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I live in a basement that had a lot of flood damage and want to know if that attracts fleas and bugs, because now my house is infested with fleas. Can this happen even without animals?
By Rachel from Fall River, MA
Actually, fleas don't like water. And it can happen without pets. Did you leave something outside for a day or two, then brought it in. That might have something to do with it.
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I was wondering if anyone has heard of using Vaseline on a cat for a bad infestation of fleas and eggs or nest? My cat lives in my basement and he comes upstairs at night, he was outside for 1 day and got a bad case of fleas, which I just found.
His poor genitals and head and ears had hard crusty eggs, I guess is what they are. He had even a sore on his tail where he had scratched and bit the hair off. I rubbed him down with Vaseline to soften the places and worked my hands through for a long time to loosen up the eggs and worked them out. I hope this won't do any harm, I know the flea collars and the over the counter flea medicine did not work. Also, they say to use a little Vaseline on them to relieve hairballs.
Would anyone know if this is safe and will not harm my cat? I had to do something when I saw his condition. Thanks.
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Help! My Pomeranian has been taken hostage by fleas and he won't stop chewing. What can I do to get rid of the fleas?
I am sorry about your flea infestation. I have been there done that! The only thing I have found is Advantage from the vet, that will kill the fleas. You put it on the pet so if a flea bites them the flea dies. No need for foggers, etc. Because in order for the flea to live it must find a host (warm blooded creature to bite). So if it bites it dies.
Sorry, the stuff is expensive, from the vet, but it's worth it's weight in gold at my house, especially if your pets go in and out of the house. I have tried 19 yrs. of home remedies etc. This is the only thing I have found to work. (10/24/2004)
Are you sure they are eggs? I have never seen flea eggs. They do leave a rust color from dry blood. Please do not put Vaseline all over the cat. If it licks it off it will get sick! Petsmart or Petco sell many products to soothe flea bitten skin. You can bathe your cat by putting his body (not his head of course!) in a pillow case then in some water and use a shampoo especially for cats. You can also purchase a flea comb (I think Walmart sells these too) and kitty will be much more comfortable. You will need to treat your carpet and kitty's area also to prevent them from returning.
Also, you can call your animal shelter and they will give you advice as well. Spay/neuter clinics usually treat minor things such as this too and they are much cheaper than a regular vet. (10/24/2004)
I don't like chemicals so I suggest washing the cat in Dawn dishwashing liquid. Start at the neck to help stop the fleas from jumping on the cats face. To kill the fleas you can sprinkle regular salt into any areas that are carpeted and leave for a few days before vacuuming. The salt kills the fleas by dehydrating them. Also, put a lamp on the floor with a pan of water and a little soap and leave in a room where fleas may be overnight. The fleas are attracted to the heat, jump to the bulb, fall into the water and are unable to get out because of the soap. I think I got some of the hints from here! (10/24/2004)
I just had a brain wave. To kill fleas you can cover hair with mayonnaise. It smothers them. I would consider trying the same on our dogs for fleas. Leave it on for about an hour. We have Advantage as we have 3 dogs, 1 Lab/Shep and 2 Poms. We rarely need it. (10/24/2004)
To stop pets from itching you can give them some of the clear baby Benadryl with one of those big droppers that you use for children. You can use it for both dogs and cats, but check with your vet for how much to use according to how much your pet weighs. If that doesn't work the vet will usually give you the steroid Prednisone. I probably wouldn't use Benadryl or similar creams since they lick it off, but I can't see that Vaseline would hurt them. If it is raw you could use an antibiotic ointment on it. I have even used antibiotic ointment on chickens!
For your house unfortunately the only good treatment is to spray or bomb it with flea specific insecticides. The Raid in the purple can is very effective and doesn't smell too bad. I also use those Hartz drops that you put along the animal's back that kill the fleas, ticks, and eggs. It seems to be very effective in keeping the fleas off. Plan to spray every week or two for a couple months as the flea eggs land everywhere when pets scratch and will hatch when conditions are right, like your warm house in wintertime. Frequent vacuuming is a must and wash all bedding and afghans and cushions that your animals use. It may take a couple of months to get rid of the fleas, but be patient and eventually you will be flea free.
Another old time flea catching trick is to use an old desk lamp on the floor at night and shine it into a shallow bowl with soapy water. The light will attract the fleas and they will drown in the water. Doing this occasionally will also give you an idea of how many fleas you really have. If the water looks like it was sprinkled with pepper in the morning you are in trouble. Best wishes! (10/24/2004)
A great tip a vet friend of mine gave me when we found a kitten outside who was also infested with fleas and too small for the normal flea treatment from the vet was to bathe the kitten using Dawn dish soap. We did this and it immediately killed the fleas. I bathed her about once every 2 weeks for a month making sure not to get it in her eyes and she was flea free. I now use this on all my pets. It is winter in my area and each year about this time I wash all my pets using the Dawn dish soap and blow them dry. They usually stay flea free until next spring. Hope this helps. (10/25/2004)
I agree with the suggestion about Advantage. Frontline is also a good flee killer and works in the same manner. When the fleas bite, they die, and eventually all of the fleas will be killed. It is expensive, but I honestly don't recall how much I paid for it. All I can remember is that it worked. And when your animal is suffering, something that works is priceless! Also, you could also give your cat Program (in combination with Frontline) as it is a preventative method and is non-toxic. (10/30/2004)
Here is a weird one. My sister had bugs! Lots of bugs. She lives on 30 acres that are partially wooded and has a pond. We read about African Guinea Fowl, they are kind of like a funny chicken with dots. They are supposed to eat flies and bugs like grasshoppers. So she got a dozen. Year one she had way fewer bugs. Year two, hardly any flies even with 10 horses. Year three, here's the weird one, no fleas. My sis has 12 cats and 4 dogs and no fleas! She use to use Advantage. Now she has no need. Guineas are not for everyone they need space to roam and can be noisy, but they lay very good eggs, can be used as a meat bird (fancy eating joints charge lots for roast guinea fowl) and no bugs! (02/24/2005)
I would not advise using petroleum on cats or on any pets for any reason. I learned the hard way that petroleum is toxic to ingest. A few years ago an idea was going around that setting out a jar of petroleum for cats to lick is good to help with hairballs. Like an idiot I bought a large jar and my cats licked it everyday for a long time. All 3 of beloved cats died. I had to ask myself, would I ingest that stuff? It is indeed toxic. Don't fall for the rumor that it helps with hairballs. It isn't worth it. I was indeed naive and I still grieve for my wonderful cats. There are several brands of cat food that helps with hairballs.
Dawn might not work completely. I saw fleas that were completely covered in the stuff when I've bathed our cat, and as they dried off they began wiggling and trying to hide. (07/18/2005)
I had a cat that was running alive with fleas. I tried everything. The best thing I found was a tablet treatment made by Johnson's it's in a pink box. It costs about 5 pounds and it works in 24 hours. You are best off letting the cat out for the day and when the cat comes home they are gone. The stuff is wicked. (12/12/2006)
I recommend that you take your pets to the vet. My dog and cat have fleas, fleas can lead to tapeworms which will harm/can kill your pet. Tell your veterinarian about the flea problem. Or you can try vinegar/water in a spray bottle to help stop the itching and to kill some of the fleas on your pet or pets. (06/28/2007)
I beg everyone to NOT use Hartz flea medication. I used it on my cats and they both ended up in ICU and are extremely lucky to be alive. I since learned there is a class action suit against Hartz due to the dangerous flea medication. All Hartz products should be removed from stores regardless. 3 different vets told us to NEVER use Hartz products. They are not safe for animals! (11/08/2008)