Monday, November 15, 2010

"Do You Have an Infestation?" The lady asks.

Let me assure you; you never want to be asked this question. I was faced with a horrible reality today, forced to answer that question not once, not even twice, but three times.
It started out when I told a co-worker I thought my cats had fleas.

"Do you have an infestation?" She asked.

I hadn't thought about it that way. I only really discovered the problem a few nights ago, and I thought it was manageable and I could treat my cats later in the week. Several discussions later, I was convinced I would have a home crawling with critters if I didn't attend to this immediately.

I proceeded to tell my boss I would be working from home for the afternoon. "My cats have fleas. I need to deal with it before my house is overrun." His response? When he stopped laughing, he agreed. "You don't want to bring them to work," he said.

So, I set out for home, stopping at a vet clinic along the way for 'over-the-counter' flea treatment.

"Do you have an infestation?" Asked the receptionist.

I explained my cats had fleas, and I wanted to deal with it now before it got out of control. Turns out 'over-the-counter' flea medication doesn't exist. You have to make an appointment, so they can prescribe it. PRESCIBE IT! Appointment?! I don't need a diagnosis here. I know they have fleas!! I saw one. It jumped on me! Sorry! I didn't warn you the gross part was coming.

I went to the pet store. After reading the label of every flea and tick product on the shelf, I asked an associate's opinion.

"Do you have an infestation?"

WHY DOES EVERYONE ASK THAT? I have fleas on my cats! I hope it's not an infestation, but they're there! They've likely left eggs and gross, little baby fleas all over! Okay, yes! I have an infestation! Are you happy now?! I have a disgusting, flea infestation thanks to my outdoors-loving cats and I've admitted it!!

Snap back out of my imaginary response. Yes, I guess I do. "You need to go to the vet and get a prescription for Advantage. It works far better than any product we have."

Right, I thought. I purchased some flea control shampoo, gels and headed out the door to spend the rest of the day vacuuming, bathing, washing linens, more vacuuming and more washing curtains. I then sprayed every unwashable surface with vinegar and water and sprinkled salt on my rug (both home remedies I saw online). I hope this temporary solution will indeed get most of the fleas, however I do have a backup plan I know will work if needed albeit a tad redneck.

Now, if only I'd taken some video of bathing the cats. You've never heard an animal make such a wretched noise!

Have you ever had to treat pets for fleas? Any suggestions?


  1. Wash everything in hot water. Freeze anything you cannot wash. IE: couch cushions. Garbage bag them and freeze them.

    My dog got sand flees a couple months ago back at the cottage but we checked her that day when, I saw my legs were bit up walking through the long grass. So we were lucky we caught her in time. We sent her into the ice cold lake and washed her with vinegar and rinsed her off. Its another way to keep them away. They hate the taste of it.

    For kids in school & parents that are afraid of them getting head lice. You can use the same treatment to keep them away. My dad made us do it a couple of times a week during baseball season.

    Hope this helps.

  2. You are hilarious! I really want to know what your redneck backup plan is.

  3. I did 6 loads of laundry, just like you said! Hot water and everything I possibly could - couch & chair covers, curtain, blankets, linens and clothes. I have been vacuuming daily. I did also get a prescription for Advantage through a contact I have at a vet clinic.

    So far, the scratching has big time subsided. Everytime I itch though, I think there's a flea on me. I'm totally paranoid!

  4. Sounds like you got it under control! Not fun, I am sure. Have never had any of my indoor pets get fleas. Dogs are on RX so never get them. After reading this hope to never get them inside!

  5. you need to be careful with any pet store flee medication, I have worked in a vet clinic for 3 years and I have heard of many cases where the pet store brand has actually killed the cat and dog