Fleas, will winter be our saving grace.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by vegascowgirl, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. vegascowgirl

    vegascowgirl Try Me

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    We've been battling fleas in our house for about a month. Thankfully I noticed in past months that others have had the same problem, and I have been using many of the tips given on those threads. However, even though we have put a mighty big dent in them....we can't seem to eradicate them all together. So I was wondering if winter here in MO will bring their demise...or am I going to have to break down and go to the big guns (fogger)...which I REALLY do not want to have to do.
     
  2. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    winter won't kill 'em in the house without freezing your pipes. Vacuum frequently and discard bag/vaccumings each time. Sprinkle DE where they seem to be (I always had them hopping on my legs from under the couch- ex-DH who wasn't sweet enough for them would just laugh at me.) but beware don't breath DE probably as dangerous to lungs as rock dust if not asbestos.
     

  3. phrogpharmer

    phrogpharmer Well-Known Member

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    Flea traps work very well. They are little lights over a tray that has sticky paper in it. You put the traps under couches, beds, in dark areas. When the sticky paper gets covered with fleas and other bugs or when it is no longer sticky you replace the paper. Flea traps are available at hardware stores in my area.
    You will also need to de-flea your pets and give them regular flea treatments.

    It is important to rid your house of fleas because they carry parasites and diseases.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    The fleas really seem to be building up immunities to most every type of poison out there. Chances are using a fogger won't touch 'em anyway.
    You might as well spare your family the exposure...

    We used to have to use one dose of advantage a summer, and only if it was a really bad season.
    This year we dosed 3 times!! :eek: Still those little suckers are coming back.
     
  5. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

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    Get some ADVANTAGE from the Vet. This worked wonders when my dog brought them in last year. We were infested and that stuf when put on the dog and 2 cats cleared up in 2 or 3 days. haven't had a problem since.
     
  6. mtn bluet

    mtn bluet in Illinois

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    Yes, we had them bad inside, but the carpet was old. We tore up the old carpet and laid down new and that got rid of them. Now, anytime I see the 2 outside dogs even scratch once I put some Applecider vinegar in their drinking water and the scratching stops.

    (Just some of my observations.)
     
  7. fitwind

    fitwind Well-Known Member

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    If you sprinkle salt everywhere your fleas will leave I know it sounds crazy but im highly allergic to fleas and it seems to do the trick they don't like the salt. I see you use to live in vegas so did I no fleas there just moved to MO 1 1/2 ago .....
     
  8. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    We use sevin dust, on our critters, on the rugs.
     
  9. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    if you can keep the umidity in the house DOWN, like 20% or less and for long enough, yes it will kill the fleas.

    lack of humidity kills them, but the eggs will live so if you have the rugs and fabrics treated, when they hatch they will die too.

    a wood stove works great to dry the air out.
    when you get nose bleeds.. the air is dry.
    lol
     
  10. Carey Russ

    Carey Russ Active Member

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    Diatamatious Earth works! It is fossilized rocks or something of that nature is harmless to humans and kills the fleas becase it is like ingesting little pieces of glass and therfore they bleed to death-Don't know what it is like in your area but any organic gardening center or Natural Food store should have it or could get it--You could probably find it on the internet--Try Planet Natural's website- You give your house and pets a dusting of the stuff and leave it for a 48 hours then vaccum it up- Should work for ya. You can use it as a natural wormer too for everything from chickens to horses
     
  11. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    GEt some Boric Acid and dust your carpet. let it stand 24 hours and then vacum. Mkae sure you get under the beds and any blankets or throws that are around.
    Wash your hard floors with a boric acid solution.

    http://www.koolpages.com/hokuspokus/boricacid.html

    if you gochemocal there is some stuff called "Bengal" Full season fleas killer. guaranteed :) I think walmart or hardware should have it.
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fleas do not succomb to cold weather. It just slows them down. Clearly, they survive the winter without people or shelters.

    Traps are good as an indicator, but not as a way to eliminate a problem.

    Using a fogger or bomb will do very little because the chemical is active about as long as you can smell it, hence, it only kills a few and does nothing to eggs or pupae or most larvae.

    Please, do not use Sevin inside. Read the label. You will endanger your family and pets.

    Boric acid and diatomaceous earth are over rated. Neither is harmless to humans, and neither is foolproof. Dusts are the most toxic of all pesticide formulations. If you over-do either of these, you and your pets may suffer. A tablespoon of boric acid is enough to kill an infant. Diatoms are high in silicon and can cause severe respiratory problems.

    You live in flea country now. First, protect your pets with a growth regulator like Frontline. Second, evaluate whether other animals, like mice, rats, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, etc. are part of the problem. If they live around or under the house, and your pets have access to their spaces, you will never get rid of fleas without first dealing with the other critters.

    If you have cats, they complicate flea eradication. They tend to have secret places that often get overlooked in treatments and allow the problem to return.

    Humidity does impact them, but it doesn't eliminate them. Here in CO the ambient humidity is less than 14%, and we still occasionally see flea problems. It does slow down the maturation process, so instead of 21 days from egg to adult it could take a week or two longer. Eggs and pupae are protected from all pesticides. Nothing safe for you will penetrate those casings. So whichever method you choose, you will need to continue or repeat it longer than the life cycle.

    Vacuuming is almost a requirement. It stimulates the emergence from eggs and pupae and makes whichever chemical you choose more effective.

    MO has many more chemical choices for fleas than CO or NV. Read labels before you buy. Look for something that lasts at least 30 days and is labeled for indoor use. The best of all would include a growth regulator and be labeled for use on fleas. The carpets are hot spots, but so is any upholstered furniture, especially pet favorites. Be sure to move the furniture and treat the areas below. The cracks between hardwood floor boards can be a breeding area. So can the top of vanity, where the cat hides.

    If the problem persists, you are missing something. Some may be tempted to increase the strength of the chemical, but that usually only endangers people and pets. Reconsider where you missed, or what animal is re-introducing the fleas. It may be the time to capture a flea and use a microscope to identify it. The common flea is a cat flea, but there are many others, some with very specific hosts that may be the clue to solving your problem. On one job I did, the flea turned out to be a "human flea" that prefers skunks. Once it was known, we started looking around the yard and found a hole under the shed with a resident skunk. The dogs visited the entry every day. When the skunk was evicted, the fleas came under control quickly.

    Good luck.
    Gary
     
  13. Garnetridge

    Garnetridge Active Member

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    The CODEX or Food Grade DE is not dangerous to inhale, except for the actual dustiness, and is what you want to use. It is less than 3% crystalline silica.

    Swimming pool grade is dangerous to inhale because it has more than 3% crystalline silica and can cause silicosis, not cancer which is what asbestos can cause. SP DE does not work as well anyway as it has been heat treated to lock together to form a filter and it does not have the cutting effect as the Food Grade which is used in graineries and toothpaste. Also use in Sevin dust as the carrier.

    Frontline is a pesticide not an insect growth regulator. It is Program that is the IGR, although some forms of Frontline have Program in them. Program is non-toxic to humans and most dogs, some dogs will have an allergic reaction so watch your pooch the first time you use it. Pesticides are hormone disruptors and neuro-toxic so not to be used around humans or animals, period. There are always other ways than to
    use neurotoxins that can cause some might bad adverse effects. Don't believe what the FDA says, please. They don't tell you the whole story.

    Borax also kills fleas in pet's bedding so wash frequently. Vacuum carpets daily or better yet just
    pull it up and put down tile with area rugs that you can really clean during flea season. Keep animals off carpet until you can pull it up.

    Fleas don't travel far on their own so if you use traps you must put down a boat load, every few feet.

    Immersing the dog in warm soapy water will kill the fleas. Put a ring of soap around the dog's neck first so
    they don't crawl up to hide on the head and ears. Be sure to wash all folds and creases around their genital area as fleas love to hide there. One tiny air bubble can keep them alive.

    Some use essential oils as repellents but they soak in very fast and have to be reapplied frequently. Some EOs can trigger epilepsy in an epileptic dog so familiarize yoursel with their safe use before using.

    You must also deflea your furniture and your cars if the dog goes in the care, all on the same day as your house and your dog, and the yard to get rid of them.

    Squirrels and deer are carriers so living rurally makes them almost a fact of life. I have used red cedar chips in my yard, mow short, cover with chips until you can't see more than 30% of your grass, mow again and mulch in. This has worked for me in Texas for a year, once I retreated six months later. It has to be red cedar though, not Mountain Cedar (Juniper).

    You can also provide a pillow case full of red cedar chips for the dog to lie on, or put it inside their bed. I buy bales of red cedar chips on sale, $2.25 for 2 cu ft from Tractor Supply. Not sure if you have those in MO but at Petsmart they want $5 for the same bag so shop around.

    Oh and you might be able to use beneficial nematodes that eat the larvae in your yard. You have to have the right soil temp and moisture so read up on them. But they do work in some areas. www.arbico.com has them.

    Good Luck . . . Fleas are a real pain to deal with but
    with thorough management you can avoid chemical controls that will only make you sick.
     
  14. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We always expose our linens, rugs, and upholstered items to freezing weather to kill fleas.

    Eggs survive. ( I think they can still hatch a couple of years down the road - But not adults or larvae.)
     
  15. vegascowgirl

    vegascowgirl Try Me

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    Thanks for all the info given everybody. It is very much appreciated :cowboy: .
    It just seems like as soon as we think we've got them knocked out...they come right back. Dog is not allowed in the house and all kittens are gone (finally) so that may help now as well. Have been vaccuuming like a crazy woman. I have to be very carefull with what I use as I am pregnant...guess I'm just going to have to deal with son of a guns.