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    Experts, and others with flea information
    darlyn05 posted:
    I've recently found out that my cat, 10yrs old, has fleas for the 1st time. Does giving her a bath in Dawn Soap truly help with killing the fleas? I have used Frontline Plus 4 days ago, gone through her/the entire house, dry cleaned and wash items I could, used Knockout area treatment on carpet and furniture. Unfortunately I missed putting the Frontline Plus between her shoulder blades and got it on the back of her lower neck. Will the Frontline Plus still be effective being placed there? The instructions say not to re-apply for 30 days.

    Thanx for your help.
    darlyn05 responded:
    Forgot to mention that the area on her lower back is not bothering her much. I have been to the vet for the area treatment, Frontline Plus and instructions. Instruction say I should not have any further 'biting' fleas, yet I do.

    Also, I've read that fleas can produce tapeworm. Can that be passed to humans?
    Home2strays replied to darlyn05's response:
    as long as you got the frontline on your cat in the general area it should be fine, just make sure she doesnt lick at it before it absorbs. dawn does get rid of fleas (basically you "weaken" their grip and wash most down the drain) but not all, we generally do this on puppies and kittens or sick animals that are too young/sick to use frontline, do not bathe in dawn if youve put the frontline on your cat- itll strip it right back off and youll have wasted your money. The frontline has to get to the flea for it to die- hence, you will still see fleas on your cat but they are dying and shouldnt cause a problem. Tapewroms are caused by eating (and NO other way) fleas- so if you eat a flea you could theorteically get tapeworms.
    KittyKatJenn responded:
    Another suggestion is to put a few drops of real apple cider vinegar in her water. She will lok at you like you are crazy at first. Fleas don't like the taste and once it gets in her blood they stop biting. I also like to mix about half and half ACV and water and spray it on the furniture and carpet. It doesn't leave a vinegar smell and it keeps the fleas away.

    I use Frontline on my dog, but I can't use it on my cats. One is allergic to anything liek that and another has really bad asthma and it stresses him out. Works like a charm though.
    Violets_are_Blue responded:
    I would like to add to Home2strays' post that while one application can kill the fleas, larvae, and eggs that come in contact with your pet, many more still can be in the home environment. Add to this that the pupae stage is generally unaffected by ANYTHING thrown at it including general insecticides (Frontline and anything you've used in your home), it can take a bit to be completely free of fleas. A small infestation can take about 2-3 months to be fully gone while a major infestation can take 3-5 months to control. The main point is to be consistent, keep using some sort of flea preventative for your pet and just vacuum and clean regularly weekly.
    Home2strays replied to Violets_are_Blue's response:
    I agree- thanks violets_are_blue. Just reiterating it can take months to get it fully under control and dont give up!
    darlyn05 replied to Home2strays's response:
    Thanx to all of you for your help! I looked her over the best I could and I didn't see any active fleas. The vet also gave me Capstar Blue tablets to give her, 1 the 1st day, then 48 hrs later the other 1. So I feel pretty good that she feels better. I'm concerned with it continuing and how to keep it under control.

    As for the tapeworm Q, she goes into the vet this week Fri, and her and I are very close and cuddly. She sits on my lap alot, sleeps with me very close to my face and I sleep with my mouth open. Plus the chair that she sits in I sit in as well and place my soda on the floor very near this chair. Not to mention she loves kisses. My stomach has been upset alot and my stool has been soft. I thought it was just my diet so I adjusted that and no improvement.

    The ACV sounds like a great idea especially since the Knockout area treatment from the vet is so expensive. You mentioned 'Real' ACV, is there anything specific i should look for on the label when I purchase it in the store? Would you suggest it's okay to use on my fabric vertical blinds? I don't think she will drink her water if I put ACV in it.

    Have any of you heard that putting a cut up flea collar in the vacuum cleaner bag will kill fleas that are vacuumed up? That was another suggestion I received. I can't see anyway that I can clean as deeply as I did for 3 months let alone 5 if it is worse than I think. The dry cleaning alone was $111.00 (pillows, comforters), all in all I have spent around $280.00. Other than vacuuming, sweeping/mopping and using the ACV spray often what other cleaning steps would any of you suggest? I can't continue to keep the house hospital clean like I did at the onset of this issue. My back won't allow me.

    Thanx again for all of your helpful suggestions.
    Home2strays replied to darlyn05's response:
    yes a cut up flea collar will kill any sucked up into your vacuum so they dont get back out. Just make sure you are actually moving furniture or getting underneath since theyll be more likely to hide there. Capstar is a wonderful product- all my fosters get revolution or frontline put on the first day I have them and get a capstar (capstar works for 24 hrs but any flea that bites her will die) If you ate a cupful of tapeworms (i know, ew!) you would not get them, the larvae turn into fleas- not more tapes (flea- eaten by animal during grooming- larva in intestine- shed in stool, looks like rice- flea) you're more likely to get infected with tapes by eating undercooked beef or fish : ) that being said you could just ask your general doc for a dewormer, its a very safe drug. It sounds like you are doing everything right for the flea problem- the only thing you may want to add is to sprinkle your yard with 7dust (if you have a yard) even though she may not go out- fleas may come in via outside cats, squirrels, jumping the threshold. I think your house should be fine now.
    darlyn05 replied to Home2strays's response:
    Thanx again! Everyone has been so helpful. Is it possible for fleas to hitch a ride on a persons clothing and possibly spread to another home?
    Annie_WebMD_Staff replied to darlyn05's response:
    Hi darlyn05,

    Well, I don't know but it is possible for fleas to jump and deposit their eggs on carpets and clothing and for you (the person) to theoretically transfer flea eggs from one place to another. Fleas prefer an animal as a host but will bite people when a cat or dog isn't available. A flea infestation isn't fun. You probably have to do a lot of vacuuming. You may have to bathe your cat a few times. You can usually see fleas on a cat by looking at their tummy and spreading their fur.

    When bathing a cat, put a ring of liquid soap around the cat's neck so that you can easily pick off any fleas that go up to the cat's head. You may have to pick off the fleas and kill them individually, they aren't that easy to "drown" in water when you bathe a cat.

    The eggs are also pretty hardy so just using a flea spray on the carpet isn't necessarily going to work -- you may have to get a professional exterminator in for a fumigation of the home.

    - Annie
    There's nothing better than a warm fuzzy hug from your pet!

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