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Old 12-28-2012, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Found an all-natural way to kill fleas :)

My cats are strictly indoors, but I fostered a few cats this year, and with them came fleas. I treated everyone with Frontline in November, and one of my cats had a bad reaction to it. She was lethargic, drooling, and seemed weak and just wasnt herself for about 24 hours after I applied the frontline. I had read about cats having these types of reactions previously, and was already wary of using chemicals on my kitties. I like to stick to natural remedies whenever I can, but after dealing with worms and seeing flea larvae (yuck!) I decided I had to do something to treat the fleas. I didnt know what to do when December rolled around, since the Frontline wore off and I started seeing fleas again. I didnt want to subject my kitties to the chemical poison again, so I just started flea combing and vaccuming like a mad woman until I could figure a safer way to treat for fleas.

Then, came a blessing in disguise. My thermostat in my apartment broke. The heat still comes on, but keeps my apartment at a steady 65 degrees. I was hesitant to call maintenance, for reasons I won't get into. And while it's a little chilly, I have a heated blanket and dress warmly to stay comfortable. (and my cats are more snuggly ) I have been keeping an eye out for fleas, and, they have slowly dissapeared! I can only hope that the cold temperatures have stopped their reproductive cycle. I don't know why else they would have just gone away, as I have struggled in keeping the fleas away in the past. So....hopefully as long as my apartment stays at 65 degrees for the next 2 months the fleas won't come back. I am moving march 1st, and I won't be able to foster at my new place so hopefully this will solve my flea problem once and for all
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know if any of this is true but I've heard that fleas can lay dormant when it's cold. People have said that when it warms up or they put the heating up they get fleas again. Apparently there are no chemicals that can kill the flea pupae and you have to wait for them to hatch out to be able to kill them (because they are now a young flea). Vibrations, oxygen and heat make the pupae hatch out faster, eg when a dog or cat walks past they hatch out to jump onto the host to feed.

I also heard that pupae can lay dormant for up to a year without dying, then they hatch out and it starts all over again.

I know when it's colder they don't grow as fast and when it's warm but as far as it breaking the cycle.. I'm not too sure.

Fingers crossed I'm wrong though! I hate fleas, I had to tackle them 5 weeks ago when new kittens bought them in but I used chemicals. Fleas are tough little buggers!
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Fleas can "hibernate" for quite long periods but this is a good chance to sprinkle and hoover.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just had "the flea talk" with my vet today. lol I have found 3 fleas in the last 2 days (1 on Mac, 2 on Mia). I have been flea combing them like crazy trying to see if there are more. I went and got comfortis from the vet today (they missed last months dose due to me being so distracted with my thriod problem and surgery). My neighbors, whom I share a hallway with have a flea infestation, BIG TIME. They dont even care. Talked to management today too and they are about to loose their dog. Lots of people have been complaining about them (other problems with dog, poor thing).
Vet told me today that fleas can live up to 90 days without a blood supply. He said below freezing temps usually will kill them. I think yours might be laying dormant due to lack of activity from lower temp but it wont kill them at that temp.
Well Im off to take sheets out of laundry. I hate having to treat everything. Its so time consuming! AUGH!
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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65 degrees is not going to break the cycle, even freezing temps don't break the cycle (otherwise there would be no fleas in cold climate areas). Moving isn't going to do it either as the eggs and other non-adult life stages can live for many months, particularly in your furniture.

Now is the time to be vacuuming like crazy. If you don't want to use chemicals then use food grade diatomaceous earth in all those places that fleas hide.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was afraid they might just be hibernating.... I am not taking my furniture with me when I move, I was going to put it in storage. Maybe I can use a flea bomb on my apt after I move the cats out to kill the fleas in the furniture, before I put it in storage? My vet said the same thing, 90 days. That's why he said to treat 3 months in a row...he also didn't seem too concerned about the reaction my cat had. Ugh!

Has diatomaceous earth really worked well for anyone? I used it once before and it was really nasty stuff. When I vacuumed it up, it seemed like it was too fine for the filter in my vacuum. When I was finished it lingered in the air for a long time and got dust everywhere. I tested a flea in it, so I know that it works to kill them, I just don't see how it can be used to effectively treat an entire room without a huge mess.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I tried DE and found shrivelled up fleas but I think they still had a chance to lay eggs before they died which defeats the point. And its horrible stuff.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have used Original Boraxo laundry detergent to sufficate them on carpet but it also is hard on the vacuum and might clog it up. Again have to be careful breathing it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just for the record we don't really have fleas here. I've known a few people who's pets got them in BC and brought them here...but in general our winters do a pretty good number on them, so between that and the fact that the cities spray for them along with mosquitoes and ticks...I've never had to treat an animal or had any sort of infestation.

Cold definitely has an effect, but our winters get to -40 a few times every winter. i'm doubting a colder apartment would do the trick though.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat owner again View Post
I have used Original Boraxo laundry detergent to sufficate them on carpet but it also is hard on the vacuum and might clog it up. Again have to be careful breathing it.
I used this too with good result.
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