Monday, October 10, 2005

Fleas

I'm fighting fleas. My dogs brought them in, my cats picked them up. Now they're all over the house. My feet are polka-dotted. Fortunately, I seem to be the only human affected, but it's REALLY ANNOYING. I picked up a new tip on fighting fleas, some I already knew. For those of you that may be having problems, here are the steps I've taken..

  • Vacuumed the carpet, taken the bag after and sealed it in a plastic bag, take out bag
  • Bathed cats (with flea soap)
  • Bathed dogs (with flea soap)
  • Repeat step 1
  • Spray the floors with flea spray. I used Adams flea spray.
  • Wash all pet bedding (or dispose of it)
  • Repeat step 1
  • Wait a few days as all of it takes a few days to really work.
  • Repeat step 1
  • Repeat all steps after 2 weeks as necessary.

What I learned was that vacuuming makes the ready-to-emerge fleas go ahead and emerge.. that makes it easier for you to kill them. Fleas WILL crawl out of vacuum bags, so you have to immediately throw it out. Putting it in a plastic bag and tying it shut keeps the fleas in. Then put it in an outside garbage bag. The more you vacuum, the better you can fight the problem. Unfortunately, it means going through LOTS of vacuum bags.

Note: flea collars do NOT help. They just keep the fleas from around the animals' neck. They do nothing for the rest of the body. Use Frontline or Advantage to help prevent fleas as well. But if you already have a problem, Frontline won't solve it. The above followed by treatment with Frontline will work.

I've noticed that the Hartz Plus (flea/tick/etc) stuff works like Frontline, but leaves an oily/slick spot on the pet where you've applied it. So I'm not sure that it spreads as well as it should.

When it comes to the outside, I recommend nematodes. It's getting too cool around here to apply them, and I usually have to order them online. It's rare I find them at Home Depot/Pike's/etc.. even though they're a beneficial for gardens. Ladybugs are good too. Spray the outside area where your pets are most likely to go, then apply nematodes.

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