What are your favorite ways to fight fleas once they’ve found your pets?

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We’re recent transplants to Austin, Texas, and boy-oh-boy are the fleas some resilient little fuckers down here. I’ve always given monthly flea/tick spot treatments to my cat and my dog, but that doesn’t do the trick here like it did in colder, drier climates.

We took them to the vet for a flea dip whilst I laundered, vacuumed, and swept all of the things at home. No respite from the fleas! Our poor pets were scratching again mere hours after we got them home.

We know fleas are the culprit (oh yes, we’ve seen them) but we feel powerless to defeat them. There’s lots of information on how to prevent flea infestation, but what to do once you’ve got ’em? Flea bombs aren’t out of the question, but I’d prefer to avoid blasting our living space with poison.

Can you help us help our pets? -Megan

What say ye, Homies? What are your favorite ways to fight fleas once they’ve found your pets?

Comments on What are your favorite ways to fight fleas once they’ve found your pets?

  1. Things I’ve tried that never really worked for me, but maybe I didn’t give them enough of a chance:
    1) Orange Guard — the active ingredient is orange peel extract. This is said to break down the waxy coating of insects (their exoskeleton, I guess?), essentially suffocating them.
    2) Borax — meant for hardwood floors, because when you sweep, it gets swept into the cracks. I found an article where the author swears by it, saying that they have been using it for 4 years, and that it works by cutting into their exoskeleton and then drying up all their bodily fluids: http://www.boraxforfleas.com/does-borax-kill-fleas/
    3) Pan of dish detergent and water under a light — allegedly fleas are drawn to light like moths are, so the idea is that if you can get your pet to stand near a light, they will jump off, towards the light. And then you just need to have a pan full of dish detergent and water ready to catch them, where they will drown.
    4) Creating a tincture out of various insect-repelling herbs such as vetiver and citronella, and grain alcohol, putting it in a spray bottle, and constantly spritzing carpet and upholstery.
    After a good four months or so of trying these, I got fed up enough to bomb my apartment. Now, I was trying to control a cockroach infestation at the same time, and that probably factored into my decision. And these may be the type of solutions where you have to do everything in a very exact, scientific manner, which I didn’t really do. If I ever encounter another flea infestation (knock on wood), I would probably try these again before I go for bombing.

  2. We had a terrible flea problem with both cats and our dog. 3 days after a flea bath & Advantage application, they’d come back. I finally used this stuff called Capstar and it actually worked! It’s an oral medication that can be used on cats and dogs. I’m considerably less itchy now.

  3. We’ve used flea bombs before to pretty good effect, we had to use two for our whole house but we haven’t had problems with them since. We flea’d the animals at the same time to prevent any survivors being brought back into the house which probably helped.

  4. This flea problem starred in April 2016 and it is something that was out of sight out of mind. We just never had to deal with them in Missouri for some reason. They are maddening for dogs and us. Not that they attacked us humans, so obviously home was not infested as we originally thought. After much spending on this and that, while using Frontline spot treatment, for years, for tick problems not fleas. That did not even work. We treated house anyway. My husband brought home Advantage spray and I was disillusioned at the time because I about gave up, poor dogs were suffering and we had to just watch. Then relief came with Advantage spray, those fleas abandoned ship and started dying immediately, I was wondering if it would last. The stuff we bought earlier with clove oil, a natural spray, killed them but only while wet on the dogs then stopped killing. I hate the smell of cloves by the way. The Advantage spray kept killing, their sores from digging at the fleas disappeared and what a relief for them. I have to spray them every week and a half or so but it works, immediately. I did notice that they itch a bit the first day of treatment, from fleas that must have taken up residence since they were dry after treatment, then no itching till I notice that it is time to treat again. It is a good product, I worried about chemicals applied to my dogs but then worried more about the fleas killing them eventually. My dogs, 6 in household have had no bad reactions, that was a relief in itself and fleas under much better control. Bad year for fleas in Eastern Mo. that is for sure. Try Advantage and treat home. Good luck and don’t give up. Advantage helps immensely. Try to find it on sale, it is expensive, but petsmart has it on sale and we stocked up. Too bad they have to be so greedy.

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