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Fleas!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I just moved to the southern US and am experiencing a flea outbreak like I haven't experienced since before the discovery of topical flea meds (what? 20 years ago?!?).

 

A couple of months ago, we adopted a shelter kitty who was three years old. I didn't notice any fleas when I first got her. I foolishly let the Revolution schedule lapse for about three weeks after we got her because (1) my last indoor kitty never had fleas, and (2) this new kitty came to our home with an ear infection, URI,  mouth ulcers and a high fever (apparently a flare up of calicivirus). I didn't want to tax her system any more with the flea meds. 

 

After having her maybe a month, we noticed the fleas! My kids were getting bitten up, and I saw flea poop/eggs wherever she went. The vet did tell me that this seemed to be a bad flea year, but I am wondering if the wall to wall carpeting in our apartment (and the fact that we are in an apartment) is partly to blame. Are apartment complexes more notorious for flea problems?

 

Anyway, we just recently bought a house and will be moving in next week. She is due for Revolution on the 20th, but the vet also gave me acuguard which I plan on giving her a few days before the move (I don't want to bring these fleas with us!). The vet also suggested having her groomed/bathed at a grooming place so she had a flea free start. 

 

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I really am quite surprised at this flea infestation. 

 

Advice? Thoughts? Commiseration?

 

By the way, we have given two doses of the Revolution. The second dose three weeks after the first at the vet's advice. But, the fleas just keep coming. With my other flea ridden cat (from my childhood) once we started giving him topical flea meds, the fleas just kind of disappeared. We are not experiencing that with this cat. And now I see she has tapeworms. Ugh.  I'm thinking I'll have her dewormed when she is groomed. 

post #2 of 34

Welcome to the South (bug haven!).  We (in W. TN) have been eaten alive by them this year.  We bring them indoors to our cats, apparently, because my cats do not go outdoors and we don't have a dog going in and out anymore.  I use Advantage II, because Frontline has become useless lately--the vet says they are becoming immune to it in our area.  I love Revolution, it worked the best out of everything, but one of mine had a horrid reaction to it (my older cat) so it was back to the older formulas for us.

 

If you get them killed off the cat you will still have issues with fabrics/rugs/clothing due to them being in the carpet in the apartment.  You may carry them to your new home by packing up them and their eggs in your fabric items.  Apartment complexes here that allow pets usually keep fleas going nonstop.  Apparently they go from one apartment to another.  I lived in one for a while years ago with no pet, but the neighbors had dogs, and my carpet stayed infested, you couldn't walk in socks without them getting covered.  Carpet is horrible about being a breeding ground for them.  I would wage war on them right now if I were you to prevent taking them to your new home.  Wash everything fabric you possibly can...they travel in fabrics like bedbugs do, their eggs may be in your comforters, etc.  If your kids have stuffed animals, wash them too!  You can knock this out but it takes some work. 

 

You also might consider treating the yard of your new home before you actually move in.  We use Sevin granules and a seed spreader at least 3 times between early spring-late fall.  We had so much trouble with seed ticks nesting in our brick on the house, and this worked the best for us--we would also spray around the foundation of the house and around windows and doors with Ortho home defense.  The Fuller's earth (diatomaceous earth) that you add to kid's sandboxes is fantastic too and non-toxic.  We had to go the chemical route due to other bugs that the DE didn't knock out.

 

We've had an exceptionally bad year for bugs of all kinds!!  Congrats on your new home, and just absolutely battle them to their death now before you actually move, you will be fine.

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your advice! I do hope/think the apartment situation may be making things worse. Our vet said that apartments present "unique challenges" to flea control. I didn't really think about the fact that we could be bringing eggs and larvae in on our shoes...I always just thought about the adult fleas and bringing those in somehow. 

 

We gave kitty Acuguard on Sunday. Then about an hour later, I combed over 20 fleas off of her...all alive. :( I was hoping they would be dead. But, she does seem a little happier...I wonder if she has fewer fleas. I have to admit, I've been busy and I haven't really wanted to use the flea comb on her to find out her "status". I know, I know, better to know that to be left in the dark. We should comb her in the morning. 

 

We will definitely do a good cleaning of our stuff before we move it into the new house. I'm also thinking about using nematodes in the yard.... I also bought some food grade DE and an applicator for applying under the baseboards in the house. Oh, and we ARE getting her bathed the day we move her. And dewormed since she now has tapeworms. :/

 

I'm optimistic all of this effort will pay off! And with colder weather coming, hopefully that will work in our favor! 

post #4 of 34

Definitely use hot water and dry in the dryer on high heat anything that will handle it.  I think you will be fine!  Apartments--oh me, they go from one apartment to another so easily.  It's a constant battle in an apartment.  I remember those days.

I am about to do the same thing.....thought all of ours were eradicated, and last night I was getting in bed and saw one on my ankle.  The cats are treated with their Advantage and they are fine, but I don't want to be their bloodsucking victim either.  Guess this weekend I'll be treating the bedroom carpet and mattress, comforters, everything yet again :(

post #5 of 34

Prepare for battle. 
We isolated our cats out of the house after topical treatment.  However, after applying Revolution, the cat is "supposed" to become a little flea bomb.  (Cat walks around the house, collects fleas, and they die because of the treatment on them).
But, we isolated ours....mostly due to not wanting them to come in contact with what we used in the house.

 

SIX to EIGHT weeks.  I don't care what you use, it's basically an 8 week battle.  The 1st stuff you try to kill them in the house works just as well as the last thing you try.  If the last thing you try, eight weeks from now, works?   It's not that product.  It is "that" product PLUS what tried today.   There just is no immediate miracle cure.  Just takes time, lots of work, and lots of vacuuming, etc.

 

Couple cans of something you can find local will get you started, and order 8 cans of PT Ultracide from domyownpestcontrol.com so that you will have it next week.

Vacuum EVERTYTHING and spray according to the instructions.

Vacuum every day or at least every other day.
Spray again 7 days later immediately after vacuuming, and continue the daily vacuuming.
Repeat the spray every 7 days.

 

To check your progress, leave dishes of soapy water around the edges/corners of rooms.  (this will tell you where the BAD places are).  It will also tell you, over time, if you are winning the war, and, if any new hot spots pop up.  A light over a dish at night helps, but, isn't necessary.

 

If you decide to use DE, Borax, Salt, Baking Soda (or a combination of any of those).  Rub it in good and vacuum once or twice a week.  That's a dusty mess like the which you've never seen and it must stay down awhile for it to work.   You just leave it as long as you can stand and then vacuum.

 

Regardless of what you use, it just takes time.

I HATE FLEAS!!!!!!!! 

post #6 of 34

@BassCat  You are so correct!  I had forgotten until this summer just how hard it is to get rid of them.  This has been a very bad year for bugs!

post #7 of 34

Back in the day, many years ago, when you could buy something that wasn't.... "so gentle it won't hurt a flea".    I tried some stuff in an empty house that shouldn't have been used OUTSIDE.

A day later...SUCCESS!! 

 

Three days later....not.

 

Even then, it took over a month of non-stop battle to be completely rid of them.

post #8 of 34
Hey i have 2 kittens.. One is 7 weeks old and the other is 16 weeks old.. I am keeping their flea population down w dawndishsoap baths every few days and spritzing vinager/water solution on them a few times a day, until i am able to get some flea medication for them next week. My question is.. As soon as i get done spritzing them and rubbing the solution in their fur, they both start licking themselves and eachother like crazy, will this make them sick? Please let me know ASAP! Thank You!
Jessica
post #9 of 34

No, vinegar won't hurt them unless they go to drinking it like they drink water, which, they won't.  So, nothing to worry about there.  (that small of an amount is probably good for them).  

post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassCat View Post

No, vinegar won't hurt them unless they go to drinking it like they drink water, which, they won't.  So, nothing to worry about there.  (that small of an amount is probably good for them).  

THANK GOD! And thank you for letting me know! I veey much appreciate it!
Jessica
post #11 of 34

I've heard of lots of folks using vinegar and read a lot on homesteader's sites about how small amounts are really good for them too!  I know that the Bragg's apple cider vinegar is supposed to be good for us to take, but I just cant.  I swear I tried it.  I don't know how folks do it.  It was horrid.

I use vinegar/water to clean with here...it's never bothered my kitties, and they lick it off their paws when I mop with it (I use it to put a shine on the kitchen floor--it works!)

post #12 of 34
Ok.. So im getting some kitten Advantage flea drops for them today, and once again im worried about them licking each other after i apply it. I was thinking maybe seperating them for a day until it all soaks in, what are your thoughts on this situation? Thanks!
post #13 of 34

I always apply the Advantage right at bedtime....my two aren't prone to much grooming at bedtime.  You might want to find a time of day when they are more settled and about to nap for a really long time to apply it.  It works for us at bedtime, because they pretty much each ignore each other when they are prepping to sleep.

 

Separating them would be ideal if you can pull it off!  It usually absorbs overnight and in the morning I can't tell where I put it.  The greasy spot is usually gone.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbunny View Post
 

I've heard of lots of folks using vinegar and read a lot on homesteader's sites about how small amounts are really good for them too!  I know that the Bragg's apple cider vinegar is supposed to be good for us to take, but I just cant.  I swear I tried it.  I don't know how folks do it.  It was horrid.

I use vinegar/water to clean with here...it's never bothered my kitties, and they lick it off their paws when I mop with it (I use it to put a shine on the kitchen floor--it works!)



That "good for them in small amounts" is my take on it as well.

HOWEVER... Bob came home from an overnight stay at the vet (neutered) with fleas.  I mean, I look him in the face and see them running around on his NOSE!  He was going bonkers. Running around and shaking his head like his ears were full of fleas. Rubbing his face on everything, hard!
I couldn't bathe him, so, I got the bright idea to stick my finger in vinegar and dap his nose with my vinegar wet finger.  (just to keep them off his nose and out of his eyes...poor kitty).

 

Mistake:  Fleas were bother him, but, a dab of vinegar on his nose?? You would have thought his nose was on FIRE!  I'll never do that again. :lol3:  (it only lasted about a minute though, but, it was a very long minute) 

post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbunny View Post

I always apply the Advantage right at bedtime....my two aren't prone to much grooming at bedtime.  You might want to find a time of day when they are more settled and about to nap for a really long time to apply it.  It works for us at bedtime, because they pretty much each ignore each other when they are prepping to sleep.

Separating them would be ideal if you can pull it off!  It usually absorbs overnight and in the morning I can't tell where I put it.  The greasy spot is usually gone.

Yeah i just applied it and am keeping them busy with their wet food dinner.. Once they eat their dinner they are out for awhile.. But i will be keeping a close eye on them to make sure they arent licking eachother! Thank you for you imput!
post #16 of 34
YAY!!!! No fleas! Happy kitties& happy mommy!😁
post #17 of 34
Congratulations ! 😄
post #18 of 34

Keep fighting the battle, they are sneaky, once you think you've won they reappear! 

Glad to hear everyone is comfortable without fleas!

post #19 of 34

I can't quite place the smell. 
I open the doors to the sunroom and get a whiff of something and for the life of me, I can't pin down what that aroma is.

 

I sure thought it was  "Precoraidnyguardiatomaciousentryhotshothartzptultracideonslaughtboraxsoda" 

BUT, There's a hint of something else there and I just can't figure it out. :lol3: 

post #20 of 34

Ahhh HA!   It's one of those Glade plug-ins!!

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassCat View Post
 

Ahhh HA!   It's one of those Glade plug-ins!!


AHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I've had that reaction before to only the Glade plug-ins!!  Love the description of the smell.........that DE gives me the willies, and everybody else says "oh, it has no odor"......it makes me gag!

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbunny View Post
 


AHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I've had that reaction before to only the Glade plug-ins!!  Love the description of the smell.........that DE gives me the willies, and everybody else says "oh, it has no odor"......it makes me gag!


PT Ultracide is the ONLY stuff I've found that won't run you out of the house if you give it a couple of hours.

DE?  After you get it scrubbed into your carpet, you'll swear you threw 5lbs of flour into a fan.   There will be DE dust in the neighbors house! :lol3:

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassCat View Post
 


PT Ultracide is the ONLY stuff I've found that won't run you out of the house if you give it a couple of hours.

DE?  After you get it scrubbed into your carpet, you'll swear you threw 5lbs of flour into a fan.   There will be DE dust in the neighbors house! :lol3:


I used DE last year because I saw one flea on one of the cats, and I really didn't want to do chemicals.  I can say with 99% certainty I will never use it in the house again!  It choked one of my vacuum cleaners to death!  I had to vacuum, stop, wash out the foam filters in the vacuum and let them dry, put them back in, vacuum a little more.....it absolutely choked my vacuum to death.  I even had DE dust in my ceiling fan motor casings, I had to get on a step stool and vacuum around the housing.

So, going forward (unfortunately) chemicals it will be.  I will just have to lock the cats out of the treated room and open all the windows for a good while if we have fleas again!

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbunny View Post
 


I used DE last year because I saw one flea on one of the cats, and I really didn't want to do chemicals.  I can say with 99% certainty I will never use it in the house again!  It choked one of my vacuum cleaners to death!  I had to vacuum, stop, wash out the foam filters in the vacuum and let them dry, put them back in, vacuum a little more.....it absolutely choked my vacuum to death.  I even had DE dust in my ceiling fan motor casings, I had to get on a step stool and vacuum around the housing.

So, going forward (unfortunately) chemicals it will be.  I will just have to lock the cats out of the treated room and open all the windows for a good while if we have fleas again!


PT Ultracide (I had to order it on-line).   Spray as directed and leave for a couple of hours.  Relatively NO smell when you return.  And I would say it works better than anything else I tried.  OR, I should say I can actually tell it works because it seems to have a fast initial knockdown/kill.  Which, is something I can see, and it makes me feel good. :lol3:
I think everything works to some extent with the main things being "vacuuming" and "time".   I'd use the word patience in place of time, but, you're cleaning, spraying, and vacuuming so often....there's just no patience involved. :lol3: 
The PT Ultracide just doesn't smell like all the others. (Almost no smell at all)
NyGuard is supposed to eliminate foul odors.  But, it's kind of like Febreze.  Smells nice the 1st time you spray it, then gets overwhelming FAST.
Borax smells nice, like laundry detergent.  But, when your floors are smothered in it, it's just way too much.  

post #25 of 34

We use Borax powder for ants along the drive every year.  It works, but after it rains you can really smell it.  And it does kill the grass where we put it, so at least it knocks down having to edge/weed-eat along the drive.

I don't mind the smell of it too bad, but the mess is another story.  I just can't handle powdery mess in the house again.  I am going to look up that PT Ultracide so we have it ready for next year.  I think our buggy season is dwindling to an end, thank goodness.

post #26 of 34
I was so worried after i got the flea treatment on my babies that the fleas would come straight to me. Idk what it is about my blood or body heat, idk, but mosquitos and fleas are always attracted to me. Im not dirty, i bathe everyday, so its nothing like that.. But since they have had their treatment i havent had any problems! I was the only one out of my family while they had the fleas that was even getting bit. But im so lucky it has worked out the way that it has!
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by LokiNApolloMami View Post

I was so worried after i got the flea treatment on my babies that the fleas would come straight to me. Idk what it is about my blood or body heat, idk, but mosquitos and fleas are always attracted to me. Im not dirty, i bathe everyday, so its nothing like that.. But since they have had their treatment i havent had any problems! I was the only one out of my family while they had the fleas that was even getting bit. But im so lucky it has worked out the way that it has!


It's because you bathe every day. 
I've not had a shower in months and NOTHING gets near me. :lol3: 

 

Seriously... I DO think some bath soap smells seem to attract biting insects, along with certain hair care products, makeup's, etc.  (might be the aromas?)

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassCat View Post
 


It's because you bathe every day. 
I've not had a shower in months and NOTHING gets near me. :lol3: 

 

Seriously... I DO think some bath soap smells seem to attract biting insects, along with certain hair care products, makeup's, etc.  (might be the aromas?)

 

I have always heard that hairspray, perfumes, shampoo, etc. attract bees.  Don't know if it adds to the draw of your CO2, but I am always the person in the group that gets eaten alive and nearly carried off by mosquitos and other vampire-type bugs, even if I spray down with bug spray!!

post #29 of 34

While you're shopping for PT, look up Buggins BuggSpray.   (it's AWESOME stuff)

post #30 of 34

Thanks @BassCat

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