So Many Fleas, So Very Many Fleas

I gave the dog a bath today and it was… horrible. She is beyond flea-riddled. It would be more accurate to say that the fleas in my house have a pet dog. I shampooed her twice and there were still fleas on the towel when I dried her.

I went up to Tractor Supply to get some Advantage, because I’m convinced that Frontline, while it keeps her fleas from being this bad, still doesn’t keep her flea-free. But they didn’t have any. And the vet is closed. But there’s a generic Frontline now, so we’re going to try that as soon as I’m done complaining about her fleas on the internet.

Never, never have I seen anything like this. She’s had fleas before, sure. We live out in a semi-rural area and she spends a lot of time outside.

But this is like a horror movie.

But, hey, there’s nothing like seeing a hundred fleas in your bathtub to motivate you to clean it right that very second, so all I have left to do this afternoon is the dishes. And be grossed out.

So, you know, big plans here.

24 thoughts on “So Many Fleas, So Very Many Fleas

  1. Alright, now your posts have melted together in my mind and I’m imagining fleas croaking out Walt Whitman lines in demon voices. This can’t be good.

  2. Go to the vet (when it is open) and get Comfortis. I’ve found that it works much better than topical flea treatments; when you read the fine print on Frontline there is a certain window of time before bathing and after bathing for application – if you don’t follow that to the T you’re throwing money away.

  3. Have you considered treating your yard? I’m assuming they’re not in your house, hopefully. Can you keep her indoors more?

    We once lived next to some people who would rescue dogs. Which is great, except every time we got the waves of fleas that came from their yard to ours under control, they’d bring in new dogs and new fleas. We had wooden floors in the house and were still flea infested; it was bad.

  4. We had a terrible problem with fleas last year and Advantix is the ONLY thing that worked. Frontline slowed them down, but we would never have been able to get them out of the house if we didn’t vacuum like maniacs and treat all the pets with Advantix. Infestation is gross and depressing and made me crazy (no, really…shouting and slapping and spraying my leg with heavy-duty pesticide crazy), but you can (with time and work and the right medication for all the wee beasties) beat them.

    Also, I found that Deep Woods Off with the highest amount of DEET helped to keep them off me while I vacuumed the shit out of the house.

  5. My parents got some kind of nematodes from the farm co-op store where they live to treat the yard for a bad flea infestation, and apparently that worked well. Supposedly it depends on the moisture/makeup of your yard, though.

  6. Frontline hasn’t worked for us very well in a couple of years (think I told you that last year or the year before) and I much prefer Advantage because I just think it works better & kills everything/keeps it away better, but we have had REALLY good luck last year and (so far) this year with the Adams spot-on, which they’re selling at Walmart now & is considerably cheaper than the rest of the “pro” stuff.

    I was a little wary in the beginning because it was so much cheaper – however, back in the “old days” (’90s/etc) Adams was one of the two top brands of shampoo/spray/etc that the vets were selling, so I wasn’t too worried & felt the Adams spot-on flea stuff was worth a shot. It really has worked great & at the first sign of fleas this year, they were gone immediately & I haven’t seen one since. Much like Advantage it seems to keep working close to 6-8 weeks most of the time too, and much like with Advantage as well, as long as I keep the dogs pretty up to date with the Adams, the (untreated) cats never get fleas either.

    I was going to try the “generic Frontline” that Walmart’s selling last year but wound up picking up the Adams instead and have stuck with it since, since it’s been working so well. And it’s like $14 for a 3-pack compared to the generic FL ($28 last I looked), and Advantage is up to $40 for a 4-pack now, so I’m sticking with the Adams unless and until it stops working. I haven’t looked anywhere else but I’d assume there’s other places that are selling the Adams too.

    Oh, and Daisy’s been having skin problems from Hades for the last year and a half or so – the Adams is not bothering that a bit (and in fact right now her coat’s looking better than it has in months and months).

  7. Same here. Frontline worked amazingly for years and then BAM, just stopped. I now alternate every two weeks between Advantage and Comfortis. She gets each treatment monthly, but one kind every two weeks. It’s annoying, but it works and we are flea free now.

  8. I should add, rather than horror movie, our flea infestation was like terminator, with the fleas being the T1000 (times a million). They just wouldn’t die and kept popping up again, like whack-a-mole on steroids or something.

  9. Pingback: She Swallowed the Cow to Catch the Dog. She Swallowed the Dog to Catch the Cat… « Tiny Cat Pants

  10. Our driveway has suddenly been infested with fleas, though we have no pets. I blame the feral cats that both my next-door neighbors feed, though they will not spay/neuter them or doctor them. They have dropped two litters so far this year, and one new mother was nursing near our driveway for a few days. So, anyway, now fleas. And I realized that although I have had any number of pets in the house in my lifetime, none of them has ever had fleas — so I don’t know what to do (other than scream and bat them off my legs every time I go out the back door, which works in the short run but doesn’t deal with the underlying problem). How does one rid a gravel driveway of fleas?

  11. The fleas are apocalyptic this year, I swear! I’m going to ask Lesley to come over and weigh in on this. But I suspect her diatomatious earth tip (which I can attest works in the house) might be perfect for this kind of out-door application, too. Sprinkle generously and reapply after it rains. But let’s see what she says.

  12. Thanks for the suggestions. Now does anyone have any suggestions for how to get my neighbors to stop feeding the damned cats? Because they kill or chase away the birds and will obviously keep reinfesting us with fleas if they don’t go away.

  13. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) should only be used inside or on a pet (sparingly) that does not have sensitive skin. It will kill any and every insect, including beneficial insects like bees. In my house, I keep a light dusting under the couch and under furniture. When I still had my cat, I kept a light dusting under couch cushions, too. If you have carpet, you can just *lightly* dust it all over and reapply after vacuuming. If you have an infestation, it will take at least a month to get rid of all the fleas in the house because of the eggs.

    For the yard, a better option is to apply Neem oil. I use it on my yard to kill chiggers. It does not harm ladybugs, butterflies and bees (or wasps, etc.). Just don’t spray it on flowers. Just on the ground. It can get kind of expensive; you need a concentrate and a big ol’ reusable sprayer.

    All this, combined with either DE lightly applied to pets is the only way to get rid of all the fleas for good. And patience.

    Oh, and I keep the DE in the house because of crickets and the occasional roach. Haven’t seen a live one of either in the three years I’ve been doing this. Spiders, however, are a little more wily.

  14. We have no pets. We have feral cats attracted by the food and water my neighbors leave out. Do we need to worry about an indoor infestation resulting from fleas that land on us as we are going inside? And what do we do, short of killing all the feral cats, to clear up the current infestation in our driveway and prevent recurrences? Because I’m pretty sure that the neighbors aren’t going to lift a finger to make the cats they feed any healthier or less flea-ridden, or to get them spayed or neutered.

  15. nm, if there’s plentiful food for them outside, and only you guys inside, they probably are not going to infest the house. They prefer to not dine on humans and will stick to where the animals are (usually).

    If it were me, at this point, I would go get some Sevin (I don’t know if dust or spray would work best) and apply it to the whole driveway. Then I’d get some fox pee and apply it to the driveway and to the borders of your yard.

    The Sevin will kill the fleas (and, yes, a lot of other stuff, so be careful where you use it). The fox pee I’m less sure of, but I’d think that it should mark your yard as belonging to a bigger predator than the cats.

  16. nm, if there’s plentiful food for them outside, and only you guys inside, they probably are not going to infest the house.

    That wind you hear howling outside? That’s my sigh of relief.

    And, btw, is there any specific ointment or whatever that’s good for healing flea bites? My husband’s legs are bloody. He’s using antihistamine cream and an antibiotic ointment, but just general household stuff. Is there something more targeted?

  17. When I’ve has them, I’ve used calamine lotion, but I must admit that I think the benefits were mostly psychological. But if they’re that bad that you guys are getting bit like that, I’d use the Sevin and not feel a even an twinge of guilt.

  18. I’m not getting bitten at all. Mostly because I wear long pants, and see/freak out about bugs on my pants, and brush them off and run inside/into the car. And because bugs seem not to bite me so badly as they do most folks. I’m having ridiculous mental reactions, imagining them crawling all over me, including in my hair, which I know to be nonsense. But my husband looks like the Before picture in an ad.

  19. He should eat more garlic. Supposedly. I mean, even if it doesn’t work, who’s going to complain about getting to have garlic bread for lunch?

  20. I dosed C up on Benadryl and cooled them off/made them less inflamed by dabbing on Prep H — only thing that seemed to work at all for her. She was still pretty miserable and they took a long time to heal up.

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