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Fleas. Totally fed up with them. What works?

(26 Posts)
minxthemanx Tue 25-Mar-14 19:17:17

Cat and dog are both treated with Frontline. We seem to have had a flea 'problem' (ie, me being bitten, finding the odd one) for quite a while - before the dog came to live with us, so I'm tempted to blame the cat! I'm now finding a flea somewhere every evening - on me sitting on the sofa, on the dog, on my foot walking up the stairs. Have sprayed the house with JOhnsons pink can of extra strength spray (Pets at Home said it was the strongest they do), and STILL I'm finding the bldy things. I can only think they are well and truly in the carpets, sofa etc etc. Any tips?

toboldlygo Tue 25-Mar-14 19:37:01

Over the counter Frontline? Switch to Frontline Combo, Advocate or Stronghold (all prescription only) as these will inhibit egg development unlike the OTC stuff. Treat all animals in the house at the same time. If it's Johnsons 4fleas in a pink can that's an effective househould spray.

minxthemanx Tue 25-Mar-14 19:59:31

Yes that's the Johnson one. The Frontline is one I buy at Pets at Home - maybe I'll speak to the vet and get one there. Fleas are a bldy pain! Beginning to think I'll have to get the house fumigated.

musicposy Tue 25-Mar-14 20:26:52

We had the same, flea free until we got the cat. Frontline didn't work for us. Our then rubbish vet sprayed our cat until he was literally dripping and it still didn't work - and the cat was quite ill. Vet would not believe us.
New vet has put them all on advocate and no more problems. It's also better for Ddog2 as she eats snails (utterly stupid dog) and advocate protects against the lungworm they can carry.

We recently got a rescue dog who seems very scratchy so we are trialling something called protect um with all 4 dogs (yes, 4, we're mad and suckers for a tragic rescue story). It's meant to make them unattractive to biting insects. I would like it if it worked well enough to stop the chemical treatment in the dogs who don't lower themselves to eat snails (as one is nearly 12 and he hates it, I think it burns his skin) but we shall see.

longingforsomesleep Tue 25-Mar-14 23:17:36

We used to use Frontline from the vets for our cats. I then discovered you could buy it over the counter in Lloyds much more cheaply. Started using it - cats got fleas. I hadn't realised it was different (less effective) to the one the vet had prescribed.

Have used advocate for dogs (another slug/snail eater here!) and cats and, touch wood, no more problems.

picnicinthewoods Fri 28-Mar-14 19:04:29

We had same problem with Frontline from pets at home. Its useless. We now use Comfortis (which is a tablet & they chew it, so easy compared to stuff you put on their skin) from the vets. also any house spray not on prescription or from vets will be rubbish.
The key is: get it from your vet or on prescription

wheresthelight Sun 30-Mar-14 21:51:29

My vet used to do a flea injection so you could ask about that maybe?

If they are in carpets about the only thing that works are the bob martin flea bombs

Ludoole Mon 31-Mar-14 23:00:33

We use advocate and never had a flea.
A friend of mine thoroughly steam cleaned her carpets and soft furnishings and then used a spray treatment throughout the house. She treated her pets with advocate and they have never returned smile.

Good luck!

Ludoole Mon 31-Mar-14 23:00:33

We use advocate and never had a flea.
A friend of mine thoroughly steam cleaned her carpets and soft furnishings and then used a spray treatment throughout the house. She treated her pets with advocate and they have never returned smile.

Good luck!

wheresthelight Mon 31-Mar-14 23:14:47

Where can u get advocate please? My dog is picking them up every time she goes in our garden cos next doors cat is riddled

toboldlygo Tue 01-Apr-14 12:13:34

Advocate is prescription only, you should be able to obtain it from your vet (or pay a small fee for a written prescription and buy it online).

bishboschone Tue 01-Apr-14 12:21:46

We had a problem recently , I spoke with my vet who gave me advice and we were sold a spray and some flea spot on and some tablets. We stripped the whole house of washable items and boiled it all whilst we sprayed the house of non washable items . We also used flea bombs to double up . This seems to have done the trick . The only other option after this is pest control coming in to use strong chemicals which isn't ideal. I tried everything before I eventually got rid of them and I think they three / four prong attack works best .

bishboschone Tue 01-Apr-14 12:22:56

I might add I will now be de fleaing them monthly which I have never done before we had them . I so scared they will come back.

bakingtins Tue 01-Apr-14 12:38:56

I'm a vet and have had so many clients having problems with frontline, I no longer recommend it at all. Both the frontline spot on you can buy at pet shops/chemist and the prescription frontline combo contain fipronil, as do a lot of the 'copycat' products from Bob Martin etc. The combo product is better as it also has an insect growth regulator, but I still wouldn't choose it.
Use either Advantage (fleas only and can be bought without prescription) or Advocate (fleas/worms - prescription only) both of which contain imidacloprid, or Stronghold on the pets. If you don't like spot-on products then Comfortis tablets are also very effective, or Seresto collars.
The main issue is that by the time you realise there's a problem, your house is infested, what you see on the pet is the tip of the iceberg. The fleas have a stage in their lifecycle where they are in a pupa (like a caterpillar in a chrysallis) and they are invulnerable to sprays/chemicals in that stage. They can either complete the cycle flea-egg-larva-pupa-flea in 3 weeks or sit in the pupa stage for months. You need to get them to hatch, then spray. Things which encourage hatching are warmth, huidity,noise and vibration so central heating on, bowl of water on top of the radiators, hoover first, then spray.
There are lots of sprays which contain permethrin and an insect growth regulator like Smethoprene (indorex, acclaim, RIP flea, Nuvan staykill - and I think the Johnsons one though there website is coy about what is in it) any of which are fine.
Whatever you do, there will be a lag phase where you still have a few fleas hatching out. Keep treating the pets monthly with something fast-acting and the fleas will jump on to treated pets and be killed before they can lay eggs.

On another note, can anyone explain why asking your vet is a last resort when you've spent wasted loads of money on crap products that don't work? Pretty much every practice I've come across will offer free advice on flea products over the counter - we also offer free flea consultations so we can dispense the prescription flea products that we can only sell to animals under our care.

BikeRunSki Tue 01-Apr-14 12:40:50

Pest control man.£65 for three bed house, worked brilliantly.

BikeRunSki Tue 01-Apr-14 12:42:01

Obviously pest control personel can be women.

MillyMollyMully Tue 01-Apr-14 12:42:30

I think we didn't know flea advice would be free advice! grin

Could you say more about Comfortis please? OK for dogs?

turkeyboots Tue 01-Apr-14 12:46:04

I second Pest control plus a flea consult with the Vet. My vet does a free flea consult which is nice.

bishboschone Tue 01-Apr-14 12:53:19

I'm not sure why the vets was my last resort. I'm so glad I called them in the end though.

cashewfrenzy Tue 01-Apr-14 12:53:59

Bakingtins has kindly saved me from writing a huge big post as she has written it all in hers already grin

I too would love to know why people don't ask us first. It seems an obvious course of action. I fairly frequently have people coming in with chronic flea problems, saying "I've already spent £xxx on stuff from the supermarket/Pets at Home, I don't want to spend more" confused Ditto worms, ticks, ear infections, eye infections, wounds, travel sickness, anxiety, the list goes on. Vet is the last resort yet the one who actually sorts it out once and for all, and we get called expensive ... at least we're not selling totally ineffective crap!

/end rant

bakingtins Tue 01-Apr-14 14:51:20

That makes pest control man about four times as expensive as a tin of Indorex.... confused
Comfortis is available for both dogs and cats. It's a tablet you give once a month and fleas on treated animals are killed very quickly. It only treats fleas.
Your vet will look at your individual circumstances and discuss what parasites your animal needs regular protection against. For most dogs that is fleas, roundworms, tapeworms, lungworm, and possibly ticks.

MillyMollyMully Tue 01-Apr-14 15:28:28

Thanks, bakingtins. I believe Comfortis is very strong, so I'll keep it in reserve for if/when we have real problems again, but then ask the vet. Our dog's on Advocate routinely.

We had a mega problem because of a fox family using our pond as a night club bar; then our dog doing the same the next day.

bakingtins Tue 01-Apr-14 17:11:31

If you have foxes stick to advocate as it covers for sarcoptic (fox) mange also, and foxes are a reservoir for lungworm meaning your local slugs and snails are more likely to be carrying it.

GoooRooo Tue 01-Apr-14 17:23:18

We had fleas once - one dog, two cats - like the vets above have said the life cycle meant it took ages to get rid and I blame ineffectual Frontline for them getting fleas in the first place. Now use comfortis for the dog (which I have to hide in pate) and stronghold for the cats. Deflea religiously once a month. Costs a bloody fortune but it does the job!

minxthemanx Sun 13-Apr-14 20:40:19

Update. Thanks for all the advice on here, especially the vets. I spoke to our vet, and she gave me comfortin tablet for the dog and cat. A week later I still caught 3 fleas on the dog, but since then flea sightings and bitings have been hugely reduced. I also bought a karcher steamer and steam cleaned the carpets and sofa. I'm sure there are still some of the little feckers around, but it does seem better.....

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