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Unread 09-12-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Flea Problem -- Infestation

Hi, all *waves* I haven't posted in a long time, but I have a major issue, and after searching all over the net and consulting with my veterinarian, I am still not sure what to do.

Also, I hope this is the right place to put this, because my problem has to do with .... fleas (which is a cat health issue, yes?)

Let me begin by saying I moved into a new house around August 1st. I brought my two cats with me. I also should add that I live in Southwest Louisiana ... hot and humid ... flea country.

My cats are indoor-only cats and were flea-free when we moved here. However, after one week, I noticed them scratching frantically, so I bought some Advantage. Applied it to each cat, and the scratching stopped ... for about three days.

Then it returned.

I thought this was very odd, until I actually noticed fleas HOPPING ON ME. I realized I had a flea infestation on my hands. Being totally inexperienced on how to deal with this situation, I simply removed myself and the cats from the house and fogged it.

When I returned, there seemed to be no fleas. However ... they returned, again, in 3-4 days.

By this time, my cat Bastet, who is highly allergic to flea bites, had been scratching so much her skin was turning black and she was losing the hair around her neck. It was time for a vet trip.

The vet basically confirmed that they had fleas (it had only been 2-3 weeks since the Advantage application!) and gave me a list of products that I could use to exterminate the fleas from my home. Specifically, he told me about IGRs, an "Insect Growth Regulator" that would prevent the fleas from laying eggs, eggs from hatching, or something to that nature. However, he seemed reluctance to assure me that this would be a sure thing, because of the climate we have here in Southwest Louisiana. He did not think I could get rid of all the fleas, forever.

The cats were given tapeworm pills, just in case. I went home and fogged my house for the time being. Fleas were gone for a few days, but of course returned.

The following weekend, my grandmother gave me some Frontline Plus, which I applied to each cat (one tube each). I then vacuumed thoroughly, with a high-powered shop vacuum, every pieces of material in the house: couch, rugs, sofa chair, cat condo, computer chair, you name it. Then I sprayed the inside and outside of the house (including floors, closets, etc.) with the flea insecticide and IGR mixed with it. I sprayed very thoroughly, to the point of having to cough b/c the fumes were getting in my lungs.

I then waited an hour to let the stuff dry, then let my cats out of the bedroom. I then did the bedroom.

No scratching for a day or two.

Then, on the third day, I found a flea on Bastet.

The next day, both she and Nefrit were scratching.

Yesterday, before bed, I found yet another flea on Bastet.

Please, please, PLEASE ... can anyone help me determine my next move. I am disgusted by the thought of these nasty things crawling all over my darlings. I have done everything a cat mother with limited means (I'm a graduate student, living on 13K a year) can do. I'm afraid to put more Advantage on them b/c the Frontline Plus application was only last Sunday. I know the floor still has the repellent on it b/c it turns my bare feet black after a few hours.

WHAT CAN I DO????
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Unread 09-13-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, nice to see you! It must be so hard for you, I can only think that repeated treatments of the house will eradicate the fleas. I used a spray called Acclaim to treat my house every 4 weeks when I had fleas in the house and it worked really well - however I live in the UK which is mostly cool, quite different to the hot, humid conditions you must have.

I hope that others who live in a similar climate to you can offer some more helpful advice, and that Bastet and Nefrit are not suffering too much - I know how distressing it can be..
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Unread 09-14-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Have you tried calling a pest control company? When I first moved into my new house, I called Clark Pest Control and they did not only a pest spray of my house, but also a deflea of the entire house (inside and out). So call your local pest control, they might be able to do something to help!
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Unread 09-14-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Moonsong. Fleas reproduce every 4-6 weeks. I had them 2 x first time I did call the pest control. After like all the stuff you did. It cost me 80.00 to have a treatment. They had to come back again I was crying by then. They told me about 4-6 weeks. This time they sprayed my lawn, car every thing. This last time I cried again thinking of going through it again I went to the vet just to talk they said it will take a while just put them on front line plus and I found a site for natural flea stuff. Borax and eucalyptus oil that will stick to the body and die. I took that and punched holes in a coffee can and shook it all over my carpet. You have to leave it over night it too a few weeks but they went away. GOOD LUCK GIRL!
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Unread 09-14-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the advice! An exterminator was/is the next step. HOWEVER, both cats have stopped scratching ... for now. As soon as a month is up, I will reapply Frontline Plus or try Advantage again. I am finding all kinds of dead bugs in the house after the treatment, so hopefully it is working on the fleas, too.

It's been like a miracle, the way it has just ... stopped. I'm so paranoid now, however, that I expect it to pick up again any day now. We'll just have to wait and see...
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