my poor indoor kitty all of a sudden got fleas almost a week ago. I have spent over 200 dollars on treatments, shampoos, powders, etc and nothing seems to be working. We have kept up with vacuuming the house daily. He has been washed twice with dawn dish soap. I am still finding a few live fleas on him, even after advantage treatment and flea collar. It doesn’t seem like he is being bit, but they are still there. No human in the house has complained of being bitten. Do you think this infestation is something I need professional help for or should I continue doing what I’m doing and hope for the best? Thanks so much!
It sounds like you’re taking the correct steps. Try to not shampoo after Advantage is applied, as it can reduce the efficacy of the treatment. Did the product you applied to the environment contain an insect growth regulator (IGR), either pyryproxyfen (Nylar) or methoprene (Precor)?
If you’ve treated your cat with Advantage, applied an IGR to the environment, and are vacuuming regularly and laundering pet bedding and rugs, then you should bring the infestation under control soon. You shouldn’t need professional control at this point. It’s normal to control seeing fleas here or there for a while after proper treatment is in place.
It usually takes around 8 weeks before you’ll stop seeing fleas. This is because 95-99% of the infestation are immature stages living in the environment. Most live at the base of carpets and are protected from treatments and vacuuming. These stages will have to mature, emerge, and die before the infestation completely ends. This is why flea drops like Advantage come with multiple months of dosages, so the emerging fleas don’t cause reinfestation.
Hope this helps,
We are continuing to follow all the proper steps to get rid of fleas. However now I am finding more live fleas on poor kitty and signs that they are still biting him. How is this possible if he was treated with advantage?! I know they say not to reapply before 1 month. I’m at a loss of what to do now
Most likely, the fleas you are seeing on the cat are new fleas emerging from the environment. It may take up to 24 hours for the treatment to kill the fleas. However, they shouldn’t be able to survive long enough to lay eggs.
When establishing control, especially in severe infestations, you can retreat earlier than 30 days. Look at the labeled instructions, and on the final step (usually Step 7) there should be information regarding early redosing.
For kittens (2-5 lbs.), retreatment shouldn’t be done more often than once every 14 days. For small cats (5-9 lbs.) and large cats (over 9 lbs.), do not retreat more than once every 7 days. Once flea control is attained, the monthly re-treatment schedule should be adhered to.