Flea Bite information, preparation, and removal, blog and store for all of your flea, mite, and tick removal information

My pediatrican recommends flea shots for dog

Jan 2009

My pediatrician recommended that I have my vet prescribe anti-flea pills or give an anti-flea injection of Program or Sentinel or other product to my cat and dog as it is less toxic for the house and for our baby. My vet doesn’t give the injection or advise the pill. I am confused by this because I read online that it is considered less toxic since it is not an insecticide but something else efficient and safer. I am curious if others have experience with pills and injections vs. topical insecticides, and if you can recommend a vet who offers this? Thanks

Info about flea control here: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7419.html

Although many people seem to prefer Advantage, I love Program because there is no toxic substance on the skin, and the insecticide in it is non-toxic to mammals. In addition, with Program, once you have eradicated the colony, no retreatment is necessary, as long as your pets do not share a bed with another animal. When we first started using it, it was only available as a prescription, but now you can get it over-the-counter at pet stores. anon

Fleas in children’s bed

Nov 2004

The past 3 mornings our kids have been waking up with flea bites all over their bodies. We put new sheets on their bed last night and they woke up with more bites. The dog had a professional bath yesterday. We do have a dog and 2 guinea pigs, but they mainly stay downstairs. From now on, no more animals upstairs. Is their any type of herbal, natural pesticide to put in a child’s bed? Do we need to wash all their stuffed animals? Bill

Here’s what I would try:

1. No more pets in the kids’ rooms, period. You could install baby gates to keep them out.

2. Wash all the pets with flea shampoo.

3. Wash everything fabric-covered in the kids’ rooms. If you can’t wash it, throw it out. Wash in hot water. Go to Target and get mattress covers for the kids’ mattresses and install before replacing the sheets (this will keep flea eggs in the mattress, um, in the mattress and off the kids. Kinda gross to think about but it does really help.)

4. Wash everything fabric-covered in the rest of the house.

5. Go over to Hertz and rent one of their industrial carpet cleaners. I fill them with two gallons of white vinegar (from Costco) and about another 8-10 gallons of hot water. Clean the carpets. If you have wood or linoleum floors, wash them, too. This should occupy most of a weekend (grin)…but if you don’t do it all at once, the fleas will get back in. You probably can’t exclude them entirely, but you can substantially reduce the number that are getting into the beds. I am quite allergic to fleas and also react very strongly to bug sprays and foggers…I found, back when we had cats, that this would keep the fleas down to a tolerable level. It’s also important to plan on washing the dog at least every couple of weeks as a maintenance measure.

Oh, and if your kids ever bring home lice, this regime will work for that, too. Sara

Baby-safe flea control

June 2004

We seem to have developed a flea problem in our house and need to treat the carpets, furniture, etc. Our problem is that we have a crawling 10 month old who is always crawling and rolling on the floor. We really need to get the eggs. How do you treat for fleas without poisoning your kid? kim

Fleabusters is great. I believe what they use is non-toxic to humans, but you should call and ask. They’re in the book. Liz

We had a horrible flea situation at our house and our crawling daughter was being attacked constantly. She was convered in bites. It was awful. But here’s what we did…”Fleabusters”. Fleabusters (under pest control in the phone book and also on the web – fleabusters.com) use this non- toxic powder stuff that they rub into the carpet and it suffocates the fleas. It can take a few weeks to cause them all death but it happens. We also treated the source (our cats) with Advantage. I don’t recommmend just doing one or the other. We started with Advantage and that’s when the flea situation got really bad. It seemed that the fleas jumped off of the cats and onto my unsuspecting and poison-free daughter. Without the Advantage the cats would be bringing fleas into the house and then we would have to wait for them to die from the fleabusters powder… The two of them together are the perfect cocktail that kills. flea free and oh-so-happy

Try fleabusters: http://www.fleabuster.com/index.html I believe this is a safe product for kids and pets, but you may want to call them and talk with them about it. It worked great for getting rid of fleas when I lived in L.A. with cats. (The fleas are awful in L.A.!!) Anon

We used Boric acid as a very effective flea control. We sprinkle it in the carpet, then vacuum it all up. It gets rid of all the eggs. jewel

Nontoxic Flea Treatment

March 2004

I have fleas in my area carpet and am trying to figure out how to get rid of them safely (i have two young children). I looked in the archives but there isn’t much there about getting them out of carpets, only pets (and i have no indoor pets!). Has anyone done this, and if so, how? Thanks! All Chewed Up

Years ago I used to use Fleabusters and I loved it! I used to live in L.A. before there was Advantage and the fleas were awful!! Fleabusters saved my life and was worth every penny. (Now I have no carpets and I use advantage on the cats. Berkeley fleas aren’t as bad as LA fleas too.) They work a powder into your carpet and all fleas are gone for at least a year, although my treatments would last longer because I didn’t vacuum very often. You need to take out your kids, plants and animals (esp. fishtanks) when they apply the powder because it’s very dusty during the application, but once everything settles, it’s fine for plants, pets and kids. Check them out at: http://fleabusters.com/ Andi

Sprinkle boric acid in the carpet, and then vacuum it all up. It works great. We have 2 dogs, and no fleas, and do this treatment about once a year. eve

We had fleas about a year ago and tried all the ”natural” things we could find (saw a lot of bunk advice online, such as leaving banana peels out until they turned brown — did not work). Tried essential oils, etc, etc. You may find something less drastic, but we ended up calling Fleabusters (1-800-235-3532). It’s a little expensive, but they advertise that their stuff is very safe, and they’re quick (15 minutes), it’s effectuve and guaranteed. We had no problems. (We have 2 birds and they were fine). Liz

Fleabusters (800-235-3532) spreads a non-toxic salt that dries up the fleas. Gets rid of dust mites, too. It’s expensive, but doesn’t smell and is non-poisonous. Our vet recommended it and it’s working at our house. Sarah in Oakland

This really works: Get a pan, fill it with water and a little dish soap. Place it in the middle of the rug with a desk lamp shining on it and keep it there all night, with no other light source, after everyone has gone to bed. The fleas are drawn to the light, and will leap into the water and drown. The dish soap prevents them from bouncing out again. Keep it going for at least a month in order to catch the next generation of eggs hatchlings. Beyond that, always use the Advantage flea remedy on your pets. Nothing works better. MEG

March 1998 Does anyone know of a nontoxic product (or company that uses a nontoxic product) that can treat flea infestations in the home from pets? Thanks.Dianne

Fleabusters offers a non-toxic flea treatment — and it works for a year or more! You can find them in the phone book.

Diatomaceous Earth is often used as a non-toxic flea treatment. It is made from the crushed exoskeletons of diatoms, tiny creatures that live in the ocean (whales eat them). You can get it at pet stores (I think), and possibly also from Pool supply stores (where it is used in filters). I think the stuff you get from pet supply stores may be finer than that for pools; I’m not sure. You sprinkle it on the carpets, and the vacuum it up later. The tiny bits get in the breathing pores of the bugs and suffocate them. The downside is that some people find that it wears their carpets out sooner (though this is only hearsay; those I know who’ve used it haven’t had any trouble). Dawn

I had great success with Flea Busters (I’m pretty sure that’s what it is called). They apply a powder – it is brushed into the carpets and sprinkled in the corners/edges of hardwood floors. I think it works by basically dehydrating the fleas to death – it is some kind of salt. Someone else told me you can buy the powder and do it yourself, too, but I have no idea where. It is guaranteed for a year. You should not wash your carpets afterwards as water will counteract the powder. I hope this meets your definition of “nontoxic” – it didn’t smell or create fumes or anything, although I imagine it would not be great if your child was sucking on the carpet, for example. After using Fleabusters, I used “Program” on my cat (turns the cat into a giant birthcontrol pill for fleas, because after the fleas bite the cat they can’t reproduce) and have never had a flea problem since. Fran

re:fleas I would do a commercial for fleabusters. in the old house we had 2 dogs and 2 cats. here its just the dogs but 4 floors of carpeting. they come once a year and basically salt yourhouse. it works like a charm. -K kimberly