Wednesday, March 21, 2012


WELCOME SPRING!! Looking forward to the blue skies, blooming flowers, and bursting sunshine, not looking forward to the return of the SUPER FLEAS! Although, I think I'm ready for them after last fall's fiasco. When I say SUPER FLEAS, I mean, this new mutation of fleas that simply refuse to die. Just like humans have become resistant to many antibiotics from overuse, the same thing has happened with these nasty little creatures. They are no longer succumbing to death by battle with the typical flea remedies and we've been forced to step it up. Leo had never had a flea since the day we adopted him (6 yrs ago) until this past fall. God knows I have been patient with all of Leo's issues, I have put up with his phobias, anxieties, doggie insomnia, peeing on my rugs, drool, I've dealt with just about everything but one thing I draw the line at is BUGS! I nearly fainted one day, when I was giving him a good old belly rub, and spotted a little black bug running for cover. Upon further examination much to my horror, my poor basset had fleas. Granted, I only found 3, but I figured those 3 would soon turn into 33 then 333, and I needed to get rid of them fast.  I bathed him with the vet recommended flea shampoo and even mixed in some tea tree oil. I applied the Frontline and did everything the Vet told me to do, except to flea bomb. I hate chemicals and tried to remain optimistic that those fleas hadn't laid their gross little eggs in my house (ya right). Leo never smelled better, never shined so silky and I crossed my fingers thinking I might be home free. Until just a couple of days later, the fleas returned, stronger and ANGRIER than ever. Again more baths and more flea treatments, a homemade citrus lemon spray, some vinegar on the coat, even some garlic in the food. Now I was out of my mind. Meanwhile,we vacuumed our entire house twice a day, every corner every crevice.  We washed every pillow, throw blanket, all the bedding and scrubbed all the couches inside and out. We treated the carpets with flea powder and did a lot of praying. Low and behold the SUPER FLEAS returned again and now the cat had them too. I quickly found out how much cats hate water. There I stood holding the drenched rat by the neck while his claws were out and he was GROWLING (yes cat's can GROWL) and hissing like a snake. His claw caught on to the towel and it was only a matter of minutes before it too, was submerged in the soapy water. It was a couple of grueling weeks for me and I'm not sure how I survived besides lots of breathing exercises and several glasses of wine.  As I sat there watching both my dog and my cat get bitten by these super fleas while wearing their Frontline, it infuriated me. I began to research like a mad scientist. Before long I was armed with more knowledge than an Entomologist. I knew way more about the life cycle of a flea than I ever cared to know in a lifetime. I lied awake many nights analyzing how I could fight to win. I was so grossed out when I heard that they laid little salt like particles (eggs) that were designed to not stick but roll right off the animal and into my couches and carpets. I also learned that the pupae stage could be immune to flea bombing because they had a hard shell coating that could live under your carpet fibers for up to 9 months in the right temperatures. Just when I was at the point where I thought I might burn my house to the ground, I discovered the wonder pill Capstar. I got the pills from my Vet. All I had to do was give each pet a pill and within 24 hours every stage of the flea would be dead. This however would not take care of the carpets. I applied Borax and Sea Salt to all my carpets, rubbed it into the fibers and let it sit overnight. This is supposed to dry out the flea eggs and prevent them from hatching. It is also said to penetrate the flea pupae, dehydrate and kill it.  24 hours after the Capstar, I treated each pet with Vectra topical ointment which I got from my vet. Again, I hate chemicals but I was truly at my wits end and felt so bad for my pets. In the end, I won the battle and I believe I owe it all to the Capstar.  Once they had it in their system, even if a flea jumped on them, they would die upon contact. It was MAGIC! I wouldn't use the Vectra again as both my pets got chemical burns on the site.  I did decide to try Advantage and I got it from 1-800 Pet Meds. It was very inexpensive, for a 6 month supply for each pet, I think it was around $70 total. This is their 5th month on it, and both have been fine, knock on wood. No burns, no issues and most importantly NO SUPER FLEAS!

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