Last night I was in bed and I heard some foxes having a very nice time (if you know what I mean) in a nearby garden! Cue panic!
It wasn’t the fact that a mummy fox and a daddy fox were making baby foxes, but the fear that they might build a den in my garden again and bring their flea mates along for a party!
I am actually itching writing this … f@cking fleas!
This time last year my beloved Eddie (our Jack Russell) rolled over on his back and I saw a FLEA (I am still itching) At first I thought I was seeing things but, then I saw another! I was totally confused because he has been on a monthly flea protection programme since forever!
I phoned the vet … she said that he was on the strongest flea treatment for his weight and that there was really nothing they could do. What was happening was that Eddie was going into our garden, where he could smell the foxes (who had built themselves a little house at the end of our garden) and as he was rummaging the fleas would hop on and come for a ride into OUR BLOODY HOUSE.
But because Eddie was on treatment, the fleas were biting him and then dying some hours later. This didn’t change the fact that EVERY TIME he would come in from the garden he had new little friends. We didn’t have an infestation but the situation was FAR from ideal. (I realise that I am using quite a few capital letters but as you can no doubt tell it was a VERY frustrating time ?)
I went back to the vets (I was desperate!) and they recommended a can of Indorex. Let me tell you that this stuff is the BEST! We came home that day sprayed the whole house. I was like a woman possessed! Whilst the spray was working, we had a chippy tea in the shed. Incidentally on New Year’s Eve last year I asked Jonny what his fave memory from 2017 was and he said: “the night we fought the fleas and we had chips in the shed!” So sod the foreign holidays and theme parks folks! Turns out kids want chip shop teas in the garden shed!
I am getting off topic.
After we had sprayed the house I then set about hoovering the house every day FOR SEVEN DAYS! Including all the sofa cushions and curtains. Yes, you read that right.
Now, I know that I was doing all this as a precaution, all the fleas I had seen on Eddie were dying off and were not very hoppy or active. But I am a belt and braces girl and wanted to make sure that just in case one had slipped through the net and laid eggs I was going to get them!
Hoovering is really important because the vibrations of the hoover will wake up dormant fleas and encourage eggs to hatch. The spray will then kill them off. This is why you hear of some people moving into a new home and suddenly finding fleas. They have been dormant until the vibrations woke them up! (shudder)
As well as this we also made sure that Eddie could not access the part of the garden where the foxes were.
Eventually, the foxes moved out when their babies were grown. We have since redeveloped the whole part of the garden. It is now a patio with a massive pizza oven, so not really fox den friendly anymore!
I did a lot of research on how to battle fleas and here are my top tips if you find yourself with a flea problem:
- Prevention Prevention Prevention! This is the best way to go, make sure you get your pet on a suitable flea treatment.
- If you find fleas on your pet then you need to treat your home. 95% of the life cycle takes place off your pet ie in your house!
- Find a good spray for your home and treat your home. Follow the instrcutions TO THE LETTER. Yes it is a faff but this is vital!
- When spraying make sure you move furniute and get into all the crevices!
- Pay attention to the cracks in hard flooring!
- Pay partilcar attention to the areas where you pet frequents the most.
- Hoover like you have never hoovered before. The vibration makes the eggs hatch and this will make the spray as effective as possible.
- After hoovering ALWAYS empty the hoover outisde!
- If your animal goes in the car then don’t forget the car!
- Folow all instructions about airing you homeand keeping people and pets out of the house for the advised time!