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Fleas

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
How do I get rid of them? My two INDOOR cats managed to get fleas (*cough*neighbours feed stray cats on my porch and in our foyer*cough*) and they're killing me. What do I do? I already tried flea bombing, I got rid of the carpet the biggest infestation was living in and am sitting on a bare mattress with a dust buster, vacuuming up any that I see. There has to be a better way!
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
Get some FrontLine STAT for your cats. That will kill those that are hatching and feeding on them.

Other than that, I don't really have a lot of great ideas. I think I would try flea bombing the heck out of the place AFTER you put FrontLine on them and leave it for a day or so.
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
701
Ugh, I hate fleas and they always make the animal they are living on so miserable. We have always used Frontline combi on our cat but its just not very effective anymore even though we never miss a treatment, so have moved on to Advocat (UK though so names may be different). When I found fleas on our cat I assumed they must be in the home as well and treated it accordingly. First things first get a professional in to treat your home, he will probably use a wet spray and you won't be able to hoover for two weeks after so that it gets the eggs as they hatch. Then you need to give both cats a Capstar tablet (check with vet first) to rid them of any fleas on them - this works for 24 hours which should give your Frontline or Advocat time to kick in. Stop your neighbour from feeding other cats in your foyer.

I wouldn't bother with any kind of home remedy first - if you can sit with a dustbuster hooovering up the ones you can see then there are a LOT more that you can't! Get a professional in asap.

When they are gone, prevention is the best cure, hoover every single day and keep a flea collar in your hoover bag or drum if its bagless and always keep your cats topped up with Frontline/Advocat/whatever. Good luck.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Had that problem years ago. I gave my cat fleas. Yes, you read right. WE tracked them in to our indoor cat. Then we were all in hell.

Called out a pro, and they applied powder to the rugs. Swore it was safe. Said the major ingredient (probably the ONLY to be honest) was boric acid. And to the best of my sleuthing ability, it was. Took a week or so to fully work, but we never had fleas afterwards. Here is an excerpt I found to help:

"I'll give away a secret here. Some of the recent "flea begone" treatments, applied by professionals, ARE safe. The best known flea killer lasts for weeks and is completely safe for your kids and pets. It can be applied around children and pets, but get them out of the house to keep them from under foot. I'm sure you'll agree that this secret is worth $25, so I'll wait until you've E-mailed in your pledge. After all, the exterminator is going to charge your far more, right?

OK, I'm sure the check is in the mail.

This mystic secret is borax. What? Borax? You mean I sent in 25 bucks for borax? Stick with me here. Remember, flea eggs and larvae live in your carpets and furniture for weeks before they reach "flea" stage. This is their weakness. If you can kill them in this stage, there won't be any biters, and the biters are also the breeders. Break the cycle, and you can protect your home. Pick yourself up a cheap box of 20 Mule Team borax. Dump it into a bowl and break up the lumps, and sprinkle it over your carpets. Move the furniture and sprinkle it there. Wash your bedding. Wash the dog's bedding. Sprinkle more borax on the couch, chairs, and get some sprinkled under the cushions. Work it into the carpet using a good whisk broom. (This is exactly what the pros did - used a huge janitor's broom) Then vacuum everything, (the stuff the pros put in the carpets we left on there for a few days - but then it was brushed into the fibers and you couldn't even see it - their powder was a bit finer than 20 Mule Team I suspect) and throw away the bag. (Flea eggs can hatch in your vacuum bag.) Chances are the borax will kill fleas in the bag, but why take a chance? Borax comes from valleys like Death Valley. It's terribly dry, and it will suck the moisture out of those little vermin."

This is certainly worth a try. I guarantee I'd be doing it - having done it before. I would NOT bomb. I have NEVER bombed a house. EVER. The thought of a mist of pesticide from ceiling to floor gives me the heebie jeebies, not to mention it almost never works.

Good luck!
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Right, above. Bombing doesn't work, I tried it. Advice to get Frontline is excellent -- we had fleas forever until I started that & haven't had a single one in the years since. It also kills ticks. You put it on once a month; it isn't harmful to the cat or dog -- in fact, the absence of fleas is SO good for them (& you). I wish I could use it on myself! Biting critters consider me Gourmet.

The Borax idea is new to me, interesting. Other than a pro, I don't have any great solutions to acing those already inside either.

Princesss, could you get your super or landlord to forbid feeding the cats in the foyer? I couldn't bear to let them starve but they can be fed outdoors. Otherwise they'll keep bringing fleas in -- with flea preventer on the cats it won't bother them, but they'll get to YOU & infest your apt. again.

Yack, honey. Good luck!

--- Laurie
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Well, my experience with the boric acid stuff they put on the carpets, was that we NEVER had another flea, and we lived by open fields. AND we didn't use flea collars (this was before Frontline etc) afterward. I suspect that once that stuff is ground into your carpets somewhat, the flea lifecycle can't get going again.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Okay, I wrote my landlord and told him the issue. I laid out my concerns about what happened, how it potentially happened, and my concern that even if I kill the ones in my apartment, since I wasn't the source patient zero is probably still out there and we need to get rid of them in the whole house. I'm going on vacation next week, so I'll get the cats set up at my parents house while I'm gone and hopefully he can get it taken care of while I'm gone.

I forgot to mention - I've got hardwood floors, so I'm positive the little PITAs are living in my couch.
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Hey, Princesss, have your parents moved back here?

Good move to write the landlord. Hope he takes quick action. Otherwise, Borax in the couch!

--- Laurie
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Nope, they haven't moved back. The cats will be staying at their place while I'm gone (they've already been Frontlined), and honestly? They'll probably be in the garage for a little while, just in case. The landlord will treat the apartment while I'm gone, and hopefully that will take care of everything.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
You can get a spray for upholstery that kills fleas and their eggs and it works well. I forget the name but you can pick it up at any pet store and I think Target, too. Just spray it on the couch, under the cushions, etc. Also spray any rugs. If necessary wash your linens and spray the mattress, too.
 

manderz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
1,539
We got fleas last summer, and let me tell you, what a pain!! I can't bomb as I have a large aquarium that can't be exposed to that kind of stuff, never mind finding a place for my parrot and cat to go while it was doing its thing would be annoying. We found a spray for all the fabric surfaces, treated and re-treated the cat, and sprinkled salt on the floor and left it to sit. This does the same thing as borax, it dries out the larvae and kills them. We also had to vacuum twice a day to get it under control.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
I complained about fleas on PS for a few years...our nasty neighbor's cat parked in front of our house and their doormat was infested. They'd hitch a ride into our place.

Borax can work if it's not bad (I've done this many times). But apparently it's not recommended if you have cats. It can get them sick, so research that more.

Honestly, call a professional. I do not mess with fleas. They multiply at an alarming rate. Whatever you do, do it quickly. You can easily go from a couple of fleas to a half MILLION fleas within a matter of weeks. Even with hardwood floors, they can live in crevices. It does not mean they are just in your couch.
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
701
TravelingGal|1317161504|3027285 said:
I complained about fleas on PS for a few years...our nasty neighbor's cat parked in front of our house and their doormat was infested. They'd hitch a ride into our place.

Borax can work if it's not bad (I've done this many times). But apparently it's not recommended if you have cats. It can get them sick, so research that more.

Honestly, call a professional. I do not mess with fleas. They multiply at an alarming rate. Whatever you do, do it quickly. You can easily go from a couple of fleas to a half MILLION fleas within a matter of weeks. Even with hardwood floors, they can live in crevices. It does not mean they are just in your couch.
Ditto this, its also worth noting that the eggs are sticky and will not hoover up, so you need something that is going to hang around long enough to kill the next batch as they hatch and therefore completely break the cycle.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
TravelingGal|1317161504|3027285 said:
I complained about fleas on PS for a few years...our nasty neighbor's cat parked in front of our house and their doormat was infested. They'd hitch a ride into our place.

Borax can work if it's not bad (I've done this many times). But apparently it's not recommended if you have cats. It can get them sick, so research that more.

Honestly, call a professional. I do not mess with fleas. They multiply at an alarming rate. Whatever you do, do it quickly. You can easily go from a couple of fleas to a half MILLION fleas within a matter of weeks. Even with hardwood floors, they can live in crevices. It does not mean they are just in your couch.

Oh, and if you borax, you have to reborax a couple of times every couple of weeks. They say it dries out the eggs, but I found it needed to be done a few times to really work.

The professionals put stuff down that when the eggs hatch and the larvae eat the eggs (or whatever else near it), they die. So it really did seem effective after one spray. However, one bad summer, they came in twice, 2-3 weeks apart. That really did it.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
We got them once b/c DH was secretly feeding/letting a stray in the house when I was gone. He said he felt bad for him. :rolleyes: We were SO infested they hitch hiked on me and I found them in my car! I took our cats to the vet and called in a pro. They I had to vacuum for x number of days and empty the canister outside. It was a PITA. Good luck S!
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
I think I'm going to cry thinking about the potential re-infestation. Not what I'm going to need when I get back from NZ.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
I have read some places that Borax is highly toxic to cats but other places seem to downplay any toxicity.

This is information from www.fabcats.org... (Ant poison often has boric acid (borax) in it.)

_______________
Question

Is ant poison dangerous to cats?

Answer

The answer is courtesy of Alexander Campbell of the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). The VPIS is not contactable by the general public.

The answer is 'it depends'... Although many different active constituents may be used, three seem to be encountered by the Poisons Information Service on a regular basis.

There are the gel/liquid types (of which Nippon would seem to be the brand leader) which tend to contain borax/boric acid. These are apparently very sweet to taste (I have not tried it personally I hasten to add) and therefore presumably palatable. Borax is readily absorbed and could cause gastrointestinal irritation and salivation. Severe cases (extremely rare as the concentrations in these products are very low and therefore monster amounts would need to be ingested) would cause shaking, shivering, tremors, drowsiness, excessive thirst and in theory coma, renal impairment and convulsions. In practice these are not really a problem.

Powder versions can potentially be more toxic. We have many enquiries about pyrethroid-containing ones (which are obviously known to cause problems to cats). They cause excessive salivation, tremors, hyperaesthesia and fitting which can, in some susceptible animals, be prolonged and sometimes difficult to control.

Some contain carbamates such as bendiocarb which can cause salivation, hypersecretions, constricted pupils, shaking, incontinence, restlessness, bradycardia, respiratory depression, etc. However, in most bendiocarb ant powders the bendiocarb is present at a concentration of 0.5 per cent and so in practice the risk is pretty low.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,965
We've always used Frontline on our dogs and never had a problem with fleas, ticks or lice.

Save money.
Buy the large size even if you have a small dog.

Frontline comes in a four "sizes" for small to large dogs - but all sizes are the same price. :Up_to_something: :Up_to_something: :Up_to_something:

The directions are to use one entire vial each month.
The volume of liquid in each size goes up proportionally.
In other words, the vial for a dog of twice the weight has twice the liquid.
It is therefor reasonable to assume the concentration of the liquid is identical in all sizes.

The correct dose for our small dogs is 10 drops.
We established this buy purchasing the correct size, once.

Now we buy the largest size and just use 10 drops each month.
Then I seal up the vial with tape, put it in a ziplock bag and tape the bag upright on the wall of our refrigerator so it doesn't leak out of the vial.
One vial lasts about four months.

This means we save 75%.
Oh, and Costco has the lowest price I have ever seen but they only stock it in the summer and early fall so stock up.

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