Dear Dr. Fox: I’ve got a problem with my dog, Charlie. For several months now, he has had a bad case of fleas.
No matter how many flea baths, flea powders and flea collars I’ve tried, they just won’t subside. I live with my mother, and I wanted to bomb the house; however, she won’t let me because she thinks it will get all over her doll collection and furniture.
What can I do? I know the fleas are really bothering my dog a lot. Is there a homemade remedy?
— R.F., Milford, Conn.
Dear R.F.: You are correct that the house most probably must be thoroughly fumigated by a professional to break the flea cycle. Fleas feed off the dog and hatch and develop in carpets, floor cracks, crevices and down the sides of upholstered furniture.
Set up some 15-watt light bulbs just off the floor over pans of warm soapy water to act as flea attractors. Fleas will jump toward the warmth of the lights, fall into the water and drown.
Sprinkle and vigorously brush into carpets borate powder, like Flea Busters. You could also try diatomaceous earth on carpets, sides of furniture and everywhere the flea larvae may be hiding. Vacuum up after 72 hours, and repeat after seven to 10 days and again after another seven to 10 days. Be sure to give the dog at least one flea-killing shampoo during this time. Be sure also to use a flea comb to check for and catch any fleas you may find on him.
The in-home dustings with borate powder or diatomaceous earth will not harm your dog.
Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.com.
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