Monday, October 31, 2016

Our House Was Infested with Fleas and Ticks - What We Did to Eliminate Them for Good

flea and tick infestation in our house

2 years ago, we suddenly had a flea and tick infestation here in our home. It started when we fostered a weak dog who was full of these parasites all over his body. Since he couldn't walk then, the ticks from his body started to crawl at the walls of our garage.



We tried all the natural ways we could find online - apple cider vinegar + baking soda, citronella, cooking oil, etc. Unfortunately, none of them worked. Despite our efforts to eliminate it, the infestation got worse and went on for months that we could already see them crawling inside our room. Insect bites and rashes wouldn't stop bugging my then 1-year old son. There were even a few times that I would catch a tick attached to my son's armpit or to the opening of his ear. It was horrifying that I spent a lot of sleepless nights watching him sleep while catching every single crawler trying to make its way inside our room and to our bed. I wasn't a fan of any skin creams or baby lotions since he has a very sensitive skin, but for the first time in his life, I applied Off Lotion for Kids to his entire body - while praying that this would help repel these little monsters trying to feed from my son.

I almost gave up the battle against these parasites, thinking that our only solution was to buy a new house and burn the whole thing down (I know!). One day, my husband decided to take us to our family house and spend a few weeks there while he would try more aggressive ways to eliminate these ticks that were already lurking inside our home. This would also help us monitor my son for any possible side effects from getting bitten by these annoying ticks since my sister is a pediatrician.


How He Eliminated the Fleas and Ticks From Our Dogs

Because the infestation was worse than anyone could imagine, the most popular brands of flea and tick spot-ons and sprays didn't work for our dogs anymore. My husband sought some advice from a pet shop owner, a dog breeder, and a veterinarian.

The first thing he did was he took all our dogs to the Veterinary Clinic. They received shots of Ivermectin. According to the vet, this would only kill the ectoparasites currently attached to their bodies.

After having their shots, my husband carefully sprayed Amitraz solution all over their bodies while wearing dog cones (also known as E-Collars, Cone Collars or Recovery Collars).

He waited for at least a week and gave them a bath using an organic soap made of Madre de Cacao. According to studies, the leaves of this plant can be beneficial in treating various skin diseases and in soothing severe itching.

Upon the advice of the dog breeder, he diluted a single sachet of Sevin powder in a bucket of water. After giving them the most serious baths they got in their entire lives that lasted for more than 12 hours, he soaked a towel in the bucket and rubbed it to their bodies. After drying, their dog cones were put on again and placed them inside their "Sevin-treated" cages.


How He Eliminated the Ticks Inside Our Home

This was the most difficult part for him since he had to move all our appliances and kitchen wares all by himself.
Using a power spray and a whole drum of water treated with a weaker dosage of Sevin, he first treated the exterior walls of our room (I had given a clear order not to spray inside our room). Next was the bathroom, the living room, and the kitchen. According to him, he could see the dying ticks getting out of their hide-outs.

Next was the garage and the whole yard. He added two or more sachets to the drum of water and started to spray at the garage walls and floor. He also sprayed at the garden.

Lastly, the dog cages. He washed these with a lemon-scented dish washing soap first. When everything was clean, he sprayed every single cage and matting. He made sure that every corner was treated. After drying, he moved the dog cages from their usual place which was beside a wall and above a cemented floor to the middle of the garden which is now planted with bermuda grass. After a few hours, he placed the dogs inside again.

Because one-year old babies tend to lick everything, treating our room was more complicated since we couldn't use any dangerous product and risk our baby's health. Since we heard that lemon scented products tend to repel ticks, he used a lemon-scented dish washing soap for our room's walls and floor. He cleaned the walls using a hard-bristled brush to penetrate the tiny holes where the ticks could be hiding. After washing, he sprayed water mixed with a bit of Clorox to disinfect.

He did this whole process every other day for two weeks. After a month or two, we finally went home.


The Last Crawlers

Inside our bedroom, I could still see a few survivors crawling on our floor. According to my husband, maybe they were newly hatched. Already tired of dealing with these ticks, I removed everything from our room and single-handedly caught every tick I saw and drowned them in a bowl of rubbing alcohol.

After a few days of spending some good hours doing this routine, we could no longer see any crawler inside and outside of our bedroom. Just to make sure, I spent a few more days vacuuming the walls, floor, bed, everything. Although we already claimed our victory, we still made some preventive measures. We brushed the whole bedroom again with Joy Lemon, leaving it for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it with water. After drying, we sprayed it with Organic Citronella.


After a few months of battling with these ectoparasites, our house and dogs became free from annoying fleas and ticks again. As maintenance and prevention, we bought medicated dog collars / tick collar for dogs. Yes, they're effective for our dogs so far. Just don't let them get wet.


That was one of the most difficult problems we had as a family, and indeed, a big lesson was learned...

Never underestimate fleas and ticks, since they could invade anything in just a snap. Prevention is always easier than cure.


Special Note to Readers

You may have landed to this blog because you're probably having the same situation as we did before. I created this post to share our own experience. The products my husband used are strong enough to endanger both humans and animals. If you're planning to do the same, seek a professional's assistance and make sure that the rest of your family (especially your kids) isn't present during the process.

While spraying the exterior part of your house, make sure that you put your dogs somewhere safe where they can't inhale nor ingest the insecticide. Lastly, use e-collars or dog cones when applying any strong chemical to your pets to avoid poisoning.

Some of the links within this article are Amazon affiliate links. If you directly buy these products through these links, I will get a small commission that will help me keep this blog running. Whether you buy these products through these links or directly from Amazon, the selling price will be the same.


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