August 6, 2007

Suburban Mystery

Dudley started scratching in earnest late last week in a manner unmistakable to any dog owner. Pixie followed suit, albeit in a more dainty and lady-like manner.

Evidently it's flea season.
Color me flummoxed.

Back in the day, fleas were an integral part of the rites of summer. They were a seasonal certainty, much like stifling humidity yet infinitely more unpleasant. Fleas just were. They appeared, they reproduced, they drove dogs and humans alike mad with their presence.

Sure, I did what I could to keep them at bay. My efforts weren't always successful despite using every tool at my disposal. I'd spray the yard, bathe the dogs, bomb the house, over and over and on and on. I had a special line item in my household budget for flea combat. From July until the first hard frost, serious battle was waged. (Is it any wonder winter is my favorite season?)

Advances in science brought us wonderous veterinary products like Frontline and Advantix. Fighting fleas became as simple as applying a few drops between each dog's shoulder blades. Summer life was revolutionized.

Then one year, spring became summer became fall with nary a sign of those nasty little biting buggers. The next summer came and went and, again, no fleas. I began to believe the little bastards had all moved out of state, or better yet, disappeared altogether off the face of the earth. It's been at least five years since I've seen even a vague sign of a flea.

So, yes, now I'm flummoxed. Why after years of absence have they returned?



Gina said...

Global warming.

I blame everything on global warming.

SassyFemme said...

Are you still treating them with the same product? Could the fleas have evolved to become immune to the product? (Ugh, what a nasty thought.)

Molly is scratching, at times, as if she has fleas, but I can't see any on her. It's driving me crazy, as I'm sure it is her.

weese said...

are you still using the frontline?
or do you only use it when you have a problem?
we use it every year - we have never had a flea.

Suzanne said...

Good call, Gina. I think I could argue a case for that too.

Sassy, when you can see the fleas, that's how you know you've got a REAL problem! :)

weese, we are using Frontline again NOW. We've literally had no fleas for years, despite not using it.

sporksforall said...

We have had a devil of a time with fleas this summer. Our vet has suggested we do the following:

treatment every two weeks

flea combing

those kill-all-the-fleas pills as needed

she also said fleas CAN get immune to Frontline and Advantix so alternating them can help

None of it is working and Biscuit no longer has fur on her butt. Gina's certainly right.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

I grass brought them? Eh, I tried.

Middle Girl said...

No clue but that won't stop me from guessing...conspiracy?

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KellyNerd said...

no advice, just a good luck!

Debbie said...

Not to point fingers, but I'd bet Bandit brought 'em. A lovely parting gift for being kind enough to doggy sit him.

Teresa said...

As Sporks said, many problems with the fleas this year, and really, is there anything more frustrating than not being able to do much of anything when your small mammals look at you with eyes that plead "It burns; make it stop!" as they are slowly and relentlessly tortured by tiny insects? Fleas suck. Literally.

Unknown said...

Yeah, the fleas are crazy this year I hear. It's such a tease when the f*ckers go away and then come back the next year. Poor dogs. But I bet they love that you noticed and are helping to solve the problem.