Fleas and Parasites Q&A's

These visitor questions and advice are all about fleas, control and treatment.

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Testing our Maine Coons for Parasites? 
I am a little stressed on what to do about my Vet choice. We have our 14 month old Nala & her little brother Gunny (same parents). Gunny was going …

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Fleas In Our House

by: Hans
(Gerritsen )

We have three cats and one little dog, we are doing everything to fight the fleas, we spent hundreds of dollars to get them out of the house. We have hard wood floors, we vacuum, spray aggressively with poison, smoke bombs and animal treatment.

We can't get rid of them.

My wife is a clean freak and is getting hyper from this situation. What do you suggest? We live in PA, Hazleton area .

Hans Gerritsen


Hi Hans,

I can feel your frustration. You have been very aggressive in your treatment, so that means something is not working.

Sprays, bombs and shampoos are helpful. Vacuuming is critical, and it must be done thoroughly. You will want to use a canister-style vacuum, the kind with hoses and attachments. Not the walk-behind type. Also, full-size, not a mini-model. You need the full strength suction to kill the fleas. It's important to run the small attachment along the baseboard molding of every room, getting into every crack and crevice.

Now, to be blunt, clearly something is not working. What it comes down to is your topical flea treatment. If the fleas are not diminishing it can only mean one thing:

They are eating and reproducing

Whoever they are eating is not giving them a dose of poison with the meal. All things considered, you could use a topical treatment alone and get rid of them. It would just take longer.

There is a huge difference between Frontline compared to the on-the-shelf stuff at discount stores. They work in completely different ways, actually. You need to use one of these two.

If you already do use Frontline or Advantage, then you need to switch to the other. We learned the hard way that fleas in some areas (maybe yours) can develop resistance to the ingredients in any given treatment. Don't listen to the manufacturer if they deny it: I've seen it, and my vet confirmed it. Resistance is real.

Lastly, I've written an Ebook specifically about eliminating fleas in the house. This is a very big and very common problem, and it can be hard to find all the useful information all in one place. It is to-the-point, no-frills, with a review of products and a schedule of attack. You may lick the problem on your own, but in case you are interested, you can see it here: Flea Guide.

All The Best,


Flease In Our House
by: Judy

Yes we feel your frustration. Only got one crumb of info: Put one of the vet supplied anti flea treatment into the vacuum. Fleas can and will breed in it :((

In the UK we have a vet supplied anti flea spray which is and has been effective.

Any visitors to your house got animals? A tricky subject when talking to friends. But they should understand.

Good luck.

Flea Control

by: Lou Anne
(Atlanta, GA)

Buddy, our huge 13 year old Maine Coon is riddled with fleas. We've bathed him and put the prescribed dose of Frontline on him several times (1/2 ml for kitties) but the fleas are still there.

Since his is so large and furry, do we need to put two dosages on him? I certainly don't want to do anything that's toxic, but the fleas are ridiculous.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Hi Lou Anne,

I'm sorry to hear about Buddy's woes! We've been through it as well, and it was an absolute nightmare. (when dog-sitting, we inadvertently introduced these lovely critters to the household)

The Frontline really should do the trick! As you noted, the dosage for all cats is .5 ml, but for dogs up to 22 pounds it's .67 ml, which isn't all that much more. We've always used the .5 ml on our 8 pound Coon & our 18 pounder with good results. I would not recommend giving him more.

The way it should work is that each flea will bite, then die within 48 hours, not able to reproduce. Maybe there are just so many it's hard to see improvement?

I have some thoughts:
How is it going with the application? I tend to do it very slowly, to make sure it all get absorbed into the skin. I spread the fur, squeeze a bit into the skin, and then I open up a new spot of skin. Usually I put it on about 4 spots, all close to each other. Now that I'm "experienced" at it, I rarely get much on the fur, it all goes in the skin.

Second, perhaps a two-pronged approach? Maybe baths (after the Frontline is dry- maybe even two days apart), flea-bombs, powders, sprays? This way you can reduce the number of fleas in the short-term.

Perhaps, since they are hatching regularly, there is a fresh supply of newly-hatched fleas every time you turn around. There could be so many in various stages of development, and many in pupa stage just waiting for a good day, so it could take a while for all to hatch, bite, die.

You may use Frontline, and find there are still fleas hatching many moths from now. As long as you keep using it faithfully, they'll bite & die.

Are there other animals in the house not treated? I'm thinking not, but this would be a handy way for fleas to continue multiplying.

Also, we learned that excessive vacuuming is really helpful! There was a study that showed the suction power of the vacuum worked well to kill fleas. We did it daily for a while, getting in the woodwork, crevices, etc.

Now, this last thought is something you should check with your vet on. But, here goes:

There is talk of resistance. It's highly controversial. Some say it's a myth, others say it's real. Even vets can have differing opinions on it. But, if you've been using Frontline for ages, and now it doesn't seem to last as long, you may want to try mixing things up a bit. It's been mentioned that generations of fleas can develop resistance.

Best Wishes for you and Buddy,

Fleas and Vinegar

by: Rhonda
(Yacolt, WA)

You said vinegar but didn't say what type in your article (about using vinegar for fleas). Please love to know more.


Hi Rhonda,

Good question! The first part of the article discusses adding apple cider vinegar to the drinking water. Our dog didn't like it, and didn't drink enough, so we discontinued that.

It's not a good idea to use that method with cats due to their ph levels.

The next section was about adding vinegar to the bath water. I used plain white vinegar. It greatly improved the effectiveness of the bath. But again, that was a Dawn dish soap bath. We were exploring all-natural methods, and the white vinegar did help. The most effective baths came when we used actual flea shampoo.

As for spraying or rubbing down your pet with vinegar between baths, that was white vinegar, too. It helps, and is more pleasant smelling than flea spray.

For folks who are getting rid of fleas naturally (without the popular topical flea treatments) vinegar is a useful tool.

Frontline Plus for 30 pound cat

by: Sue Elen
(South Carolina)

First, I do not overfeed him. He is now four years old and weighs 30 pounds.

My question is will Frontline Plus work on my size cat. We moved and our previous vet put two vials of Revolution on him.

We don't have a vet here yet and I need to protect my kitty as we are in the south in a wooded area.

I put Frontline Plus on him twenty days ago and I have seen a flea on him. Help. I don't want to overmedicate him, but want protection from fleas, ticks, etc.

Hi Sue Elen,

Wow, 30 pounds! That's the kind of big boy so many folks hope to end up with.

Frontline, as you know, will say it is suitable for cats of any size. We had exactly the same thing happen last summer. I was vigilant about applying the Frontline, but we ended up with more and more fleas. It was awful. My major concern was whether Leo needed more medication than other cats (he's about 20 pounds)

When we went for our summer check-up, our vet recommended switching to Advantage. It worked like a charm. It comes in two sizes, one for smaller cats and one for the big ones. I like that. It doesn't protect form ticks, so it's important to keep Advantage-treated cats indoors.

Our vet explained that fleas in some areas are developing resistance. Personally, I also wonder if Leo was getting enough, as there were more fleas on him than on his small sister, Alice.

Even if you don't have a vet yet, you can still put in a call to a local vet and explain your situation. I'm sure they will be able to offer advice.

To see more, you can compare Frontline, Advantage, and some other flea products on our section on flea products.

All The Best,

How Do I Get Fleas Out Of Carpet

I want to know what to use for carpet...I know vacuuming helps but it does not seem to work for very long.

We don't even have our cats in the house anymore.



It can actually be harder to get rid of fleas in the house and carpet when the pets are gone. When you treat your pets with topical flea treatment and let them roam, they act as a flea magnet, attracting the fleas to their detriment.

Also, if you have any other pets in the house, such as dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. they should be treated as well.

For treating rugs, I would recommend a spray such as Sergeant's Flea-Free Breeze Home and Carpet Spray. There is also a powder called Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus that you sweep over your carpet, let sit, then vacuum. And the Victor Flea Trap has proven to be very popular, too.

Make sure you kill any stray flea you see on yourself, too. If it bites, it will be able to lay eggs.

You'll continue to have fleas hatching for many months, so stay on top of the vacuuming, spraying, powdering, and even bombing until they are gone. And, they are not only in the carpet. They could be in the furniture and crack, corners and crevices. So vacuum most thoroughly!

I hope you beat them soon!

Kitten with fleas, what can I do

by: Lexi


I got a kitten 8 weeks of age from a man who was giving them away, and Scarlett has fleas bad. What can I do she was free! So I don't know if that could have been why had her for a night..

Hi Lexi,

You need to get Scarlett on Frontline or Advantage right away. They both are suitable for cats & kittens 8 weeks of age or older. You can find them at your vet's office or your local pet store.

If you are letting your kitten outdoors you will want to use Frontline, because it protects against ticks.

But you are probably keeping Scarlett inside so I would go for the Advantage. It is more fast-acting, which is what you need right now. Don't bathe her within 2 days of the application, before or after.

Hope they are gone soon!
All The Best,


Kitten with fleas
by: Leslee

I agree that Frontline, Advantage or Revolution are all excellent products for flea control. Has your new kitten already been spayed? This might be a good time to see a vet or local clinic for a full health check. Most all kittens need worming; also testing for feline leukemia (etc) along with her first round of immunizations. I don't mean to scare you, but having a clean bill of health will get your kitten off to a good start...and a long and happy life with you!

Use the Front Line. Also remember to get a safe flea spray and spray ares your pet likes to frequent. Don't use Front line on your cat alongside using the flea spray on your cat as their chemical mixture my cause an irritation to the cat's skin.

Also ..vacuum ... vacuum ... vacuum your floors!

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