Ugh fleas!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nancy, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child's puppy was spayed yesterday and vet called to say she has fleas. Of course she lived the past three months with us and I babysit for her everyday while easy child works. So that means my shih-tzu most probably has fleas as does my entire house. We spent the entire night last night cleaning easy child's apartment and washing bedding. Guess what I'm doing today in my house? It's a beautiful day out and I'm on my way to the laundramat with three comforters.

    My dog has never had fleas in her entire twelves years. She's on heartworm pills but no flea medications so now she is being treated too. Just spoke to my vet on the phone and he said he would pray for me.

  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yuck, just yuck. I got a kitten once with fleas, luckily we noticed immediately and treated. I thought I'd be sick. I know some people live with these critters a lot depending on if in the city or country but really makes me scratchy. sorry for your incovenience. Hope it is gone quickly.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. Well, you're catching it and treating it fairly early, so it will probably be fine........even though it's a PITA.

    We, *knocks on wood*, haven't really had fleas be an issue this year. Last year they were horrific, this year......I think I've seen one the whole season.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Dang... growing up down south fleas are just one of things you consider normal. You do what you can to treat the house, yard, and pet, but you know you're always going find some. There's no good hard freezes to cause a die-off or anything, you treat for fleas all year round. I've see some really bad cases back home, but I'm still surprised that I don't see fleas much up here at all.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, probably one of the only benefits to living in a colder climate, I haven't had any fleas ever either, not with cats or dogs. But I understand it is just common in many areas.

    I think I would have to seriously take up drinking to deal with a house-full of bugs.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Considering the insect to human ratio, remember that just because you don't see 'em doesn't mean they're not there. I'm glad they don't get as big and mean up here. I'm still amazed that bug spray works here (down south you just beat them with the can, they consider the contents to be breakfast).
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have had dogs all my life and (knock on wood) have never had a flea problem. I'm pretty sure I know where they came from but what makes me angry is easy child and I saw a small worm drop from the puppy a couple months ago and I thought she had worms so I brought her in to the vet that day. He laughed at me and said it didn't come from inside her. Now that I did research it looks just like the flea larvae I found on google. This isn't my vet, it's my easy child's. I think her puppy has had fleas for months now and this stupid vet didn't recognize that the worm was part of the life cycle and just dropped from her fur when she pooped and that's why I thought it came from inside her.

    I've taken all the comforters to the laundramat, vacuumed the entire house and furniture, washed the floors, sprayed the rooms we could close off, done at least ten loads of wash so far and have at least ten more to go. I combed through my dog's hair several times and haven't found one flea but the puppy definitely has them.

    I can't believe I was under the impression that the heartworm pill she was on also protected her from fleas. Not sure why my vet didn't have her on that one, but I called her today and picked up the new medication.

    I hate bugs, especially ones that leave eggs behind that can hatch months after everything looks cleared.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member you have met the South? I just love that comment about the contents of the We have issues with roaches. You cannot ever find something that will work long term because as soon as something starts killing them, they become immune to it and it starts to actually grow the dang things. You will read online about how something is this wonderful product that works wonders so you buy it and it kills them at first. Put out the poison two weeks later and they are there with party hats on inviting you to Club Raid! And boric acid is a joke.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Grew up in FL, can you say palmetto bugs? LOL
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'll take fleas over roaches, thanks!
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The first time we went to Hilton Head years ago we saw a "palmetto bug" run across the window ledge in the restaurant we were eating at, right in front of us. I was appalled and immediately called the waiter over to point out the cockroach. He just matter of factly said oh that's not a cockroach, it's a palmetto bug. It took a few days of seeing more of them for me to finally get it.........duh!!!!!!

  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Same thing, just bigger, worse attitude, and flies!
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah...palmetto bugs can bite. I got bit by one when I was in FL at my grandma's house. it Hurt.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    They're not known for it, but it happens. Nasty critters and hard to kill.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Nancy, my guys get Frontline Plus. It's an oil that goes between their shoulder blades once a month when they get their anti heart worm medication. I worry because Darcy, digs in the soil and lays in it in the summer. So far so good. We have seen an occasional flea on him but the oil kills the eggs and prevents them from reproducing or something like that. I know it feels creepy to think there are bugs in your upholstered furniture and beds. I also get the outside perimeter of the house sprayed every month to keep insects(like palmetto bugs or cockroaches) from coming in. So far so good.
    Now if only I can eliminate ticks and chiggers, I'd be home free. : ) Good luck.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank Fran. I'm glad you mentioned Frontline Plus. That's what the vet gave us last night to use for Lizzy and I got two more to use the next two months but I think I'm going to do it every month. We switched to sentinel today too, which is suppose to protect against heartworm and fleas. For the life of me I don't know why the vet switched her last year, we were doing sentinel and then she switched her to heartguard because she said it was better for heartworm but I guess I didn't understand it didn't protect against fleas. Because Lizzy isn't around other dogs I guess it was never an issue, but now that she's with Molly everyday it is.

    I haven't foung anything on Lizzy but I'm not taking any chances. I also get the outside of the house sprayed every month.

  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    We use sentinel too. Cowboy and most of the time Lizzie are inside dogs. I never had a worry about fleas but that darn Darcy wants to be an outside dog so I have been watching. A lot of people don't use it in the winter but I know my guys are in the woods a lot even on a leash so I tend to error on the side of caution.
    Really if your Lizzie wasn't around easy child's dog she wouldn't have gotten them either. It makes me itch just thinking about it.
    I don't want palmetto bugs or ants in the house so we keep them away with the outside spray. I won't destroy their homes outside if they don't take up residence in my house.
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Nancy, if what you saw (the worm) fall from the dog's behind was similar in appearance to a grain of rice, then that was a tapeworm. Animals get them from swallowing fleas (you can google the life cycle of a tapeworm if you really want to). Getting rid of the fleas will not get rid of tapeworms - that will be a separate treatment. I'm surprised your vet didn't mention that. It's very common. Or maybe I just think it's more common than it is because I lived in the south when I worked for a vet (my first job) and we saw it all the time. This was also before monthly flea treatment like they have now, and fleas were impossible to keep at bay.

    I'm amazed that your dog has never had fleas. We have a lot of wildlife around here, so even though my dog rarely comes into contact with other pets (outside my home), she picks up fleas just by going outside. If I treat her, I don't have to treat the cats since they don't go outside.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Frontline is a good product and there is a new version that the vet says just came out about 6 weeks ago and is even better. Usually if you treat the dog you don't have to do the whole house.

    Yes, that seems strange, I know. But fleas are species specific. Dog fleas may chew on a human for a while, but if the dog is treated and the house vacuumed, etc... normally, then the fleas will go away usually with-o a whole house treatment. They just dont' survive very long if they only have people or other animals to feed on. Cats and dogs can swap fleas if they share a home, but actually they are separate types of fleas.

    How do I know all of this? A good family friend who was a professor of entomology, then a prof emeritus of entomology. I worked on several research projects for him and assorted grad students to make $$ in high school/college.

    If you don't want the toxic pesticides around, get some neem oil from a health food store or ebay. It works on fleas, lice, almost any insect. It is very safe for people - is one of the few things approved for organic foods. It has some beneficial properties to people. You can mix 1/2 tsp with reg dog shampoo for a small dog or 1 tsp for a big dog or long haired dog and wash the dog with it. It kills the adults and will keep the eggs from hatching.

    For your home, mix 1-3 tsp neem with 16 oz water and spray the carpet, mattress, anywhere with it. Neem has a strong, sort of garlicky odor but diluted the scent goes away fast. This is the stuff that the military sends with soldiers when they are going to be somewhere with lice, fleas, whatever. I was SUPER skeptical, esp of the safety issues, but did a LOt of research including asking the entomologist about it. It is what he uses on his grandkids and pets because it is far safer than the lice shampoos, flea shampoos, flea collars, etc... and it works a lot better.

    If the smell bugs you, add a few drops of essential oil to the neem/water mixture. My kids usually add citronella oil because they like it and I got a big bottle a couple of years ago when a drugstore went out of business. but most any essential oil will work to improve the scent if it bugs you.

    For head lice I have the kids leave it on for 5 min before they rinse the shampoo/neem mixture out.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather it wasn't a tapeworm. It was actually longer and looked like the picture of larvae I found on google. easy child said a week before that she found this white gooey stuff on puppy's belly and she took it off and squezzed it and a worm came out. Both dogs were tested for worms and they have none. That's what started this whole thing, I brought the worm and the puppy to the vet and said I thought she had worms and this came out of her. He laughed and said it didn't come out of her and he had no idea where it came from but he tested and said she had no worms. So my thinking is this was a flea cocoon in her fur that just fell off her.

    Susiestar you remind me of the Casey Anthony trial when they were testifying about flies and larvae. It was very interesting. Thanks for the shampoo formula, I think I will do that as a safeguard because I didn't like any of the warnings on the flea shampoo I saw at the store.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011