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Is there such a thing as “super fleas”?

Three weeks after treatment with Walmart’s version of Frontline, branded PetArmor, we’re invaded by fleas.  Seriously invaded to the point that it is possible that I’m going to get crazy trying to now flea treat the entire house.  They are everywhere, despite no carpets, despite trying to wash and treat the dogs’ bedding.

Fleas greet us when we come home with a Conga line.

I know they have to be “Super Fleas”, but everyone keeps telling me that becoming a bit delusional.  I say it’s post traumatic stress disorder from coping with the dancing bugs from the Super Flea convention.  The dogs are scratching and chewing, one has chewed holes into herself.  I’m grossed out, and yet the fleas seem to be multiplying faster than I can apply toxic stuff to our tile floors, around furniture, and anywhere else I suspect fleas are hiding.

They are winning.

So…tomorrow, they get flea treated again.  Hopefully, this will buy them some relief as I try to eliminate the flocks of fleas from our mutual abode.  Weeks like this, I miss Arizona, where fleas were seldom seen.  The Gulf Coast seems to have a neon sign out for all of the fleeing hoards of fleas from colder climates to seek their refuge here in our balmy winter weather we’ve had this year.

It’s also meaning that the big guns are going to come out.  We’re going to the feed store to get something with some serious bug killing power, even if it means vacating the house for an entire day before returning and airing it out.  We can’t live like this.  It’s miserable for man and beast.  Fortunately, we also have a weekend of plans coming up, making it easy to be out of the house for that entire day with minimal extra effort.

It still means spring cleaning, essentially.  Sweep, removing anything that can be removed, washing rugs, dog beds, etc., and spraying each and every nook and cranny carefully, as we back our way out.  With closed doors and about eight hours to dry and commit genocide on our invading hoard…we’ll return, open windows, and let it air out for a day or two.

In mild climates with plenty of vegetation and humidity, fleas can quickly become a serious problem, and that’s without your pet ever leaving the comfort and safety of your own yard.  No one ever as a “flea free” zone outdoors–everything from squirrels to birds can leave them behind to hop onto your pet as it passes by.  They are remarkably spry at their hopping too, as well as taking up temporary refuge on everything from cement walkways to blades of grass or tree bark before choosing their next meal.

That means staying on top of the problem, especially with pets allergic to the flea bites.  This is a common allergy, and many pets will quickly chew on themselves until they have open sores.

The days of the “flea and tick dip” are gone.  Dipping your pet into insecticide isn’t nice for them or you, and everyone is thankful that it isn’t a necessary or advisable treatment anymore.  Powders are also not particularly effective, and having a pet walking around and covered in a toxic powder isn’t exactly being environmentally or health friendly for anyone.

Your best bets for flea treatment come from your veterinarian.  Frontline, PetArmor, Advantage, etc. are monthly over-the-counter flea preventatives.  They are directly applied to the pet’s skin, beneath the hair, and absorbed into their bodies.  While some people have concerns about the use of such chemicals in this manner, the potential risks from the chemical exposure, when compared to the obvious risks of flea infestations, are much smaller.  (In addition to their blood sucking habits, they also transmit intestinal parasites.)

Available at your veterinarian, there is a monthly pill that is another option, known as “Comfortis”.  It’s also expensive, available by prescription only, but not much higher than the Frontline treatment, and seems to be more effective than the topical treatments in heavily infested areas.  To get rid of the fleas when you do have an infestation, “Capstar” is also available from your veterinarian, and is a 24 hour pill to kill the fleas currently calling your pet home.  Many veterinarians will recommend administering the Capstar when applying the topical to an infested pet for immediate relief from the fleas.

For non toxic control of fleas, some people like flea traps.  There are a number of variations of the trap, but most use some entrapment method, whether water or sticky papers, along with a light.  The light attracts the fleas, and they then become trapped in the water or on the sticky paper, allowing the owner to dispose of them.

What is YOUR biggest issues with flea control?  Have any answers?

Post a comment and let me know!