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Fleas- lengthy, my apologies

Posted by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM
  • 66 Replies

SD 5 has been showing up at our house for somewhere around 8 weeks with these bumps all over her.

Backstory: In the early weeks, there were only a few here and there. They were dismissed as bug bites, because after all, it was summer. The bumps began to appear in places that- mostly right around her patny line, waist line, and buttocks- mosquito bites really should not be. DH questioned BM as to whether there was some type of allergy or contact dermatitis going on. BM had no answer, said she didn't know what it was.

I hated watching SD scratch like she did, and think it is ridiculous to just apply cream constantly. You need to get to the source of the discomfort, so at an exchange I rolled down my window and asked what kind of laundry detergent they used because I was going to switch to whatever it was to see if it could possibly be our laundry detergent causing it, and her response was "Mind your own business, I will take care of my daughter." I felt that could be a little out of line considering in the last year I have hardly spoken to her, I was not asking anything particularly personal, and was doing it out of concern for her daughter's discomfort, but whatever. This is the kind of cranky, miserable human we deal with.

As time progressed, SD was COVERED in new bumps each visit. They are now all over her body. Legs, trunk of her body, arms- and she frequently mentions her discomfort. I panic, BED BUGS! And what if she brings them here with her?! It has now been about a month since they started appearing and DH asks BM about them again. She tells him they are from SD playing in the grass. SD plays in the grass at our house and has for years, and I have NEVER seen anything like that result from it.

Enough is enough. Our private insurance has gone through. So we picked SD up Sunday and we took her to an urgent care center to see what can be done. She is getting scars from scratching these things open and it is just ridiculous.

The doctor looks her over, diagnoses them as insect bites of some kind, but says there is no certainty whether it is, fleas, bed bugs, mites, lice, etc. He observes that given the severity of the bites, SD has to be in contact with an infestation of whatever it is biting her and gives us a cream to treat them.

He then tells us that 4 humans, 5 cats, and a dog in a confined space can be a health hazard if proper hygiene precautions are not taken and that SD will not get better if she is constantly reintroduced into that environment.

I take her home, bathe her, and what should fall off of her while she is being rinsed off? A flea!!!!

When our visit was over, we took SD back to BM. DH gave BM the cream and explained to her how to use it, when to use it, and that she really needs to treat her home and animals for it to be effective. Don't you know this moron STILL blamed the grass.

Yesterday was our next visit with SD. BM has not used the cream prescribed by the doctor at all this week and SDs hair was greasy, and unclean proving she hadn't been bathed, as directed before applying the cream.

WHAT KIND OF JACKASS BM IS SO STUPID, LAZY, AND/OR SELFISH THAT SHE WOULD LET HER DAUGHTER SUFFER TO PROVE TO DH THAT HE ISN'T IN CONTROL??? REALLY??? He didn't make up that cream and advice so he could tell her what do to. IT CAME FROM A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL and she got photocopies of all documentation- something she has never had the courtesy to do for DH.

And if mother of the year had taken care of it over the last two months at some point, it never would have gotten to the point where he had to try take control of the situation. 

AND FOR ALL YOU WOMEN WHO SAY BM IS NOT MY PROBLEM: These are the scenerios where BM and her worthless behavior DOES become my problem.  

Is there anything that can be done to force BM to do something about the flea problem to releive SD of the suffering and protect my home?

I already bathe and flea treat the dog every 4th Saturday, and have purchased carpet powder for fleas, but are there any suggestions on the best products or methods to protect our home and dog??? 



Oh, and I also must admit that I am super irritated that I now have to worry about SD bringing fleas into my home and my dog getting them since I found one in her hair who knows how many others there are.

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:41 AM
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It's been a bad year for fleas.  I've struggled all summer to rid my home and pets of them.  I use borax on the carpet and furniture, and Advantage on the dog and cats, and the pest control people spray the yard with Boric acid once or twice a month.  Fleas are difficult to get rid of once you've got a bad infestation, and it doesn't take long to end up with a problem.  We got them from having the dog borded at the vet's when we went out of town for our anniversary (four days was all it took for her to be completely covered in them!)  So, if you're concerned about your dog getting them my advice is to go ahead and drop the $$ on Advantage or Frontline.  It's expensive but worth it.

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM
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Tell hubby to file an exparte order. It is a temporary emergency custody order and then go through CPS

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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We have a lot more tools to treat fleas these days than we did say...15 years ago.  But it's still important to consider the life cycle of the flea when determining how to treat.  A flea spends about 10% of it's life on a host feeding.  The rest of the time, it's out in the environment reproducing. You can pick up a flea taking a walk out to the mail box.  Fleas aren't just the scourge of the poor and messy.  Especially in more densely populated areas, fleas can be a real challenge.  Less likely to have issues out in the country.  All that said, f the people are being bitten, there is a pretty bad infestation.


So to more effectively treat for fleas, you've got to hit a few different bases

1) Treating pets.  The most effective flea treatments for pets are available by prescription only.  Products like Frontline Topspot Plus or AdvantaxII are pretty good.  You need to wait 24 hours before or after a bath to apply as these products spread through the oil coat of the skin--so if recently bathed, it won't spread and if you bathe right away after application, it won't spread.  There are also oral treatments (active ingredient lufenuron avail in Sentinel for dogs, program for cats) that render a flea sterile if they bite the dog.  This can help prevent infestation in the house.

2) Treating home: First, vacuuming all surfaces and disposing of the bag in the outdoor trash.  Wash bedding in hottest water possible.  Treat surfaces with an insecticide that includes an insect growth regulator. THese products are available at most pet stores. This process needs to be repeated once a week for 4-6 weeks in a heavy infestation.  Bug bombing is only helpful in an empty space.  Bug bombs don't get under things. They're also toxic to fish and other critters.

3) Treating yard.  There are yard foggers that can be used once a week or as directed.

I personally feel that most of the professional pest control services are not as effective because without the vacuuming (to get eggs and larvae) you've got a new hatch waiting.  And without treating the pets, you've got easy hosts.

Be very careful about mixing products for your pet. Using a flea dip plus other topicals can be toxic.  If you have a cat, be aware that products approved for dogs can be toxic to cats.

If BM in this situation is not willing or able to tackle the problem at her home, I'd seriously look into filing a motion to keep child until the issue is resolved. Fleas also transmit disease.  Tapeworm, plague, some other viruses.  It's not just an inconvenient thing.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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You can call CPS. My BIL and SIL had this same problem and at the time their DS was about 3. He was COVERED in bug bites and the hospital called CPS when they brought him in. CPS investigated their home and said they either had to treat their home for fleas or CPS would have no choice but to intervene and take temporary custody of their son. He had been seen by a doctor three times in about 3-4 months for the same issue. CPS also told them they would have to treat their cats with flea prevention medication or get rid of their cat.

We use Frontine Plus every 30 days on our dog. You can also get something called diatomaceous earth


by Gold Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM
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Many of the monthly wormers for dogs contain chemicals that break the flea life cycle (i.e., Sentinel, Trifexis).  You can talk to your vet about which ones they recommend.  It's more effective than topical treatments.  The best way to ensure protection of your home is to ensure that fleas cannot survive on the dog, which is why monthly feed-through medications are so good.  There are even some for fleas only, like Comfortis.

Other than documenting the poor hygienic conditions at BM's, I don't think there's anything you can do about that.  The idea of a flea-infested kid is rather horrifying to me.  I'd be inclined to send her straight to the bath each time you got her, followed with getting cream on any existing bites.  What happens at BM's house is beyond your control, but you can try to keep the kid as bug-free and comfortable as possible.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

BM had a flea infestation at her house and her SD was coming home with flea bites all of the time.  For some reason, BM had NO clue how to treat her yard, home and dog.  So, she sent the dog to the pound (SS15's dog at that) and guess who still has fleas in her yard/home? 

SS15 had a few fleas travel on him when he came to our house.

I had a flea infestation at my house recently.  I got it under control.  Both dogs were put on Advantage, sprayed the house and all is good. 

Your DH's ex needs to treat her yard since SD allegedly is getting it from playing in the grass.  Sadly, there isn't anything that you can do with regards to BM not doing what she should be doing.  Document it for a rainy day?

by Bronze Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Before overreacting, is there any chance this really COULD be something outside.  We don't have inside pets.  We have one outside cat that we treat for fleas monthly.  

HOWEVER, we have had an outside major flea problem several times in the last year, and so have my aunt and uncle.  Alot of it is due to the fact that there are ALOT of stray animals in the area.  I can treat out pets all day long, but I can't do anything about the other animals that come around.  

Though I have to say, while DS's legs have been bitten up, the rest of his body rarely is.  

by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM
I'll say it's been a bad year for fleas too. I have never had to fight them so much. Mop and dust and vacuum constantly and treat the pets. We had them slightly then went on vacation for a week and a half. DH bombed before he left. The animals were not in the home. When I walked in the house I was covered with tiny hungry fleas by the time I got to the living room. Many treatments do not kill eggs. So we've been going through a cycle of treating and getting a reprieve until a few hatch again. I think we are finally done with it. But not confident enough to let go of the constant vigilance. And even as bad as ours got, the kids were never covered in bites. Maybe a few on their ankles... SS is allergic to them and reacts pretty bad. But not covered with them.

We had that in our first apartment together. We could never completely get rid of the fleas because the upstairs neighbors had all the animals and did nothing. It was horrible and we broke our lease because of it.
by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Sweet Jesus, you are kidding.....right?

Quoting charleyangel317:

Tell hubby to file an exparte order. It is a temporary emergency custody order and then go through CPS

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I think a lot of people don't know HOW to treat.  And because most folks actually aren't allergic, they don't notice that there's a problem.  BM in this situation may honestly believe that there's not a problem in the house because A) she doesn't understand how it all works (as most don't) and B) she and the rest of the family aren't being affected.

We see dogs at the clinic who are so allergic to fleas that just one bite can cause a systemic reaction.  Usually, people don't notice til there's a hotspot (or multiple) from secondary bacterial infections that result from scratching.

One flea bite.

Again though, if the kid is covered, there's a  bigger issue.  We had a infestation like that at our home once when I was a kid....long before all the good tools we've got now.  It was a bear to deal with. 

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