Thursday, June 23, 2011

At War

We have had a huge war with fleas! I have never run into super fleas before but these were beginning to seem invincible. They didn't seem to have a cryptonite. We have had a couple of years that Frontline just didn't work but so far have always been able to find another method that worked. We have used Natural Defense for years now and have never had a flea problem. I still use Capstar and Frontline for fosters. I used the Natural Defense topical first on my dogs this year and we still had fleas after a few days. So I used Advantix on Miles and Moose.

Moose had some type of neurological reaction to Advantix and was having problems controlling his rear end a few hours after I put it on him. Here is a video of the strange way he was walking putting his tail out stiffly to the side trying to balance every time he changed directions. BTW the reason he is wearing the muzzle is because he had a dew claw on his front leg that had come off and the muzzle works better than an elizabethan collar to prevent chewing on sores.

I washed the Advantix off and gave him benedryl right away. It took nearly a week for the effect to wear off but he seems fine now. Miles did fine with the Advantix that came from the same box. Since the Advantix was still effecting the way Moose walked, I waited to see if he had enough of it in his system to kill the fleas. Apparently not. I tried the Natural Defense herbal spray on him next. I also sprayed carpets and dog beds with that. Boy the house smelled good for days after that but we STILL had fleas.

I sprayed Pinky and Miles down with the Natural Defense again since it is non toxic and just essential oils. STILL had fleas a couple of days later. I put Frontline on Pinky since he was the one that seemed to have the most fleas. I had already treated the big dogs with chemical flea killers so couldn't really re-apply it on them. A couple of days later Pinky and Moose STILL had a few fleas. I was not finding them on Miles so maybe the Advantix did work. It is harder to see fleas on a brindle dog than the two white dogs so I wasn't sure he never had them.

During this time I was vacuuming the house to keep it from becoming an infested. I never saw fleas hopping around in the house - just found a few on the dogs. I was flea combing and killing fleas by hand every day on the dogs. I usually only found 3 or 4 on the white dogs in a day.

We put cedar mulch outside in the dog area for the dogs during this time too. Cedar and cedar oil are natural bug killers so any fleas outside SHOULD be taken care of.

The next thing I tried was dusting the few carpets I have and all dog beds with Diatomateous Earth. It is an organic non toxic (to pets and humans) insect killer. I also powdered the dogs with it. It made them powdery and gritty feeling. Left the white powder in all the carpets hoping the little buggers would all die. I thought it had worked because I didn't find any fleas for a couple of days but then I found a couple more. Maybe a little progress. Fewer fleas at least. After a week of white powdery carpets I vacuumed it all up. Still found a few fleas after that for a week or so but haven't seen a flea in awhile now.

What is strange is, last year we had ticks everywhere. This year I worked out in the woods around the house pruning bushes for two days and found 1 tick on me. I would have had one tick on me just from walking close to those bushes last year. I picked 3 or 4 ticks off of me last year every time I went out to do yard work. Last year I picked several ticks off each dog nearly every time I put them out in the big dog pen to play. This year I might find one tick on them in a week. Never had a problem with fleas at all last year though. Am not sure which I prefer.