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Flea control

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Flea control

Post Number:#1  Unread postby dfr1973 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:28 am


We are having a very mild winter so far here in Florida ... in fact, it looks like today will get over 80F again. The mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are all still rampaging, and even my chickens and bunnies have fleas now. My question: What can I use to de-flea the bun-buns? Would flea treatment for a small cat work? I keep the bunnies outdoors (cat and dog indoors) and in a wire cage, each having his/her own cubby section. My property is basically 2.55 acres of ashtray sand.

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:37 am


I remember that there was some advantage brand flea drops that was sold for both cats and rabbits. It's probably not the only one that is safe on both... but personally, for chickens and rabbits, I prefer to use food grade diatomaceous earth. For the chickens, you can dust the birds, toss it around their pen, or just place it in a pile and they will roll in it themselves. My rabbits have very rarely been targeted by fleas, but we use the DE a few times a year as preventative maintenance for mites too. For rabbits, I take a small handful and rub it into their fur, along with dusting the ground around the pens. I even sprinkle it in their drop trays for a day or too.

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#3  Unread postby dfr1973 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:02 pm


Advantage brand ... will look up active ingredient to check what I have here on hand. TY for that. We have wood ash and DE for the birds to dust bathe in, and are still dealing with a BAD infestation. So far, we have not been below the 40sF at night even. Oh, I also live next to state land which may or may not be officially a wildlife management area, but for functional purposes it might as well be. We have electric fencing to keep out the bears, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, etc, and the guineas ought to be out feasting on the ticks ... but fleas and mosquitoes tend to be a whole different challenge.

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:35 pm


Advantage and revolution cat meds can be used but pricy. Aside from DE there are some premixed herbal repellents both for humans and dogs. That's what I use to keep the mosquitos off my dogs or there was one year they would barely go outside to pee because by the time they ran out and back their eyes and ears were swollen. A few chickens died from the number of bites and I put the herbal repellent across the door frame of the coop. It would help for about a week when they went to roost for the evening. Planting things like mints/catnip, lemongrass, marigolds, and other herbs around structures and cages can reduce insects.
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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#5  Unread postby dfr1973 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:44 pm


Keep the suggestions coming, folks! Someone told me at the auction last weekend that lemongrass is good for repelling mosquitoes. I tend to plant marigolds like a madwoman, as it helps discourage deer marauding the gardens ... only to discover chickens love to eat the flowers. LOL

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#6  Unread postby SuburbanHomesteader » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:49 pm


dfr1973 wrote: Keep the suggestions coming, folks!


I've actually dusted my chickens with Sevin powder. I read everything I could and didn't see
where it would harm the chickens. They did just fine with it.

Since then, I've built a dust bin for them with DE and sand and dirt in it. However, when I
replace the pine shavings inside the chicken coop, I will dust the floor with Sevin powder.
Have not had a problem with mites or spiders or anything in the chicken coop.

I don't think I'd try it on the rabbits - mostly because they groom themselves and I can't
see how they'd avoid ingesting it. I think I read somewhere that Permethrin was okay for
use on rabbits. Have to put it between the shoulder blades where they can't lick it.

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:15 pm


I couldn't find large amounts of DE for the longest time so I actually used sevin dust in the chicken dusting locations originally. I probably still have some around. It works fine for animals like chickens if you are careful with it but long term I'd prefer to get by with something less toxic or more controlled in dosage. I try not to touch pyrethrins and permethrin with mammals. Aside from shampoos that are no longer suggested in most situations they are also often found in otc flea meds, particularly that are cheaper, and most brands by now have their own website created by all the people who have had pets die from them. Like the good old http://www.hartzvictims.org/ that has been around for as long as the company. I refuse to use advantix on my dogs. I'd rather pay the price for revolution and frontline produces a tick version but I don't believe it's safe for cats or small animals.
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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#8  Unread postby dfr1973 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:57 pm


As I was out watering the garden a little bit ago this afternoon, my neighbor stopped to chat and asked if we are having the same problem with fleas they are. He grew up in that house, and can't recall it being this bad during the "winter."

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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#9  Unread postby heritage » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:39 pm


It's bad still here in NC, and we've even had a few below-freezing night temps! This "winter" has been ridiculous, and I am afraid of what the spring/summer/longterm consequences are going to be... things are blooming that most definitely shouldn't be... blueberries, dandelions, irises, forsythia bushes, etc.

Anyway, the squirrels I have been butchering are covered, and they keep jumping on to my arms :x . Even just standing outside I am finding them on me.... and that's with 15 free range chickens! My SIL killed a mosquito in the church this weekend, and we were even swatting flies at a Christmas dinner!
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Re: Flea control

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:17 pm


I would continue with the food grade diatomaceous earth. It is going to take a while to impact the population (see the life cycle of the flea below to understand why), but it will eventually work.

You need to treat all of your furry and feathered critters, including your indoor pets.

In addition to the DE you can also use beneficial nematodes for outdoor control. Spray the product in damp, shaded areas.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/LADIES-IN-RE ... /100655849


THE FOUR STAGES OF THE FLEA LIFE CYCLE
FLEA EGGS

* The flea egg represents approximately 34% of the total flea population at any given time.

* They are smooth, oval, pearlescent, approximately 0.5 mm or 1/64 of an inch long, and are visible to the naked eye (a little smaller than a grain of sand).

* They hatch in 1.5 to 6 days, depending on temperature and humidity.

* Eggs are generally concentrated in area frequented by pets; i.e. bedding, dog houses, favorite resting area, etc., but can be deposited anywhere the pet has been.
FLEA LARVAE

* The larvae account for approximately for 57% of the flea population at any given time.

* The larvae emerge from the egg using a special "egg-buster" spine on the head. The spine is lost during the first larval molt.

* They are legless, whitish and maggot-like in appearance, having a single row of bristles on each side. They are about 3 mm long or 1/32 to 5/32 of an inch long, and are very active, using the bristles to move.

* The larvae molt through three larval instars, lasting from 6-36 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Each instar is slightly longer than the last.

* They are very susceptible to humidity, with low humidity being detrimental to the larval.

* They feed primarily on adult flea excrement, which is more less dried blood from feeding on the host. This is often called "flea dirt", and is often mistaken for flea larvae or eggs. This is the dark specks that is seen on the animal or left behind where an infested animal lays. The larvae need this in order to survive.

* Although very active, larvae do not range far from the area in which the larvae hatch.

* Larvae are negatively phototactic, which means they avoid sunlight, hence they are more likely to be found in dark, shaded, or protected places.

* Larvae will be mainly found in the pet's favorite resting areas.
PUPA (COCOON)

* Accounts for approximately 8% of the flea population.

* Larvae form cocoons by secreting a stick substance and incorporating debris from surrounding areas for camouflage.

* The cocoon provides a protective barrier which makes it resistant to chemicals and pesticides.

* Pupa progress from larval form to a recognizable flea inside the cocoon.

* Development takes place in about 7-10 days; however, the cocoon will lie dormant in the environment until the outside temperature and humidity is high enough, and it senses a certain degree of vibration. A passing host subjects enough vibration for the cocoon to hatch.

* Cocoons may remain dormant over years if they are not stimulated to hatch. This accounts for the "VACATION SYNDROME", when people and pets return to the home the vibrations begin immediately which can start a massive wave of flea emergence.
ADULT FLEAS

* Adult fleas only account for approximately 1% of the total flea population.

* Newly emerged fleas (from the cocoon) are often mistaken for "baby fleas" because they are very small, dark (almost black), and flat. These are merely new adults that have not yet taken a blood meal.

* Adults are wingless and range from 1/32 to 1/8 of an inch in length. They are black to brownish-black in color.

* After locating a host and feeding, the fleas "plump up" and turn a reddish-brown color, and are then recognized by most owner as a flea.

* Adults are stimulated to emerge from cocoons by vibration and changes in temperature. Daily vacuuming is recommended, discarding the bag after each use.

* Under normal circumstances the adults emerge from the cocoons in 7-10 days.

* Visual and heat stimuli are primary modes that attract adult fleas to host; carbon dioxide causes random jumping and is a minor mode of host-seeking

* Once they locate a host, fleas will feed, mate, lay eggs and spend over 90% of their lives on the host, unless dislodged.

* After emerging from cocoons, adults can live up to two years without a blood meal if they have not yet fed; feeding on flea feces, fungus, and skin dander.

* Once a blood meal is taken, the adults must feed at least every 4-6 hours.

* Feeding periods are from 4-7 minutes in duration.

* Egg production begins 2 days following the first blood meal, with the greatest number of eggs being produced on the sixth or seventh day after the first blood meal.

* Average eggs laid per day is 31-46; average number in female lifetime is 300-800.

* Average life span on host is about 12 days, with accounts of up to 113 days. If fleas are seen continuously on pet, this is evidence of re-infestation of new adults.

* Fleas jump on a average of 9-15 inches high.


http://www.pest-control-supplies.com/fl ... _cycle.htm
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