Did any of you ever watch “Welcome Back, Kotter?” when you were kids?  A common quote around our place these days is, “The fleas are dying …” said with a very nasal, Horschack-y twang.  (If you remember, Arnold Horschack would say Horschack meant “the cattle are dying …”) 

Well, anyway, we hope the fleas are dying.  They seem to be lessening, but our poor Golden Retriever is just a ghost of her former golden glory.   She’s lost a lot of fur and her skin is very irritated.  Poor baby.  The smaller dogs seem to have fared a bit better than she.  In addition to the plans of attack implemented in my last entry, we sprinkled salt on the floor and worked it into the cracks … our floors looked like the beach, they were so “sandy”.  Then we tried “Flea Stoppers” … a white powder with which you basically do the same thing.  I spent $150 I didn’t really have on a Hoover Windtunnel vac with bags so that I can vacuum EVERY SINGLE DAY and throw the bag away (after giving it a vengefully heart-felt spritz of flea spray).

Believe it or not, it seems that vacuuming at least once a day provides us with the greatest amount of relief.  I think that as I vacuum up the “teenager” fleas before they can lay eggs, we will eventually eliminate the problem.  Nothing else seems to be working that well.  On average I am getting 4 or 5 very tiny fleas a day that will try to bite my feet.  The dogs have a few more, but we continue with the baths and the Adams flea spray.  I will be contacting our vet for advice on perhaps a different monthly treatment, since the Frontline Plus does not seem to be phasing them at all.  I know it is getting better though, because I put on some white socks and walked around a good bit — I only picked up three hitchhikers in my travels, so that is much better than last week.

I took the opportunity while our bedroom was empty to pick up a couple of cans of paint and paint our bedroom.  I’m very pleased thus far.  The walls are Eddie Bauer “Shale” (Valspar at Lowe’s).  I’ll be painting the trim “Craft White” from the same color palette, and the large built in wall unit that serves as my closet will be painted “Java”.  And when I have TONS of energy (ha!), I plan to paint the wood floors throughout the house “Bittersweet” …  But for now, I am very pleased with my “Shale” walls …

I must needs go check on the laundry — my girl is going to summer camp for four days beginning tomorrow at 12:30, and so I need to make sure all her things are washed up so we can pack.  She is a little nervous, but I think she will enjoy herself greatly.  She said, “It’s TWO HOURS away …” and she’s never been that far away from us before by herself.  I told her about the time my youth group went skiing in New Mexico … I was only a year older than her, and I had a GREAT time.  That was probably an 18 – 20 hour trip, if I recall correctly.  So she is feeling a little better about the whole thing now. 

Have a good one!

11 thoughts on “It’s Getting Better …

  1. @miss_o_hara – We’ve been giving them brewer’s yeast tablets that include garlic for about two weeks now … do you know how long it should take for it to kick in?  I bathed them this morning with Adam’s Flea Shampoo and left the shampoo on for about 10 minutes (boy, were they happy about that … not!)  Fleas were falling off them and I had to comb a few off their faces.    I’m thinking that I need to bathe them EVERY SINGLE DAY until we get this problem elminated.  Don’t get me wrong … it’s not nearly as bad as it was, but there are still too many and if we relax, they will come back with a vengeance.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

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  2. Rachael (my vet tech DIL) recommends Advantage. That’s what we use. Also, the best insecticide flea killer you can buy over the counter is Raid, which also kills the eggs. And keep spraying all the pet beds and any area they sleep, with the Adams. We gets tons of fleas. I have to use everything I can get my hands on. Fortunately, Rach gets a certain amount of Advantage free.

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  3. @SingingMom – We’d been using Frontline Plus, but became somewhat lax during the winter season when they are not so bad.  The little beasts sneaked up on us when we weren’t looking.  Does Rachael prefer the Advantage over Frontline Plus for any particular reason?  Also, does she think there is any harm in bathing the dogs more frequently with Adams Flea shampoo?  I didn’t realize the instructions say to repeat every two weeks!  I’d planned on bathing them EVERY DAY until we got it under control … but I don’t want to make them sick, you know?  Any info you can share is greatly appreciated!

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  4. Oh I remember these days.Although as was with cats.I hopped in our car the other day and found a flea!I have no idea where that came from, we don’t even have any pets at the moment.  Maybe the previous owner had a dog.Anyway, either way I can highly empathise!I remember our pet store said that they can become immune to various ones as well- like children with lice shampoo and you need to rotate them throughout the year.xx

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  5. @sarahsD – Thanks for the “rotating” tip — we were thinking something along similar lines, that we might need to try something different to “shake things up” a bit.  Message me with your Flickr info and I’ll add you to my contact list, with permission to view my photos!  🙂

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  6. I think they recommend the Advantage because it seems to work better than the others. But sometimes they recommend using it every 2 weeks instead of once a month, especially in the height of flea season. When we have a mild winter, the fleas don’t die off, and seem to come back with a vengence when the weather warms up. Also, they use this recommendation for animals that are too young for flea treatments, but I think it would work on older animals, too….wash them in Dawn dishwashing liquid. It kills the fleas that are on them, but doesn’t harm the animal. So maybe you could alternate the flea shampoo with Dawn. I washed the kittens in Dawn before they were 6 weeks old (old enough for flea treatment), and it does seem to help. But also keep in mind that when you are bathing them often, you are washing off the Frontline or Advantage…whichever you use. It doesn’t kill immediately, but takes a few days.Also….Walmart sells (Bethany recommended this since she works in the garden dept.) a treatment for your yard that kills fleas and other bugs in the yard. It’s Ortho Max, in a red bag. It’s about $8, but it helps.

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  7. @SingingMom – Thanks so much for the additional info … I think I remember reading about Dawn Dish Washing Liquid on another website … we may have to try that!  I am still faithfully giving them the brewer’s yeast (they think it’s a treat and I figure it can’t hurt anything …)  I’ve been keeping the flea comb by the kitchen sink and everytime I’m in there, I give the dogs a quick run-through and rinse whatever I happen to get down the drain with hot water.  They are getting fewer and fewer, so I think we are getting the hatched fleas before they have a chance to lay more eggs.  Or at least that’s what I’m hoping.I am going to keep the Advantage in mind, but I think I am going to try the pill this month … simply because it won’t wash off and we’ve heard really good things about it from some people in our area.  We may end up alternating the two products so the fleas don’t know what’s coming next.  LOLAJ is still spraying the yard and under the house with Malathion … the gentleman at the feed store said the trick is to do it every six days — if you wait seven, the flea cycle has had a chance to lay another bunch of eggs.  So you want to kill each batch of fleas before they can lay more.  Eventually (in a process somewhat reverse of compound interest, I guess) the fleas will die out.  But we will keep spraying to keep them from coming back (if they ever leave …)

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  8. @TXMom2Jami – Yes, the malathion is probably the best. It’s what vets use when they dip an animal. We always use to use it when I was little. My dad dipped our animals. If you will get some cortisone spray (you can get it at Walmart in the pet dept or PetsMart) and spray those places that are irritated on their skin, it really helps. I used it on Pepper all the time. Vets recommend that, too. You can also use the ointment you get for humans, but the spray is easier.

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