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September 29th, 2003

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10:46 am - How not to Kill Fleas
I've had a bit of a flea problem, since I took on the care of ommkarja's cat while she went off to California. This entry documents my procedure.

8 September 2003 was Die Fleas Die day. This was likely a mistake, but I called in to PetCo for a flea bath for Corvis when ommkarja returned to find that yes, indeed, her cat did have fleas. I still had not seen them, although vermonster claimed to encounter them the previous week. So, despite still holding the infested cat, the dog got bathed and I tried to bomb the apartment... but didn't really know what I was doing.

By 21 September, it was now clear that the fleas had not taken notice of my efforts. 22 September: Die Fleas Die 2, There will be no survivors. Corvis went back to PetCo, because he visibly still had them, and I walked through the apartment with a Flea Can O' Death to coat the places they might live (still a very sparse apartment). That held them off, but by 25 September, they were back and even more bold.

26 September became Die Fleas Die 3, I killed you too quickly the last time. I took the morning off work. Took everything in the house that was washable, stuck it in the car, along with the dog, and set off 2X the recommended Flea Bomb quantity. Sealed all the big openings (doors, etc). Corvis and I did the laundry, walked in Frick Park, finished the laundry, aired out the apartment, and that was that. Left him for the weekend, many of the windows still open (so I'm sure the temperature drop may have finished the strugglers off), parked my car so it too could freeze (and was washed down the Flea Can O' Death) and left. I see no evidence of fleas in the apartment or on the dog at this time, 3 days later. Keeping a watch, of course.

I don't really want to think about how much time and money I've spent on this process. Fleas Suck.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2003 08:00 am (UTC)
Dude, you should have asked me about this, I used to work at the humane society!

For the animals: Advantage! for the cat and dog, DO NOT use flea collars. Not only do they suck (yes they kill the fleas around the neck but there is the rest of the animal where they can hide) they have been shown to cause cancer in animals.

For the house: Borax. You know the stuff that you wash your clothes with, its got the wagon and mules on the front? You can get it at Walmart or Target or whatever. Sprinkle it on the carpets while the animals are out of the hosue or in another room, wait awhile (an hour or more) then vacuum it up. And remember to empty the vacuum outside.

And yes wash everything. Good luck, the little buggers are tough to get rid of.
[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2003 08:27 am (UTC)
Probably should have. I kind of knew "best practices" anyway, and was just too lazy to really go through with it (the whole laundry thing... 3x50lb washers utilized). I only have one rug/carpet, the rest is hardwood -- which is why they took so long to become visible.

Corvis isn't itching nearly as much, and I haven't seen or felt anything, so I think victory may be at hand.
[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2003 04:42 pm (UTC)

ugh I've been there

The easy solution: don't mess with the heavy chemicals. Go buy Program. It's pricy ($40 for 6 months), but otherwise painless. Must be purchased from your vet. Just 1 pill with the heartworm treatment once a month. No more fleas.

Random web description:
Program is a once a month flea control tablet. Program works by sterilizing the female flea. When she lays eggs, they will not hatch, breaking the cycle of fleas, where they start. You must treat all of the dogs in the house with Program in order for this treatment to be effective. If you already have a flea infestation, Program will bring it under control. You can prevent flea infestation by giving Program before you see fleas. Program also comes in a suspension form for cats. Each pack contains 6 doses, a six month supply.

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