Often I will get an email asking for an opinion on this product or that product. When I do, if I am not familiar with it, the first thing I try to get is the ingredients of the product. Then I look at any scientific studies I can find either on the product or that chemical(s) listed as an active ingredient. There are other ingredients, called “inert” that can be just as deadly and make up 80%-99% of a formula. The manufacturers do not need to disclose these to the public and even can withhold what they are from the EPA who regulates most of these products in the United States. The manufacturers can claim the “inert” ingredients as a confidential trade secret.

Often I cannot find the ingredients or any studies. Sometimes the ingredient names are made up by manufacturers eventhough the actual ingredient is a common pesticide. If that is the case, especially in the “all-natural” market, I contact the companies directly. I ask them about their products, the ingredients and for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Any products listed below are believed to be safe, and at the very least much MUCH safer for the health and life of your pets and family.

We created an Amazon store for Timmy to help you see and learn about several products all in one place. We try to find the best pricing for these for you as well. Timmy gets a small percentage of sales made through his store (4-6%) and this helps us continue to spread his story and educate others.

Combating Fleas:

Combating fleas needs to be an integrated process. You can’t just treat your pet and not your home. You can’t jst treat your home but not your yard. The idea is to make your environment as inhospitable to fleas as possible so that you do not have an outbreak in the first place. The things that create this environment also control outbreaks in process. This is true whether you are considering natural or safer alternatives or whether you choose to use chemical pesticides.

Easy Alternatives
Diet: A good healthy diet is very important to warding off fleas. Fleas will always choose a weaker or sick pet to feed from rather than a healthy one. If you pet is “fairly healthy” their immune system can be lowered through chronic flea bites, making them tastier to the fleas as a meal. Just like some people seem immune to mosquitoes, some pets never seem to have a flea issue. Wholesome foods, no grain and no by-products on the label are best for wet food. You can also look into raw food diets, which many swear by but I do not know much about yet. We feed several types of food, all grain-free and by-product-free, and it has made a world of difference in our cats and dog, their health and coat and their ability to fend off fleas. We have one cat who has such a severe flea allergy that if he gets one bite, his body breaks out with an itchy rash on the lower portion of his body which he then over-grooms.

There are many foods to choose from, and where possible we choose those made in a human grade facility, by small companies. Here are some brand names we use, but like I said, there are many available. Be sure to read the label and if an ingredient like a grain or by-product is in the top 5 or so, the quality of food isn’t that great, despite what you pay for it. We also found that although the food costs more, our pets eat less because the food isn’t full of fillers, so although we were paying more per can, we cut our usage. You might have to play with what works best for you. We tend to stay away from beef as domestic cats and dogs wouldn’t normally eat cow in their natural diet. We like food that has a “fidget factor”, which means it has natural, identifiable food in it. It isn’t just square chunks of something or all mush.

We often have people and vets comment on how soft, healthy and shiny Timmy’s coat is. We are often asked if he is fed a raw diet because of that. We do not. We do, however, try to make the most nutritious choices for him and his housemates.

What We Use: I put this here as an example to help you get started. You will find what works best for you and your pets.
Dry Food: BG (Before Grain) by Merrick

Wet Food: Weruva including BFF (Best Feline Friend), Addiction (also has raw & dry options) from New Zealand for you Kiwis, Aussies and UKers, Wysong 95% canine/feline. Wysong cannot be the only food source as it is not complete nutritionally, but does come in canine/feline large cans (14 oz) so you can use the same can for both cats and dogs.

Other good brands: Organix, Candidae (Dog), Felidae (Cat) and Go!.

Garlic and Yeast Tablets also work to repel fleas and ticks, but use these on your dog with caution. Please be sure to double check with your vet if you use garlic as it can be hard on the kidneys and should NOT be used with cats. Brewer’s Yeast, however, can be used for both cats and dogs.

FLEAS IN YOUR HOUSE & ON YOUR PET

Vacuuming: Vacuum once a week. Every other week do a much more thorough vacuum. Be sure to vacuum couches, floor boards, cracks, crevices, rug edges and anywhere your pet frequents like couches or chairs during the more thorough vacuum. In the case of  an active infestation you can do the thorough schedule once a week or every other day for about 4-6 weeks. This vacuuming schedule includes carpets, hardwood floors, concrete, tile and linoleum. Studies show that the action of the vacuum alone is enough to kill fleas in all stages of life. Although I am sure the universities who did these studies know what they are talking about, I still empty my bagless canister in the outside garbage when I am done even if it is not full. It used to be thought you had to take your vacuum bag and freeze it when done, but that doesn’t actually kill fleas. It would only make them hibernate. [**NOTE** Some have suggested cutting up flea collars and putting them into your bag or canister. However this not only helps support these companies, it also disperses toxins throughout your home in amounts greater than the EPA deems “safe” for toxicity for humans both adults and children.]

Washing: At least every two weeks, and weekly if you have an outbreak, be sure to wash all pet bedding, blankets or other things your pet frequents. You don’t have to worry about washing it all in hot or cold water. The detergent and agitation is enough to kill fleas. Be sure when you gather the bedding that you take care and do not just grab it. Remember flea eggs can roll off! If your pet sleeps on your bed with you, that means your bed linens need to be washing as well! During an outbreak we do this before vacuuming incase any flea eggs have dropped to the floor. We also add a small amount (about a teaspoon) of vinegar. This not only acts as a water softener, but it will help repel fleas when you return the bedding to yourself and your pets. And not to worry – it won’t make your laundry smell like vinegar!

The above two steps are usually enough to keep most homes flea free. But what do you do when it isn’t?

Bathing: It is most efficient in the fight against fleas to vacuum your house, wash bedding and bathe your pet on the same day whenever possible (we also incorporate flea combing – below – into the bathing). Bathe your pet using all natural bar soap or shampoo, without scents, fragrance, perfumes, essential oils or essences added such as lavendar, citronella, penny royal, neem, tea tree or peppermint (to name a few). Soaps that are primarily shea butter, coconut butter or jojoba are best. They create a wonderful, thick foam and the foam will kill the fleas on your pet, not the ingredients. Also avoid products containing neem oil. Although sold as a natural flea and tick remedy, it is toxic to cats and dogs. We have developed an excellent flea & tick soap called Tiny Timmy’s Sudz. Tiny Timmy’s Sudz are non-toxic to both cats and dogs, soothe irritation, itching and dermatitis, kills fleas on your pet and helps repel fleas and ticks (as an added bonus, mosquitoes also don’t like it). You can use this even if you do not have fleas but your cat or dog needs a bath.

Chemical-Free Castille soap is also good, particularly with coconut, jojoba and hemp oils. Oatmeal soap is also great for skin issues if your pet is sensitive. Glycerin based natural soaps are wonderful as well as long as they are high quality and vegetable-based. (Most glycerine soaps on the market have chemicals in them and are not totally plant based). Things like dishwashing liquid soap, such as Dawn Blue Dish Soap, is great when wanting to remove chemical residues and sticky oils from your pets fur and skin. However, you should not use it for regular bathing as it also removes the natural oils from your pet’s coat and skin. NEVER use any soap or product that is labeled as “ANTI-BACTERIAL” on your pet.

Flea Combing: Flea combing is incredibly easy and an enjoyable way to get rid of fleas and bond with your pet. You can purchase Flea Combs rather inexpensively and they come in all sorts of different sizes and shapes. Some have plastic teeth and others have metal. We like the metal ones and you will need to try out what works for you best.  We have both single and double combed Flea Combs. The double combed has two rows of “teeth” which traps fleas in between them so your strokes can be longer, but you need something to put between the teeth to remove the fleas that are trapped and this can be frustrating sometimes. Be sure to have a bowl of soapy water handy. I usually flea comb in the same area so I can contain any fleas by treating a small area instead of a larger one with vacuuming and DE (see below), but you can do this where ever you are most comfortable. I sometimes use the toilet with soap around the bowl to keep the fleas in. The fleas get weighed down by the soap and drown in the water. Pay special attention to gently comb cheeks, chin, around the ears, stomach and near the tail. Those are areas that fleas like most. When you catch a flea in the teeth of the comb, grab it with your fingers and put it into the water. It might take a little while for you to perfect your combing technique, but it is well worth it!

Diatomaceous Earth (aka DE): This is my favorite. As you know, Timmy was covered in more than 350 fleas when we rescued him. We treated his “room”, which is a carpeted bathroom, every week with diatomaceous earth. If you use DE, please be sure it is FOOD GRADE. The other DE is chemically treated or structurally changed through use of heat and is used in filters for swimming pools. We used about a teaspoon for every 2 square feet, rubbed it in with a broom, let it sit for about an hour and then vacuumed it up lightly. Please be sure to wear a mask if you handle this for larger areas as it is a powder and you do not want to inhale it while applying. It can dust up while you apply it. However, once applied, it is totally safe and you do not need to worry. You can leave it spread into your carpet and floor and furniture and pet bedding, or you can vacuum it up next time. [See also diatomaceous earth application for yard for more background on DE.] You can even very lightly dust your pet with DE. If you do this, please make sure to start at the back and push forward with your fingers to get the DE under the coat. A little goes a long way, so you would likely need less than a teaspoon for cats, as an example. Also be cautious and do not apply around eyes, nose and mouth. This can irritate their mucos membranes.

Flea Traps: A flea trap is simple but very effective. There is a lightbulb which emits light a small amount of heat, a sticky glue pad that traps the fleas and phermones to help attract more fleas.  You can make a less effective one yourself using a bowl of water, a night light and some soap.  If you want to make one of these yourself, simply put a shallow bowl of soapy water near your pet bedding at night under a night light. In the morning, being attracted by the light, you should find a few fleas in the bowel. However, with the store bought flea traps, after 24 hours you should have 10-30 fleas and within a few days you can have upwards of 100 if you have a severe infestation. You can also use these traps during flea season as a “warning” before you notice fleas in your home or on your pets. We have used the Victor M230 Ultimate Flea Trap to great success. Here are some more options for you to choose from: Flea Trap Assortment.

ShooTAG: ShooTAG is a small card with a magnetic stripe. It resembles a credit card in material and magnetic strip. It reaches “maximum level” in up to 36 hours of attaching it to your pets collar. It lasts 4 months. Each ShooTAG has two fobs – one for fleas and one for ticks. It says the magnetic strip emits a 3-dimensional radio frequency that combines with your pets own electromagnetic field. In short, it tricks fleas and ticks into thinking your pet is incredibly healthy and so not a good meal choice. I have had reports from people stating these work wonderfully and others that claim a magnetic strip can’t possibly work the way described. They give a no-hassle money back guarentee, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it. At first, they appear expensive, but when you figure out their 4 month life span (a two pack is especially cost effective) it comes out to around $5 to $7.50 per month. I would suggest bathing your pet before putting on the ShooTAG to get rid of any hitch hikers already on your pet. We tried this on our dog, who is a Shiba Inu. The biggest drawback we found was keeping the magnetic strips facing her body as directed. She picked up minimal fleas on her walks outside while using it. We returned it for our money back and almost immediately she picked up more fleas outside.

TREATING THE OUTDOORS AND/OR YOUR YARD

You or your pet can bring fleas in from outdoors so it’s important also to treat your yard and not just your home. Fleas love sand, gravel and bark dust. The like heat and high humidity so keep this in mind when landscaping and treating your yard. They love to hide under debris and things like dead leaves that have fallen to the ground.

Nematodes: Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed off of different larvae, including flea larvae. They live in the ground and when their food source is exhausted, they die. You can get these at your local gardening supply store or from Amazon. You will need to also get a pump sprayer. Spray your yard, under bushes, hedges, sand boxes, plant beds, dirt crawl spaces under your house and anywhere your pet frequents. The specialist at the garden center can give you guidance so ask them for suggestions on application. I have found in recent years, things like nematodes and DE are harder to find in garden stores, so we simply order online.

Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous Earth is found in fresh water lake beds and contains fossilized pieces of a hard-shelled algae called diatoms in it. It is a fine white powder and looks something like flour. The fossil shards penetrate the waxy coating on flea bodies and they dehydrate and die. You can spread this, using a small amount, in your yard safely. You can either “dust” your yard, sprinkle it or add anywhere from 1 table spoon to 1 cup per gallon of water to a sprayer and spray your yard. If you spray the DE, be sure to continually shake up the canister to keep the DE spread throughout the water. Some people do this once a year, twice a year or more often. How often you decide to use DE in your yard will depend on how much water run off you have and whether or not you have an outbreak. DE is a mechanical method of flea control, meaning it scratches the waxy coating and this is something that fleas cannot build an immunity to like they can (and do) with chemicals.

As a side note, DE can also be used against various garden pests including ants, spiders and fungus on roses. It can be taken internally to detox the body and to eliminate worms and parasites. It can also be used to treat mites or clean teeth.

There are also various plants that act as natural flea and tick deterrents such as pennyroyal, chrysanthemum and cedar. However please be aware that these can also be toxic to cats, dogs and other animals. You should be able to ask your garden specialist for advice on non-toxic alternatives for your yard. Some garden centers offer a list of pet-friendly plants and shrubs.

IF YOU NEED CHEMICAL TREATMENTS

If you need to use chemical treatments due to health issues that hinder you from vacuuming, washing and flea combing as much as needed or you have tried everything else and need a little bit of help, the following two products are safer than most. They come in a pill form so will not leave toxic residue in your house.

Capstar: Capstar is the same for dogs and cats. It kills fleas on your pet (much like bathing would) and is active for 1-3 days only. It claims that it will be completely out of the body in up to 7 days. It also claims to be safe used multiple times per month and with other flea and tick control products. Basically, Capstar gives you a little bit of time to do that other things you need to inorder to fight off fleas. It is also useful in a rescue setting where incoming animals are routinely treated for fleas.

Comfortis: Comfortis is regulated by the FDA and EPA depending on the intended usage. It is a product only for dogs and requires a vet prescription, even if you buy online. It is a chewable tablet and contains spinosad which is believed to be low toxicity and not a carcinogen to humans. Please keep in mind, Comfortis has only been on the market since 2007 so there is very little true historical information on potential dangers and side effects. Although marketed as a “monthly” use product, the EPA recommends only using chemical treatments when all other approaches have failed and only when you have an active outbreak. Do not use Comfortis or any product containing spinosad with heartworm medication or mite/mange treatment particularly ivermectin as it can cause a higher potential for life threatening issues and even death. Do not use in dogs who have seizure disorder as it can evoke a seizure response.

Read about toxic flea and tick products

Read Understanding Fleas

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  • Everycat<span class="comment-author-location"> from United Kingdom</span>

    Thanks for sharing that Timmy, it’s a very informative and interesting piece!

  • Your welcomes! I hope it is helpfuls to yous.

  • Soragracie<span class="comment-author-location"> from Ottawa, ON, Canada</span>

    Thanks for the great article.
    I have used DE before and it really works. I have heard you can ingest it but can cats ingest it? To fight against worms etc?
    DE is very hard to find these days but for any Canadians out there Home Hardware sells it.

  • Peggy<span class="comment-author-location"> from Macungie, PA, United States</span>

    Hi-

    You mention not using garlic for cats. We used a garlic and mullein ear oil for ear mites on our 9 month old kitten. Her ears got a little red which surprised us. She had already been treated by a vet which dd not take care of the mites.We decided to use this oil instead of mineral oil after researching but didn’t find any contraindications for the garlic and cats…until now.

    We are not done with the treatment but don’t want to continue if garlic is not recommended.

    So,is using garlic in an ear oil not okay for cats?

    Thanks!

    • Good question Peggy! All forms of garlic are toxic to dogs, cats & horses. However, cats are particularly sensitive due to their enzymes (or lack there of). Garlic can alter and damage red blood cells and cause certain forms of anemia, but it has also been shown to cause kidney issues in cats. This is why you should never use it in an animal that has kidney problems particularly. Dogs fair a little better with small amounts of garlic than cats.

      This is what the ASPCA says about garlic (but they are, I believe, talking about eating it):
      http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants/garlic.aspx

      Apparently mullein comes in all sorts of different varieties, but the oil is an essential oil. All essential oils should avoided, or at least used with caution. http://www.thelavendercat.com/3201/index.html

      If the ear is getting red and irritated, I would stop. Garlic can be pretty abrasive. “Topical exposure to crushed, uncooked garlic cloves for 3 to 5 minutes has resulted in toxic contact dermatitis.” That was from Drugs.com for humans, so I can only assume cats, with their thin skins, are even more sensitive. http://www.drugs.com/npp/garlic.html

      I would try a few things. First, are you sure they are mites and not a yeast infection? There is ear cleaning solution from Vet Solutions that will dry out yeast. It contains a lot of alcohol, so you clean the ears with a qtip (gently) and then fill the ear with this solution, the cat will shake his/her head and then you use a cotton ball to further clean the ear. You can do this twice a day so long as you don’t do it all the time on a chronic basis.

      Some people have made a Diatomaceous Earth paste and applied it, but I would be too afraid to get it into the ear canal and cause irritation.

      Try mineral oil first. It appears to work well against mites (but maybe not yeast). It basically works by smothering the mites.

      Just so you know, I am not a vet. I am only someone who does A LOT of research!

  • GreatWhitesCanesDolphins

    >>>>>TREATING THE OUTDOORS AND/OR YOUR YARD<<<<<

    This idea of increasing biological enemies of Ticks and Fleas, leads to the belief of doing so might mess with the balance of species and their interactions (eating, being eaten, clean and etc). The easiest to understand is messing up the food chain.
    Plus, correct me if I am wrong, but is not Nematodes: Beneficial Nematodes the ones that damage other plants, like roses?

    • Anonymous

      Hi GreatWhites –

      I agree that usually moving in species to rid other species is a bad idea because it messes with the balance of an eco system. However, treating with pesticides does the same and it’s bad for human and pet health.

      Beneficial nematodes live in the soil and feed off of the larvae of fleas. Once the larvae is gone, the nematodes will die off. Since it’s important to treat your yard so you don’t bring in any unwanted hitchhikers, beneficial nematodes are a good, safe alternative when used according to directions. They are good for the soil as well and help keep down other pests. I would suggest, if you are worried about rose damage, not to spray the nematodes near or under the rose bushes, but use diatomaceous earth (food grade) instead. You can google diatomaceous earth and roses. Many people use it to maintain healthy rose bushes without the need of pesticides. The most popular brand for gardening is PermaGuard. It must be food grade, however. The other type is treated and is used for applications like pool filters.

      “There are good and bad nematodes. Many of them are beneficial to your soil and limit damage caused by other garden pests by feeding on them. Non-beneficial nematodes are only a problem in specific areas and climates. ‘Root Knot’ Nematodes Meloidogyne hapla are the ones most commonly mentioned as rose pests. These parasitic nematodes suck and drain the fine hairlike rose roots and create knots in the smaller roots limiting the development of the root system. These tiny swellings (called galls) appear all over the mass of the rose roots.” [Source: http://www.rose-roses.com/problems/invertebrates.html%5D

      If you can find different references, I would love to see them!

    • Gcooper

      The majority of nematodes are beneficial in a variety of ways. The nematodes that you would introduce to control fleas also help control fire ants. They are NOT root feeding nematodes. I would not worry at all about using the beneficial nematodes around any plantings.

  • Ewldvm

    I feel I need to correct some inaccuracies here as there is a lot of folk lore concerning fleas.  First, fleas don’t choose a host based on the health of the pet.  Fleas in the environment (carpet, grass, etc) orient to face the brightest light source, then they wait for a shadow between them and the light and jump. Outside this would be facing the sun and jumping at anything that moves in front of the flea.  The flea has no idea what it is jumping at but if they land on a suitable host they’ll bite.  Second, there is no evidence that garlic or brewers yeast do anything at all.  Garlic can be toxic to dogs and cats just like onions; it can cause their red blood cells to rupture.  Brewers yeast is actually put in the growth media in labs that study fleas because they grow BETTER when the brewes yeast is present.  My point…there’s a lot of misinformation out there and throwing around words like “chemical” as a scare tactic isn’t helpful. 

    • Anonymous

      Hi Ewidvm – I’m not throwing around words like “chemical” as a scare tactic. The fact is, most of these products do more short term and/or long term harm than using alternative methods to control fleas. They continue on the market because of money put into conferences, hiring “experts” to hock their products and the laws from the 70’s that govern the EPA who must include weighing corporate profit in decisions to make changes to chemicals (in this case pesticides).

      A flea, as I am sure you know, will always choose an unhealthy host over a healthy host WHEN GIVEN A CHOICE. In fact, flea saliva is designed to weaken a pets immune system to make them more tasty. So, yes, diet has much to do with fleas and your pet. Although, you are correct in that initially, if the flea is in “hybernation mode” (which can last for a year) the things that wake it up is carbon monoxide (from breath), vibration (walking past) and heat, all of which show the flea that there is a host nearby.

      Whether or not they stay after the first visit to the snack bar depends on how tasty your pet is. As a side note, several pesticide products for fleas & tick do not work until your pet gets bitten ALSO.

      • Christina

        What about Ewldvm’s point re: brewer’s yeast?  I’ve read it’s been implicated as a cause of bloat (torsion) and with deep-chested sighthounds that’s a concern for me.

        • Anonymous

          With Brewer’s Yeast you are actually supplementing the BVitamins. You use it sparingly. Of course you don’t want your dog or cat bloat up like a loaf of rising bread… You can try Flea Treats, but if there is a chance your dogs have mercury load at all then you want to be careful. Here’s the Amazon Link http://astore.amazon.com/tinytimmy-20/detail/B001SGW5AS

          We are testing these (Flea Treats) right now. We haven’t had the issue with cats not liking it and the dog loves them. Will keep everyone posted as to how well they work for fleas/ticks.

          For dogs ONLY you can try this product for ticks as well http://www.wondercide.com/evolv-natural-flea-tick-control.html

  • Christina

    Cats and fleas are one thing, we never treated our indoor cats and never had a problem.  But what about dogs and ticks?  I’ve seen a friend’s dog die from Lymes/RMSF and it’s not pretty.   We go hiking with our dogs almost every weekend, weather permitting.

    • Anonymous

      Few things – first, dogs are less sensitive to some natural products containing things like citronella and cedar than cats are. Another – a bandana sewn and with fresh sage inserted helps too – but the best thing to do is to always check your dogs & remove ticks properly. Lyme and co-infections, according to the science, takes a tick feeding for 48 hours (including the tiny nymphs). Most chemical tick products make your dogs (or cat) blood toxic and so when the ticks feed they will die. It’s best to use a repellent. I am working on some info specific for ticks.

      • Christina

        Thanks, we definitely do “tick checks” and have found a few fatties but I worry about the really small guys, e.g., deer ticks.  My dogs are longhaired and their brindle coloring makes it only more difficult.  Not that it’s not worth trying, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having that be my main line of defense. 

        • Anonymous

          I responded with a few more ideas for you in the other comment. The Wondercide should only be used for dogs, not cats and not around cats. You can also use Timmy’s soaps. It will repel ticks and mosquitoes as well as fleas. Those are in the store tab under flea & tick.

  • Christina

    Also, re: “We tend to stay away from beef as domestic cats and dogs wouldn’t normally eat cow in their natural diet.”  What do you imagine the “natural” diet for domestic cats or dogs is?  

    I feed my dogs based on a prey-model raw diet, but I often think it’s a bit silly to worry about what they would have eaten as “wolves” when the predominant theory is that dogs evolved to eat human trash, including feces, which might be part of why so many dogs are copraphagic. 

    In any event, I think everyone must do what is right for them and their loved ones.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I think everyone should make the decisions that work best for them for a variety of reasons. Sadly, most companies and products do not tell a pet parent everything they need to make an educated decision. For example, most commercial brands use euthanized cats & dogs in pet food. Here’s some info on it from the FDA http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129131.htm

      Here’s an article from TIME http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1607483,00.html

      I think if the average consumer knew what was actually in the food they feed their animals that they would make other choices. The point is, just like with people, the quality of what you feed your animals has a lot to do with their health. Healthy animals are less appealing to fleas and ticks.

      • Christina

        Agreed, and sorry if I was being a jerk about it, I guess I just know so many people who really are doing the best they can for their animals and I dislike when others make categorical statements that suggest there is a “right” or “wrong” answer for anything. 

        For example, as I’m sure you know, there are many raw feeders who get *very* proselytizing about feeding raw.   I don’t think feeding raw is necessarily the best choice for every person and every dog.  For me, it’s actually cheaper than buying the higher end dog food, and I really like feeding my dogs food that I would eat myself.

        Ultimately, education is key and I’ve been learning a lot reading your site, so thank you!

        • Anonymous

          One thing I’ve learned is you do what you can, when you can. It doesn’t make anyone a bad pet parent. We only rarely feed raw, and only to the cats who love it. We use high quality grain free food and it’s made a huge difference. Whatever anybody decides to feed their pets, the point is that a healthy, well nourished animal, just like a person, tends to be healthier (thus less tasty to fleas).

          And your welcome! I hope that you keep coming back to find more articles when they are posted and Timmy’s videos under the Timmy TV tab.

      • Magpie

        No, they don’t normally use dogs and cats.

        Find this paragraph from the 1st citation:

        CVM scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of the dog food. All samples from the most recent dog food survey (2000) that tested positive for pentobarbital, as well as a subset of samples that tested negative, were examined for the presence of remains derived from dogs or cats. The results demonstrated a complete absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. The sensitivity of this method is 0.005% on a weight/weight basis; that is, the method can detect a minimum of 5 pounds of rendered remains in 50 tons of finished feed.
        Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses.”

        • Anonymous

          Can you please supply a link? Is this the report you are referring to? http://web.archive.org/web/20080430142434/http://www.fda.gov/cvm/FOI/DFreport.htm If so, it’s from 2002 – 9 years ago. Since that time, class B dealers and rendering plant insiders as well as workers from Animal Control across the nation & the ASPCA have come forward to document how euthanized animals are sold to rendering plants for use in pet food primarily. Interestingly the FDA report you quoted says the drugs are in the food, but then does not go on to try to explain how it got there. Also, it does not say what they tested (ie brands, end product, etc. or if pet food manufacturers were asked to provide samples themselves). It’s not just euthanized dogs & cats, but also euthanized zoo animals, horses and livestock that is dead, diseased or dying. Please see testimony on this from the HSUS.

          Also, why would the AVMA go so far as to say this:

          The “Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia,” states, “In euthanasia of animals intended for human or animal food, chemical agents that result in tissue residue cannot be used.”

          Since diseased animals end up in our own food supply: Testimony of Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of HSUS to the Before the Committee on.Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry on the Subject of the “Welfare of Animals in Agriculture, May 2007
          http://agriculture.house.gov/testimony/110/h70508/Pacelle.pdf Excerpt:

          Some industry opponents argue that downed animals must be sent to slaughterhouses in order for the USDA to conduct disease surveillance. But the USDA itself stopped relying on inspections of crippled cows during slaughter, opting instead for surveillance on the farm andat rendering plants. It simply makes no sense to transport live animals at high risk of transmissible diseases to facilities where their “meat can be erroneously approved as safe and enter the food supply. While there were as many as 200,000 downed cows a year, there were more than l million dead stock on farms — five times the number of downers, yet there was no clamor by industry to test any of these animals…”

    • Jane Cline

      My Jack Russell puppy had the awful habit of passing a stool and immediately eating it.  I called the breeder for advice as I was so frustrated and had tried everything I could think of to stop her.  I was told to feed her a diet of lamb and rice, with lamb being the first ingredient.  The first stool she turned around and smelled it and walked off.  She has never eaten another one.  I have given this advice to a couple of others and it has worked.

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  • Praiano

    Hello. Great information here. My question…I have two inside/outside cats, and we live in deer country as well. So there is no way I can expect them to go outside and not get fleas. They are on great diets, grain free, and half of their diet is raw food. Their coats are in great shape, healthy, etc., but I want to look at alternatives for fleas and ticks. 

    It sounds like on your alternative list you recommend Comfortis (as a last resort, but seemingly above Frontline, for example), and as this is a page about your cat, it wasn’t clear if you recommend Coomfortis only for dogs, or…?

    On Capstar, could this be given every day / other day? And does it seem the temporary frantic itching occurs all the time? 

    Any other thoughts or resources are welcome. 

    Thank you again.
    Michael

    • Hi Michael – Comfortis is only for dogs. The cat equivalent is terrible. It’s a spot on with spinetoram called Assurity. It’s made by the same manufacturer, but I have read the studies on it and it should have never come onto the market. You can read a bit about it in this post. http://tinytimmy.org/?s=assurity+for+cats

      If you search the blog for fipronil or Frontline or go to the products area and read the posts, there are about 3 posts about fipronil/Frontline. Fipronil is the ingredient in Frontline and now a bunch of “generics” like Pet Armor. Frontline was responsible for the highest percentage of adverse reactions in 2008 and over 65% of the adverse reactions that children had.

      Here are a few things you can try: Guinea Fowl (or hens) are good for controlling insects especially ticks if you have some land (plus I am sure it will at the very least keep your kitties entertained!) Here is an article on using them for tick control http://www.lymediseasepa.com/GuineaHens.htm

      You can spray beneficial nematodes as mentioned above. They eat the flea larvae. This would be for your yard/garden. You can also put about a cup of food grade diatomaceous earth (pure) in a sprayer with a gallon of water and spray your yard/garden. You have to shake it up so it doesn’t clog, but it works surprisingly well.

      Capstar is really something to use to buy you time to do the other things such as DE, nematodes, vaccuum, wash pet bedding, etc. It only lasts 3 days, so it’s fast knock down and then quickly out of the system. I wouldn’t suggest using it as regular flea control. I wonder, if they are all itching all the time, do you use anything like swiffer wet jet? If you are using things on your floors that have chemicals or essences like citrus, lavendar, etc. it may be irritating them. That is just a thought in case you have not actually pulled fleas off of them.

      You can try something like Ectopamine. It has essences that aren’t good long-term for cats, but certainly better than pesticides. It does leave a greasy streak on the coat for a while and smells very strongly. There are also Flea Treats, with is B vitamins that apparently fleas and ticks do not like, but it takes at least 20 days to build up in the system. We are testing those now, so if you choose to use them, just know that we haven’t been able to say yet if they do indeed repel fleas & ticks.

      Last ditch effort, if you absolutely positively have to use some sort of chemical intervention, I would suggest regular advantage. (not the one with the dewormer).

      Can you tell me please what part of the country you live? It may make a difference.

  • Tiddilywinks

    Hi. Nice site.  Really love all the info and work you’ve put into making this site.  I’ve a question for you.  I have had good luck with vacuuming, bathing, and washing in the past, but this year seems to be a steller flea growth year.  We’re going crazy.  I want to try the DE on my carpets and pets, but worry about how well it will work, and how safe it will be for my kids (animal and people) to breath.  Will an hour in the carpet really work?  I’ve read that it should sit for days.  Have you found anything that addresses the safety issues regarding children breathing the dust?  They are also going crazy in my basement for some reason.  Any tips on how to deal with a basement full of fleas?   This really doesn’t make sense to me as no animals are allowed in the basement.

    • Anonymous

      Hi TW – To do a big area like the basement I would put on a simple mask just so you don’t breathe the very fine particles. I never used a mask and have done my entire house with no issues, but better safe then sorry. I would keep your pets & kids out of the room as you are spreading the DE. It must be food grade, not pool grade. The lower you are to the ground, the less it will dust up and only a light coat is needed. We spread it and then use a broom to mush it into carpet fibers, floor boards, etc. And yes, if you leave it down for a about an hour and then vacuum it up LIGHTLY, if you have carpet the fine particles will continue to do their job. You don’t want to directly inhale DE, but once it is down it is safe. It is safe for children and animals. Some people even feed it to their animals to fend against worms.

      You can also use flea traps. I have tested two of these – the Victor Flea Trap and some swanky very expensive one that guarantees to clear your 400 sq ft room from fleas in 24 hours. The Victor works better and costs a third less. You can find it on Timmy’s Amazon Store (I think there’s a link above).

      Since somehow fleas are getting into your basement, you also might want to spread DE in your yard. The easiest way to do this is with a sprayer. Add 1 cup DE to 1 gallon of water. Be sure to get around your foundation. It won’t hurt plants and is actually used in organic gardening.

      Beneficial nematodes in your yard also would be a good idea. They eat the flea larvae and stop future generations. If you use the nematodes, you might want to wait a few days before spreading the DE in the same area.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  • Butterflies

    Thanks so much for your site.  I live in FL and just adopted a stray cat 2 months ago.  Either my carpet in my condo has had dormant fleas for years (is this possible, i.e. 5 years+ w/no animals), or sitting on the lanai is causing fleas b/c his flea condition is becoming worse and worse.  The vet just gave me a Capstar pill (I think he would scratch me and try to injure me if I tried to give him a bath) and Assurity and told me to put Borax around similarly to what you suggest for DE.  I am SO GLAD I read your info on the Assurity.  I am going to return it.  They gave him an Advantage pipette in June and then I tried Pet Armor in July and both only gave him several days not a month of being flea free.  He’s finally started to let me flea comb him, but at 25 to 50 a day for the last week I don’t see an end in sight.  Questions:
    1.  Is Borax OK to use or should I go with DE?  i.e. is Borax safe and effective?
    2.  I may have missed it, but I didn’t see what monthly flea treatment you do recommend?  Frontline? Advantage?  Or are you recommending NONE?  I was hoping that I could thoroughly vacuum daily and have been washing bedding (towels) daily and then do a once a month treatment.
    3.  I bought a Flea-Free Breeze carpet and floor spray product by Sergeant’s with active ingredients of Pyriproxylen 2 (1-methy-2 (4-phenoxyphenoxy) ehoxy) pyridine .02%
    Permethrin .20% n-Octyl Bicyclopehtene Dicarboximide 1.00%:  Are you saying not to use ANY chemicals ever, or are you familiar with this or similar products and chemicals that are ‘relatively’ safe?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!  My little Hobbes and I thank you for your help in our quest to be FLEA-FREE!

    • DE is safer than Borax, but both work. As long as your cats don’t try to eat the Borax while it’s down, it should be okay. I prefer DE because it is considered much safer and has many uses – you can use it for any insect with an exoskeleton (ants, roaches, fleas, ticks, aphids, etc). It is can also be used inside the house and in the yard. It’s likely that rather than the fleas being dormant for five years that they are in your yard and coming in that way – hitching rides on your pets or you. Once inside, fleas multiply very quickly. I would suggest beneficial nematodes for the yard, DE for the yard and lanai as well as inside. Rub it into carpets with a broom, or into cracks and crevices. You can leave it on, or vacuum it up lightly. Some will stay in the carpet fibers and continue to keep the flea population down. You can also put it on furniture (if you have leather, take the cushions off and do the cloth portion).

      I wouldn’t use the spray you bought at all. It contains permethrin which is incredibly toxic to cats. It is also an endocrine disruptor, causing all sorts of issues with the endocrine system in pets, people and especially developing children and toddlers.

      If you need to use some type of chemical alternative you can try ectopamine or Vetri-Vet. I haven’t tried the Vetri-Vet, but the ectopamine smells very minty and will leave an oily spot on your cats neck. It will dissipate in about 3 days and no longer be the greasy spot. Keep in mind these also have essential oils that are hard for cats to metabolize so you might want to support their kidney function with something like SamE or a few drops of liposomal glutathione while you use anything.

      You can also try flea traps. We have tested two – the Victor traps and another brand that was expensive, looks sort of like a waffle iron and claims to clear a room of fleas in 24 hours. The cheap Victor trap works much better in my experience. If you have a flea explosion you can get replacement pads for them at the same time, but they come with two of them included in the package. (Links above)

      And no, I am not saying not to ever not use chemicals. It’s important to get flea infestations under control. It’s your decision as a pet parent what you decide to do, but I believe that you as a consumer have the right to be able to have the information to make educated decisions and manufacturers don’t allow you to do that. In most cases, bathing, flea combing, DE, nematodes, vacuuming and washing pet bedding (including your bed sheets if they sleep on the bed) is able to keep infestations at bay. If you have to use a chemical something like Capstar is out of the body in 3 days. It gives you time to do the other things while killing the fleas directly on your pet at that time.

      The Tiny Timmy Sudz (in the store) are very gentle to the skin and leave the fur shiny and soft. It’s great for the allergies that go along with fleas. We have two very allergic cats, so it was a must in the recipe.

    • KimmerlyA

      I can’t remember where, but I do remember reading that borax is not safe for the cats. We had a problem with Cheyletiella  last year. The regular vacuuming, washing everything and the DE are what saved us.

      This year I was being super vigilant and recently have gotten busy and haven’t vacuumed in a few weeks. This is my reminder.

      We have been using Frontline and one of the cats hates it when I get it out. Last month I noticed a small bare spot in the area of where I put it on him. Wondering if the Frontline is causing a reaction now. My 2 guys are indoor for 18- 20 hrs a day/outdoor for 4 – 6. They go all over the neighborhood. How can I keep the flees away if I don’t use the frontline?

      I feed them grain free and organic products.

  • Mwscss

    I tried DE too and didnt work..we have a heavy infestation we are fighting…making us all sick

    • Anonymous

      How did you use the DE? You should use it in your house, carpets, floors, nooks, crannies, floor boards, furniture (under the cushions). Use a LIGHT sprinkling and rub it in with a broom. Let it sit for an hour or longer and VERY LIGHTLY vacuum over it. You will need to change your filter on your vac if you do a large area after you vacuum it. You can even leave it on longer term. You should also treat your yard – you can add 1 cup DE to 1 gallon of water and use one of those garden sprayers to apply it onto your yard, around your house, etc. You can also use beneficial nematodes, which eat flea larvae (in your yard). The DE you use MUST BE FOOD GRADE. Sometimes they mix it with other things, such as the clay in Red Lake Earth. Also, buy several Victor Flea Traps & leave them on all the time. You will be amazed how many fleas they trap. Washing all your bedding & pet bedding, blankets, etc and vacuuming really well before replacing the bedding will help tremendously. If you don’t have a good vacuum, you might want to check on CraigsList for one and check reviews. Also, flea combing is fantastic.

  • Hltucker997

    Do I need an account to post? No..
     
    I think a lot of this info is good and can be used by most of us.

    It would help if the info was broken out and assisgned headings along with separate para.

    I know it would be much more readable. I do appreciate info presented but had to ask anyway.

    • Anonymous

      I am working on tidying it up. I also have more things to add and would like to do a separate page just for tick control as it’s a bit more complex. I welcome your input and think it’s a fabulous idea. I had it broken down, but perhaps the formatting has gone wonky in translation. This was primarily a re-post of a note I did on Facebook, so it’s possible. I have limited energy and time to spend here, otherwise it would be much more comprehensive much quicker!

      At any rate I am glad that you found the information helpful!

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  • there is some question if DE is safe for cats.  You say use a mask while applying it then it is OK for cats to walk over.  A cat’s nose is much closer to the ground, and I would imagine that DE would be kicked up when disturbed.  Same with applying it directly to the cat, how are you going to put a mask on a cat?  Things to keep in mind.

    as for bathing a flea covered cat, you need to leave the suds on the cat for a full five minutes to kill the fleas.  You also need to keep the fleas from running up into the ears and on the eyes, so starting at the neck is a good idea.  You won’t keep all of them from hiding in suds free areas, but will get most of them.

    • Anonymous

      Good question on the DE! When you apply it, it dusts up into the air quite a bit because it is light. Once applied, it stays on the ground and in the carpet fibres. It doesn’t dust up. We have put it around food dishes to keep ants away and it won’t dust up even if they step in it. The mask is really a precaution because you don’t want to inhale, say, the amount that it takes to do a 1400 square foot house. I move the cats out of the room I am treating just because it’s easier. We even have an asthmatic cat who does not have an issue with DE once it’s down.

      True on the suds. The Timmy Sudz we sell actually work in a short amount of time, but you can leave it on longer as well if you like. I need to write a “how to bathe a cat & dog” FAQ!

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  • Amandaarmandi

    Spiders are not harmful pests. They are beneficial. They kill harmful insects. Ants can be “moved” without killing them. Just place a sweet food for them elsewhere and they go.  If indoors you can catch them carefully with a jar and a card and place them outdoors and it alerts the colony to stay outdoors. Think about insects and research ways to control not harmfuls (not fleas) without killing them.

  • Victoria

    Great info! Thank  you! After a flea/tick product killed my cat I have been searching for alternatives.

  • Doloreschastain

    Diatomaceous Earth is a JOKE, this stuff does not kill fleas at all. It is also suppose to kill worms in the pet if they eat it. This is all a lie, this stull does not kill fleas or worms . This is a HUGE mess powder every where, dust all over everything  and DOES NOT WORK!

    • Anonymous

      Dolores – Vacuum it up RIGHT NOW! You must use only a small amount of DE – like a teaspoon per every 1-2 square feet. More can be dangerous and does not work correctly. A very LIGHT dusting is all that is needed. You may not see an immediate knock down like you do when you use pesticides, but it scratches the surface of the fleas (and other pests) exoskeletons and they dry out and die. Also, be sure that you used FOOD GRADE DE only. The other type is treated and no longer works as it should.

      • Liz Elias<span class="comment-author-location"> from United States</span>

        We have tried the DE twice, now, and the problem is no better. 🙁 The tiny amount you suggest is NOT going to cover the entire wall-to-wall carpet, cracks between carpet and baseboard, and the furniture cushions in an 1852 sq. ft. home! Also, it wants to stick together, and in order to distribute it, I had to use a 1/4 cup measure and a wire mesh strainer to dust it all over the carpet. And yes, ‘scrubbing it in’ with a broom was extremely messy and dust was everywhere.
        Also, the teeny amount suggested for application to the animal was not near enough. It was enough only for the tail area, and not the rest of the cat. Especially the longer-haired cats. On the second application, I spread the DE on a towel, then wrapped the cats, and scrubbed it into their coats that way. Then we flea-combed a couple of days later. The fleas seemed ‘stunned’ at best, but were certainly far from being dead.
        I was so excited to find this site, and this alternative, and have been telling everyone all about it, but never had a flea infestation to deal with myself. Now that I have, I am feeling discouraged, and like a fraud for having promoted this powder so enthusiastically.
        My husband is getting bitten, one of the cats has chewed a raw place out of his fur from the itching, and we are retired seniors; don’t have the energy for that kind of rigorous vacuuming and extra bed-linen washing every week! We are becoming very tempted to use the chemicals, including a fogger for the entire house…except that our vet has said she does not recommend foggers. All sorts of other people and sources list a whole catalog of essential oils, to be mixed with rubbing alcohol, to be sprayed on the animal…yet, every single time I turn around, 99% of the list says not to use this, that or the other on cats. Great. We have 7 cats and no dogs! We are at our wits’ end, here!
        I also had some of the original Timmy Suds, and it is nearly gone, but that, too, does not seem to work as well…
        Have you ever tried to give 7 cats in a row baths??????

        • TinyTimmy<span class="comment-author-location"> from Portland, OR, United States</span>

          Hi Liz,
          So sorry to hear about your frustrations! Let’s see if we can’t remedy them for you.

          First please double check that the DE you are using is food grade, not the stuff used for water filters or pools. I am not sure what you mean about the amount I suggested. It’s normal for people to feel that DE should be spread thickly, but this does not allow it to scratch the waxy exterior of the fleas. When I have applied it to my house I have used a turkey baster or a flour sifter, so that isn’t unusual. I am happy to talk with you via the phone regarding the DE to figure out what is actually going on. DE scratches the surface of fleas which is waxy, so they become dessicated. It does not “kill them on the spot” which is why it should be left down for a while.

          Yes, I have bathed up to 9 cats. It’s hard. I know. You can also rotate them – 3 one week, 3 another week etc.

          I am curious to know what your space is like other than the square footage. We can customize your treatment with your space. Here’s a few things to think about: Do you have an outdoor yard? If so, what sort of plantings do you have? What part of the country are you located in? Do you have a basement? If so, what type of basement is it? Do you have indoor/outdoor cats or are they solely indoor? Do you have wood floors, tile, laminate or carpet?

          I have a suspicion I know what might be going on as I know a little bit about your situation. It’s best we talk to discuss a plan going forward and I am happy to do so if you’d like. 503-ITZ-TIM1

    • Anonymous

      Dolores – Vacuum it up RIGHT NOW! You must use only a small amount of DE – like a teaspoon per every 1-2 square feet. More can be dangerous and does not work correctly. A very LIGHT dusting is all that is needed. You may not see an immediate knock down like you do when you use pesticides, but it scratches the surface of the fleas (and other pests) exoskeletons and they dry out and die. Also, be sure that you used FOOD GRADE DE only. The other type is treated and no longer works as it should.

  • Anne4814

    looking for a safe treatment for ticks anyone have one?

  • Dgraider1

    Hi Tiny Timmy,  I just found out about your web site by looking up ways to kill fleas and info on worms.  I have a 6yr old cat and a 1yr old.   I took my cat to the vet and got a worm shot and now their back.  Also my other cat is showing signs of worms.  How can I control them from returning?  I can’t afford to take them to the vet every 5 months for the worm shot.  They go outside for about 2 hours a day.  How much yeast do you suggest to feed them.  Is self rising yeast that is used to make bread ok to use.  I love this web site and will be spending lots of time reading the great info you supply.   Thank you for your site and all the feedback people give.
    Donna

  • catmom

    Hi. I just found your site after researching “Frontline burns cats skin”. This morning I found my cat with a scabbed over chemical burn four days after using the vet purchased Frontline that I have used on him for years. I do not administer the product on my cats monthly due to my own suspicious fear of  toxic chemicals. It seems I should have listened to my intuitions. I have nine cats, all rescues and am devastated to think I caused harm to a friend and member of our family. You are very correct as far as vacuuming being a great way to combat fleas. It has made a difference in our home over the years allowing me  not to use the chemicals often. I am fortunate as my cats are indoor only cats which is a great help to the flea situation. I will now have to rethink this entire situation thanks to your fine blog and caring attitude. God bless you for the kindness you have shown towards other living creatures. 

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  • TinyTimmy<span class="comment-author-location"> from Portland, OR, United States</span>

    Remember DE must be FOOD GRADE. If served in food for your pets, it should be no more than 2% of the food, so just a tiny sprinkling. It can be harmful if it is inhaled, so be careful to have your pets in a different room is you apply a large amount of it and if you have issues, wear a mask (better safe than sorry). Once it’s down it’s fine. Works on all insects that have an exoskeleton. It rocks!

  • Patereeves<span class="comment-author-location"> from Centerton, AR, United States</span>

    Question:We have used twenty mule team borax on our carpets- dust them down and then vacuum it up after an hour or so. This seems to keep the fleas down.  Always remove your animals before putting it down and until you have vacuumed.  Is this a safe method??  We had terrible problems with fleas until we started this.  I will not use any thing on my cats since I tried Biospot and almost killed my Amanda.  It is combing and baths only now!!  I have to say the 20 mule team borax has helped so very much! I hope that it is safe!!

    • TinyTimmy<span class="comment-author-location"> from Portland, OR, United States</span>

      Borax works fine but you are right to keep your cats and dogs out of the area you are treating while it is down. Some say you need to leave it on for 48 hours, but I have heard good results without leaving it down that long. I personally prefer diatomaceous earth. It’s cheap and it works for all sorts of insects, you can use it inside or outside and if it gets on their paws and they lick it it won’t harm them. Again, when you spread DE you should keep your pets and children out of the area until it settles. Mush it into your carpet/cracks/crevices/couches, etc. and you can either leave it down for as long as you wish or vacuum it up. When Timmy first came here he had over 350 fleas and was sequestered in a small bathroom. I would put down DE before flea combing him, then vacuum after then put down DE again. Worked like a charm and kept the fleas from popping under the door to the rest of the house.

  • IntrepidLotus<span class="comment-author-location"> from Goffstown, NH, United States</span>

    “Flea combing is incredibly easy and an enjoyable way to get rid of fleas and bond with your pet.”
    Could you explain that to my dog because he’s convinced flea combing is unforgivable torture, he’s pretty sure the Geneva Convention forbids it and ready to see me go to trial for that and all the bathing he gets subjected to in effort to get fleas under control naturally.  I’ve tried everything you talk about here and then some, some years with success and some years I’ve given in and used the chemicals because we’re all suffering so bad with the flea bites.    I’m still trying to keep it natural this summer, but some rainy weather seems to have upped the ante for flea numbers.

    • IntrepidLotus<span class="comment-author-location"> from Goffstown, NH, United States</span>

       Oh, and he gets plenty of treats and love during this torture, I seriously try to make it ‘bonding’ time. 

  • Cth<span class="comment-author-location"> from Bellport, NY, United States</span>

    I have 11 cats.  In the summer 2-4 stay outside.  In the winter all 11 are in.  3 of the cats are ferral and stay INside.  One is very overweight, has  terrible matting, and many fleas and a raw looking tail  The other cats were treated with advantage. I think advantage is less toxic then frontline. I  used capstar once. my cat had a TERRIBLE reaction.  I thought she was going to die. Any idea what I can do to help her?

  • Derfel<span class="comment-author-location"> from Waldport, OR, United States</span>

    i am going thru a toxic poisoning from Comfortis with my dog right now. I think at this point he will survive but the past week has been awful! for him and me. I will never use it again! It did rid us of the flea problem but at what cost? On the Oregon coast we have the nasty little creatures year round and the internal meds are not working for the past 2 years, so I am once again on the march for flea control. 
    Also, I was told DE is a carcinogen. That said, I was in the pool and spa industry so maybe that is the chemical change you talk about. Still I am leery to use DE in our enviroment let alone inside or on our bodies

    • crossties<span class="comment-author-location"> from Royse City, TX, United States</span>

      Like talc, DE can cause all sorts of problems when inhaled, but you have to assess what the actual risks are, what conditions provide risk. There is food grade DE, if you want to invest in it. I would not sprinkle DE all over the cat, however. But it is wonderful sprinkled all over fire ant mounds. (Which you do not have on the Oregon Coast, lucky you.

  • I had a dog allergic to every flea med, especially flea collars since she had really sensitive skin. Our vet recommended Comfortis. It was great. She never had any reactions to it.

  • Adey May<span class="comment-author-location"> from Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia</span>

    Shoot tag is a scam. All you need for flea control is coconut oil and apple cidar vinegar added to their food. DE earth is useful for fleas and other things but but coconut oil is really all you need.