View Full Version : Fleas issue?

Feb 14, 2013, 02:43 PM
I have one dog , three cats, one bunny. No carpet in house. I live in an area that the vet says fleas can not survive the winters as it is too cold. Fleas are rare here (Calgary AB) unless people travel to different areas or someone visits them. My mom was out in August of 2012 from Nova Scotia. We have been treating the pets for fleas since them with our vet. The last time we used the medication you put on the neck every two weeks instead of monthly (per vet instructions) and an expensive spray for the house. Hubby sprayed once then went and did it again 2weeks later. IT was spray we got from the vet.

I have posted on Facebook and in the pet forums as Owen (dog) has broke out again. The cats are not scratching or losing fur. That is unusual as they were the first ones to show signs last time. It was suggested I post here as it looks like it is fleas again. What steps do I take to get my house clean of these? If you need more info please ask I will answer as soon as I can.

Here is a link to my post on the dog forums with a link to Owen's sores.

Feb 14, 2013, 02:56 PM
Does your house get mice?
I live in rural CT and when I had a huge infestation last summer and switched brands of flea drops, I bombed the house 3 times, and did a ton of laundries. The flea eggs cycled several times.

Feb 14, 2013, 03:00 PM
I have not seen mice. I should mention in case it matters. Owen goes outside, cat and bunnies are only in the house. Outside we have coyotes they walk up and down our street, we also have feral bunnies. They were rabbits for pets then people let them go and they breed like.. well rabbits :). Not sure if they would have them and be able to pass on to Owen without being near him.

Feb 14, 2013, 07:07 PM
I'm afraid I have bad news for your Vet. In the pupal stage fleas make a cocoon just as moths and butterflies do. Those cocoons can remain viable for two years frozen in ice.

Secondly, have you seen fleas? Many mite infestations can produce very similar symptoms early on.

Assuming you have fleas, read the label of your control product very carefully. There are mainly two growth regulators in use today: Nylar and Hydroprene. The products with Nylar work fairly well on carpets where it can be absorbed by the carpet fibers but not as well on woods or vinyls. Find a product with Hydroprene; I won't name any brands as Canada's government has different regulations than the bureaucrats I'm used to dealing with.

Be sure to run a vacuum with a beater bar across your floors before treatment to coax as many cocoons into hatching as possible.

Then there's the OCD follow-up. I say OCD because vacuuming and mopping twice a day for three solid weeks seems crazy. It does work, however. I recommend using either detergents or ammonia to mop with. The pine/lemon/orange oil soaps don't really have much effect on flea larvae.

I left a sticky a couple of years ago about fleas. It may have a more thorough answer to any specific question you may have.

Let me know how it goes.

Feb 14, 2013, 08:18 PM
I knew Catsmine would have a suggestion. So glad he came here with some advice. I have none. I also live in Alberta and have never had fleas. Mice yes, but fleas, never. It's not a common problem in this neck of the woods.

Feb 15, 2013, 12:21 AM
How do I figure out if it is mites versus fleas?

Hubby is at work. I will have to nudge him tomorrow to look at this to see if he still has the container for spray. Once I have that I will post what the bottle says. I am unsure if it is fleas as the cats are fine. The last time the cats were losing fur from the fleas.
Just to clarify I am to vacumn my floors (no carpeting in this house). Then mop?
Thank you for all your help trying to figure this out.

Feb 15, 2013, 03:02 AM
To find out if you have fleas, find a sheltered spot near one of the dog's favorite places to lie. Place a bowl of warm water there, preferably with an incandescant light bulb right over it (a desk lamp with a bendable neck works well) and leave it for at least three hours. Eight is better, but three can show results. Fleas will be attracted to the warm water and jump into the bowl. You will be able to see them on the surface of the water. Most other pests will not be able to climb the sides of a bowl.

Vacuum before mopping to get the fleas (if they're there) to hatch out of their cocoons where they can be affected by detergents/ammonia/flea spray.

You may want to have enough flea spray on hand for a second treatment about three days later in case of interactions between mop solution and spray.

Feb 15, 2013, 01:56 PM
Oops! The growth regulator for fleas is METHoprene, not Hydroprene. Hydroprene is for roaches.

Feb 16, 2013, 01:22 PM
Starting to think it is allergies. Please correct me if wrong. He is improving today: less red, some bumps are gone, no new ones. All we have done is bathe him in epsom salts and put on coconut oil.

Feb 16, 2013, 01:52 PM
Starting to think it is allergies. Please correct me if wrong. He is improving today: less red, some bumps are gone, no new ones. All we have done is bathe him in epsom salts and put on coconut oil.

Coconut oil? Really? My first choice would have been canola oil or teatree, but if it's working I won't argue. If you're going to use oils you might consider baths with Dawn or Octagon detergents, as they're also insecticidal.

Feb 16, 2013, 01:58 PM
Coconut oil was recommended by one of regulars on the dog forums. I am writing down the ones you recommend as well. I will have a huge list to talk to the skin doc when Owen sees him/her. I am going in prepared this is going to cost me money so I will get my moneys worth and make sure I have no lingering questions. Side note his chin has the red "pimples/sores" again. Same as the last time vet said allergies. Just noticed them today.
Hoping it is not a long wait for appointment and we figure this out.

Feb 16, 2013, 03:14 PM
I would have suggested an oatmeal rub if it's allergies. But that's just me. :)