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Oh my goodness fleas are going to be HORRIBLE this summer. We pretty much battle fleas all year anyway, but it gets 10 times worse in July-August. Well, right now the fleas are getting real bad already. Our flea preventative helps A LOT... but it just seems like the fleas will jump on the dogs while outside and instead of staying on the dog, they're jumping off the dog onto us. We use Advantage, and in the past year we've used Frontline (since we had the same problem we're having now, we decided to try Advantage).

So, what other options do I have? I know we need to spray the yard and that will cut back on most of the fleas, but what about things like garlic? I guess I'm thinking more of holistic approaches to this? Ideally we don't want to use any flea preventative, but I just don't see that as being possible. Would it be possible to keep things completely holistic in a situation where fleas are really bad?
 

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I don't know if it's possible to avoid chemicals if the situation is really bad. During a particularly bad infestation, I used DE (diatomaceous earth) to sprinkle on their beds, in the yard and on the carpets and even on the dogs, I use Frontline on the dogs during the bad months, but sometimes we have to resort to spraying the yard, too. The best thing is to use a combination of things: wash the bedding and vacuum a lot. Put a flea collar in your vacuum bag to kill the eggs you suck up. :)

Holistic Animal Care
 

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You've got a flea infestation, and just using Advantage or Frontline won't take care of it. I live in FL where fleas are a problem all year long. It used to be that Advantage would take care of the problem quickly, but, it's been noted by dog owners and vets alike that Advantage (and Frontline) aren't working.


Here's what I reccommend that you do:

Treat your yard.

Thoroughly vacuum your house - draperies, baseboards, under furniture, the furniture itself - under cushions, too, windowsills, etc. Get rid of the vacuum bag, if your vacuum uses them, immediately.

Treat your house. I use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, and no chemicals at all. You can also use borax, even 20 Mule Team Borax, a laundry product found at your local supermarket, and sprinkle it on the carpeting, and under cushions of furniture. It won't harm carpeting or fabrics. Here's a link that will explain about how Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth works to be flea-free, and is also a wormer. It's all natural and is not toxic to your dog. http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/wholisticproduct.html#DE

Bathe you dog(s) with Dawn dishwashing soap (the original blue stuff only). Lather, and let it sit on the dog for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and blow dry. This will kill any live fleas. But, remember, if you don't get rid of the grit, those eggs will hatch and you'll soon have fleas again on your dog.

If you see another flea on your dog(s), give him/her Capstar (works w/in 30 min. to start killing fleas), which is good for 24 hrs. Then use the topical (Advantage or whatever you use) on your dog. Be sure to vacuum every single day, and toss out the vacuum bag (not just in the inside garbage, take it out to your dumpster).

Here's info about Capstar: http://www.capstar.novartis.us/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a lot!

Yeah, we got the yard treated Sunday. We also bought some Borax to treat the carpets. We've been vacuuming religiously.
We're looking into Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. Thanks for the link... that was very helpful!
I did a search on the forum and someone said they used Apple Cider Vinegar in the dogs water and it helped keep away fleas and mesquites, so we're trying that as well.
So with all that, even though it's only Wednesday, I've only found 5 fleas total. So things are getting better.

This is the one downside I find to living in Florida... fleas year round!
 

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I do believe that it all starts with a healthy immune system to prevent a lot of problems. Frontline has been known to cause skin reactions and other serious side effects. I adopted a new dog 5 months ago and was very hesitant to use store flea and tick products. I like to search for all possible herbal treatments beforehand. I also spoke with a holistic vet who said he never uses chemicals such as Frontline on his own dogs, especially because he has children around. He gave me some other alternatives and I also found a little article that lists a few helpful tips on other natural ways to prevent fleas. http://www.gomestic.com/Pets/Natural-Flea-and-Tick-Repellent-for-Dogs.694111 Good luck!
 

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Hi,
I live in FL also & I do not use pesticides. To keep Muggsy flea-free takes a lot of elbow grease, but it is possible & totally worth it.
I flea comb him EVERY time we come back from being outside. I keep a bowl of soapy water at the ready.
Green Light, Safer, and Concern are some brands of yard & house sprays. You can google 'organic pest control' to find options. I spray the lawn & bushes every two weeks. I keep the areas around the foundation of the house clear & sprinkle cedarcide along the foundation. I use Concern along the baseboards & backs of cabinets inside.
I bathe Muggsy with an herbal shampoo/conditioner (from onlynaturalpet.com) & use an herbal bug repellent (Ackermans) on him.
Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is useful. Onlynaturalpet has one mixed with herbs that is good to sprinkle in a pet's bedding. I cover Muggsy's beds with sheets &/or towels that I change every day & wash all of his bedding in hot water weekly.
I vacuum a LOT!
Yes, I work & still find time to have fun too lol ;)
Anyway, it takes a lot of research & effort, but in the long run I feel better knowing I am keeping Muggsy healthy w/out pesticides EXCEPT for Heartgard.
Much as I hate it, I give him a heartworm preventative monthly. Can't seem to find an alternative.
 
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