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Old 07-15-2009, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

Argh!!

So after discovering fleas on Kovie the other week, I had my suspicions. Sure enough, Chica and Nito both had em. My first course of action was discovering the source. It was either from playing outside at my mom's house, or from Chica playing with her friend Bundy (who was rescued as a feral and has not yet been treated for fleas). But Bundy got a clean slate when he was checked by the vet, so I now know where they got the fleas.

On their next trip to my mom's house, I took the following course of action: All 6 cats received baths with mild flea soap (made sure nothing had permethrin in it) followed by thorough flea combings. I went out and bought the best flea comb I could find and dunked all the fleas to drown in a bowl of soapy water. After everyone was dry, they all got advantage drops on their necks.

Then everyone was locked away while my mom treated the most heavily cat-trafficked areas with flea dust.

Me, Nito, and Chica headed home supposedly flea free. Nito and Chica had obnoxiously greasy necks for several days. Yesterday, just for kicks, I went and did a flea combing and guess what I found? 9 fleas of Chica, 11 fleas on Nito. Advantage is expensive! I expected it to work for at least a week jeez. Nito had flea dirt behind his ears, right near where the medicine it, and bites on his ears, poor guy. He had the most fleas out of anyone, I don't know why but I guess he's just delicious to them. When I first discovered the fleas he had so many behind his ears

So then I went into major cleaning mode. I flea dusted my room and let it sit for hours, then vacuumed it thoroughly and got emptied out the collection chamber and rinsed THAT out with flea killer too. I flea combed Nito and Chica again before letting them return to the room. I don't want to bath or treat them with spot treatment again, fearing that I'll overload them with poison and they'll get sick.

I need some ideas for ways I can handle this problem, since advantage didn't seem to work at all. Right now I'm doing twice daily flea combings, finding at least a flea or two every time. Is there anything I can add to their food that will make Nito less delicious? (I've read garlic, but I've also read that garlic is harmful to cats). Are there any home-remedies that are non toxic that I can use to try to control this? I realize it is mid summer, very humid, and prime condition for fleas. Should I just accept this, and continue the daily flea combings?
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

Have you looked into "Brewer's Yeast"? I've read articles where it's been effective in the treatment of fleas when applied topically (to your pet's coat) and when ingested (small amounts!) ... I found articles on this quite by accident when researching why "brewer's yeast" was included in some pet foods! (For the record, it's used as a filler in pet foods, I don't think many if any pet food companies knowingly include it to prevent fleas.)
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

I have not, but I will definitely look into it! I've seen it as an ingredient on some foods as well, but I've never heard of it being used to treat fleas. I'll have to do some googling! Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

Sounds to me like you are on the right track.It's possible that you have resistant fleas in your area, I know that is the case in So Calif where we are. Our weather here allows for fleas year-round, so that the fleas are developing resistance to the common treatments. There are things you can do outside (nematodes, natural predators of fleas outdoors) which would cut down on the number of fleas coming in. You are already doing what you need to indoors (vacuuming, etc.)

We have never used Advantage, but have had good luck with Natural Chemistry's De Flea shampoo for cats. Link below. It works by breaking down the flea's waxy exoskeleton with a surfactant, and has no effect on the nervous system. According to the manufacturer, it can be used in conjunction with a topical flea treatment.

The other thing which has made a huge difference, believe it or not, is having Gracie eating raw food. She's only eating half her meals raw, at this point, but I have not seen any more red welts on her even though I have seen her itching. I know this is definitely flea season here - our yard is full of rabbits and other wildlife, and Hubby and I have been getting occasional bites, too. When I talked to our vet about it, she said that the change in diet is why Gracie is not reacting so severely to the actual bites anymore, and that the fleas will be less likely to 'set up house' on her or in the areas where she hangs out. I find it hard to believe, but so far so good...

Hope this helps!

Fran

http://naturalchemistry.com/pet-product ... ts/show/57
http://itchmoforums.com/veterinary-and- ... 74#msg9574
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

I will definitely look into that stuff, Fran, thanks! Now, I just have to figure out a way to bathe Nito without having my arm ripped to shreds. Not to mention he alerts the whole neighborhood. You'd swear I was killing him by the way he yowls...

Yea, we don't go there any more Too much stress for both of us.

It would be great for Chica though!

I came across something called "Flea Treats" while doing some research. Has anyone heard of these? Better yet, has anyone had results?
https://www.fleatreat.com/
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

Frontline's your best bet. Also, for fleas in carpet,bedding,etc,try treating with 20 MULE TEAM BORAX. It works! Got an Avon lady? I've heard good things about SKIN-SO-SOFT. For flea bites, lemon juice diluted with water. Use EXternally .
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

We are using Frontline, wih lmited success. I'm blamming it on the wild critters that wander through our yard and drop fleas. then our dogs bring them in (insde dogs who only go out to potty). We've had our yard sprayed, used flea shampoo, bombed the house and used Frontline.
We are now in a holding pattern for 3 weeks until we can treat again. This has been an all summer issue,

With Frontline, you have to wait 72 hours after a bath to apply or wait 72 hoiurs after a bath to apply. The topicals spread from skin cell to skin cell, requiring normal oils in order to spread evenly. I applied it after a bath once - a waste of my money and my vet wouldn't let me do for another month.<sigh>

We are tyring fox urine to keep the critter out of our yard.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

That could be it! Chica had a bath before her flea treament, so perhaps that's why it didn't work. Doesn't explain it for Fella, Elfie, and Rusty, all of whom have fleas.

I'm going to try some of these suggestions. Thanks to everyone who replied! I am starting to feel, though, that this is just going to be a summer thing, and I will be relying heavily on my trusty flea comb!
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

UGH!

So I washed all my sheets in hot water, vacuumed the whole room after flea dusting the carpets, and I even dusted the mattress, yet I found a flea on my sheets this morning! GROSS. Do you guys think it survived the washing machine (I used plenty of soap, and hot water). Did it hop from somewhere else? Jump off Nito during the night?
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fleas won't GO AWAY!!!

It probably hitchhiked - I seriously doubt a flea could survive a washing machine and dryer cycle!

What a struggle - I know what hard work it is! Last year we had a much hotter and more humid summer, and I was going crazy trying to keep the fleas away. Gracie was so miffed because I was constantly combing her - she'd scurry away whenever she saw me coming. Then I'd scare her when I cheered, if I actually got one. Nothing more satisfying than the little pop sound of one of them between the flat sides of your thumbnails.

...This year it seems a little calmer.

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