Wednesday, October 7, 2009 By: Suzanne

Home Story: Fleas

I haven't written much on here in the last few weeks, in fact I haven't done much of anything the last few weeks that didn't involve cleaning house. I thought I would share exactly why on here, because, let's face it, everyone else is tired of me talking about it and my readers can simply choose to stop reading and I'll never know!

Let this be a lesson to all of you organic-minded people out there: It is possible to get rid of fleas with natural and organic treatments. However, you will also have to live with flea bites on yourself and your animals for at least a month, maybe more. No matter how much I hate using chemicals in my house, this was simply unacceptable to me after desperately trying for 2 weeks to do everything I could and then discovering that Aurora (the collie) had contracted tapeworm. This is something that can only happen if she had ingested a flea (according to my vet).

So what does the person who is anti-chemicals in the house do in this situation? Get all the animals out of the house, close all dry food inside the fridge (luckily I haven't shopped much lately and there was room), bathe the dogs with flea shampoo (AGAIN) and spray them with the natural flea killing spray that seems to work (briefly, not a week like it claims), and flea bomb the sh** out of the house. At my mom's house I discovered a live flea on Loki (the cocker spaniel). So, off they go outside and off we go to PetSMart where we buy a different kind of flea shampoo and it's related spray (recommended by the trainers at the store). I'm going to place a free advertisement right here because it appears to be the ONLY thing that has worked. It says "Natural Chemistry" which seems to me to be an oxymoron but whatever, it worked and for that I am thankful. That awful "Hartz" stuff didn't work worth sh** and it smelled terrible too. They were at my mom's house for 2 days and were completely flea free.

THEN, I left leave the animals at mom's house while I went home and cleaned EVERYTHING. And I do mean everything. I put every dish I own in the dishwasher (or, that is, washed the few things that can't go in there by hand but you know...) and placed every thing that could be washed in the washing machine in the washing machine (obviously not all at once, what a mess that would be). I vacuumed floors and furniture and wiped counters and cleaned bathrooms and sprayed the yard (yep, more chemicals) and cleaned Lucina's cage and Loki's kennel all in between putting away clean clothes and dishes. I was very tired.

The next day I went to work and then over to my mom's to pick my now flea-free dogs and bird (thank goodness they aren't bothered by fleas!), take them all home where I am happily playing on my computer when I feel a terrible itching on my arm, look down and see a DA** flea on me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I promptly check both dogs. Of course, Loki has one happily crawling on him and I freak out. What can I possibly do at this point that I haven't done? Did I mention that they've already had two doses of Frontline in three weeks instead of four as recommended? I can't possibly give them anymore.

Then I notice something sort of interesting. These fleas are not jumping quite as rapidly or as high. I CAN CATCH IT! That's not right. So, a little theory is forming in my head but I can't be sure until I call my vet the next day (the nice receptionist who talked to me for close to 10 minutes on a busy afternoon deserves an award). Apparently once you've given your animal Frontline, you actually want the flea to jump on him and bite him. This will cause neurological damage to the flea and prevent him from laying eggs. This is why if you only give your animal the Frontline and don't do anything else it takes so long. You will break the cycle but have to wait them out as the already laid eggs hatch. In my phone call I discover (or actually am told) about another wonderful drug that you can give your animals that will kill all the fleas that jump on them for a period of 24 hours. Yes, they got that too. I am simply at my wits end with the flea thing and nothing short of skinning the dogs is too much at this point. As of today (I believe) I am truly flea-free. Just in time for my beautiful nephew to visit me this weekend.


Anonymous said...

What a crazy, annoying ordeal! It is hard to live by the no chemical rule sometimes. I hope you and the rest of your home will continue to be flea-free.

Tonya said...

So far, so good!