Fleas on Pets - Help!

Updated on October 23, 2012
L.S. asks from Omaha, NE
13 answers

As if I don't already have enough to do with kids, full time work and the housework, we just discovered our dog has brought fleas into the house. Disgusted, creeped out and worried describe many of my emotions right now. First of all, tomorrow is my daughter's first birthday - great, not what I had hoped to deal with on that day; second, we're preparing to have company in a few days for her birthday party next week; and three, we gave the dog a bath and found they were worse than we originally thought so we're pretty worried there are eggs in our room where he sleeps. Already decided to blow up an air mattress and sleep downstairs tonight. We're doing extra laundry tonight. We checked the cat and will take her to the vet for her own bath tomorrow. We haven't noticed bugs or bites on the children or ourselves, so hopefully we've escaped that so far. Tomorrow night we're rug doctoring the carpets in the bedrooms and downstairs (on my daughter's birthday, which SUCKS) and will continue to do laundry and keep the dog clean. He has a new medicated collar that we'll be keeping away from the girls. Any other ideas are much appreciated as we have never had this problem before. I promise, we're not disgusting, though this really makes me feel like it. Damp pets anyway :) ha ha j/k - we still love them, but they're a hassle sometimes, and it's not always good time :( Thanks, Moms!!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice! I may be a bit edgy about this but it's our first flea problem. I helped bathe the dog last night and saw the fleas so it was a little weird to think they might be in the house anywhere he lays. But I see that it's not the end of the world as some pointed out. So we're dealing :) Thanks again!

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answers from Austin on

As far as the medicated collars, I don't like them.. I feel they are much more harmful to the pets and potentially to the kids around them.

What I like is a flea treatment for dogs called Comfortis. It is a pill that they take once a month... and it works wonderfully, even down here in Texas where Frontline and Advantage only work for about 2 weeks before we see the fleas again.

You may also need to treat the yard... that is where they came from in the first place, most likely.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Anchorage on

Flea collars don't work. Get advantage from your vet. It's the only thing that works. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The flea collar is a big NO. They don't work. You need to get a prescription flea preventive from your vet. That's the only thing that will work. Frontline and Revolution are a couple I can think of now. Your vet will need to recommend what works best for your dog. They are a monthly topical you apply to your dog's skin, on his back just below his head. They work wonders!

Don't be so grossed out by fleas. They are everywhere outdoors. It's impossible to keep them out of your house UNLESS you use the preventive on your pets. I have used them for years and have never had fleas. So vacuum up your house, have a great party and get the stuff from your vet. You'll all be fine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Treat your dog with stuff you get from the Vet. It's powerful and the fleas will be gone within a few days. Frontline and Advantage are two products.

I'm not good about remembering to treat our dog every month and he shows up with fleas. I treat him and the fleas are gone. I do not have fleas in my carpet or anywhere else. No problem with the rest of the house. Once the animal is treated the fleas have no where to dine and will quickly die. When the eggs hatch, the fleas will have no where to dine and will quickly die.

I suggest that you're seriously over reacting. Fleas are not the demons you make them out to be. They will not make anyone sick. You just discovered the fleas. It's likely that there are very few fleas and eggs that are not on the dog. Treat the dog. Relax. You do not need to go thru this emotional crisis.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Ocala on

It's not as bad as you think it is, the only shame is in keeping pests, not in getting them. It has happened to anyone who has opened their heart and their home to a pet.

We live in Florida so fleas are a 12 month a year battle. As most of the other posters said, collars are a waste of money and potentially dangerous to your pet. Advantix or Frontline are both great, but we buy ours at the local farm and feed store (much less expensive than the vet) and you do not need a prescription for it. I have also purchased in on ebay and Amazon.com. It is available for your dog as well as for your cat.

Since fleas only spend 10 to 20% of their time on a live host the biggest thing for us is the preventative treatments we do for our yard. We treat at least once a year with a spreader and make sure to water it in quite well. These type of treatments are readily available at any local hardware store in the gardening section. For textiles, should we get an infestation, we use Sergeant's Flea-Free Breeze home and Carpet Spray. It deodorizes as well as kills fleas and eggs and works on contact. This is also available at the local hardware store in the pet section.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I just had this issue with my indoor cats (apparently I had fleas in my garage where they visited). So I totally get where you are coming from. They are so gross!

What I did was to immediately treat the cats with a monthly treatment. I laundered everything I could and vacuumed everything else. I think the flea life cycle is 3 weeks so it's not just do that today and you are done because they have dropped eggs and some of those eggs have already started developing. Rather than use poison throughout my house, which I was not comfortable with I vacuumed frequently, flea combed the cats daily and got flea traps. They are a light bulb and sticky paper. You could make it yourself with a shallow bowl of soapy water under a night light but the flea traps were much easier for me. This is how I figured out they were in the garage, that trap had a lot. It also gave me peace of mind that my house was not infested. The indoor traps caught a few fleas only. The vet told me to give 3 treatments to be sure I have completely disrupted the life cycle. It's been 2 weeks since the second treatment and I am not seeing fleas, itchy cats or getting any new ones in the traps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My pets have had fleas before. It always happened when the flea collars I put on them ran beyond their effective date. We simply put new flea collars on them (From Walmart) and the fleas were all gone quickly.

The flea collars work very well. The flea collars have an insecticide that the pets absorb through the skin and that kills the fleas. Once when the infestation was really bad, we gave the dog a bath with fea soap that we got over the counter at Walmart. It worked just fine. We dried the dog and put the flea collar on our dog and there was no more problem.

Read Marda P's last paragraph. She's right. You are completely over reacting.

PS. Do NOT put flea collars on people. The insecticide will be absorbed through your skin and make you sick.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Oh boy.... skip the stress and the expense of having your cat get a bath at the vet and just take care of it yourself: launder all of your textiles that can be laundered: bathroom mats, bedsheets, petbeds and blankets and pillows that the animals come in contact with.

Take the flea collar off your pets, cut it up and put it in your vaccuum bag. The flea collars are USELESS! Go to the store and get a monthly flea treatment: we like Advantage II for our dog (they make it for cats too). It kills fleas, nymphs, larva and eggs ON CONTACT (they do not need to bite first)... which is pretty neat. Adult fleas only make up about 5% of the flea population in your home, so it's important to hit the eggs and juvenile stages!

Get a spray (at the pet store) for your carpets and upholstery: spray all areas that your pets hand out in, let it sit for a few hours, THEN vacuum EVERYTHING. Dispose of the vacuum bag in the outside trash, cut up another flea collar, place in vacuum and keep vacuuming once a day for the next week or so.

As long as you take care of it right away you should be able to get control of them. Having your pets on flea medication is an important part... they will basically walk around killing off fleas.
There are people who also treat their yards... we don't, there is so many dogs, cats and squirrels where we live it would be pointless - but with the monthly flea preventative we have yet to see a flea.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The flea collers don't work.....get your dog some FrontLine it is expensive but it works. Vacuum A LOT (even after the carpet cleaning.) You should also clean your furniture (I like Resolve).

Best wishes.....Blessings

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

This just happened to us. First time in 35 years!! There is a spray that you can get from vet. You spraynn then vacuum your way out of room. You can also spray dog with this. Just cover face. Do laundry etc. then repeat. If you are having companynn want to be sure they are gone get the foggers. Works great but you must leave house for a few hours. Then come home and vacuum after you put flea collar in vac bad. Get Frontline immediately
And put on dog.



answers from Davenport on

I recommend spraying for fleas in the house, too. They are really bad this year, and even the frontline has proved ineffective. You probably won't get flea bites right away, especially if the "host" animal is still in the house, unless they are on you lap a lot. Good job on the cleaning and washing right away!



answers from Washington DC on

Talk to the vet about a spot treatment. Then also start washing and vacuuming. Our cats are indoor cats and they got fleas. It's a bad year. We got Frontline for them for several months and got a better vacuum when ours died. We vacuum the couches, under the beds, in all the crevices. Do this at least weekly if not every couple of days. Throw out the bag immediately or dump the bagless. You can put moth balls in the bag or bin, but they'll stink when you use it, just FYI. I would not use a collar. I would use the spot treatment from the vet if you are serious about getting rid of them.



answers from Miami on

I am also putting in a vote for Comfortis. It helped a lot the last time we had an infestation.

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