12 June, 2008 at 4:39 am #17700
As you all may recall, a few weeks ago I used Bio Spot on my cats, then added flea collars. Found out that was toxic overload, so removed the flea collars and threw them out. The cats still had fleas. Bit the bullet and bought Revolution, which has always worked wonders in the past, just having trouble affording it presently. Applied Revolution and thought the problem solved. My 20 year old told me that there are fleas in his room and he is being bit to death. I told him that is impossible, they must be mosquitos. Well, today I went into the 11 year old’s room to wash his sheets (he is away at camp this week) and I looked down and there were fleas all over my bare legs! WTF! So I bought several flea bombs and bombed the whole house, including the basement! Put all of the cats outside except Wolfie, brought him in the carrier to the ex-husbands while the house fumigated. Came home, opened windows and aired the place out for a 1/2 hour. So, I’m sitting here at the computer and 120 wanders into my lap, and I start giving him scritches and…120 is loaded with fleas! WTF again! He got Revolution less than two weeks ago! So I gave him a bath and washed off about 50 live and dead fleas. I just checked Wolfie and he is completely flea-free; no flea dirt, nice clean skin. Is it because Wolfie doesn’t go outside and 120 does? I know I could treat my yard, but my house is surrounded by woods too. I looked into something for the grass but it kills *all* bugs including crickets and ladybugs, and I was worried about my birds eating the infected bugs. It worried me that it said it worked for 6 months…what the heck is this stuff? Help! This is the worst flea season I have ever seen!12 June, 2008 at 5:19 am #232850
It’s been about 21 days or so CW? It’s time for those nits that the flea medicine didn’t kill to be hatching out so you need to do the advantage or revolution again to hopefully break the cycle for good. I have always had much luck with sprinkling 20 mule team borax(Washing detergent) on the rugs during this time. You just sprinkle it into the rug,it’s never hurt my cats and you vacuum it up after it sits a day or so. Repeat as necessary until the fleas are gone.12 June, 2008 at 11:00 am #232851
I don’t remember the name of the stuff I got for XBF – some white powdery stuff that you sprinkle in your house like what Marsha mentioned with the borax. Anyway, it helped! And putting Revolution on the cats won’t kill the fleas living in the house, so there would be fleas living there unless you’d done something to rid the place of them.
We gave his kitty flea baths and then the Revolution as well as put the powder down MANY times – it was a nice mess, but we did get rid of the fleas! I hope the fumigation worked, Catwoman! Let us know!12 June, 2008 at 11:21 am #232852
Last night while searching the internet at 2 am, I came across an article on Diatomaceous Earth. I guess I’ll get that, though it sounds hugely messy and I am concerned about it looking like cut glass under a microscope…sounds like it can give some lung issues and a lot of precautions need to be made to not breathe it in. Anyway, the site suggested putting out a shallow dish of dish soap under a small light in the middle of the room, leaving the rest of the room dark, as a “flea trap” to see if you still have them after the DE treatment. So, I set out one in the living room and one in my office. The one in my office yielded two fleas in the morning, the one in the living room had 8! So what the heck, my house was bombed with poison and the fleas are still alive? Is this some kind of superbug here in the South?12 June, 2008 at 11:30 am #232853
Ahhhh, that’s the name – no wonder I couldn’t remember it! It WAS messy, but it worked. As for all the health warnings, I think they’re really just trying to cover themselves. XBF tied a bandana over his nose and mouth when he put it down, but that was it. None of us – or the kitty – had any issues from it.
It’s not good that you still had fleas after the fumigation – those things sure are pesky! Even if there weren’t many, I guess thyy’ll multiply without further treatment. Eeeek! Better order that DE fast!
Best of luck!12 June, 2008 at 11:34 am #232854
CW, don’t give up! I had a couple of flea infestations at different times. I talked to my vet and he said one of the most effective things you can do is vacuum at least every day-a couple of times a day is better. If you have a vacuum that has bags, sprinkle a little flea powder and vacuum it up so it kills them in the bag, otherwise they can get out. If you have one that you dump, put some flea powder in the container. My vet said that it is almost impossible to treat the yard as the squirrels and rabbits just bring in new batches. You may still be seeing fleas because of their life cycle, so I would give it a couple of more days before trying something else. Good luck!12 June, 2008 at 11:40 am #232855
Wallmart sells a flea powder that’s made for the rugs. It works but make sure you throw the vacuum bag out and spray the vacuum with a flea spray!(I use it once a month just for safe measures!)
Fleas suck! Sorry your going through this!
Dorie12 June, 2008 at 11:44 am #232856
I can not tell you how much I regret getting Berber carpet. It’s impossible to clean, it rips easily, then unwinds like a knitted scarf, and the loops are so deep you could hide Jimmy Hoffa in there! I hate it! My next house I MUST have hardwoods, I don’t care if I live in a house the size of a closet in order to be able to afford it!12 June, 2008 at 12:36 pm #232857
CW, it’s true that carpet aggravates getting rid of fleas. Carpet is nearly the perfect hiding place for fleas and flea eggs.
Regarding getting rid of fleas… I’ve tried over-the-counter stuff, homemade remedies, and professional products (not all at once; don’t want toxin overload). But I have yet to find anything that beats diatomaceous earth, overall, in terms of balancing effectiveness, performance, safety, and cost.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is non-toxic. Like all fine dust, it’s a good idea not to inhale it. And it’s messy, while you have it down. But otherwise, I’ve found it’s a fantastic way to get rid of fleas. No flea develops resistance (as they can with various poisons). You can treat both your house & pet with it. It’s less expensive than just about anything else I’ve ever tried. And it remains effective, as long as it remains dry.
If I had Berber carpet, I’d sprinkle it heavily all over the carpet, like a carpet freshener. Then I’d go ahead and sweep the rug gently, to brush the DE into and in between the fibers a bit. Where you might have hardwood or tile, you sprinkle down the DE, then gently sweep to the baseboards (to ensure some of the DE makes it under the baseboards). Gentle sweeping only; again, you don’t want to kick up a lot of dust.
I’d do the same for any upholstered furniture; chairs, sofas, mattresses, etc., brushing in the DE. With a mattress, you take off all the bedding, treat with DE, then make up the bed with new linens and wash the used linens in hot water. Also a good idea to wash pillows.
Anyplace where the pet sleeps on a regular basis also needs treatment. So pet beds, etc. need to be treated, too.
The most difficult part for most people is leaving the DE down for 10 days (long enough to break the lifecycle, and to allow any eggs present to hatch out and have the larvae killed by DE). After that, it’s safe to vacuum (where the DE will then kill any fleas living in the vacuum bag). Afterward, discard the vacuum cleaner bag.
You’d want to treat your cats every month or so with DE. Any cat traveling back outdoors is likely to pick up fleas, but if carpet retains some residual DE, there’s DE under baseboards, and the cats are treated with DE monthly, new fleas are likely to be short-lived.
Just my thoughts and experiences; I moved to a non-toxic method after nearly losing one of my cats to over-the-counter products, and spending more than a month’s rent on her recovery. I’ve treated another of my cats with an OTC product, and it burned the skin on the back of her neck. I’ve treated my house and cats with prescription products, spending a lot of money, and still having a few fleas at the end of things. Last, but not least, DE is effective against all insects, not just fleas; any insect with a soft body or exposed joints is susceptible to it. Personally, I’m done with toxic treatments for my cats; it’s just not worth it, to me.
Good luck, whichever products you decide to use! The battle against fleas is a tough one, but it helps if you learn more about their lifecycle (and how to break it). Some info at: http://www.wbvc.bc.ca/external.htm12 June, 2008 at 4:39 pm #232858
anncetera, once again you come through. I’ve ordered the DE, 10 pounds of it! My groomer said that it does work. He said the reason my animals have fleas despite the Revolution is that they become immune to it when it is used for long periods of time. Could this be why my older cats, who have years of revolution behind them (summer only) have fleas, and young Wolfie is flea free? By the way, my poor dog was loaded with CAT fleas. He has been shaved down and bathed, and is feeling much better!12 June, 2008 at 5:17 pm #232859
Wow…all this talk of diatomaceous earth has had us calling around this morning and we’re finding very few pet supply stores carry this here in our neck of the woods. We finally found a local co-op who sells it in a 1 1/2 lb. size for $6.99. Yikes! Is this a good price? When I asked for a 10 lb. size they said they don’t carry it. I’m a 4 kitty, 1 dog household. Will I need more than 1 1/2 lbs. We live in a small 2 bd. trailer. I haven’t done alot of buying from the internet but if the prices are better I guess I should look into it further. Depending on how much it will actually take. We haven’t seen any fleas this year yet, but we are rural and last year the kittens were young and not wandering far. Now they’re all over the neighborhood and I fear this may be the year for some trouble. Is it good to wait for some evidence of fleas or should I use this as a form of prevention?12 June, 2008 at 5:18 pm #232860
Here’s where I got it:12 June, 2008 at 5:24 pm #232861
Now I can’t find where I saw it on the page, but it said that a 5 pound bag treats a 2500 square foot house. I got 10 pounds so that I could also put it outside under my porch where the flying roach thingies live. <shudder> They crawl out at night and prevent me from sitting out there! I also plan to treat the basement. I paid $35.00 including shipping. You could probably get by with the smallest bag. I would NOT wait!!! Once you see adult fleas, they have laid eggs in your carpet and furniture that will hatch in a few weeks and start the nightmare all over again!12 June, 2008 at 5:26 pm #232862
I have had many flea infestations. Keep vacuuming and using your flea deterant, they will go away eventually…but it can take a while. The only thing that has worked for me is Program, but it is not cheap. :)Elizabeth12 June, 2008 at 5:38 pm #232863
Thank you CW…you’ve been an enormous help. I’m just so sorry that you & the kits have had to go through so much to find this solution. Please give them all pets and headbonks from their Oregon furrrriends!12 June, 2008 at 7:06 pm #232864
Karenopa, you should be fine with 5 pounds, I’d imagine. That would be enough to treat your entire interior and your pets, probably at least twice to four times (if needed, which it shouldn’t be). I’ve referred people to dirtworks before, so CW has steered you to a good place.
I picked up a 4 pound bag from my local plant nursery (just plain DE, no added pyrethrins or anything), and it cost me around $10.00. It’s lasting quite a while, after the initial treatment of my 1200 sq ft house and all 6 cats. (I try to sprinkle some on the outdoor cats, but they don’t much care for that.)12 June, 2008 at 7:11 pm #232865
When I work the DE into my cats’ coats, I work in enough to make their coats feel less sleek than usual. My black cats in particular lose the shine to their coat; they look dull black, instead of their usual shiny, glossy coats. I made sure to apply it to their armpits, belly, hindquarters, and tail, not just their back, neck, and chest. (The fleas must come in contact with the DE in order for it to affect them.)
It took about 3 days for my cats to stop scratching altogether, and 1 week before I combed them and got absolutely no fleas out with the flea comb. However, I didn’t have a particularly heavy infestation, nor do I have carpeting.12 June, 2008 at 7:13 pm #232866
Karenopa, IMO the reason more pet stores don’t carry it is because it’s nowhere near as profitable as the insecticides. (Well, that, and the DE mining companies don’t have the marketing & advertising budgets that the other companies have.)12 June, 2008 at 7:15 pm #232867
anncetera, don’t the cats lick it off while cleaning themselves?12 June, 2008 at 7:18 pm #232868
Yes, they do. However, if you apply the dust thoroughly to them, it takes weeks and weeks for them to lick it all off. It’s safe for them to ingest in this way (just not to inhale).
Reapplication is a good idea. I’d reapply some to the pets directly every 2 weeks, just to be certain.12 June, 2008 at 7:24 pm #232869
You know CW I’ve been feeling itches ever since you started this thread, so I can only guess the horror of a flea infested house. I am so very sorry…
I wonder if I should check Pipa and Melon even if they are indoor city cats?12 June, 2008 at 7:38 pm #232870
PM, while typing I keep thinking I feel a flea on me! But when I look, there is nothing there!
Shows the power of imagination, huh? I haven’t seen any fleas today except a dead one I pulled off 120.12 June, 2008 at 7:47 pm #232871
Yes, I remember when my brother caught nits (sp?) at school…
At the end of the day they had spread like fire in my family and we all had to put on an icky nit lotion until they all died…
*shudder* and comb the dead lice off *shudder*12 June, 2008 at 7:54 pm #232872
Ewwwww! My kids caught lice when they were at camp once! That was even harder to get rid of than the fleas! Remember the nit comb, to pull the eggs off the hair shaft…what a horror. Hard to imagine that up until the last 50 years or so, people put up with lice, fleas and bedbugs as a matter of course.
Hey PM, it’s nearly your bed time! As they say in the old nursery rhyme…sleep tight! Don’t let the bedbugs bite!
:-p12 June, 2008 at 11:41 pm #232873
Thanks anncetera…I now feel confident that I know what I’m buying and how to use it! You’re the best!12 June, 2008 at 11:51 pm #232874
You’re welcome; anytime!
Oh, and PM? It’s entirely possible for indoor cats to get fleas. All it takes is someone else bringing them in. (It’s easier for a flea or two to hitch a ride on your clothes than you think.) It never hurts to check for fleas. If Pipa and Melon normally don’t scratch themselves much, but start, that’s the best time to check.12 June, 2008 at 11:57 pm #232875
artistabobbi TX 1/17Participant
I use Diatomaceous Earth for carpet. After I sprinkle it all over, I kind of rub it into the carpet so it doesn’t look like a mess. It gets down deep and takes care of fleas that burrow deep.
And it works by cutting the caraparces (SP) of the flea bodies….. DEAD FLEA.
And I use Revolution…..
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