Fleas! Help!

Living in Atlanta, I never had Callie, Lola or Spooky (the cat) on flea prevention because we never had a problem with it. The cat was strictly indoors, and Callie & Lola never seemed to pick them up.
We've been in Savannah 3 weeks now, and our apartment shares a backyard with another apartment. The upstairs tenants moved out 2 weeks ago, but they had 2 dogs who obviously had a serious flea problem.
I noticed within a couple of days that we had an issue. Callie was scratching a lot, and I was finding fleas on them (and myself!) a couple times a day.
Fortunately, my house is completely hardwood floors. I put Frontline Callie, Lola & Spooky & thought that would take care of it. Callie kept scratching & I kept finding fleas, especially when they came in from the backyard.
I took them to the vet last week, and he said the cat had the most fleas on her. He didn't really see any on Callie & Lola. He gave me Revolution for Spooky. I bought some flea killer for the backyard. Its a bottle you attach to a water hose & then douse the yard. I emptied the entire bottle on the yard on Friday. I went to Florida for the weekend. The cat was left inside the house & Callie & Lola went with me. I thought after emptying the entire bottle of flea killer on the backyard & keeping the crew away from the backyard for 48 straight hours would help.
I got home late last night & we all went straight to bed. This morning I let Callie & Lola out into the backyard, and Callie came back in with a flea on her leg!
Callie is starting to tear up her neck & the base of her tail. She is clearly miserable, and I'm starting to get upset that this issue is not resolving like I thought it would. The vet seemed to think this would all resolve if I kept on my current path, and he didn't advise anything other than the yard treatment and continued Frontline/Revolution for the animals.
Any advice?

I don't like revolution, have only used Frontline or Advantix. And remember all of these do not "repel" Fleas, they only kill them after they are on the animal and within 12 hours, so they can get bitten. It make take a bit to break the cycle

Fleas are becoming resistant to the various chemical pesticides on the market. So part of the problem you may be experiencing is pesticide resistant fleas. If that is the case then using something like Diatomaceous Earth like was mentioned in another recent thread, on your yard may be more effective because it works mechanically to pierce their bodies.

I use Advantage on AJ and it has been very effective to keep the bugs off him. Even Louisiana mosquitos don't want anything to do with him.

My b-kids had never ever had fleas until last fall - we think it was because of feral cats using our yard as a litter box :mad:. Ruby had a terrible reaction to them - even though there were only a few that I could actually find on her, Brando only had a couple (and had zero reaction) and Liyah was away at a show so she never got any.

I used one dose of Frontline on each of the 3 basenjis - and I used an all natural spray in the yard (2x) and and indoor all natural spray (clove based I think it was) on all soft furniture in the house. I washed all bedding - mine & the fur kids. That actually solved the flea problem within a day, but Ruby was still scratching terribly. So I gave her 1 bath in Virbac EpiSoothe and used an all natural dry skin oatmeal & aloe spray on her twice daily for about a week. It was funny spraying her with that spray - she hates any sort of wetness/mist on her, and clearly was miserable getting the spray put on her. But she felt so good instantly that she would turn and start kissing me and take her paws and semi hug me (only times she has ever done that - it was super cute!) - huge happy reaction from her and it instantly stopped her itching. When she started to scratch at all, I would spray her again, but she never needed to be sprayed more than twice a day.

This year, I'm going to spray the yard with the herbal spray twice a month (it supposedly works the same as the Diatomaceous Earth Lisa was talking about as it pierces the fleas) and see if that does the trick - if not, I guess the kids will need to be on some sort of flea preventative.

Houston

First off, I wish you best of luck in irradicating these litttle flea monsters..I simply can not stand them..

I use diam. Earth in and around my yard, key is to apply when it is dry outside, it only works in dry form. It is such a small particle that is penetrates the pores of any bug/insect and suffoctes them, thus it needing to be dry. BUT do not apply while windy, since you might then get it into your lungs, wear a mask to be extra protective.

I have tried all the topical flea treatments known to man, but they simply do not work for us down here in TX, the fleas have gotten immune to them (or so I was told, by a very smart flea..;);))
I now use Comfortis, it is a pill, more costly then topical but it works and it works great.
I have not seen fleas on any of my dogs since I started comfortis last summer, and our yard is frequented by vagrant cats, tons of not so clean squirrels and other roaming critters.

Like Tanza said, it will take a few cycles to kill them off completely.
You probably killed the ones that were alive and happy when you sprayed the yard before your trip, but others have hatched since and is busy laying eggs..don't give up yet.

I forgot to mention: my gramma lives in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, legendary for its flea and mosquito population. She gives Brewer's Yeast to her critters and says it helps a lot. I didn't ask her the dosage, but I think some of the experts here can help with that.

@AJs:

I forgot to mention: my gramma lives in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, legendary for its flea and mosquito population. She gives Brewer's Yeast to her critters and says it helps a lot. I didn't ask her the dosage, but I think some of the experts here can help with that.

My mom used to do that when I was little too.

You are fighting the worst kind of infestation, outdoors and probably indoors from your neighbors who left many starving fleas when they moved. You may have to spray the yard for every hatching, and keep up with the topicals, or try comfotrtis, I have heard it works wonderfully. Fleas are miserable, and way too easy to get in your house.
Our dog park had them for a while last year. I would flea comb them when we got home and get 10 to 20 fleas off each dog! I bathed and combed and picked and used drugs. After about a month the fleas stopped, and we kept them out of the house or our yard.

If you can get into the empty apartment (better yet, have your landlord do it) and spray and bomb with special 'bomb' for fleas that will help too. They have to ALL be killed. I understand that Diatomaceous Earth works well, especially for long term prevention. Good luck, fleas make my dogs crazy-unhappy.

And again you need to keep in mind that applications like Frontline/Advantix and all the others inbetween, kill "after" they are on the dog, you still need to address the outdoor issue. I have had the same issue with feral cats in the yard the few times we have had flea problems… most times the B's have "trained" the feral cats that this is not a yard they really need to be in... but add to that the over whelming number of squirrels.. which all carry fleas... and it is a never ending battle. We are lucky that fleas are not horrible here in No. California (Bay Area)...

And MacPack had an excellent suggestion about spraying the empty apartment... because the hatching fleas will look for a place to go... animal or human...

@AJs:

I forgot to mention: my gramma lives in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, legendary for its flea and mosquito population. She gives Brewer's Yeast to her critters and says it helps a lot. I didn't ask her the dosage, but I think some of the experts here can help with that.

I have NEVER heard of these legendary fleas or mosquitos….
and I am a Portland native...
and have NEVER had a flea issue with my basenjis [Whippet, IG, RR, Newfs, or cats].

Our home ranges from 3-6 basenjis on average and still no problem, even with dogs that come/go for showing or boarding.

The only time I have treated them [my dogs] was prior to traveling to the midwest or east coasts.

@Basenjimamma:

First off, I wish you best of luck in irradicating these litttle flea monsters..I simply can not stand them..

I use diam. Earth in and around my yard, key is to apply when it is dry outside, it only works in dry form. It is such a small particle that is penetrates the pores of any bug/insect and suffoctes them, thus it needing to be dry. BUT do not apply while windy, since you might then get it into your lungs, wear a mask to be extra protective.

I have tried all the topical flea treatments known to man, but they simply do not work for us down here in TX, the fleas have gotten immune to them (or so I was told, by a very smart flea..;);))
I now use Comfortis, it is a pill, more costly then topical but it works and it works great.
I have not seen fleas on any of my dogs since I started comfortis last summer, and our yard is frequented by vagrant cats, tons of not so clean squirrels and other roaming critters.

Like Tanza said, it will take a few cycles to kill them off completely.
You probably killed the ones that were alive and happy when you sprayed the yard before your trip, but others have hatched since and is busy laying eggs..don't give up yet.

I'm trying the Diatomaceous Earth too. You have to get food grade. It works as a natural dewormer too when you add a tsp to the dogs food. Since it works in a mechanical way and not chemical the fleas and worms cannot become resistant to it.

Oh yuk, thats not nice!

Maya has an allergy to fleas i recently found out so we have to be really strict with the flea prevention and be careful about her playing with other dogs too much incase she picks them up. I have always used frontline and found it to be quite good, but my vet has put Maya on a different flea treatment called StrongHold as she says it is more effective. The fleas here have been really bad the last couple of months apparently so my dogs are getting treatments more often than normal and my vet did say that a lot of people are saying that the treatments there are using (most commonly frontline) are no longer effective at treating fleas, so probably the best idea is to try an alternative if one doesnt work 🙂

Remember that it is also a good idea to treat the house/furniture too incase they have laid eggs there. I am having to change the carpets in my entire house to wooden flooring to avoid any fleas getting into the house that might set Maya off. Its going to be expensive lol

When I lived in Houston, the only time my Bs had a flea problem is when two of them were kenneled and they both came home with fleas. I only had to give 2 months of flea treatment. I had to vacuum frequently and wash bedding, etc. in hot water. This is the only time I ever had a flea problem. I had my Bs kenneled in OH in 2003 for about 2 months in the Summer and did not have any problems.

Houston has a mosquito problem but the only time one of the Bs had a problem was in northern IL/southern WI during lure coursing but he had an allergy and developed huge welts.

In all the years I've had Basenjis I've had hardly any trouble with fleas. I never reccommend chemical sprays as some contain substances which are banned in agriculture.

I regularly give my basenjis garlic powder as I remember as a child we used to make necklaces of wild garlic flowers to put round the horses necks to keep insects away.

I assume this is preventing any flea problems.

Thank you for all the great advice!
So far, here's what I've done & the results.
Like I said earlier, I put Frontline on both basenjis & the cat as soon as I noticed the problem. Last Friday I sprayed the backyard with a bottle of insect killer that listed fleas as one of the bugs it kills. I left the cat all weekend, and took the basenjis lure coursing. When I let the girls out Monday am, Callie came back in with a flea. Then I made this post.
Later Monday, I went outside, finished raking the backyard of all the sycamore balls and dog poop left by the same neighbors that left the fleas (seriously, welcome to the neighborhood, right?), and then mowed the yard. I let the girls stay outside all day while I was doing yard work because the weather was so nice. I did notice a single flea on them after the initial one I saw on Callie in the morning.
Fortunately, I have hardwood floors, so I don't have to contend with eggs in the carpeting, thank goodness! After all the yardwork, I brought the girls inside and put them in the tub. I lathered them up with an oatmeal shampoo & made them sit there with the later on them for several minutes before I rinsed it off. Not only is Callie no longer so itchy, but I haven't noticed any more fleas at all.
I am going to ask the landlord to bomb the upstairs unit, and I will spray the backyard with that same insect killer in two more weeks. fingers crossed it seems the spray in the backyard really did help a lot, and there was apparently only 1 little flea that managed to find Callie yesterday morning.
I think Callie will be okay now. I haven't noticed her scratching at all today, which makes me feel a lot better. Her misery made me feel just awful. Not to mention, we've got some shows coming up soon, and I'd hate for her coat to be too ratty to enter.

Sounds like you are getting there…. it is a process

Oh yea Savannah Ga has fleas! It was awful when I lived there. The lab was allergic, ugh. And this was about a year or two before the Frontline type drugs. So, what I know about getting fleas to flee is a bit out-of-date. But I can sympathize.

Have you encountered the Palmetto bugs yet? Freakin' scary flying ****roaches. And I was just thinking I missed the beach. I think I'll stay in Colorado - no fleas, no palmetto bugs. 🙂

===
Hmmm, guess we can't say ****roaches. Well, I could see how that's a dirty word. Is cucaracha better? don't want either in my house really.

@agilebasenji:

Oh yea Savannah Ga has fleas! It was awful when I lived there. The lab was allergic, ugh. And this was about a year or two before the Frontline type drugs. So, what I know about getting fleas to flee is a bit out-of-date. But I can sympathize.

Have you encountered the Palmetto bugs yet? Freakin' scary flying ****roaches. And I was just thinking I missed the beach. I think I'll stay in Colorado - no fleas, no palmetto bugs. 🙂

===
Hmmm, guess we can't say ****roaches. Well, I could see how that's a dirty word. Is cucaracha better? don't want either in my house really.

No palmetto bugs yet, but I've seen those in Atlanta. They are scary!
And I think **** starring out the first part of the word roaches makes it seem dirtier than if it just left it spelled out haha.

@khanis:

I have NEVER heard of these legendary fleas or mosquitos….
and I am a Portland native...
and have NEVER had a flea issue with my basenjis [Whippet, IG, RR, Newfs, or cats].

Our home ranges from 3-6 basenjis on average and still no problem, even with dogs that come/go for showing or boarding.

The only time I have treated them [my dogs] was prior to traveling to the midwest or east coasts.

During the time I lived in Portland, which is at the very northern end of the Valley and has more wind than the lower Valley, I noticed a lot fewer fleas and 'skeeters. I can understand why you haven't experienced them. Try camping on the shores of Fern Ridge sometime. Make sure you take lots of DEET. I grew up there and, man, the 'skeeters are horrible!:eek: I can remember our dogs and cats had a rough time of it, too. We were always picking fleas off them. But that's the difference between living in the city and living in the back woods.

The conditions in the lower Valley are perfect for the growth of fleas and mosquitos: standing water everywhere and very few hard freezes. (Gramma lives in the "sticks" too and has lots of both in her area outside Salem.) But, again, back to the subject, she used Brewer's Yeast and had pretty good results with it.

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