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Discussion Starter #1
I really need help. We've been trying to shake fleas for months now. One of my housemates works at a casino, one works in a bakery with a very disparate group of people, and one goes to AA, so it's impossible to tell where they come from. Additionally my housemates are pretty apathetic about the fleas and their own cat so I don't have a lot of control. We spray, we vacuum, we wash, the fleas only disappear for a short time.
I'm looking for a way to keep the fleas off my rats. I've had to bathe the rats twice now to get the fleas off and we all hate it, it's breaking my heart to keep stressing them out. Then after the bath, of course eventually the rats need to free range and they end up getting fleas again. There's no room in the house that doesn't have them.
We put diatamaceous earth on the cats, it's a dust that dries out fleas, but I never want to go putting dust on rats with their sensitive lungs.
I read that putting diluted lemon juice will repel the fleas. I have female rats only so no d-limonene worries. Any other suggestions? I can deal with the fleas on me and on the cats. I can't stand to see my rats uncomfortable.
 

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Cat/kitten revolution (Selamectin). It's used on cats to control fleas and it's systemic so it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and acts from there. Use a small dab on the rats once a week for 4 weeks and then every three months afterwards to prevent reinfestation. (you could also put some on the cat to stop them at the source). It's extremely safe for rats and also kills lice and mites so any other hangers-on that may be around should get sorted as well. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It doesn't seem to be available in the US. It says that it's a chemical that can't be shipped by air.
 

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I would call around to different vets in the area. Ask them what products they use for fleas and what the clinical name for the product is. If they say Selamectin, its good and start looking for that product online. Also, Knockout spray is the best flea spray around and I'm pretty sure you can get it online.

I had an infestation a few months back and had to treat everything in the house. First the animals, then the house itself. Knockout kills the fleas and continues to kill them for up to four months after! We haven't had an issue since then. You can do room by room like we did so you don't have to take all the animals out at once. Then when you do the main room, living room, dining room, etc. just lock the cat in one room and the rats in another closing the door and putting a towel at the bottom, and have all the people leave for about four hours. The chemical smell is minimal, and it doesn't bother the rats after its dried.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before my spouse and I moved in with housemates, we got fleas one time, fogged the apartment, treated our 3 cats properly, and never saw the fleas again. The rats didn't get them that time, so as you can imagine I'm pretty furious with my housemates. I have 3 cats and they only have 1 and somehow I'm not the problem.
Right now the fleas are nowhere to be seen after our most recent bout of dusting and spraying. If they start to return yet again I might give that Knockout spray a shot, as much as I don't like chemicals sometimes it's really the only solution.
Calling vets is a very good idea too, even just to ask about names. We've only been in once for the fleas and that was just for the cats.
 

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Almost every vet office sells Revolution in the US. It's by prescription here so you can't find it in pet-stores or buy it online unless it's from another country. Just call your normal vet, most will sell it to you without an exam or anything.

If you get the regular cat strength it's usually I think 4 months of tubes you get. So do the cats and the rats. It's more expensive, but I usually get the large dog size so I can do everyone-2 dogs, bunny and the rats and have enough for later applications. The d earth for around the house is great, vacuum often, clean any bedding that the animals have been on and let the revolution get the ones on the animals themselves and soon the fleas will be a thing of the past. Since I live in an area that has a lot of fleas I usually treat at the end of spring each year. I put d earth around outside doors and area's the dogs lay in outside as well as in our chicken coup. I havent' seen fleas in years, so I don't treat any other time, it's just a precaution since my dogs have access to the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah if it's by prescription that makes sense. I'll call in the morn and see how much of it we can afford. I don't let the cats outside and we even do preventative treatments :( it's just the pains of living in an old house with a grand total of 6 humans, 6 cats, and 2 rats.
I feel so bad because I'm not letting the rats free range as much as they're used to, because there's not a lot of flea-free area in the house. I can't stand to see them uncomfortable. I wish it wasn't winter, we could try exploring the backyard.
I actually read that wild rats usually don't get fleas, and that only forced proximity with humans' cats and dogs causes pet rats to get them. So I feel double bad.
 

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Our house is really old too. We are down to 3 of us. But there used to be 5 of us humans. The revolution really does work. You can also use Frontline or advantage on the cats. I found those types of flea drops really work the best for keeping f leas away. The baths, powders and sprays I think beat them down a bit, but don't do the best job of permanently getting rid of them.

If the house is really bad right now, you can also use a spray for the carpet. I know when we first moved here t he people here prior to us were breeding dogs and the fleas were so thick....I could see them jumping around in the house. Luckily we had 2 weeks prior to moving in to make sure they were gone.

Anyways, I used adams carpet spray on the carpet and our furniture when we first moved in just in case there was any surviving eggs. I like the spray over the powders because it left a residue that was supposed to last about 7 months. I have birds who are sensitive to chemicals, so I moved them and rats to a different room when I first spray and then wait about 24 hours for the initial spray to all disappear from the air before moving them back as a precaution. That was about 10 years ago that I used the spray. Haven't had to do anything like that again. Just the revolution/sometimes advantage and the d earth seems to keep them at bay. One of my dogs and myself are very allergic to fleas, so we know if there is even a single bugger in the house. ;)
 

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I've been experimenting a bit with Diatamaceous Earth, after we had that thread about using it to kill fleas, and you dont really need to put the rats into a position where they will ever breathe it in as powder, and as its otherwise safe it seems to be okay. It says you can make a liquid preparation that includes it in it and use it as a spray, but must constantly shake the solution because the Diatamaceous Earth doesnt dissolve, its just suspended. I've used it on my bed (it's dirt, I now have a dirty bed, but I have no fleas in my bed and thats okay by me - I decided to try it out on myself before I started on the rats, see if it gave me some sort of allergic reaction, seeing as I get hay fever and pollen messes with my eyes). After it doing nothing to me I washed the underside of some bedding with it, so the Diatamaceous Earth is inside the bedding, not on top of it in any way, there is also bedding underneath that, and its all fairly secure, and there seems to be less scratching when my two are on it. Still got to deal with their warren though - it needs a good clean, its a combination of very ripped up old woolen hats, fleece, tarot bags, socks and wooden pegs holding it into place through the bars. I'll take a photo of it some time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah we use the DE to give the cats a furious rubdown, and they actually seem to enjoy it. I did read that about making it into a paste, that was one of the last aces in my sleeve. I just did a huge deep cage clean and put down some new fleece with diluted lemon juice dabbed onto it. I have severe asthma and believe it or not the dust is a lot less irritating than chemicals. I can do the DE myself if I cover my face. I can't even be in the room when sprays are being sprayed, whether it's cologne or flea spray.
DE in the bedding might not be too terrible....Just don't try the DE in your hair. I got some in mine on accident and now it feels like I bleached it.
 

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Just don't try the DE in your hair. I got some in mine on accident and now it feels like I bleached it.
No worries there - I'm bald as an egg. I don't even have eyebrows most the time, though I've let them grow back to see if I can get some more contract work to get more money towards getting over to Europe.
 
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