Good morning, my wife and I and our two young children (7&9) moved to the Aude just over a year ago with our 2 Labradors and moggy cat. We soon realised the different arrangement many (not all) of the locals have with their cats, which in essence is purely the provision of enough food and water to live. The responsibility taken does not extend to any other form of well being such as medical treatment or neutering and so they breed like the fleas which inhabit them. We have had a constant battle over the past 6 months in trying to control the fleas on our animals and in our house and it is with this that I post. Do any of you have any whizz and effective means of treating\ controlling\ annihilating these pests - the fleas that is not the other cats?! We are of course using the expensive Frontline regularly, washing their beds and them regularly and I have fumigated the house twice with special high pressure flea spray. I will add that our dogs have no exposure directly with the local cats and our timid cat hardly leaves our walled garden and walled courtyard so they are not "sleeping with the enemy" as it were! Any help or tips would be greatly welcomed. Many thanks in advance. R

We try it all but because we have a large field where deer graze, badgers are in a sett on the edge, rabbits, foxes, small mammals galore and all manner of birds we get rid of them in the house, get dogs cleared and within 48 hours this year we are back to square one. We have given up and are waiting for some really stiff frosts to resolve it. In the meantime...

Well thankyou everybody for your guidance, advice and if nothing else support! Where we are now is that we have covered the animals again with frontline - no use whatsoever! We took them to the vets for their annual boosters and obtained wormers for them. The vet said mild winter is partly to blame but these things happen anyway and that some people find Fronline and similar become innefective whilst others don’t find this atall (ever the salesperson I think)! We also bought 3 house “smoke bombs” @ 18euros each as recommended by the vet and a fellow poster on this forum and will clear out the house and detonate tomorrow - watch this space for results. Finally a friend who had flea issues a year or so again has lent me two flea traps - which look like hanging lamps which sit on the floor with a sticky pheromone (or similar) pad at the bottom. She said she did everything including fumigating the house by a commercial company, and only the traps worked! Wish me
luck and watch this space!

We had a super flea year in England once. They produce more eggs that hatch a day or so earlier faster and the survival to reproduce rate is therefore higher on the basis of numbers hatched. It is not about huge fleas or anything like that. Our vet gave the dog who had her vaccinations a jab against fleas but had tried to persuade me not to bother this year, he was right. I had a post up earlier this year about ticks and fleas. No tick problem for two months but the fleas are impossible. It is not just this house it is the whole area. My physio who I had my appointment with this morning was saying she is not on top of it either and she lives 30km from us!

If only. Seriously, Frontline has not worked and the water trick failed dismally.

Amazon France has them but not UK. Far cheaper from them than vets at something over €20 a collar. Free post if you order more than one.

The warning about them is that they make some dogs lethargic and a few have epilepsy like seizures. If pulled off and eaten expect a very bad stomach.

Bonjour Katherine, the product is called SERESTO manufactured by Bayer. Packaged in a round metal tin. Sorry there is no link on the back of the tin and I would take a photo but not sure how to upload onto this page. Hope your vet stocks it or can get hold of it.

Brian, have had exactly the same problem here in SW Gers. Quite near the end of my field is a 2.5km lake which most certainly generates many unwanted insects. As you so rightly say hope that next year will be back to normal.

The Dordogne, near the river between Bergerac and Sarlat, the vet thinks it is a super flea year here. We had a monstrous one in England once, this is not quite as bad. With luck back to 'normal' next year.

Yessss, but this year the seresto collars are not working either here! The infestation is so bad that nothing other than a flame thrower would resolve it. I had annual jabs for one dog two weeks ago. The vet just chuckled and gave an anti-flea jab after saying I was wasting money doing it. He was right, I am €30 odd worse off and the fleas are as busy as ever. I put up a post at the beginning of the summer about this. We had untold numbers of ticks too then. No ticks, so all of the things we have used worked on them. The fleas are winning hands down :-(

It appears that fleas may be in a house that is empty, locked up and has no way any living creature can get in but as soon as one does there is carbon dioxide released by them and the fleas, in larval state, hatch out and go for it.

This year I have used everything going, dichotomous earth, eco-sprays and liniments, climbed off my high horse and did Frontline, had the vet do jabs... They are there, as persistent as ever. Every now and again there is a 'super flea' year. That means they are so profuse that as quickly as you kill them the next lot move in. We are plagued but have no choice but to hang on until autumn and frosts do for them.

I have found that Frontline and the other 'spoton' treatments no longer work. Seems the fleas have become immune which is very annoying when the cost of 6 pipettes is almost €40. Last year I visited the vet and bought a flea collar. For the large size It was €34 but plenty large enough as I cut it in half and my 2 dogs shared it..so €17 each but it lasts 8 months is waterproof and had no smell. More to the point, it worked. Use it in conjunction with frequent worming as the two go together. Cat fleas and dog fleas are different and as far as I know stick to their preferred species. These flea collars are not the same as the ones found in supermarkets which I have found useless and a waste of money.

It must be local to certain areas though, as this year, in my neck of the woods in the Auvergne, we've had virtually none, despite the grass having been kept long - even the dogs (which live outside) have been relatively flea/tick free this year. The year before last though, was terrible.

Nearby friends of ours resort to fumigation every year, by setting off one or two cannisters in the cellars and letting the gas permeate through the floors - it means that they have to go out when they do it and open up the windows when they come back, but it seems to work for them !

We had similar problems too and eventually invested in a fairly expensive steam cleaner for the home. We have flea bombed the house, steam clean it regularly and visit the vet for their flea treatment and zealously re deflea them every month - it is marked on the calendar. We are finally flea free this year - hooray.

It is apparently a bad year for fleas - they don't need an animal to live on permanently so they just live in houses. Keep treating the house, it is more likely they are breeding there than on your animals. Ask the vet again but possibly a company specialising in anti insect treatments may be the solution.