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Have you ever had a flea infestation in your house? Hopefully, your answer is no because fleas are no fun and an infestation is a nightmare. I know because we have had an infestation — TWICE! How on earth could that happen, you ask. Well, let me tell you.
The first infestation started back in the summer of 2009, just before we came to live with mom. Mom took care of a friend’s dog while her friend was on vacation. The dog was scratching a little but mom didn’t think much about it. Mom started fostering that summer, but all us kitties were flea treated before we came. In spite of that, in the summer of 2010, we had our first infestation. Thousands of fleas started hatching all at once. Even mom was bothered by them. They were EVERYWHERE! It was so awful and we couldn’t stop scratching. Poor mom tried everything to get rid of them. It took months of flea treatments as well as treating the house. You can read the post mom wrote about this here.
Now, you’d think mom had learned her lesson, and indeed, she thought she had. From then on, to make sure fleas never got a foothold again, she treated us monthly, even in the winter, with a spot-on treatment and made sure all the foster cats and kittens were treated monthly.
The longer mom volunteered for the rescue, the more things she began doing for them. After a couple of flea-free years, one thing she started doing was buying a lot of their medical supplies, including flea medications. Another rescuer told our rescue about a discount source for some of these things. It seemed like a good deal and mom started ordering from them. The fosters kept complaining about not being able to get rid of fleas but mom didn’t take it too seriously and just figured they weren’t being diligent about applying the flea medication. But when the telltale signs started appearing at our house, she began to investigate the issue. Turns out, the discount supplier was selling her regular Advantage (without the IGR) rather than the Advantage II she thought she was buying. You can read all the gory details about this here.
Prevention is the Best Way to Avoid a Flea Infestation
The flea life cycle is a long story, so I’m not going to tell you about it now. Just know that it is really hard to break once it gets started. What I do want to tell you is how important it is to use a flea treatment that contains an insect growth regulator (IGR). This ingredient (completely safe for mammals) keeps hatching eggs from growing into adult fleas and is really the only way to break that life cycle.
And that brings me to a new product from True Science — PetAction™ Plus. This spot-on flea treatment contains the same active ingredients as Frontline Plus, which is what mom has been using on us since we moved last year. Mom was excited to try this new product as it is available from Walmart and Sam’s Club (and a few other places) at a very reasonable price. In fact, when we were evacuated, the lady who owns the ranch where she took the horses says PetAction™ Plus is what she uses on her pets for that very reason — a quality product for a reasonable price. Since we don’t have fleas now, there’s no way to tell how effective the product is, but since it has the same ingredients as what we’ve been treated with for over a year, chances are it works pretty good. For more information about the product and a $3 off coupon, you can visit www.petactionplus.com.
PetAction™ Plus is a fast-acting, long-lasting, waterproof, convenient spot treatment for the control of fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and chewing lice.
I know some of you are thinking that you don’t like to use these kinds of products and want to go the natural route. Let me tell you right now, mom tried all those and it just prolonged our suffering. According to information from Kansas State University, “Controlled on-animal and off-animal studies have shown that ultrasonic flea collars and other ultrasonic devices do not repel fleas, affect jumping rates, interfere with reproduction or alter flea development. The use of brewers’ yeast, garlic, B-complex vitamins and elemental sulfur products as flea repellents is common practice. Controlled studies have shown that these materials are not effective flea repellents.”
Now that we live in an area with a colder climate in the winter, mom will probably not treat us during those months, but if you live in an area that is warm year-round, year-round treatment should be considered. And don’t get lulled into thinking you are immune if you are a indoor-only kitty. Fleas are sneaky and can hitch a ride in from outdoors on your human’s clothes or come in on a visiting friend. We have lots of feral kitties in our neighborhood, so I know some of those bitey things lurk out there!
Wishing you a flea-free life.