2011 year for fleas??

exmarJune 8, 2011

Hi Folks,

We live on a farm and have dogs and cats, dogs wander in and out with us, cats are house bound. This year the fleas are almost a biblical plague or something!!

Background: We've used Frontline Plus for years with OK results. I keep one of those little "flea traps" with a 6W lamp and sticky paper near where the dogs usually lie and periodically check it. When I start seeing a couple of black spots, I start the Frontline. This year it was April 5, OK, all kritters got frontlined. They started scratching and the little black spots increased. May 1 I repeated the dose AND treated the house with "enforcer" the product that has IGR which kills them for seven months. Nope..... Kat Kritters haven't done any scratching, but they were treated anyway.

Chatted with the vet and she commented that while her preference is Frontline, it is possible that the fleas in my area could have built up a tolerance and I should try something else. OK, ordered Advantage, applied that May 25 and the itching stopped within a couple of hours. Now it's June 8 and the itching is starting again, as are the incidence of little black specks. Can't retreat this soon and am also reluctant to retreat with enforcer as it's only been about 3 weeks and it's supposed to control for 7 months.

Am considering going a more natural route and getting a large jar of minced garlic and adding it to their food. At least I keep reading about garlic being a flea repellant.

Don't know anything about a flea's life cycle, but they must like a lot of rain AND unseasonably high temps. 98 degrees at 10:30 this AM here in SE Ohio. It's been consistently around 90 for a couple of weeks, I believe that's at least 10-15 degrees above average for this time of year.

Thoughts, opinions, etc. welcome,

Thanks for your time,

Ev

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schoolhouse_gw

I thought last year was bad, so far I see the stray cat outside scratching more than I think is normal, my indoor/outdoor cat and indoor dog get Advantage every month or so (if I can afford it that often) and so far they don't seem to be too affected. I'll be checking them more often now that you posted.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 2:29PM
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brendasue(6)

Garlic works pretty good. Warning: after about a month of daily treatments the animals smell like garlic!
Brendasue

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:20PM
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exmar

After more research, it seems there's some evidence that just plain old vacuuming the house works on fleas. A study was done at OSU (Ohio State University) and reported 96% fatality rate for adult fleas and 100% for eggs and larvae after going through an upright vacuum. So, in addition to adding garlic to the kritters food, I'm going to vacuum a lot more often.

The theory is that during the trip through the vacuum, the fleas, etc. are banged up enough to lose some "chitin" (sp?) or exoskeleton and they then dehydrate and die. I'd always wondered if you vacuum up a lot of fleas if they then wandered back out of the machine and were concentrated in the closet or something.

Hope this works, fast and easy and no chemicals.....

Ev

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 2:18PM
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dreamgarden(z6)

"So, in addition to adding garlic to the kritters food, I'm going to vacuum a lot more often."

Diatomaceous Earth works pretty well for fleas and is non toxic to humans and pets.

A link that might be useful:
www.dirtworks.net/Diatomaceous-Earth.html

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 10:51PM
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JodiRae63

I used to have five cats that were indoor outdoor cats and a dog. I lived in the city. A couple of times we got fleas where it required baths for everyone and 'bombing' the house. The followup vaccuming was done and the bag removed from the vaccum. Doesn't make sense to go through all that work and take a chance on them conceiving in the closet.

No I have two dogs that are only out on leashes for short periods of time, and seven cats -indoors only. I live on a farm, the only sand is the gravel driveway and the one is only on it very breifly, but this past year I've been entertaining fleas. This summer I got rid of the carpets. I hate carpets. I think that is a huge problem once fleas get in. And then baths. A couple of flea collars, sprays, and dips help some. But mostly, I sit and pick the fleas off of the two dogs and squish them. It's become my new form of entertainment. It's very relaxing actually. Better that then fleas biting me. :)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:48PM
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eloise_ca

First off, I have no dog/cat, but I badly get bitten by fleas and mosquitoes, so I am always looking for healthy/organic solutions to repel these pests from biting me. These practices work for me if I religiously do them daily during these months when these pests are present. In the house, sprinkle salt on the carpets and couches and leave it down for about three days, then vacuum thoroughly, and put the vacuum bag out in the trash bin. This prevents any flea eggs from hatching. Repeat when needed. Outdoors, I put on Skin So Soft (Avon) or some other flea/mosquito repellent.

Hope the garlic works for your animals, but I have tried eating a clove a day, and taking Brewers Yeast tablets for months, all solutions previously given on other sites, but they didn't work for me. Even now, I've read that Skin So Soft only works for the first, 15 minutes!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:16AM
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GeraldC

Those who say they know such things say that drought has got wild animals more on the move, which helps spread fleas and ticks, and that hot weather encourages them to hatch. But out of all the articles to that effect, there was one claiming heat is hard on fleas but good for ticks. And the others couldn't agree if it's hot and dry or hot and wet that sets off the flea explosion. Maybe really hot and dry affects them in desert conditions, since there's little place hide.

When it gets bad, I brush diatomaceous earth into the dogs' fur. I dose the cats, too, but more carefully and with at least two weeks between, because they lick so much, and it can abrade their tongue and mouth. It seems to work pretty well. Food grade only. The swimming pool supply DE is processed and has a lot more crystalline silica, which is the part you shouldn't breath.

I suppose there's some hope. One source said temperature over 130 kills fleas and flea eggs. We might make it to that yet, the way it's going.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:15PM
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exmar

Update:

Talking with the local Ag Extension Agent, I was informed that a wet spring is very good for fleas as the larva have a much higher survival rate than when it's dry. It's finally stopped raining here, so there's hope.

Google "fleas and Vacuum Cleaners" and you'll encounter a study did at OSU which reported a 100% fatality rate with adult fleas and 98% with eggs and larvae. It's a couple years old, but answered my question as to whether a trip through the brushes and high speed fan didn't kill them. Also have wondered if all the info on after you vacuum, immediately toss the bag wasn't put out by the folks who make and sell vacuum bags...

We continue to sprinkle dehydrated garlic on the dogs food and they eat it.

So, Monthly applications of Advantage, frequent vacuuming, garlic added to dogs diet, and we're in control. They still scratch from time to time, but nothing compared to spring.

Good Luck,

Ev

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 5:31PM
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