I am going crazy with fleas on my dogs and cat. I used borax, the pets are protected with Frontline, brewer's yeast in their food, and I bombed my apartment. I don't know what else to do. My pets are going crazy itching. I am going to try the pans of water and a drop of soap. Please help.
By Gayle i from West Palm Beach, FL
If you have pets with long hair and matted fur, it's likely the fleas are living in the matting and it's hard to kill them. You may need to cut their fur short and take them to the groomers to get it done if you're not comfortable doing it yourself. The pets will have lots of time to grow their fur back before winter months arrive. A battery operated flea comb run through their shorter fur will also zap fleas, but fur needs to be short in order to get them all.
Forget Frontline. Frontline stopped working last year on all my dogs. Forget brewer's yeast, most dogs are allergic to it. Sprinkle salt all over the carpet and all over furniture, under it just everywhere. Let it sit. Vacuum everyday and tape over the end of the vacuum or cover it and also if you have a bag put a flea collar in it.
Get a flea comb and go over them with it once a day and put the fleas in warm soapy water. This is a great way to get rid of fleas.
Take the dogs and bathe them in Dawn and leave it on them for a few minutes. Don't get it in their eyes. Then after they are rinsed several times, spray their coats with white vinegar and then rinse if off.
I have heard that Skin So Soft is good for fleas; I am not sure. I have heard of putting 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar per cup of water for dogs, no more than this. If it makes them itch, stop it as they are allergic to it.
I would go to Dr. Foster and Smith dog and cat supplied and check out diatomaceous earth, it non toxic if ordered from this company. Don't use the kind you buy for the pool it is not the same and is toxic.
On top of all this, I would put apple cider vinegar in a shake bottle and dilute it with water half way. I would then spray them with this every so often with it. It is nontoxic. Check out earthclinic.Com and mercola.Com about their pets' section.
I would also get a small spray bottle and put lemon juice in it and then keep it filled and spay their neck and base of their tail on top of them with this. Fleas hate citrus. Cats do too. Be aware that most essential oils are toxic to pets.
Good luck. Frontline has changed their formula, it no longer kills fleas, it used to be great and now. Nothing. Zero.
Try Comfortis, the pill that lasts for a month, and then if you don't like that try Advantage. Never use over the counter spot treatments they are toxic.
Short of any chemicals, I would shampoo, vinegar, and rinse and do the flea comb every day for a couple of times a day at first, vacuum all the time, salt over the floor all over everywhere. And then see how that works.
Good luck. And check out the sites i mentioned and all the things that are archived on this site!
I also found that Frontline was no longer working. Heard somewhere that the Company was sold and the formula was changed (not sure if this is true). I changed to Comfortis (pills) and so far so good. Only problem is no tick protection, but for that I use Ortho Max both spray and granular on the yard and shrubs and that seems to work.
This is really sad. You'd think with all the vets in this country, at least some of them would have heard of using the old original Blue Dawn dish washing liquid and the use of food grade diatomaceous earth. Especially the diatomaceous earth which has been around and used by farmers even for years. If you live anywhere near a farming or ranching community, you could walk into any feed store and find diatomaceous earth and maybe the Dawn too since those two products are the best cure for fleas on pets and other animals.
The food-grade diatomaceous earth is even the best protection against internal parasites and when I had horses, it was regularly sprinkled on their favorite food to make sure they got it all. It was also brushed into their hair when grooming.
Our 3 cats don't go outside at home, and the dog only goes out a few times a day, but when we camp, the dog goes with us. So far, he's not come home with any "free-riding" critturs in his fur. I still give him a bath in the Dawn first thing just to be on the safe side.
I do not trust any of those chemicals that go on the necks of my pets for their little bodies to be taking in all the time, and I'm not about to put a flea collar on one of them either for the same reason. Some remedies are just so simple that many people refuse to believe they work.
I hope this will help you. Fleas can end up causing your pet's death if not treated and gotten rid of.
I had a flea problem with my cats a few yeas ago. They were inside cats so we were bringing the flea eggs in on our feet I guess. It was terrible and they were biting me too. My vet reccomended Advantage over Frontline, but I also was told to vacuum twice a day for two weeks. Those fleas are constantly laying eggs and they need to be vacuumed up before they hatch. Use flea powder on the floors then vacuum it up into the vacuum bag so it will kill the live fleas and eggs when they hatch in the bag. You can get rid of them but it takes about two weeks. After that continue to use the Frontline as directed. The grocery store kind will not do the job and will make many pets sick. A good bath always helps, but cats don't like it.
I was wondering if you actually see fleas. If not then I suggest you try advantage flea. I had a problem with my 8 dogs and 7 cats after using frontline and it seems to work on everything except a mite that some soils have in it and it makes them itch. Advantage stops the fleas even on the springer spaniels long hair. It is worth a try. Hope this helps. I also spray everything; house, yard, dog pens with 38 percent permetrium to kill fleas off dogs.
I had that problem last year when we had so much rain . I found putting a capful of white vinegar in the drinking water helps it takes a couple of days. Also you can put baking soda on them. Put some in a shaker bottle & rub into their fur, down to the skin. It stops the itching. Also about once a week rub your dogs fur with skin so soft body lotion.
I have had luck with dawn dish detergent. Just keep some in a bowl.and work it into parts of their coat were you see fleas. Also, good to bathe them in. Hope this helps. I tried everything else. This made them tolerable.
Use both salt and borax on the carpet, half of each in a shaker bottle, leave it on overnight then vacuum. Take the vacuum outside to empty as the fleas can live and escape from it. Good luck!
Gayle. Are you sure that it is flea infestation? We had a similar problem with our fox terrier, continually scratching and pulling out his fur. Tore holes in himself. Turned out to be canned dog food. We switched him to a fresh meat diet and had no further problems.
Thank you all for your suggestions:. To answer some of the questions:Yes, I actually do see the fleas on the dog. I have fogged my apartment, so I see dead fleas all around. I see them all around my pet's bedding. I am using the method of vacuuming everyday and discarding the contents of the vacuum immediately. I then sprinkle salt down and then vacuum it the next day.
I also am teaching my dog to go where there is no grass. It was hard at first, but he is used to it now. I live in an apt. complex. I am hoping this works!:) thanks again to all of you! My pets have short hair and I bathe them every week.
My dog does not eat canned dog food, only the hard bag Purina dog food (Little Bites)
Diatomaceous earth or Diatomaceous earth crawling insect killer. I put mine in a plastic jar with drilled holes in the lid. Sprinkle it all over, it will not hurt you. You can even put it on them and in their water and food to kill worms. Get it at a garden shop. It works for ants and snails and slugs, too. Do not use swimming pool grade.
We had this problem a few years ago when it was so dry. I did have to fog the house several different times over several weeks, we were actually bringing them in on our clothes because we don't let the dogs in but they slept on the porch. We also found out about CapStar tablets for the dogs, $4 each at our Vet's office but we finally got rid of them.
I have 2 dogs. When we adopted our puppy last year and he brought with him a family of fleas. We also live in an area that is very alive with raccoons, squirrels, possum, and other wildlife that drop down into our yard and leave their own vermin. Treating the yard is one of the most important issues for me.
In 50 years, I have never had to deal with fleas until Riley joined our family.
We have tried it all. Including bombing the house twice, a professional exterminator who "Guaranteed" results. Ha! Chemical dips for the dogs. I hate these they are so harmful.
I pulled up carpets and replaced with tile and hardwood. Fleas don't like tile and wood as much as carpet, although they will live in any crack and crevice.
Here is what I have learned so far: Most of the products that are being suggested really do 1 of 2 things. They either dehydrate the bugs or they smother them.
Fleas have 3 or 4 cycles of life so you aren't just having to deal with adult. Eggs, Larvae, Adult and of course the debris they leave causes a lot of the itching that you might experience as well as your pets. There is a 2 week cycle time, so repeated applications of any treatment is necessary (my experience).
Please check with your vet for your own situation. My vet has approved these treatments for me.
Make sure that your pets are not in the areas until you have finished treatment and/or the area treated is dry/clean.
Outside: I treat the yard, including 3 feet up on buildings and fence with granulated bug treatment. Triazanon is the most effective. After I put the grains on the yard, I double the dose by spraying the area with a liquid version.
This activates the grains and gives an instant treatment as well as the longer lasting grains. This needs to be treated again in about 2 weeks to catch new hatching.
Be very careful with standing water around potted plants and drainage. My puppy loves to drink from these areas. (dumb dog).
House: Borax rubbed in to soft goods, furniture or rugs. Sprayed everywhere else. and vacuumed up to remove product and fleas, eggs, cookie crumbs, etc.
Make sure you throw the bag away, or clean your filters and dump canisters, eggs will hatch inside your vacuum.
If you start this early in flea season, you will catch the fleas before they have a chance to multiply.
Vacuum drapes, bedding, etc. Fleas can jump up to 3 feet.
Animals: this is my favorite part. Although it is very time consuming, it is good bonding time. Both my dogs love getting groomed. And they get a massage on top of it all.
I make a paste of Dawn Liquid dish soap. (Dawn is what they use in the oil spills to wash animals that get trapped in oil spills.)
With your hands, take the paste and apply 3 areas very quickly.
( 1)- the Anal area,
(2) around the neck-make a ring around the neck.
Fleas don't like the soap and will go inside the animal to protect themselves.
Once you have applied the paste, you can add more water and lather up your pet. Take your time, it should be on the animal for about 15 minutes to smother the fleas. This is a good time to massage in. Pets love the attention.
I go the extra and apply a really good heavy conditioner to their coat. It helps with itching and skin irritations.
Use a good flea comb while the coats are wet to remove any debris or eggs that could be left on their fur. Make sure to dip your comb often in a soapy solution to insure eggs and larvae are killed.
The problem with fleas is you can't do just one of these steps, you have to keep on top of it and do everything every 7 days to 2 weeks. It is time consuming, but it does work.
Flea control. There are some really good new 30 applications on the market, check with your vet. Frontline and Advantage don't work for us, but I switched to Comfortis, 1 pill that works for 30 days but is Prescription only.
Sorry for the length. I hope some of what I have shared is useful.
I started giving my dogs garlic capsules, 2 for the large dogs. 1 a day for the small dog. No infestation yet, and the skin problem on the large dog is clearing up. His mood has improved greatly, probably from not itching all the time. Hair is growing back. I wrap the capsules in a little butter and they gobble it up.
I have a long-haired dog. I can't get rid of the fleas. I have tried Frontline, Advantage, and Advantix. I have sprayed the house and yard. Any suggestions?
By Josephine P. from Winterville, GA
I have one inside dog, and we have 5 outside. This year has been the worst. They have become 'immune' to everything that we have used. Got the 'pill' from the vets, and fleas were gone from the dogs in 2 days! It is a tad expensive, and not very 'thrifty', but neither is spending money on store bought or internet bought solutions that don't work for us. I am glad that I tried that. (10/17/2009)
I had to put the advantage on my dog weekly for about 3 weeks and now he is flea free. I don't know if the little buggers are becoming immune, but eventually you get them. (11/30/2009)
I have fleas in the house and have followed the advice on this site regarding Borax, salt, vacuuming, etc. Nothing has worked, I am finally getting an exterminator tomorrow after finding a flea in my son's hair. Having a cat with fleas is costly, time consuming and making me go insane. I love her, I have had her for 8 years. Is getting rid of her the way to go? Please help.
Monique from Torrance, CA
Do not get rid of the cat, just the fleas. Give the cat odor free garlic tablets daily in her food or some treat she likes. It may take a week or so to get it built up in her system, fleas do not like garlic. The fleas will smell the garlic in her system (you will not smell it). I've used the garlic on my cats and dogs for many years with great success.
After the exterminator gets rid of the fleas inside, if he does not spray outside putting the borax around the foundation of your house and replacing after a lot of rain, will help keep the fleas out of the house if you have sand fleas. Don't forget to give the cat a flea bath or at least some flea power.
Good luck. (08/25/2008)
I had the same problem with my 2 cats and one dog. I eventually had to "bomb" the house with flea bomb. It worked to rid the house of the problem. One thing to remember, when you vacuum fleas, they will live in the vacuum bag, so dump it when you are done.
Now I just spend the money every year and get the animals Advantage. You can find it on line cheaper than at the vets. I have not seen a flea in over 4 years. I put it on once a month and do not have to think about it again. Much cheaper and easier then having to hire an exterminator. (08/25/2008)
Try eucalyptus oil. Do not dilute it. Put it in a spray bottle and spray areas. Also good for bed bugs.
I had this problem a year ago. I have two indoor cats and somehow they got fleas. I now treat them with Frontline once per month. It took over 4 months of the cats being treated to eliminate the problem. The cats were allowed free reign in the house and eventually all of the fleas that hatched and bit the treated cats were gone. Again, it takes time, but it worked.
In addition, I added a flea collar to the vacuum bag and vacuumed daily (couches, chairs, etc. in addition to carpets). I combed the cats daily and placed all fleas I found in a bowl of soapy water so they couldn't escape. Again it took a long time, but I didn't have to bomb the house.
Frontline isn't cheap, but I'd rather spend the money on it than on poisons to spread inside the home. I was told that one flea brought into the house on a shoe lace or in the cuff of a pant leg can cause a full blown infestation in a home with animals.
Good luck. (08/25/2008)
Don't get rid of your cat. You wouldn't take an 8 year old cat when you wanted a cat, so what do you think will happen to the cat? The cat didn't do anything wrong.
Fleas are treatable. I am extremely allergic to flea bites and I have 4 large dogs. I got fleas when we took in a neighbor's dog who was running in the street about to be hit by a car while they weren't home. Too bad they didn't say thanks or tell me their dog had fleas. Gross to say the least. I bug bombed the house myself. While the bombs were working, I gave the dogs thorough flea baths and a once a month flea product. Any once a month product will do the same thing, so go for the cheap one.
After we went back inside; I vacuumed super-thoroughly before letting the dogs back in and disposed of the vacuum bag outside immediately. I even wrapped it in a plastic shopping bag to be extra safe. Then spray your vacuum with flea killer to be on the safe side. I'm retentive about this so I brushed the dogs and vacuumed daily. Garlic works for a lot of people so by all means try it, but it didn't work for my dogs.
Wash your cat's bedding repeatedly, if not just get rid of it after the first bombing. If it's an expensive bed, give an extra spray with some flea killer post-bombing. The cat might stay away for an extra few days, but it's worth it. If it smells from the spray, put it into the garage for a while or seal it in a plastic bag for more than a few weeks while respraying at various intervals to catch any hatching larvae.
You must rebomb about 2 weeks later and repeat the vacuuming to catch the larvae that will have hatched into biting fleas or you will never get rid of the problem. I rebombed at both one and two weeks later to be on the safe side. It's pretty cheap if you do it yourself and just as effective. Honestly, after the first bombing/flea bath cycle I had zero problems, but I knew I had to follow up or the problem would repeat. The relief was blessed none the less.
I'd definitely try that before I paid an exterminator for at least 2 visits. It's imperative you do the 2 bombings, the flea baths before going back into the bombed house, thorough vacuuming/dumping the bags and spraying the vacuum after bombings. You want to make sure you never "contaminate" your flea-free areas by trekking in with fleas on anything. I even flea sprayed the bottoms of the pants I was wearing after shampooing the dogs and before re-entering the house, but that was probably over-kill. I then washed the pants with other items for a post-bombing wash in hot water.
Just a few things done in the right order and you should be permanently rid of the problem for well under $100 total. You can't skip one part like the flea bath if your cat doesn't like baths. You have to do it all. Planning it out seems like a big chore, but it's worth it to kill the problem completely in one swoop. Done right, you will have full relief after the first cycle.
Best of luck to you.
By Pet Lover
My cats came home from the vets office infested with fleas (go figure). My house became infested. I sprinkled Mule Team Borax all over my carpet in every room. I left on for about an hour or two and then vacuumed. They were gone, forever. (08/25/2008)
Use a small, bright light and a bowl of soapy water. Make sure the rest of the area is dark, turn on the light and shine it on the water. Fleas are attracted to the light, jump into the water and drown. Do this every night in every room, and it will get rid of your fleas. (08/25/2008)
We have 2 cats and had quite a flea infestation last year when a neighbor's cat came in through our cats door. I tried everything I had ever heard of to no avail. Finally we went to our local farm supply store and purchased a large container of pest control called "Home Defense", I am in Canada, which will kill both eggs and hatched fleas. I sprayed one day, vacuumed the next, sprayed again, vacuumed again then waited a few days and repeated the process. I sprayed the vacuum hoses each time and disposed of the bag. We have a very large home, 18 rooms, and had found fleas in many of the rooms since my cats have free reign.
This worked well along with Advantage for the animals themselves. I did a "spray round" this summer when I saw my neighbors' cat scratching, but have found no fleas in my home so far. One of my children and myself seem to really attract them and always seemed to be the ones who got bit if any were around. No bites so far so assume all is well. Good luck. (08/26/2008)
I work in a vet office and some of these ideas sound crazy. Go to your vet and request Frontline or Revolution for the cat, you should also get a bottle of Knock Out area spray. If they don't have it in stock you can find it on the internet. You will need to treat the animals and environment. Vacuum well then use the spray it will protect from re-infestation for seven months. Make sure to spray under cushions and furniture as well.
Flea bombs do not work, because the medicine settles on top of furniture, but fleas will hide underneath not solving your problem. You do not need to spend a lot of money or time trying to get rid of fleas, just follow those instructions and you will be flea free in no time. (08/26/2008)
Frontline gave my dog a bad reaction so I used lavender oil. I mixed a few drops of lavender oil in water and sprayed the pets, beds, couch, everything. In about 3 days I didn't see a single flea. I haven't seen a flea at all on the pets in about a year now. You can add eucalyptus oil to the mix as well. I spray them about once a month now. (08/29/2008)
OK, you're gonna laugh at me, but here goes. When I was little we had a "playhouse" that sometimes provided shelter for the family cat. At one point, it was so badly infested, you could not go into it without being covered in seconds. My grandmother (old wise woman) said to eat bananas and lay the peel in there and the fleas would go away (let the peel dry until it is black). We did and never saw another flea. (09/01/2008)
Black walnut flavoring will get rid of fleas. Just put a little on cotton balls and put around your house. Works great. (08/28/2009)