ACK!!!! FLEAS!!!!!!

Fleas.

This is a cat flea, but he wouldn't mind making a meal of your dog..... or you.
This is a cat flea, but he wouldn’t mind making a meal of your dog….. or you.

It’s spring in the northern hemisphere, and those little pests are out and about.

Recently I discovered a flea on Malachi. Even though he doesn’t go outside, and even though Rumpy takes Trifexis for heart worms and fleas, a flea got inside and on my baby.

The worst part is if I see one flea, odds are there’s several more.

This chart from the Pesticide Research Institute shows the life cycle of a flea.
This chart from the Pesticide Research Institute shows the life cycle of a flea.

When I see a flea, I know it’s time to take action. The longer I wait, the greater the chance of an infestation. So what steps did I take?

I went to the vet and bought a flea treatment for cats. My vet recommendeded Comfortis for cats, a chewable tablet that starts killing the fleas within 30 minutes of ingestion. And boy, did it work! I started seeing dead fleas within an hour. Comfortis should be given on a full stomach.

I vacuumed all carpeted areas. Regular vacuuming will pick up fleas, the eggs, and larvae. Dispose of the vaccum bag or empty the canister in your outside trash receptacle.

I washed all bedding in hot water. That will kill fleas and their eggs in bedding, blankets, and other washable areas.

I sprinkled diatomaceous earth on the carpet and furniture. Food grade diatomaceous earth works great on fleas. The crushed shell will puncture the hard exoskeleton of a flea, causing it to die of natural causes. And because DE is not a chemical, it will just keep on working.

I sprayed the yard with diatomaceous earth mixed in water. I mixed the DE and water in my sprayer and gave the entire yard a once-over. Some people use beneficial nematodes in the yard instead. I’ve never used them, but others have told me they work quite well.

I keep a flea spray in my car. Because I go to many different places throughout my day, there’s always the chance I’ll pick up fleas and bring them home. So if I find myself at a place where I see fleas, I spray my pants legs and shoes either before I get in the car or as soon as possible. I bought an OTC that’s for use on cats. That way it will kill the fleas but shouldn’t be harmful for June Buggie or Rumpy.

Fleas spread diseases and are a nuisance. If they get a foothold in your carpet, they’re difficult to get rid of. You can’t afford to not be vigilant when it comes to fleas.

What do you do to keep fleas out of your home and off your pets? 

37 thoughts on “ACK!!!! FLEAS!!!!!!

  1. I mix up a bottle of Dawn water….you can spray anything the animal is in contact. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Mop floors with Dawn in the water. You can also use dawn as a flea bath

  2. In all the years we have had the pets the only time we had fleas was with fosters..poor darlings..and i use nothing..when Doc has a itch i check..nothing i tell him i will buy him fleas for his birthday if he really wants! i have no idea why they never have them..btw if you do get mothballs make sure they are well well away from the animals they are deadly to cats and dogs…many people throw them in gardens to keep animals out and they are toxic if digested..hugs Fozziemum

  3. Jen I am so sorry. You take such great care of your babies. As a cat owner I appreciate your advice. An animal lover, I came to feline parenthood in an awkward manner, so I do fear fleas. I know you know this, but as,transplant to the South, I have been told we cannot avoid fleas whether or not we have inside/outside animals or not. I know you care for Rumpy and all your Babies in a most committed and fastidious manner, and in the South, the Dreaded Flea, happens. Thank you for the advice.

    I am from Washington state. I turned my ex-spouse’s adopted feral cat into an indoor cat. So I know it can be done and done without making all parties crazed. (As converts often can be, I have very strong opinionsabout cats, one is that felines should be inside or very primarily inside pets. I have leash trained cats, I am open to outside catteries,or maybe a few overprotective options, but not so supportive of wild running around. Domestic cats are no matches for automobiles and other modern day perils.) I am sure I have said this on your blog before, but when I met my ex and first fell in love with his cat, Western Washington had several unusual rounds of more than a foot of snow, and late in the Winter season the outside cat still managed to come down with fleas, among other things. And only infectsd his father’s house then. My first lesson about cats was in fleas.

    Determined and hard to eradicate creatures those fleas. I hope we learn that they serve a purpose like curing cancer or the common cold some day. Or perhaps just bother my ex-spouse who told me to “put down” the precious babies he left me with and who has rewritten history claiming he never liked cats, I did.

    I didn’t dislike cats, I promise you, my mother grew up in a household where barn animals were abused. I think she was traumatized so she refused to have them around.

    1. It’s great knowing you. Your story is great as well. I can understand the awkwardness in the beginning. well I faced it as well, when i first got a puppy. it used to bark at me.but my sister and mom were able to sooth it.
      And fleas are very frustrating when they attack your pets. Have to take a great care inorder to get rid of them.

  4. I moved into a new house 18 months ago and within a week discovered all three cats had fleas despite being regularly treated – something they had never had before in 13 years of keeping pets. Turns out they were in the carpets and had been left by the previous tenant, who had a dog. I was mortified when i went to the vets, but they gave me an amazing house spray and within a week they were gone. Now, before the start of Spring I go nuts in the house with the spray. makes me itch thinking about it!

      1. My bad. You are definitely right. They can transfer from cat to dog but they often cannot raining thier life cycle on humans because the human’s blood does not allow for reproduction of the flea. I’m sorry about that. I needed my coffee this morning!

  5. Despite using Frontline starting in the spring through the fall, about 3 years ago I got a flea infestation in late May/early June. I had 3 cats (2 completely indoor) all with fleas and the Frontline didn’t prevent them. I got Capstar which kills whatever is on them but doesn’t kill eggs. I used a house spray, scrubbed their bedding and blankies and switched to Advantage. My pets don’t wear collars so I wouldn’t use them. Now my only problem is ticks. I have one old cat that lays in the shrubs around the house and I have to check him for ticks. Advantage doesn’t kill ticks (and Frontline didn’t kill them fast either). I haven’t had the problem since but I am vigilant about starting the treatments as soon as it warms up. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. OMG. I use Frontline flea protection for Cupcake all year round. I have never seen a flea, and hope I never do! Yikes! It sounds like you were very thorough and proactive, so I am hopeful you’re finished with fleas.

  7. We no has ever sees a flea. At least, not in fur. We serves fleas though as them is anipals. But da thing is that them knows it against PM law to be in fur.

    It hard for us to managing fleas. Them no has nerve to be on us because we da PMs but for da rest, them is pain in da bum!

      1. Ah, we don’t have a cat neither do any of our family or friends, but we also read the label on anything we use for things like this. Good advice though and thanks for the warning.

  8. I haven’t done anything for my kitties since they got fleas removed at vet at the first day coming to our family….so this post makes me worried that it might happen to my kitties, too…..because I didn’t imagine that inside cats might have fleas…..now I have to start thinking what is the best way if it happens here…..

  9. This may seem unfair to you, but where I live, it’s normally too cold for fleas. Our winters are simply too cold, or so I’ve been told. However I have once seen a flea, at the vet’s office. And he had the nerve to suggest we had fleas on our dogs and cats! My dog picked it up on his floor, next to a padded chair (is that the word for something that was half armchair?). He realised that in the end, but did he apologize? No. We stopped going to him.

  10. We lived in Texas for awhile and as far as I could tell nothing got rid of the little beasties. We shaved our poor dog almost down to the skin so we could have better access to the pests, and dipped him, sprayed him, gave him pills, nothing seemed to work. Finally we moved to Utah where i gets too cold for fleas. Doggie fares much better now.

  11. At the start of 2003, when I agreed to adopt my roommate’s miniature schnauzer puppy, I didn’t think much about fleas, ticks, etc. Unfortunately, the little dog ended up covered in fleas! I spent about an hour in the tub with him, plucking away as many as I could. The groomer told me to buy some Mule Train detergent, spread it over the carpet and let it stay for several hours; that would eventually smother the fleas and their eggs. It seemed to work. I moved into another apartment complex that summer; one that treated its lawns and bushes specifically for fleas, ticks, etc.

  12. I have used DE on my dogs too. Now I am going to do what you did with DE mixed with water for the yard. Thanks

    Penny

  13. In warm climate, it’s a constant battle. Better to stay on top of it so you don’t have to use extreme measure once invaded. Different breeds/pets may react differently to treatments – research and be observant to pet behavior while finding what works best for your pets. Some find dietary methods work, some don’t.
    Good job, Rumpy. No one wants to be itchy!

  14. Fleas are not the only ones which attacks the pets, there ticks and Heartworms as well, which can be dangerous to pets. Should be careful with these parasites. there are many products on the shelves to prevent the fleas and ticks, but need to chose carefully for it may effect the pet. taking a vets advice is best before going for the markets.
    for further advice and information regarding the diseases and prevention please verify http://16aveanimalhospital.ca/
    Dr.Brar can help with the prevention and cure process.

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