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BS: Fleas

SINSULL 14 Aug 09 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Aug 09 - 10:12 AM
Jeri 14 Aug 09 - 10:29 AM
Melissa 14 Aug 09 - 10:31 AM
SINSULL 14 Aug 09 - 10:46 AM
curmudgeon 14 Aug 09 - 10:50 AM
kendall 14 Aug 09 - 11:06 AM
frogprince 14 Aug 09 - 11:12 AM
John MacKenzie 14 Aug 09 - 11:24 AM
Ebbie 14 Aug 09 - 11:29 AM
wysiwyg 14 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM
gnu 14 Aug 09 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,guest:: Susan 14 Aug 09 - 04:04 PM
SINSULL 14 Aug 09 - 04:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 09 - 05:04 PM
Liz the Squeak 14 Aug 09 - 05:07 PM
wysiwyg 14 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM
pdq 14 Aug 09 - 06:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM
wysiwyg 14 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM
Peace 14 Aug 09 - 06:32 PM
gnu 14 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM
Peace 14 Aug 09 - 08:17 PM
pdq 14 Aug 09 - 08:36 PM
LilyFestre 14 Aug 09 - 10:20 PM
frogprince 14 Aug 09 - 11:45 PM
Wyrd Sister 15 Aug 09 - 05:28 AM
Janie 15 Aug 09 - 06:30 AM
Tug the Cox 15 Aug 09 - 07:27 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 09 - 11:56 AM
treewind 15 Aug 09 - 12:09 PM
pdq 15 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM
jacqui.c 24 Aug 09 - 08:30 AM
SINSULL 24 Aug 09 - 08:46 AM
artbrooks 24 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM
jacqui.c 24 Aug 09 - 10:29 AM
SINSULL 24 Aug 09 - 10:37 AM
SINSULL 24 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM
wysiwyg 24 Aug 09 - 10:48 AM
Donuel 24 Aug 09 - 11:01 AM
wysiwyg 24 Aug 09 - 11:39 AM
Becca72 24 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM
jacqui.c 24 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,kendall 24 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM
wysiwyg 24 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
gnu 24 Aug 09 - 04:16 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 Aug 09 - 05:01 PM
gnu 24 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM
LilyFestre 24 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM
Bat Goddess 24 Aug 09 - 06:55 PM
olddude 24 Aug 09 - 08:03 PM
gnu 24 Aug 09 - 08:17 PM
artbrooks 24 Aug 09 - 11:37 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Aug 09 - 08:53 PM
SINSULL 26 Aug 09 - 09:30 AM
wysiwyg 26 Aug 09 - 11:08 AM
pdq 26 Aug 09 - 11:16 AM
JohnInKansas 26 Aug 09 - 01:13 PM
Liz the Squeak 26 Aug 09 - 11:04 PM
MAG 27 Aug 09 - 09:42 PM
wysiwyg 28 Aug 09 - 10:30 AM

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Subject: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:02 AM

This year I am fighting a never-ending battle with fleas. My cats are treated with Frontline. I vacuum their sleeping areas and wash the coverings and still there are fleas.
Have they become immune to Frontline?
HELP!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:12 AM

Here is Missouri we have had an usually wet summer. (I haven't had to water anything yet.) Have you had an unusually wet summer too? That may have promoted the growth of fleas around your place.

There are many species of fleas with differing life cycles. They can live in cracks in the floor, inside upholstered furniture and behind the woodwork. (Anywhere dark.) Once they take over, the amount of work to get rid of them is staggering.

I suggest you bite the bullet and have a professional spray your place. Then return to the use of Frontline.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:29 AM

Vacuuming isn't going to help a whole lot. Fleas (and spiders) just crawl back out. They can live for quite a while off the host animal and they live off specific animals. They desert dead hosts like rats leaving a sinking ship. If you're getting bit a lot, you have a HEAVY infestation. I think the professional spraying is a good idea.

Keep in mind they got the fleas from somewhere. It might be wise to spray your yard and put flea collars on the skunks and squirrels. (Yeah, sorry. That was supposed to be funny.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Melissa
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:31 AM

I tried everything I could think of and finally ended up bombing the hell out of the house. The first kind I got didn't seem to accomplish much of anything (aside from the wretched smell and icky film) but another brand helped and blowing a second dose of that onto everything seems to have subdued the fleas enough to keep the cats (and me) from acting so crazy.

If next year is half as fleaful as this, I intend to call in a professional instead of messing with a series of pointless do-it-myself attempts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:46 AM

We are about to set a record for rain -just a few inches short of a 130 year record. So yes it has been wet. And with money tight I didn't have the property treated. I am not getting bitten. I treat the cats through the summer months every year and they don't have fleas. This year, with the treatment, they are still harboring the little beasties.
If I have to bomb the house, I will. Yuchhh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: curmudgeon
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:50 AM

Have you also "Frontlined" Seamus?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: kendall
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:06 AM

Yes


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:12 AM

Fleeeas, release me, let me go;
I don't love you any more....


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:24 AM

For Sins


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:29 AM

Poor Amos year'round has to put up with balmy and bright weather. I, in Alaska, for the same length of time, have to contend with no fleas. sigh


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM

Keep working the program. It works eventually. Capstar can augment the Frontline while it's at its height.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM

I hope these are indoor cats. If the cats go outside, they can get new fleas and bring them in, so I don't know what you do in that situation.

A friend of mine used to allow her cats to go outside because they longed for 'the freedom.' Then a gang of old college buddies came for a visit and started counting the cats hit by cars, killed by feline leukeimia, or simply gone missing. They started teasing my friend about having 'disposable cats.' She took it hard.

Now she keeps her cats indoors and all is well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: gnu
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 01:07 PM

Wet summer = more fleas than usual.

Fleas can live up to 3 months by biting humans, but they cannot reproduce. Fleas will not live on a pet being fed flea "medication" but they will hitch a ride inside and lay eggs that... you get the pic.

From my experience, as said above, pro spraying (with you and the varmints out of the house for 24 hours... I would not stay no matter what the pest control company says) and then, yes, sadly, flea collars until fall. I know, I know, but the collars work far better than the pills when it's a wet summer. I didn't make the rules, I just don't like scratching.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: GUEST,guest:: Susan
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 04:04 PM

I haven't had trouble with fleas for years but I remembered using Premise Spray from the vet which killed fleas at every stage past hatching. The idea was to vacuum and wash everything and then to apply the spray to floors, furniture and crevices. It worked brilliantly. Don't they still have that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 04:33 PM

Last year I tried a substitute for Frontline called Zodiac (?). It was greasy and messy and with 24 hours all four cats had a horrendous reaction to it. Viciously red skin and the hair fell out. I hesitate to use anything now. They range from 8 years old to 14.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:04 PM

No fleas in Calgary. My daughter, at her foothills ranch 20 miles away, had them for a couple of years, but they are absent this year, so they may not have survived last winter.

Don't know the species, there are a lot of them, with differing habits and preferences.

Global warming may finally bring them here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:07 PM

There's a pill for sale in the UK called '4Fleas', in a scary pink packet. One pill fed to the cat or dog (different doses, make sure you get the right one) and within 15 minutes you can see the little varmints dropping right off. The good thing about the pill is that you can give one to the cat every day for a week, to break the cycle, and also to feeding queens and quite young cats (I threw away the last packet but I think it's about 8 weeks and older). The bad thing is, it's quite expensive for a 6 dose pack.

Regular vacuuming, steam clean floors and carpets, wash sofa throws and loose covers often.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM

What LTS is describing is like the Capstar in the US.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: pdq
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:08 PM

Capstar and similar pills given to pets are good for only one day.

They do nothing curtail the population of immature fleas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM

Program and Comfortis are two more brands of pills. But consult your vet.
Good article on flea control:
Safer Flea Control


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM

Capstar is used to knock down an egg-laying population, quick. It can help the Frontline do its job better. You use it WITH other efforts.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Peace
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:32 PM

Fleas are worse than crabs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: gnu
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM

Depends how you catch em. Ya know... life cycle analysis?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Peace
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 08:17 PM

Look at the SIZE of this s.o.b.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: pdq
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 08:36 PM

I have to listen to Ramblin' Jack tonight:

"Give my blankets to my buddies

And the fleas to Diamond Joe"


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: LilyFestre
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:20 PM

Hey Sins,

   I'd suggest a call to the vet. We had some serious flea issues last summer with the dogs and just a phone call did the trick. They were happy to give out the advice without an office visit.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 11:45 PM

That was a sand flea that Bruce linked to; we see lots of them on the beach when we go to Martha's Vineyard. (No, we're not that rich; we have a lucky situation involving relatives.)
                           Dean


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 05:28 AM

Have you tried the old-fashioned method of combing for the blighters? Could help alongside Frontline etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Janie
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 06:30 AM

fwiw, I did not find Frontline to be as effective as Advantage. (Have to get Advantage from my Vet, though, and it is a bit pricey.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 07:27 AM

Small fleas have smaller fleas upon their backs to bite'em
while smaller fleas have smaller fleas, and so ad infinitum.

Large fleas themselves in turn, have greater fleas to go on,
While greater fleas have greater fleas, and greater fleas, and so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 11:56 AM

My kitty loves to be flea combed. The fleas and old fur go into a coffee can with dish soap and water. Then the lid goes on the can. The bugs are dead in minutes. This has become a daily ritual which
she loves. After 13 years still no sores or tumors on her from toxic
repellants. Put a bare light bulb under a chair at night(turn it on of course)and hang it over a bowl of soapy water. The fleas are drawn to the warmth and perish in the soap. Flush bugs down toilet. Repeat as necessary. Hope this helps. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: treewind
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 12:09 PM

Most flea killers are quite poisonous to cats and you have to be careful how you use them - and you only have to miss a few and the flea population will come back in a few generations which doesn't take long.

When I had cats I used Program. You feed it to the cat and it's harmless: it isn't poisonous - it doesn't kill the fleas but it makes them sterile so they can't lay viable eggs. The only way any flea can avoid it is by not feeding... It's amazing how quickly they fade away.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: pdq
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM

All about ProgramTM...


                                                                  here


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM

In treating the house, I would shake table salt into carpets, under sofa and chair cushions, animal bedding.

Supposedly the hatching larvae will ingest the salt and die of dehydration. Guess you can do the same out doors, if it is dry weather.

Don't know if it was really effective, or if only an old wives tale, but we never did have too much trouble with fleas.

I am extremely allergic to flea bites (get hives and try to stop breathing). So I knew when we had them in the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:30 AM

We definitely have a problem with the little b#$*#(ds. Ever since I came back from the UK I've been bitten badly, nasty red wheals all over legs and feet and really itchy! Put that together with the mozzie bites and I am not a happy bunny right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:46 AM

The wet spring and hot weather of the last few weeks have turned this into flea heaven.
I am vacuuming, washing, flea combing, washing some more, flea combing - etc - and winning the battle slowly but surely. Tonight I will spray all the cushions and animal bedding outside.
This winter I will continue Frontline right thru to next spring. Hopefully that will end the plague.
Jacqui and Kendall have carpeting and indeed - they are infested. I think professional help will be your only solution. And that means putting all food stuffs away and moving out for 24 hours.
Mine are cat fleas - tiny and black, Seamus has the bigger brown ones, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM

I am very sensitive to flea bites, so I always knew when the cats had them.   We bombed every six weeks or so when we lived back East and had indoor-outdoor pets. However, they don 't seem to live at our altitude and dry climate. Of course, moving to New Mexico isn't the solution for everyone...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:29 AM

Trust me Art, right now I'm tempted!

These are tiny little black critters - I've managed to catch a few and drowned them in soapy water. Right now I'm washing all the bedding and vaccuming the bedroom carpet thoroughly before we put the spray on. It would cost over $300 for a professional job and they would want the carpets professionally cleaned on top of that - just can't do that right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:37 AM

Daily vacuumimg. Constant washing of anyplace Seamus sleeps. You may want to replace his bed. Throw out the current one and provide a blanket that can be washed. When the infestation is under control get him a new one.
There are websites that recommend different approaches. They will go when the weather gets cold BUT that's when you have to continue the battle until all the eggs and larva are dealt with.
Wonder why the ones at your house bite? Mine are content to annoy the cats. Constant flea combing is order too. Brush and comb; brush and comb. Then do Seamus too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM

Wonder if this will reduce the number of house guests in Maine????


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:48 AM

Mosquito repellent on the legs does really help while it's at its worst. The powdery spray one is least irritating to the skin. (We had one room really badly hit one year and we had to use that stuff just to go in there to treat the rug and vacuum it.)

SQUEAM ALERT ON
Now here's something really nasty to consider. Some flea treatments for pets is meant to repel, not kill. Yet one of the most definite flea attractants is our dearly-beloved pets. Some people use Capstar THAT way-- I know it's hard to think of deliberately letting the little darlings missed by our vacuums have a hearty last meal, but they ARE going to jump on Fido and Fluffy no matter what, as one works toward eliminating the problem. This is not an endorsement-- but some people DO use Capstar-type products that way and it can move the elimination project along more quickly (for everyone's good).
SQUEAM ALERT OFF

BTW, putting a lot of chem in the living environment can tax an already-compromised immune system.... the more is put into the air, the longer such a person needs to be NOT in the environs, and the more thoroughly the airing should be, after the product has "settled." Also, going barefoot in a treated house (for quite some time after treatment) is asking for a big exposure. Us, we just yanked the carpeting. Something to think about. It's easier to send a rug out to be bombed than to have it bombed in the house, and an area rug can go padless and be treated on the reverse side, where wall-to-wall leaves the padding and underside untreated.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 11:01 AM

Fleas and mosquitos are Satan's syringes and Vampire's vacuum to spread disease and other insidious parasites while causing as much pain itching and scars as possible.

One desperate family used themselves as bait to defeat fleas.
THey walked around with Vaseline on their exposed legs and feet until enough were stuck to be scraped off and thrown away.

Sometimes fleas will hide in the lining of clothing and attack en mass when you wear it. The only way to crush them is between your thumnails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 11:39 AM

Hm.... never tried THAT!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Becca72
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM

I react very badly to flea bites, too. I remember when my cat, now 12, was a kitten he was too young for conventional flea treatments and the other cat we had at the time brought them into the house. I rubbed a bit of Dawn dish soap on his neck and the flea dropped like, well, flies. Kilt 'em dead. Then I just vacuumed up the carcasses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM

I can't use most repellents on me as I get a bad reaction. I'm trying a herbal one and waiting to see if that works without side effects. the Vaseline sounds like an interesting idea, as does Dawn dish soap. If I get desperate enough......


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM

The shortest poem ever written:

FLEAS
Adam had'em


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM

Jacqui, me too-- the powdery one tho was OK. (I spray it on top of cotton trousers.)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: gnu
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 04:16 PM

Fleeeeas release me, let me go.

I got rid of the flea problem completely easily and in jig time with my proven method. I called my lawyer and said initiate the divorce immediately. What'shername took the cat. No fleas for over ten years. It's a bit more expensive but you never have to call the pest control pro back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 05:01 PM

Just as I am, without one flea....

My little darling and his boyfriend seem to be innundated with them this year... it's the weather. Slow eradication seems to be the way to go with them, that and washing the carpet when I get back from Towersey.

Those little black fleas are not always another species - they're just juvenilles who've not got eggs yet. The bigger brown looking ones, when you squish 'em are always full of eggs.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: gnu
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM

If they bite ya, does that raise yer cholesterol?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: LilyFestre
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM

FYI, PetSmart and PetCo and similar stores sell an all natural product, I believe it's called Advantix (very close to the Advantage product). It's expensive, smells horrific, will make your throat burn from breathing it and in my experience, does not work. AT ALL. The good news is, the company is good about refunding your money. In the meantime though....the poor animals. :(

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 06:55 PM

Haven't had to deal with fleas for quite a while now. (Thank gawd! I'm allergic to the little nasties!) Way back when...get a good flea spray or bomb (pet safe) and spray or bomb -- then do it again two weeks later for the second hatching. Used to put moth crystals under rugs, under chair cushions and between box spring and mattress -- but not too much!!! or your body will burn. (Made that mistake ONCE in my youth and inexperience.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: olddude
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:03 PM

I am at war with the little pests meself Mary. We had enough rain this summer to sink the titanic again ... now it is mosquitoes and fleas
all I need now is boils and frogs and we will have all the plagues


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: gnu
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:17 PM

I prefer sautéd frog legs rather than boils.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 11:37 PM

I didn't think you were in that part of Canada - or do you get them when they come for a visit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:53 PM

It is quite well known that only cave-dwellers and agricultural peoples have fleas. Nomadic peoples virtually never have fleas. They have lice instead.

In an area with an established flea population, it is relatively easy to kill the adults with insecticides - provided that the animal/host occupants can tolerate the treatment. Flea eggs, however, are almost completely invulnerable to any usable chemical attack.

Flea eggs do not "attach" to the animal, or even to bedding or other items, so when you move out, and shake things out as you go, the eggs are left behind. They may be hidden in carpet, crevices, or other places; but a "moving population" should take (mostly) only mature fleas with them. As long as one keeps moving until the current crop of adult fleas has finished dropping eggs, and moves fast enough that the eggs don't mature while you're still around, you should be relatively free of fleas.

It is reported that the eggs need a week or so to "mature," but can then lie dormant for as long as several years, so moving into an "infested" area is not a pleasant thing. The claim is that exhaled CO2 triggers the hatching of dormant flea eggs, and the hatchlings can emerge and jump onto anything living within minutes, if not seconds.

If an infested area can be left with no animal presence for a period of a month or so, there will be no adult fleas left there. Introducing an animal of sufficient size will trigger rapid mass hatching, but the adult fleas are susceptible to a number of insecticides. If the hatching can be triggered "all at once" and the freshly hatched fleas "dispatched" before they mature enough to lay more eggs, an area can be made nearly flea free - for a time.

Most kinds of fleas have their preferred "hosts" and dog fleas don't commonly attack cats, or vice-versa; although there is some "flexibility" and most kinds of fleas seem willing to adopt humans as hosts if the population gets sufficiently dense. Cross species hosting is exceptionally common for humans and some kinds of rodents and other "wildlife" so rodent-proofing a place of residence is extremely important in getting rid of a flea population and preventing new ones from becoming established.

The most effective, in the long run, are the newer treatments that don't attempt to kill either the adult fleas or the eggs; but instead cause the the adults to drop only sterile eggs. The adult cycle is sufficiently short that the existing fleas will die of old age within a fairly short time, and interrupting the cycle so that no viable eggs are dropped is the most certain way of (eventually) getting rid of a flea population.

Or so I've been told by those who told me they know.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 09:30 AM

I have almost won the battle. Daily flea combings and Frontline + vacuuming. The only ones I find now are a bit wobbly. But I won't let my guard down. Frontline right through thewinter...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:08 AM

You do know Frontline's cheaper in large quantities? It takes awhile to expire, too. One year I bought large, but it lasted for the next spring and I was glad to have it when the next spring was unusually hot and muggy.

We have a great early-warning system, BTW, which is that the indoor cats love to sleep on the laundry machines. I can always spot the flea leavings on the white enamel before the problem gets out of hand.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: pdq
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:16 AM

JohnInKansas makes great post concerning computers and electronics, but his knowledge of natural sciences is not so good.

From his description of the flea's life cycle, he does not know that there is a larval stage. In fact, the flea undergoes 'complete metamorphosis' which means there are four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

The flea larva has three stages called 'instars' and sheds it's 'exoskeleton' between stages. The larva is the only stage that grows, although the adult flea will swell (and usually darken in color) after it's first 'blood meal'.

The pupal stage is the long-lasting one which is how the flea over-winters. It can survive here about a year. Other stages usually last 1-2 weeks. Adults (full-sized) are triggered to emerge by vibrations such as those caused by pets and humans walking. This results in the 'vacant house syndrome" where people move in and are soon innundated by adult fleas. They were in the pupal stage waiting for the sigal that potential hosts were present.

A growth regulator can be applied to prevent the larvae from molting, meaning that they are stuck (usually) in the first or second instar for a long period of time, eventually becoming 'spent', they die. Precor is one brand name for the hormone which is (usually) sprayed on carpets and baseboards the inside of the infested house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 01:13 PM

Gosh pdq, are you saying that salesman at the vet's office was giving me a line?

Agreed that my description left out lots of details, and the pitches about "interupting the reproductive cycle" are mostly in advertising BS not targeted at the technically sophisticated.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:04 PM

I don't think he was giving you a line John, just not the whole story. The eggs fall off the animal, into soft furnishings where they hatch into the little larvae (basically flea maggots) and can be seen as tiny grey/white maggots about 1/2cm or 1/4inch long in the crevices of your couch or armchairs, under cushions or in the pile of the carpet or pet bedding. They're fairly mobile and will live quite happily in your sofa until conditions are right for pupation. As stated above, when that happens, they can wait for months for the right situation.

Vibrations from larger animals (such as humans) wandering about will set off the hatching - which is why we have them at the moment; we went away for a week and the house was largely empty of humans. When we got back and started to move around, there was a mass hatching and we're paying the price now for not vacuuming properly before we went.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: MAG
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:42 PM

I had a bad infestation when I got back awhile ago.

Had to use frontline AND foggers to get them under control.

Another thread recommended boric acid, which helped some.

I continue to wash furnishings vigorously and vacuum everything to get rid of eggs.

I will repeat the frontline very shortly to make sure they stay away.

After the winter we had I cannot believe they are still around, as they cannot survive the eextreme cold, but here they are.

None until this summer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fleas
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:30 AM

The eggs can survive the cold. Heat can excite them into the larval stage....

~S~


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