Grrr...Please Help, Fleas are biting my babies! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-16-2006, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure what to do...I am extremely chemical sensitive and especially frightened for my children who pet and play with our animals and share all of the same surfaces with our animals.

My dear cat is wondering what happened, why am I pushing her away all of the sudden?

They hop up in my lap and I get fleas, I move across the room and I get fleas, I run with my baby to bedroom because she gets fleas and then retreat to the family bed and guess what happens...WE get fleas!

I love my cats, but we have never had fleas so bad, I haven't seen a flea in like 6 years until now. We had an epidemic before, a plague you could say. It was nearly 10 years ago. I guess this is another explosion, maybe it was from a lack of a good freeze this year. (I am in Florida) Whatever the reason I need to get it under control fast!

Does anyone have tips? I need to know what to do to rid my home of fleas and rid my pets of fleas without using chemicals or demanding that my pets become indoor or outdoor, they do really enjoy their freedom.

It makes me sick to nurse dd and admire her beauty and then pick a flea off of her forehead. Interrupts that moment! My sons feet and ankles are covered with bites! Isn't that how black death was spread? I fear for my kids everyday! Please Help!!!

Blessings,
-Cherie
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#2 of 14 Old 04-16-2006, 03:41 AM
 
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I hate putting chemicals on my dogs, using pesticides, etc. but last spring we were in TX, and got overwhelmed. I tryed using natural products with neem, diatomaceous earth, various essential oils, etc. We eventually gave in to conventional methods b/c it was so severe. One of my doggies was developing severe oozing hot spots and they were all just so miserable. I think that if we had been expecting it and done more early on we may have had more success w/ a holistic route. But by the time I realized we had any fleas they were already an infestation. We were also traveling in the middle of this, so that made it all weirder.


Anyway it was the middle of may. The dogs were totally covered but I wasn't getting bit too badly yet. Got the dogs Capstar pills that kill all the fleas on them w/ in few hours. Gave them baths to get the dead fleas, flea dirt etc. off of them. Then I applied flea preventative and sent them to the kennel b/c I was going out of town for a week. DH was already OOT. Before I left I sprayed the house with some stuff I got from the vet.

When I came back I went to my mom's before coming home. Got a call from DH. As soon as he had walked into the house, his white socks turned black. He had dozens of bites. Anyway, he came ran out of the house and came over to my mom's. Stripped and put his clothes in a bag and jumped in the pool so he wouldn't bring them into my mom's house. So, we ended up deserting the house entirely for about 2 weeks. We ripped out ALL of the carpeting in the house. (We were going to eventually anyway) During that time we set off bug bombs, sprayed in crevices, sprayed the lawn. Vacuumed every day and changed the bag each time. Before we would go back in each time we had the house air out for 24hrs even though the idiot cans say a few hours is enough. When we moved back in, there were still fleas, but not so bad. And they were not bothering us or the dogs anymore. I could still see them outside though. We continued the daily vacuuming for another few weeks.
I really wanted to avoid harsh chemicals, and visited several holistic vets, had a natural pest control treatment company come for the yard. But they just got worse.
But definitely vacuum everyday. They go through all these different stages (egg, larva, pupae, adult flea) and are only vulnerable during certain stages. But vacuuming helps speed things along w/ the hatching cycle.

You have my sympathy and best wishes.
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#3 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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The other danger with fleas is tapeworms; dogs and cats get tapes when they eat fleas as they scratch and bite themselves.

I've had fleas a few times in my life with dogs and cats; in my experience it is associated with disturbing the ground (new construction, etc.) as well as a mild winter. A new move also seems to bring them on, probably because everyone's stress level is high and that lowers the immune system.

Garlic (lots and lots) added to an animal's diet can make them smell bad to a flea, but I have to say that all of the organic and natural stuff I've tried has ultimately been a failure. The only thing that has been reliably effective is (brand name) Frontline top-spot for the animals and Frontline spray for the house. It contains an flea and tick-specific poison and is NOT a general insecticide like a flea bomb. It's super expensive, but worth it. It never has aggravated my chemical sensitivities the way other sprays and bombs have.

All the animals should get Frontline spot-on. Then you need to treat every fabric surface in your house--all bedding needs to be washed in hot water, every piece of furniture moved so every inch of carpet and fabric can be vacuumed. Steam cleaning also works. Once you have every surface clean, spray (pay special attention to corners, under couches, etc.) with Frontline and scuff it well into the carpet. Make sure that you're changing vacuum bags or emptying vacuum canisters into a plastic bag that is then sealed and thrown out.

Good luck--it is NO fun.
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#4 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 10:59 AM
 
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So sorry......I know what youre going thru!

When I lived in N.Cali....we had a really bad infestation and one of my dogs was developing hot spots. I went to a holistic vet......and he told me all the more natural ways to get it under control, but said if I really wanted to get a jump on it, to give the dog a shot of the frontline (or whatever it was) and spray the backyard with Zodiac flea spray. I had to really clean up the backyard, get rid of as much yard waste as I could. And vacuum vacuuum vacuum the inside, wash bedding, get under couches, vacuum furniture, etc!

For the inside I used FLEABUSTERS.....which is dicameaneous earth.....and it really worked! You can also use it outside, but if its as bad as you say, I think Id use the heavy duty stuff and be rid of it. Onlynaturalpet.com carries their own brand that has a money back guarrantee that I used last spring here in AZ...we had our first flea episode after living here 8yrs bc of a wet winter. Their brand can also be applied to the animals as well as the outside.

I would also have one room in the house completely pet free and cleaned of fleas......maybe your bedroom and the babies room if they are separate. That way you can nurse in peace.

The other thing we did was put our dogs on a raw diet. We used Dr Pitcairns recipe........but with a new baby, that might be alot of work. I would at least consider a more natural dog food if you arent using one already. I switched my dog to California Natural in September......and also started giving her spring water......and I cant believe the difference in her coat, mood and energy level! Shes like a new dog!

Anyway.....hope something I listed helps you. Do you have a good vet?
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#5 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would also have one room in the house completely pet free and cleaned of fleas......maybe your bedroom and the babies room if they are separate. That way you can nurse in peace.
Tears! Oh the horror, I am a single cosleeping mom living at my mothers house and my children and I all share the same bedroom. We are struggling with the finances right now as my brother is in ICU and my mom has taken off of work to be with him. They are the two financially contributing forces in this home as I am a stay at home mom. My cats have busted through the screen in my bedroom and sleep on my pillows!!! I just found a whole litter of flea babies in my bed and I am soooooo about to go s!

I think all of the suggetions sound really good and I will get the frontline right away! My poor dog cries when he is biting his fleas and has a large open wound on the inside of his leg from biting at it so much...maybe that is one of those oozing hotspots, he is soooo miserable.

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The other danger with fleas is tapeworms; dogs and cats get tapes when they eat fleas as they scratch and bite themselves.
Do the fleas have to be ingested? Or can my kids get tapeworms from a flea bite??? How can I protect my animals from tapeworms? One of the mainstream flea control items protected my dog from heartworm. Is the only tapeworm protection just killing fleas or does the medicine act as an anthelminthic (anti-parasitic)? How can I tell if the animals have tapeworms? Will I notice weight loss and a distended belly, increased appetite?

My son had hookworm in his foot at a year old, it was a horrible battle! Poor kid had to eat the most bitter herbs after a toxic dose of medicine from the doctor didn't kill off the parasite babies and the pediatrician was worried about giving ds more of the highly toxic medicine. I should've just done the herbs in the first place! Garlic is a miracle drug, by the way!

Thanks for all of your help!!!
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#6 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 02:05 PM
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oops
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#7 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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One way to deal with adult fleas is to comb your cats using a flea comb and a bowl of alcohol. Comb cat, fleas get caught in comb, place comb in bowl to kill fleas. This will help reduce the amount of adult fleas on the cat but will do nothing really for population control because the fleas have already laid eggs. You really need a chemical preventative from your vet.
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#8 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 02:21 PM
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My dh is an environmental scientist/toxicologist and we know that fleas and the problems they can cause are just as nasty to our health as the chemicals used to kill them. Fleas and ticks are responsible for a number of diseases in pets and people. Some types of ticks, for example, can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease to animals and humans. Fleas can harbor tapeworm larvae, which grow into adult tapeworms in the intestines of pets or people who may swallow the infected fleas. Fleas can transmit bubonic plague! That is why we use frontline on our dog monthly and revolution for the cats. We put it one once a month, leave the house for the day, don't pet them until the next day, and we never have fleas. Having grown up with many pets and many flea problems, both on us and the pets, I can tell you they suck. I feel your pain. Get rid of them asap and use a monthly pesticide. Just don't pet them for a day while they have it on them. It will be much better for your health in the long run to manage the fleas.

As a kid, I lived through many, many flea outbreaks in our house. I have learned from my mother's pain. You need to clean your house and the pet bedding thoroughly while the pets are getting bathed with something that will kill the fleas and ticks. Wash their bedding and vacuum your house thoroughly after you have done something to kill the fleas. You may want to have your mom take the kids somewhere for the day while your do this. You may not kill all the flea eggs immediately, so be prepared to repeat this a few days later. If you do this all thoroughly, and apply the pesticide to the pets immediately after bathing them, you should have everything under control after a day or two. If you are consistent about reapplying the pesticide to the pets every month, you will never have a flea problem again, whether the pets to in or out. It will be a pain in the butt to handle this for the first day or so but it will get better.

Just to be safe, I never apply the pesticides anymore. Dh does it once a month and we go out for the day. We take the pet collars off first so that it is not on them. When we return, dd and I do not pet or hang out with the pets for the rest of the day nor do we let them sleep with us.

Do not give them any herbs or anything like garlic. Garlic contains thiosulphate which causes haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.
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#9 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by boongirl
Do not give them any herbs or anything like garlic. Garlic contains thiosulphate which causes haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.
This happens to dogs and cats fed garlic???

We have been giving our dog garlic and brewers yeast tabs for years!
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#10 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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People can't get tapeworms! They suck, they're hard to get rid of (cause you also have to get rid of the fleas) but children can't get tapeworms from your pets! That being said, I'm sure kids can get tapeworm somehow! But they can't get it through pets that got them through fleas! Whew!

You can get diatomaceous earth at a pool supply store, where I imagine it would be cheaper than anywhere else, especially someplace advertising natural stuff. It is used in pool filters.

Also, you can sprinkle Borax on your carpets, let it settle for a bit, and vacuum it up. This is not supposed to be harmful for pets or kids, but I haven't tried it.

Another thing I heard of that I am going to try (we live in Texas with indoor/outdoor cats and a dog) is to take a shallow dish of water, add a drop or two of dish soap to break the surface tension, and leave it on the floor of any room infested with fleas. Put a lamp near it on the floor, and the fleas are attracted to the light, will jump in the water but won't be able to get back out because of the dish soap.

HTH
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#11 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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You can get diatomaceous earth at a pool supply store, where I imagine it would be cheaper than anywhere else, especially someplace advertising natural stuff. It is used in pool filters.
This is NOT the kind of Diatomaceous earth you want to use in your home or yard


http://www.holisticat.com/fleas.html

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Indoors, you can use borate crystals or a borate type powder (we wouldn't recommend using ordinary laundry borax for safety reasons).* Some have had some success with using diatomaceous earth, which has the effect of scratching the flea exoskeleton so the fleas die of dehydration.* Whatever type of treatment you use, you should keep the cats temporarily out of the area until it has had a chance to work, vacuum and then allow them back into the area.

It’s important to note some of the cautions about diatomaceous earth. For one, be very sure that you use the right kind. Do not use the kind that is used for swimming pool filters. It has been ground extra finely and can cause chronic lung inflammation. When using regular diatomaceous earth, even, please wear a pollen mask and cover your electronic equipment with dust covers, as the product tends to ‘fly’ when it’s vacuumed. And do not ever put diatomaceous earth directly on your pets!

Heres a link to the onlynaturalpet site. They carry their own product that can be used on pets as wellnvironment.money back guarnatee, and they also carry FLEABUSTERS:

http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/Natura...ntrol_s/80.htm
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#12 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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If you've done some research on the internet, you probably came across these sites. Hope they help!

http://www.healthypetsnw.com/articles/art3.php

http://www.helpinganimals.com/animal...leaControl.asp

There is also a "flea destroyer" at this site:
http://www.organiccontrol.com/products.html

We are going to add earthworms to our backyard to help with the outside flea source... haven't tried this route yet, so wish us luck!

Hope you see some relief soon!

Julie
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#13 of 14 Old 04-17-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hypnohobbit
This happens to dogs and cats fed garlic???

We have been giving our dog garlic and brewers yeast tabs for years!

I've heard garlic is OK for dogs, but BAD for cats.

Mama to two beautiful sons Wife to DH
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#14 of 14 Old 04-18-2006, 02:07 PM
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Do some research about garlic and fleas. There are a lot of sites that say garlic is ok for dogs but there are many, many sites that say it is not. Why take a chance? I would never want to chance it.

And, as for the idea of humans getting tapeworms, that info came from the aspca. Here is the link.
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