Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bugz on our Nugz

We have fleas.

Our new house has been a blessing, but it comes with a curse. Since we moved here we have lost two computer hard drives, been inundated with flies, had to repair two automobiles, and now, become infested with fleas.

Apparently applying K-9 Advantix Flea and Tick medicine to our dog faithfully each and every month isn't the guarantee we thought it was. Roxie is a-hoppin' with the tiny beasts of itchiness, and now, so is our bedroom carpet. The Partner discovered a whole colony living in his pant leg yesterday, right before we found an even larger kingdom in our room.

I am beside myself. We are itchy and overwhelmed. As our first line of defense, I researched natural ways to rid one's house of fleas. I am off to the store to buy some Borax in the form of 20 Mule Team to pour into a 50/50 mix with diatomaceous earth. When spread over carpets and furniture and rubbed in with a broom, it is supposed to mutilate and dehydrate the offending insects and their eggs. I don't want to use pesticides, so I am hoping, however naively, that this slash-and-burn approach will work.

Any advice from more experienced and flea-bitten hands would be appreciated. We gave Roxie another dose of K-9 Advantix yesterday (she was actually due for it, as we apply it at the first of each month). I talked to the vet and was told there's nothing more we can do to rid her of the active buggers. Help!


Mary-LUE said...

That Borax thing should work, it just might take a few days to dehydrate the little monster. It is the same thing as Fleabusters, this professional service we had done once. You might get new, lesser outbreaks as eggs hatch, but the Borax stuff should still be in the carpet or you can do it again. Vacuum every day and then empty your vacuum bag after each use.

I wish I had some good advice for the meantime. I know there are insect repellents (lotions) for outdoors. I don't know if they work on fleas and I do know you have to be careful about using them on children--they can be overdosed easily.

Cortisone cream, Aveeno oatmeal baths, calamine lotion are all good for the itching.

Good luck. As you can see, I have experienced the flea plague. Our poor dog was allergic and so we were very aggressive about treatment. Otherwise, he was bald and red all over in no time.

slouching mom said...

Oh, no! No advice to offer, but tons of sympathy.

In fact, I'm itching in solidarity.

Kelly said...

For consolation, our new house came with something called wood cockroaches. They don't come here to eat or live (like ants) and they aren't "dirty", but still. They just "bumble into the house", but still. They're small, and harmless, but still.

I've heard good things about DE. Good luck!

Lauren said...

Bomb the hell out of the house. Forget that whole "not gonna use pesticides" approach and buy flea bombs. You'll have to leave the house for several hours, but it always always does the trick.

For fun, set up a night light next to a bowl of soapy water and watch them jump towards the light to their own demise.

Jenifer said...

Luckily all I have are hairless cats that don't venture outside, but I sure don't envy you!

I hope whatever you do works and workd FAST!

Major Bedhead said...

I would SO be bombing the house. I'm all for natural stuff, but dood. Fleas? *itch, twitch* Yuck.

Good luck, whatever you decide. I've had that problem, too, and it's awful. Just awful.

Sarah said...

We can have a flea bomb party on Saturday. Bomb it as we all party by the pool!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is exactly what I fear, moving to our new house. Gotta say, when it comes to things that bite and reproduce in masses, I'd resort to the bomb.

Lawyer Mama said...

I know you don't want to use pesticides, but be prepared to do it if you need to. I remember my aunt having a hell of a time getting rid of the fleas in her house from a rescue dog. They tried to do it with no pesticides, but ended up bombing the whole house. It was the only thing that worked.

I'm now itchy just from reading this post.

Mrs. Chicky said...

What you and Mary-lue said are all the options that I know about. Except flea bombing. Last resort, eh?

I might be in that boat with you. I noticed that my dogs are slightly itchier than normal as is my cat. Like I need this right now? Like you do? Like anyone does??

One bit of advice that I have: Apple Cider Vinegar. A teaspoon or so in Roxie's water dish a day and a spritzing of equal parts cider vinegar and water will help. And if you're really careful, a little bit of garlic (and I mean really little as it can be toxic in larger quantities) in her food once every couple of days. She'll stink but at least she won't be itchy.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Oh, and Gold Bond powder. It will help with her flea bites and it's also really good for dogs with hot spots (especially when combined with the aforementioned spritzing of ACV).

Ruth Dynamite said...

This happened to my house as a kid and (of course) my parents used flea bombs. They worked instantly.

Major drag, Binky. Good luck. They'll be gone soon, if not already.