Well that's the right amount and I can't say why it didn't work. There may be some resistance or some reason why. There may also be large numbers of them building up and the birds are getting reinfested. In any case, I'd try something else. Swift is a spot-on type of permethrin that's sold for horses. I have heard good reports from people that have used that. I also use it, but not for stickfast. You may find it more useful as it has a residual property as well. If using the spot-on I would also put some olive oil on your fingers and wipe it over the eyelid. I really don't think a little will hurt the eye if you're careful. Petroleum jelly is not considered to be very toxic either, so while I'd always be super careful about putting anything near the eyes, a careful application of a small amount is unlikely to cause a problem.
That's just one suggestion. Frontline may be good as well. You could use Frontline spray and spray it onto your finger and then wipe it directly onto the body of the fleas. It is a different chemical from moxidectin so I can't see any reason why you couldn't use it straight away if you choose to.
A lot of people have trouble with persistent stickfast fleas. It's important to treat not only the birds, but address any problems in the environment. Here's what was said to another member:
The DPI QLD gives good advice about stickfast fleas. You do need to understand the life cycle to understand how to manage them.
Part of the life cycle takes place when the eggs fall to the ground, hatch into larvae and burrow into the soil. If the ground in the coop is impervious, then that helps to break the cycle. The larvae need to be able to burrow down 15cm into the soil. Whatever you put under the perches or in the coop area can prevent this happening. Concrete is ideal because they can't burrow through. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/dpi/h ... A_HTML.htm
Scientific name - Echidnophaga gillinacea
Description and distribution -
Stickfast fleas are easy to recognise, being reddish-brown and smaller than other fleas. They 'stick fast' and don't move around like other fleas. They are seen mainly in warmer areas of Queensland and can survive extremely low temperatures. Stickfast fleas were first recorded in Queensland in 1941 at Boonah, south of Brisbane, and are now widely spread throughout the state.
Infestations on poultry
The most common spot for the flea to attach is the head of poultry. Other sites for infestations are under the wings and on the breast. A heavily infested bird can carry a black mass of fleas on its comb, wattles and behind its head.
On other animals
Stickfast fleas can also infest other birds (ducks, pigeons) as well as cattle, dingoes, kangaroos, rabbits, rats, goats, cats, horses, dogs and sometimes people.
Life cycle -
Understanding the life cycle of the stickfast flea (Echidnophaga gillinacea) makes control methods easier to implement.
The average life cycle is about 4-5 weeks depending on seasonal conditions. The cycle starts with the attached female laying eggs, usually during night time. Adult fleas live for about 6 weeks on the host laying approximately 12 eggs per night. These eggs fall to the ground and hatch into larvae that feed on ground litter. Approximately 2-4 weeks later the larvae burrow into the soil to a depth of 15 cm and form a cocoon. An adult flea emerges from this cocoon within 2-3 weeks depending on temperature and humidity. Adult fleas unable to find a suitable host, can only survive for a short period.
Control and treatment
Control and treatment go hand-in-hand. Contact your produce agent or veterinarian to obtain insecticide registered for stickfast flea control. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.
Infested birds should be sprayed with an insecticide. Destroy all litter or articles harbouring the flea. For poultry infestations ensure you treat their housing facilities. This parasite is not easily eradicated from backyard poultry houses or free-ranging poultry farms that do not have impervious flooring. Impervious floors are necessary for breaking the life cycle as they deny larvae the ability to burrow 15 cm into the soil to form a cocoon.
The treatment of birds and their housing should be repeated until the infestation is completely controlled. This may be needed at weekly intervals, but must be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
This is a little different, but on the eye issue, in a past life I was teaching piano and one of my students had to have some time off due to head lice. I was quite amazed that his head lice (pediculosis) was so bad that he had nits attached to many of the fine body hairs especially down his back, and particularly in the upper centre part along his spine and across his shoulders. He also had them attached to the hairs in his eyebrows. The worst was the nits attached to the base of the eyelashes. I'm sure they have better chemical treatments now, but at that point in history they could not put any medication so close to his eyes to treat it, and the nits also needed to be removed. The poor kid had to go to hospital, have a general and have his whole body treated, including having his eyelashes pulled out. It's the worst I've ever seen.
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