Thursday, June 18, 2015

Help! I Have a Flea Problem

This post is sponsored by 1-800-PetMeds®. I am being compensated to help spread the word about 1-800-PetMeds®, but Pawsitively Pets only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 

Each year, I battle fleas to some degree with my pets. This year in particular has been comparable to a nightmare. It might not be easy to admit, but I have a flea problem. I first realized just how bad the flea problem was about a month ago when I walked through my yard to the car. When I sat down in the car, I looked down at my jeans only to discover dozens of tiny little fleas all over my pant legs. I was horrified!


When I came home, I began searching the internet for home and yard treatment ideas. There's a lot of information available online about flea control so it can be difficult to sort through everything, but I found some helpful tips at the 1-800-PetMeds® Pet Health Center. They have recommendations for establishing an effective flea prevention plan and it's all located in one easy to navigate place. 

Treat all pets in your home

I was already using a topical flea prevention for Shiner the dog and Callie the cat. However, I noticed that when my dog went out into the yard fleas would still jump on her. I asked a pharmacist from 1-800-PetMeds® about this, and here's what they had to say about this - 
"The flea has to bite the dog in order to be affected by the medication and die. This is why most topical flea meds will not kill fleas right away, but rather over the course of several hours."
In addition to topical flea medications, there are a number of oral flea medications available if that's what you prefer. We used Trifexis with Shiner last year, and it worked amazingly. Studies have shown that oral flea medications are 11.5% more effective than topicals. You should not use both a topical and oral prevention, but rather just choose one that works for you and your pet.

Apply flea preventative to healthy skin

Something I wasn't aware of was that if a dog has healthy skin, topical flea medication is able to spread through the skin better and can do it's job more efficiently. I recently added a new fatty acid supplement with Omega 3 to Shiner's diet, so hopefully this will help some. 

Use additional flea prevention measures

In addition to my dog's topical flea prevention that I'm using with her this year, I spray her with natural topical sprays to repel fleas almost every time she goes outside. 1-800-PetMeds® also recommends using shampoos between monthly flea medication applications. Topical medications will start to lose their effectiveness after about 3-4 weeks, so it's possible that you'll start seeing fleas then.

Are you sure this is necessary???

Treat your home and yard

After discovering the horrifying amount of fleas living in my yard, I began to pay very close attention to my home. What I found was that there were in fact fleas inside of my house. It only makes sense considering how many were jumping on my pants after being in the yard for a mere 30 seconds. Of course they are going to come inside my house on my family's clothes and with the dog. 

I treated the inside of my house with diatomaceous earth and it worked very well. There are a number of products available to treat your home including foggers, sprays, and carpet powders. 

I felt as though treating my yard might be a lost cause, but I treated the areas we spend the most time in. It's 4 acres of land, and there's just no way I can treat every inch. 

Are there any fleas in here?

Of course, treating just once isn't enough. An immature flea that is protected by a cocoon can live up to four months in your carpet.  According to the 1-800-PetMeds® education pages - 
"To control a serious flea infestation, repeat this treatment every 2-3 weeks for at least 6 weeks. Once it seems the fleas are under control, you should implement a maintenance treatment every 4-6 weeks thereafter."
I'll be doing another treatment again this week. So far, the results I've seen from following all of these tips are helping tremendously with my flea problem.

Pet Health Questions Answered at 1-800-PetMeds®

After researching how to treat fleas at the 1-800-PetMeds® Pet Health Center, I discovered that they have a plethora of pet health information. I found advice on almost any pet health condition imaginable, instructional videos, and guidance on choosing helpful products for my pets. They also have a veterinarian available that you can submit questions to. 

Thanks Molly and Max! 

To stay up to date with your pet's health and care, I recommend signing up for updates from 1-800-PetMeds®. All you need to do is enter your email address below and you'll be good to go! 




Have you ever dealt with a bad case of fleas with your pets? Tell us what worked for you in the comments below!

32 comments:

  1. I agree with you the flea season starts every year at the same time... probably more a sign of spring than the groundhog and his shadow :o)
    easy rider

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  2. Bobbi Panter Charlie Dog flea and tick shampoo. It's all natural and won't wash off the topical solution. The testimonials from people that use this shampoo are pretty amazing. You can get it on Amazon. Love Dolly

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  3. Last year I had fleas all over my fur. Granny treats me with a homeopathic remedy, that I get once a month during the flea months, but last year, I got them still, for the first time in my life...I'm 12 now, so.... Anyway, the cause of the fleas was the dirty water outside, where I love to drink. Because it is standing water, (it doesn't move ;) all the fleas were able to spread and jump upon me and thus in the house.
    Then Granny made a natural lemon mix of Tail Waggers TV, that you can find here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2mcN1L1Rdg and she sprayed the house and me with it and vacumed every day, until they were gone...and they really were gone...permanent! Of course she cleaned the water every day too and she didn't sprayed the lemon-mix directly on me, but Granny put the lemon-mix in her hands and pet me with it and told me that the fleas will go away. Pawkisses for Good luck :) <3


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    1. That sounds pretty interesting guys - thanks for sharing. I do use a spray on Shiner that has lemongrass in it, as it's supposed to repel bugs. I spray it on her when she goes outside.

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  4. Oh boy, I know all too well about this situation. Last year was the worst year EVER!!! I am really hoping this year won't be as bad and so far it hasn't been. Fingers crossed!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  5. Those dang fleas are evil little boogers and my Sister Zoe is allergic.

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  6. Poor Shiner! Thankfully I haven't had to deal with fleas but ticks are another issue. I remember in the past though when my cats got fleas and infested my house. OMG! I thought I'd never get rid of those boogers! I'm glad that you found products that work for you. Shiner looks so pitiful in the tub! ;)

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    1. Yea, I know ticks are worse up there. I did find one tick on Shiner this year, but that was it. Paws crossed there will be no more of those nasty bugs around here!

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  7. The only Flea I know is the one from Jones Chews and I want to keep it that way. Hope we never get fleas at our house.

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  8. guys...we had fleas &we iz knot a loud out side; just like yur mom said, they wuz bringed in....by de food servizz gurl

    we used diatomaceous earth on the rugs & carpetz, all de bedding getted washed..twice.... for good measure..de vacuum bag wented strait away inta de garbage N it bee seeled like fort knox.... and on uz.... de food gurl used an herbal dee fence spray

    we hope de nastee bugs iz gone & stay that way !!

    Heerz two a longnose whiptail catfish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

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    1. Same here guys... Callie had fleas on her, but she doesn't go out! Well... she does run out there for a few seconds every now and then so I guess that's not completely true. Still, she had more than I might have expected from being a 99.5% indoor cat.

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  9. Mum had to launch World War 3 (or almost) against fleas years ago : Angel Hercule and Angel Isis left the house for a whole day, and Mum treated the house with gas (!!) to kill the fleas and the fleas inside the cocoons. She had to sign tons of papers at the drugstore to get those two little bottles of gas. She had to turn them on in two different spots in the flat and run to the door, and come back 6 hours later, open the windows, and count the dead bodies...
    Angel Hercule and Angel Isis got a bath, and then a flea treatment. Everything came finally back to normal after several months of lost battles. Purrs

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    1. Haha - WW3! I think that's how I was starting to feel. I thought about maybe using one of those bombs too. I think for now I'm OK though. We have used them in the past for other bugs... I remember my parents may have fogged the house every now and then.

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  10. Our dog Wylie was on the oral medication Triflex when we adopted him a year ago. We let him stay on it, but he constantly had scratches and sores on his skin from bug bites. Some were flea bites, others tick bites. Early this year, we changed his flea medication to Frontline Tritac, and it works much better for him. Our dog Hobo is also using Frontline Tritac with good results. As for a flea treatment inside the house, our veterinarian told us a long time ago to use the laundry detergent Borax on the carpet, and it works really well. You just sprinkle it on and let it set for a while and then vacuum. I think there are directions on how to use it on the box.

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    1. Interesting! Have not heard that one before... I'm not sure I'm familiar with that laundry detergent.

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  11. We have been very lucky that we haven't had a flea problem. *knocking wood*

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  12. Excellent post. We had fleas last year on all our indoor cats, it was a costly nightmare to get rid of them . When you vacuum, be sure to dispose of the bag or empty it quickly or those little suckers will jump right out- learned that the hard way.

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    1. I'll have to remember that... I hope they died since I sucked them up with the DE.

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  13. Fleas and ticks are a true pain in the a$$. I'm still using Frontline - ugh! because it works, and neither of the Boy seem to have problems with it. I want desperately to find something more natural, but they get so dirty, and with hair - they smell like "pig pen" from Charlie Brown, which means I bathe them often and nothing else can sustain frequent baths. Vicious cycle...

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    1. Ha, I like how you used dollar signs there! I have tried more natural approaches too, but because Shiner has skin issues I just don't want to risk her having fleas. I like using them when it's not flea season and they seem to do the trick then.

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  14. Fleas are horrible creatures. Even though she was on a topical treatment, I've noticed a few fleas on Nelly this summer. On the advice of my vet I switched her to a flea collar. I'm pretty worried about having a flea infestation this summer even though I've treated all my dogs and cat.

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  15. We been using the Seresto collar(s) (which we got at 1800PetMeds) and very happy with it. No Fleas!!! Also been using spray(s) when we are outside. Have to be extra safe. We love 1800PetMeds and great resource for pet parents. Golden Woofs

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  16. No matter what we've tried (Advantage, Revolution, Seresto), Mr. N still picks up a flea here and there. He's allergic so it sends him into this massive itching and scratching spiral.

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    1. That's too bad :( I think it's probably because the fleas have to bite him first before they will die. That part doesn't help much when you're allergic to them, unfortunately.

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  17. OMC! When we first got Autumn and she and Nicky didn’t get along, we kept her in the basement in TW’s bf’s art studio. He used to let her outside to garden with him. She got so full of fleas, we had to treat everything and she needed two professional flea baths to get rid of them.

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    1. Yikes! I feel like the same thing may have happened with Callie. She likes to run outside to eat grass when I open the door sometimes.

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  18. Oh dear. I know the feeling. Years ago, We were renting a house on a farm. We had one dog. We never noticed a lot of fleas, so didn't pay too much attention to things. Then we moved out. A couple of weeks later, our ex-landlord called, sounding MUCH displeased. He and his wife had gone in to the house to clean and paint and were seriously bombarded by fleas. It was really, really bad. We have to get a fumigator in there to take care of it for us.

    Then, years and years later, different house, different state. We owned this house. We had 2 dogs and a cat. We went on vacation and had a friend to agreed to stop by daily to water and feed the pets. Not a problem. By the time we got back, there was a note on the door from our friend, telling us he won't go in the house anymore, that the fleas were too bad.

    We went in (we got back home at 6 a.m., after driving all through the night), and wow holy moly! The place was infected. The whole place. Put your foot down and there would be 100s of fleas on your legs and arms! This is 6 a.m., don't forget. We had to start vacuuming everything, cleaning, spraying ... etc., etc., etc. The next day we got a fumigator to come in and do a proper job.

    It seems that the fleas will stay dormant for a long time then, when there's body heat ... Hello! Wow. I hope I never go through that again.

    Good luck to you! Luckily we haven't seen a flea yet this year. Knock on wood. Peace!

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    1. Wow - that sounds totally awful! Ours were pretty bad, but that story sounds much worse. I hope it never gets like that around here. Yikes!

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  19. I fully expected the fleas to be a real problem here this year since we had such a mild winter. I've heard of a couple of other people having huge problems but we haven't yet. *crosses fingers*. It might be because most of our activities are in the woods (no fleas there), on the water, in the car, or at urban places like restaurants though.

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    1. Well, I sure hop you won't have to deal with them either. They are no fun!

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  20. This is a very timely and informative post for us!

    With all the rain in our area the bugs are out of control this year. We found a flea on each of our boys the other day and were wondering what other precautions we should be taking. Good to know about the yard and in home options. We are also making a point to apply natural spray/wipe repellents when they go outside.

    So scary how long the dormant larvae can live in carpet and fabrics!!

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    1. Oh no! If you keep your boys on a flea prevention, it's likely that the bugs were on their way out when you found them. It can take several hours for the medicine to kill them. They just have to bite the dog first, which is no fun =/

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