GETTING RID OF FLEAS

Flea


UPDATE 9-9-2012
First I have to admit I haven’t followed up as well as I should, however, I am seeing a big reduction in fleas. It’s time to give the second dose of the generic Program. The bottom line is, these two products do seem to work well – instant relief with the flea killer and behind the scenes, slower results with the Program generic.
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Fleas are a bane for pets and their owners. With a life cycle of around 21 days with variables making it longer in some cases, getting rid of a flea infestation can be a challenge.

I have a multiple cat household and my kitties became covered with fleas. They were miserable. I groomed and picked fleas manually, realizing it was a losing battle. I have used flea and tick dips in the past, one in particular worked well but it’s not that easy to find anymore and was on indefinite backorder from several places, I couldn’t find it anywhere locally and putting something on my pets that has warnings on the label about getting it on your own skin concerns me. Also, dipping a feline without a grooming bag isn’t fun – most cats don’t like water and I swear mine grow at least four extra legs, bones turn to jelly letting them be an angry mass of twisting fur. The shampoo version worked temporarily but didn’t have enough residual effect to make trying to wash them a viable idea. You need to leave it on them for at least five minutes it seems. Just for the record, Dawn dishwashing detergent is a safer product and works almost as well.

I tried the spray on version of the product. It did help a little but not enough to warrant the mess. It left kitty’s fur a greasy, nasty mess. While the mess lasted a week, the flea killing effect didn’t and I had very unhappy kitties.

I tried a name brand, expensive flea collar on one. After a week I saw no improvement at all. Thinking the kitty I tried it on may have been too big for it to work well, I tried it on a smaller cat. Within thirty minute the kitty began staggering around and drooling. The expensive flea collar went into the trash.

I tried flea powder. It didn’t work and made for some very unhappy kitties who left residue everywhere they went. Food grade diatomaceous earth is also messy but does seem to work and is non-toxic to humans and pets (although you need to avoid breathing the dust or getting it into your eyes) and it’s a slow kill process. My kitties needed faster relief.

Some months back I had one of the males neutered. Before the procedure he was given nitenpyram to get the fleas off of him. When I brought him home he had zero fleas and none bothered him for at least 24 hours. This product is sold under the brand name of Capstar and it does work. I reasearched the product and read reviews – it’s safe enough to use everyday if needed.

Capstar is expensive. A package of six pills costs at least around $24 and up depending on where you buy it. It, too, was on indefinite backorder from the store I usually order from. I found it locally – 6 pills/$35. That adds up fast, especially when you are trying to work through a flea infestation. What to do?

My son jumped into research mode and discovered Little City Dogs, located in New York. They sell their own brand of nitenpyram. ** (www.littlecitydogs.com) ** As of this posting, you get TWELVE (12) capsules – twice as much as the name brand – for $12.50, shipping included. After doing a little research on the company and seeing that people were happy with their experiences buying through them, I placed an order.

I had the product in three days. My cats are hardheaded and wanted to balk at my putting it into their food although it is supposed to be chicken flavored. No problem, I opened the capsule, mixed it into a tiny bit of milk and shot it down their throats with a medicine syringe. They weren’t too happy but it was over before they knew it!

Within 20 to 30 minutes I had a houseful of flea scratching, flea biting kitties as the product started taking effect – when it starts working on those fleas the go nuts and probably start biting a lot more, but it’s a short lived issue. I literally watched the fleas drunkenly come to the surface of the kitties’ fur and start falling off. The evil little critters that didn’t die before they hit the floor would turn around and around in circles, unable to jump. Within a few hours I could not find one live flea on any of them. It’s so nice to see my kitties more comfortable now, able to sleep without waking up every few minutes to bite or scratch at a flea.

Since the product says it is only effective for 24-48 hours, I will be dosing them every few days to try to clear out any new adult fleas. I also dosed them with Little City Dog’s version of Program, don’t know how that will work yet but we’ll see. I’ll be reordering more of their nitenpyram this week as well as their tapeworm medication as fleas carry tapeworms.

I’ve won the first battle with the flea problem and intend to win the war as well. I’ll post an update in a few weeks.

** I am in no way affiliated with Little City Dogs. I don’t know the owners, nor am I an advertiser for them . I am simply a customer who feels this is a good product and value and wanted to share.

2 Comments

  1. Read your post and was wondering if you had any further information regarding the products? I recently got a puppy that was loaded with fleas & have tried just about everything. Frontline was recommended and have used faithfully for past 2 months but to no avail has it worked on my flea issue. Have since had to put puppy on meds for an allergic reaction to the fleas. & my 3 yr old daughter is allergic as well.
    I have bombed the house & used the topical but since its not work in I need to do something else.
    Thank you for your time with this matter & for your review.

    • I still use generic nitenpyram for a fast kill. It’s the one thing I’ve found that actually seems to work even though it’s out of a pet’s system quickly and has to be repeated. Using it every 3-4 days will cut down on the flea problem but ultimately you’ve got to make sure to get rid of the eggs. Nitenpyram seems to be safe for pets which is an important factor for me. Little City Dogs also sells the generic monthly flea pills but I haven’t been using them so can’t give an opinion. It’s supposed to keep flea eggs from hatching. Any product you use is going to take steady use for awhile to break the flea life cycle. It’s going to take time and persistance. Eggs will continually be hatching and they’ll lay more eggs and so on and so on.
      I’ve seen some negative reports about nitenpyram BUT I suspect from reading them that the reviewers didn’t read the directions for the product or possibly used the wrong dosage. Some people complained that the fleas were back in a couple of days – of course they were – this stuff is out of any animals system in about 24 hours or so, give or take. As with any product it’s important to read the directions well – most of the directions I’ve seen state that if you suspect your pet didn’t swallow the pill it is okay to give a second one, that it won’t harm them.
      For myself, I did some calculating then verified what I thought with Little City Dogs. Since I have multiple cats it’s more economical for me to buy the dosage for larger animals, mix it well into moist food then divide the food. I’ve found that one larger does will treat five kitties.
      I’ve been pleased with the products I’ve used and customer service from Little City Dogs. **Make sure you are at their actual site – there are companines out there that try to misdirect search engine results to direct business to themselves. I would only buy directly through the company, because although they do sell via some well known online sellers I find it’s a little cheaper to order directly from them.
      I don’t have carpet so that makes my life a little easier. If you do have carpet, vaccum often and well. I’d suggest emptying the bag after each run because if the eggs are in there they could still hatch. It’s not enough to just kill the adult fleas if the eggs aren’t taken care of.
      FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth is said to kill fleas as well and is suggested for kittens too young to be treated with other products. This is NOT the same as what goes in swimming pool filters. It feels powdery but has sharp edges and slowly kills fleas and other insects by cutting their outer shells which allows moisture to escape from them and causes them to die. It’s not a fast solution and does have downsides. It will kill any insect – even beneficial ones. It can be drying to your skin so it probably is to an animals skin as well. And you definitely do NOT want to inhale the dust from it or allow it to get into your or your pets eyes.
      It may be worth checking with a reputable pest control company if fleas continue to be a problem. They may be able to offer a non-toxic to pets and human solution.
      Disclaimer: I’m not a vet and I don’t have any training in pet care – just my own experiences so I am not responsible if you try something I suggest and it goes badly. I can’t see why it should or would, but every furbaby is different and may have different results. Do your research before using any products.

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