleas/eggs can live in furniture and carpeting for up to a year apparently.
Oh geeze!! I thought they were like lice & could maybe last 2 weeks :S

DE is a GREAT option, but I found alone it wasn't able to control our flea outbreak. I'd use it WITH your advantage/revolution/etc.
post #6 of 19
The fleas lay dormant 3 months in our rental house--then our boys picked them up--tenants before us had dogs....so glad to be a homeowner now--only person to blame now is myself!

Leslie
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
Oh geeze!! I thought they were like lice & could maybe last 2 weeks :S

DE is a GREAT option, but I found alone it wasn't able to control our flea outbreak. I'd use it WITH your advantage/revolution/etc.
Lice are much easier to get rid of.
post #8 of 19
At the vet I worked for we actually had a way to save on Frontline and other top of the line flea meds.

What you need to do is get the LARGEST Frontline size there is, which is 89-137lbs. It's only $2 more than the smallest size. You can split it into certain dosages and it will go a long way. All you need is a 1cc syringe and an airtight resealable jar, like a pimento or baby food jar. These are the dosages:

Dog 0-22lbs .67ml
Dog 23-44lbs 1.33ml
Dog 45-88lbs 2.67ml
Dog 89lbs & more 4.0
Cats .50ml

All cats have the same dosage, .5. Also, a mL=cc, so draw it up to the .5 line in the syringe. You can obtain a syringe from your veterinarian. If you want to double check the dosages you can, but this is what we have up at my veterinarian.

It's cheap because if you use it on just the cats, you can get up to almost 10 dosages out of it. Well worth it.

Also, get one LARGE Capstar from your vet [approx $2] and QUARTER it. A 1/4th piece works for up to 25lbs. Or if you don't want to quarter it you can just buy the small Capstar to give them. This will kill all of the fleas on them and keep them off for 24 hours. In this window of time, flea bomb your house. When the 24 hours is up, put the Frontline on the cats. You should be good after all of that.

There is also Frontline in the spray bottle on the market. You can spray it on your pet and the stuff he lays on. It's more expensive, $25, but it lasts for more than a year. You can spray it on their beds to kill the fleas.


Also, when people mention that Frontline or Advantage "no longer" works for their cat, all that means is that the fleas have evolved and became immune to the poison. Kind of like how a virus is always evolving and becoming resistant to medicines.

If you don't want to take the Capstar-flea bomb-Frontline/Advantage route, and you want to use something over the counter, I'd recommend something WITHOUT the main ingredient Pyrethrins. It can be within it, but not the main one. The reason for this is because approx 50% of fleas are immune to it because it's so mainstream in every kind of pesticide.


Hope that this helps and your flea issues are solved soon!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddledee View Post
Cats .50ml

All cats have the same dosage, .5. on the cats.
Please don't do this without asking your vet. I know Bijou and Mika got different size dosages - he weighs 20+ lbs. and Mika weighs 9. So they do NOT all get the same dosage.
post #10 of 19
On Advantage this will not work, and of course NEVER use Advantix for kitties.

I already suggested to take this dosage to her vet to see if it was correct in her vet's opinion. I have worked for as a vet assistant before, and I'm a vet student at Auburn University, and this is the dosage suggested there. With a 20 lb cat, the dosage is different. I apologize for being too general in my previous post. I'm new here, so if I'm giving too much advice against the rules I'm sorry! Please tell me, I just want to help people out and not do something wrong in the process. Sorry for saying something wrong if I did, I'm just going on experience and what I remember. But as with any advice on the internet as far as pets go, always check with your veterinarian first and ask for his opinion. I don't want something to happen that was my fault, I'd feel terrible. Thank you for adding Yosemiti. As always, not every cat is the same so check with your vet first.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddledee View Post
On Advantage this will not work, and of course NEVER use Advantix for kitties.

I already suggested to take this dosage to her vet to see if it was correct in her vet's opinion. I have worked for as a vet assistant before, and I'm a vet student at Auburn University, and this is the dosage suggested there. With a 20 lb cat, the dosage is different. I apologize for being too general in my previous post. I'm new here, so if I'm giving too much advice against the rules I'm sorry! Please tell me, I just want to help people out and not do something wrong in the process. Sorry for saying something wrong if I did, I'm just going on experience and what I remember. But as with any advice on the internet as far as pets go, always check with your veterinarian first and ask for his opinion. I don't want something to happen that was my fault, I'd feel terrible. Thank you for adding Yosemiti. As always, not every cat is the same so check with your vet first.
Since none of us here are vets, we can only share our own experiences and of course working for a vet you would have more experience to share. That's not a bad thing and we appreciate hearing about those experiences. Our biggest concern is that some "newbies" may come, read a post and follow that advice, end up with a sick or dead animal and then TCS is on the hook for being sued.

When posting, as you said yourself above, be as specific as possible, and here at TCS we ALWAYS recommend seeing or at least calling a vet if there is any health issue whatsoever or to confirm/deny anything we've read on the internet. It an err on the side of caution scenario.

It's good to have you around and looking forward to sharing your knowledge and experience.
post #12 of 19
my house got infested a couple of years ago, we dont have hardwood but carpet throughout. i searched and came across borox as a flea/egg killer. just sprinkle it around and leave it for a week then vacume it up, worked like a charm.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddledee View Post
On Advantage this will not work, and of course NEVER use Advantix for kitties........
Not to add confusion but......they were selling advantage for cats this jan 09 on amazon.

Recipient:
Items:
1 of: 5 Month Supply Advantage Kit for Cats Over 9 Pounds
Sold by: petfansclub (seller profile)


for $15.00. I had no idea they were selling 1 large tube of advantage, a vile and syringe to measure with, instructions for the dose amounts to split up the advantage for cats under 9lbs and over 9lbs. I jumped at the deal because I had 5 indoor cats that caught fleas from the dogs when I had switched them to frontline from advantage. Normally It would have costed me a small fortune to buy the advantage for 7 pets. The item is no longer offered for sale at this time. It did work for the fleas. I only had to use 2 doses on the cats, but continue to treat the dogs. I now buy the 1 tube from my vet and use the old dose instructions. In feb 09 Husband brought home a 5 month old kitten with fleas and other issues. I had to use the advantage again. Other then that I have never had fleas in the house or on the pets for 13 years. I hope the fleas never become immune to the advantage.
post #14 of 19
I had an infestation when we rescued a dog and brought him in the house for a night. That rescue cost me quite a bit of money. My 8 cats had to be treated monthly with revolution, we used that for 3 months. We bombed the house with flea bombs that the vet sold us, and I bought the food grade diatomaceous earth. It looked like a flour sac exploded in my house

One of my cats is highly allergic to flea bites and she had to be treated with a steroid shot at the vets. Poor little girl.

I finally got rid of the little buggers. You have to treat the house along with the animals or you will never get rid of them.
post #15 of 19
Splitting up a large dose of advantage or frontline is hardly a new suggestion on here - it was actually why I ask the OP how many cats she has. If only two it might not be very practical.

We actually have a lot of people on here who have a large number of cats - either semi ferals or barn cats (usually the two overlap) that use this method. I remember reading it back in the stray and feral section long before I ever joined here.

iirc correctly - people can ask white cat lover what happens if you put advantage in a plastic cup.
post #16 of 19
Yes, my vet actually gave me the correct dose for splitting the advantage up for the dogs 10 years ago. I had no idea you could do it for cats. We moved to a different state and my new vet would not suggest doing this for the cats when she knew I bought flea collars that never worked to try to save money on flea treatment as money has been tight.

I was lucky because just treating the animals with the advantage killed all the fleas. We never had to treat the house.
post #17 of 19
Here in TN they are so bad right now. According to the county this is one of the worse on record for fleas. Also, on the news one night they mentioned that some of the shelters were either giving free doses or excepting what you could afford to pay for a dose since we are having such an infestation. Just an idea. Personally I use Fontline Plus for my cats and it still works just fine. No fleas here.

What freaks me out though is that I didn't know that they could still be around a year later. I'm hoping that someone's ideas on how to treat your house will help you out. If you end up bombing your home will anyone take your animals for a week or so? Just to be safe and to save you money? Are you close with your vet? Some will let you board for free if they know what your going through and why you need them out of the house for a bit. Maybe you could volunteer while their there to clean kennels out or something?
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BABZ View Post
If you end up bombing your home will anyone take your animals for a week or so? Just to be safe and to save you money? Are you close with your vet? Some will let you board for free if they know what your going through and why you need them out of the house for a bit. Maybe you could volunteer while their there to clean kennels out or something?
When I bombed the house I just needed to evacuate my cats for 3 hours. I took them to the vet and I paid him about $25.00. The bombs I used were from the vet, and I forget the name of them, but they left no odor in my house. I could have put them in my detached garage for 3 hours, they probably would have liked that much better
post #19 of 19
Flea bombs can work really well, just follow the directions. I've dealt with fleas three times in my past, and each time the bombs did the trick the first time.

See if you can board your animals at the vet for a half-day or so. The birds will probably need to stay away longer, maybe a lot longer; I'd consult a bird expert on that one.

Good luck, and remember that there are much worse things to deal with - be grateful it's not ringworm!
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