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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? 

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by her. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

37 thoughts on “ACK!!!! FLEAS!!!!!!

  1. You can put moth balls in the vac bag to kill them so you don’t have to dispose of a partly used bag all the time. I found rid-a-bug effective on carpet.

    Posted by Carl D'Agostino | May 9, 2015, 6:11 AM
  2. 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

    Posted by Slick Wirth | May 9, 2015, 6:23 AM
  3. 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

    Posted by Fozziemum | May 9, 2015, 6:28 AM
  4. 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.

    Posted by candygai | May 9, 2015, 6:43 AM
    • 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.

      Posted by Mano | June 3, 2015, 7:41 AM
  5. 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!

    Posted by suzie81speaks | May 9, 2015, 6:45 AM
  6. Comfortis is a great choice. I did not know about the moth balls, what a helpful hint! Growing up, we had a husky named Malachi. One fact that should make you feel a little better is knowing that the cat flea is specific to the cat and cannot live/replicate on you or a dog. Good luck getting everything and everyone flea proof.

    Posted by travelanimalDr | May 9, 2015, 7:05 AM
  7. 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!

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | May 9, 2015, 8:57 AM
  8. hey read my blog Forgotten Friends: https://hufflepuffemma.wordpress.com/

    Posted by hufflepuffemma | May 9, 2015, 9:57 AM
  9. 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.

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | May 9, 2015, 9:57 AM
  10. 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!

    Posted by Shiva & Jaya | May 9, 2015, 10:15 AM
  11. Hubby has a rifle……….. no hang on, that’s for rats and mice.
    We had bed bugs (if you can spare a minute see my post https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/how-the-mite-y-fall/ ) and checked the dog for fleas, even though we frontline/stronghold her regularly (Frontline deals with fleas and ticks, Stronghold fleas and ear mites). We also use permethrin (ant powder) which seems to work, especially on our clothes.

    Posted by pensitivity101 | May 9, 2015, 10:23 AM
  12. 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…..

    Posted by eripanwkevin | May 9, 2015, 10:30 AM
  13. 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.

    Posted by Minwynn | May 9, 2015, 10:33 AM
  14. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by willowdot21 | May 9, 2015, 10:59 AM
  15. Confortis works really well.

    Posted by corkscot | May 9, 2015, 2:42 PM
  16. 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.

    Posted by librarylady | May 9, 2015, 4:09 PM
  17. We’ve been really lucky and haven’t had fleas. And we purr that we never do.

    Posted by The Island Cats | May 9, 2015, 5:52 PM
  18. 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.

    Posted by Alejandro De La Garza | May 9, 2015, 8:02 PM
  19. Oh no! Fleas are the worst!

    Posted by ChasetheSheltie | May 10, 2015, 8:08 AM
  20. Thank goodness we haven;t had to deal with fleas here. They are the worst!

    Posted by meowmeowmans | May 10, 2015, 9:39 PM
  21. Oh man, we battled those little buggers last summer so I have been taking EXTRA care this year to prevent that from ever happening again!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    Posted by Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady | May 11, 2015, 8:24 AM
  22. 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

    Posted by Pen Brokaw | May 11, 2015, 9:42 AM
  23. I use essential oils to get rid of these beasties. Lemon, lavender, peppermint all work well and make Sam smell delish. Good luck!

    Posted by Tails Around the Ranch | May 11, 2015, 10:17 AM
  24. 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!

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | May 12, 2015, 11:33 AM
  25. 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.

    Posted by Mano | June 3, 2015, 7:48 AM

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  1. Pingback: ACK!!!! FLEAS!!!!!! | Catgurl40's Blog - May 9, 2015

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