July 14, 2008,
L.K. asks from Columbus, OH on July 11, 2008
Need Help with a Kid Friendly Flea Treatment
Here is my dilema. My Dad and his gf went on vacation and I am watching her cat. I saw fleas crawling on the cat and I am wondering how I can keep from getting infested with fleas this week while they are gone. This is an inside cat and we have 2 other inside cats here that don't have fleas. I also have 3 kids the youngest of whom is a year old. I don't want to just spray bug spray. Are there any other ideas besides sweeping frequently which I will be doing? Thanks in advance for the help! :)
So What Happened?™
Ok-here's what i figured out. I really wasn't looking forward to spending any $$ because we are really short this month...BUT I looked all over her and saw these little black things and was like-GREAT-she does have fleas. Then I put down some of her catnip and she rolled around in it and after that those little black things were all over the carpet. It's like the catnip has little black seeds in it and those are what is in her fur and on her face. I held her and looked all over her stomach and back and everywhere and there was nothing moving or anything and there haven't been any fleas jumping either, so I know that she doesn't have fleas. WHEW! Saved me some money!! Thank you everyone for all of your quick responses! :)
J.E. answers from Cleveland on July 12, 2008
J.J. answers from Columbus on July 12, 2008
Hi, I would say..DONT DO IT....You dont want to get flees in your home and with 3 other cats,the flees will be in heaven, you are asking for it.And your pregnant, with kids, Bad Idea! Can their cat be kept at their home and you run over to feed it and check on it? They could put the cat in a shelter too. I hope it is not tooo late.I have had 2 dogs and 2 cats, and they all lived to be over 16 years and up. I loved them and I had my battel with flees because of bringing other friend and family pets for a visit. Just.......
DON'T DO IT!
M.P. answers from Columbus on July 12, 2008
When we board our dog the vet's office automatically gives him a pill that immediately kills the fleas, even though we use frontline. Most vets will sell you the pills individually, so ask your regular vet about your options and what they recommend. The pill is $3.00 here in Ohio. Off course nothing penetrates the egg so a flea dip is needed. I have used a five gallon bucket for that. The buckets diameter doesn't allow the cat to kick out and allows for a good soak. One rescue I did had all the fleas heading to the head of the poor kitty while she was in the bucket. The dip gives a residual on the skin that kills the fleas when the egg hatches. Good luck. M. B. Pike
S.L. answers from Columbus on July 12, 2008
I am a life long animal lover, and I try to use the most holistic treatment possible where my own kitties are concerned. My sister manages a busy veterinary clinic, and my niece is a veterinarian. Since I have adopted two stray kitties who were infested, we've gone over the pros and cons of all the options.
With fleas, the safest way to get rid of them for sure is to stop the reproductive cycle in its tracks.
I recommend taking the cats to their vet for one of the topical flea treatments like Frontline or Advantage. It's important that the cats be seen by the vet first. These products are not without side effects, but if the cat is healthy, they should be fine to use.
When you talk to your dad's vet, find out if his kitty has been seen in the past 6 months. If he (she) has been, the vet might be willing to sell you the treatment without seeing kitty for "well kitty" check up first. Most vets will be willing to skip the check-up if the animal has been seen in the lat 6 months. The other two cats are yours, right? They will need to be treated too. Once you discover fleas, all animals in the house will need to be treated.
DO NOT TREAT THE HOUSE WITH ANYTHING AT ALL! All flea and tick treatments can interact with each other, with deadly consequences. Fogs, powders, sprays, etc., are the most dangerous of all the flea treatment products. You do not want to expose anyone ~ especially children or animals ~ to those chemicals.
When applying any of the topical products, you want to apply it to the skin at the scruff of the neck or between the "shoulders". Make sure it is getting down to the skin.
The way these products work is this: as the fleas bite, they are either killed or rendered infertile, so the reproductive cycle is stopped. In very little time, all fleas in the environment will have died off.
Keep sweeping and cleaning, but change the bag or empty the vacuum often. You can also put moth balls or flakes in the bag and that will help to control the fleas.
This isn't a cheap fix, but it is the best one available, and the safest for the humans in the home. Especially for the children, who put just about anything and everything in their mouths.
T.M. answers from Bloomington on July 12, 2008
peppermint oil repels fleas.
J.F. answers from Cleveland on July 12, 2008
First off, if the fleas are visible they are probably all over. If you are sweeping everyday, you need to change the bag every time you vac, the fleas can get out of the bag. I would take the cat back to your dads and just check on it everyday. You can get some stuff from the vet or go to the store a buy a flea collar, we have one on our dog and it works really well. Give or take all the cats to the vet for flea baths and ask the vet what you can use to clean your house. Fleas are so hard to get rid of!
Good Luck and Congrats on #4!
R.K. answers from Dayton on July 12, 2008
V.L. answers from Cleveland on July 12, 2008
I would buy some advantage for all 3 cats. If one has fleas it is impossible that the others don't, or won't get them. Advantage will work in 24 hours and it's good for a month. It won't hurt the cats or the people!
K.G. answers from Fort Wayne on July 14, 2008
I'm glad it appears fleas are not a problem!
If you ever do need a flea treatment (that happens to be really cheap), Borax powder works REALLY well!!! We are property owners, and last year my husband took our two kids to one of our apartments to clean it out. The previous tenant had a cat. When he got home, he noticed small red spots on my kids, but didn't know what they were from. The next day they were gone. But I had a couple bug bites. Three days later, I had over 100 bites (yes, I counted), and found fleas in my bed. I about went nuts. Apparently these fleas didn't care that much about anyone else in the house, but they sure liked me. Desparate to not end up with 200 flea bites and also having kids and a dog, I searched the internet for solutions. The only consistent response I found that worked and gave an explanation of why it worked was for Borax. Apparently it kills the adult and weakens the outer coating of the egg, and somehow dehydrates it (it's a salt) so it can't hatch. It can be found in the laundry aisle (I got mine at Meijers). I sprinkled Borax everywhere on the carpet (even moved the furniture) right before bed so my kids weren't running around in it and brushed it in with a broom. Then I left it over night. I vacuumed it up the next morning before I let the kids on the carpet. I continued to vacuum every day for about a week. I also washed all the bedding (including our dog bed) in hot water and thoroughly dried them in the dryer. I probably vacuumed all of our soft furniture, too. It is important to throw the vacuum bag away the first couple days since there are probably live fleas in there and they can crawl out. After my initial treatment, the fleas were gone. Several places said I would need to treat again after two weeks, but I didn't need to. We've been flea free for probably 8 months or more without any kind of treatment.
If you want a website with quite a bit of Q&A from real users, try this: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf747531.tip.html.
J.V. answers from Kokomo on July 12, 2008
I recently researched this very topic. If you google natural flea remadies you will come up with the exact name, but it is a type of dirt (it is actually more like a powder) starting with a "d" that you massage into the animal's fur. It is non-toxic to the animal and to humans, but it acts like razors to the flea and cuts them to the point they die. The article tells you how often to reapply the stuff, but it is supposed to be quite effective. Good luck!!
M.M. answers from Cincinnati on July 13, 2008
A trick I heard of but have never tried was to cut up some flea collars and put them in your vacuum cleaner's bag. Then, when you vacuum up the fleas or their eggs, all of them will end up dead. Also, you have to make sure you run your vacuum every day, possibly even using it on the furniture.
Did you do a flea treatment on the visiting cat? You didn't say whether or not you did, but I would definitely suggest that as well. You might also want to treat your cats as a preventative measure.
P.R. answers from Indianapolis on July 12, 2008
J.E. answers from Cleveland on July 12, 2008
Brewer's yeast works great. I have three boxers and a long haired cat, and I don't use chemical flea treatments; I use brewer's yeast both topically and in the dog's food (the cat doesn't go outside). I've been using this method for 8 years now and haven't had a single flea.
M.B. answers from Lafayette on July 14, 2008
Looks like you've received lots of responses for your animals...how about your house? (Or your dad's girlfriend's house, or anyone else out there with this problem.)
If you are in the Lafayette area, you can call Reliable Exterminators. I used to work there. They'll give you free, accurate advice over the phone. If it turns out that you need something for your house, they'll sell you some stuff you can use yourself that is still safe for kids & pets.
I moved into my house 3 years ago & found out that it was infested with fleas...bad! And we had a dog, a 2 year old and I was 5 months pregnant. We got the medication for the dog from the vet, and the chemicals from Reliable. They were gone in the timeframe that was suggested. Good luck!