ADMIN: “This comment was taken from the “flea combs” article on the official blog”
Love this site- especially as it is discouraging the use of pesticides…
I use a flea comb for cats (my cat) instead of using chemicals. After years of flea collars I started using front line spot on – which was brilliant for about 2 yrs… then it just stopped working and I didn’t realize until she and the house were infested…
At first I combed her every day – she doesn’t like her tummy brushed – so I try and just rub my hands over it (makes the fleas jump out the way) and comb often – my thinking is if I miss one one day on her tummy I’ll get it the next…I drop the fleas into boiling water and washing up liquid (British version of ‘dish soap’ I believe) I now do her at least once a week. Also I take my time – they do jump out of the way of the comb – but I find if you keep going they seem to get tired and just as you are about to give up you catch more!
I also regularly vacuum her bed and the floors etc (I read somewhere that vacuuming picks up 96% of adult fleas) the eggs and flea dirt (which is the larvae ‘s food source)… I do this once or twice a week – and don’t get too worried about doing it thoroughly into all the crevices etc – I found that took so long I never got round to doing it! I tried steaming the carpets which seemed to increase the numbers in the environment immediately after which I was disappointed about until I realized the increased humidity is probably stimulating them to emerge, which I think is a good thing, easier to get rid of!
After years of battling I think we are nearly there – even had no signs of flea dirt for a few months earlier this year (first time for about 4 years – since the frontline stopped working) – my mistake was to reduce the amount of combing too early.
I gave up on the idea of bombs and sprays and even DE etc – I found about 15 fleas in a plastic box of baby toys – had been sitting under a window for a few months waiting for me to get round to sorting them out…eggs had dropped off cat jumping up and into box with the flea dirt and they were just waiting for me to disturb them to emerge from the pupae, no matter where I’d treated I wouldn’t have got those ones.
Also I don’t bother with attractors/traps – figure I have the best attractor -and it has four legs and fur and walks around the most likely areas for the fleas to hang about. If I don’t let them be on her long enough to breed, it takes between 24 – 48hrs for a female flea to lay eggs after getting onto a host and I try and get most of the eggs/dirt/adults with the vacuum – ideally get rid all together but we have hedgehogs etc outside so in summer she does bring them in. Looking forward to a flea free winter though!