Modern Flea Control

The creeping, crawling, gnashing, nasty nibblers are on the march! They're everywhere - in your carpet, between your floorboards even in your garden and the blood thirsty blighters are seeking out your pets too. Yes, the Ferocious Aussie Flea is back - and with a vengeance. Stop your pet suffering from these parasites and hop into serious flea control.

Thankfully, ridding your pet of fleas is a lot easier than it used to be and there is now a large range of 'state of the art' products available which are effective and safe.

Most pet owners are now turning to the 'spot on the back of the neck' preparations. These products come in small vials that you squeeze onto your pet's neck, or sometimes onto its back. The convenient means of applying these flea preparations has proved a winner and they are effective and popular. 

The convenient means of applying these flea preparations has proved a winner and they are effective and popular.

There's also a wide range to choose from - such as Frontline Plus, Advantix, Revolution, Advantage & Advocate.  Some offer flea and tick protection, other also include heartworm and/or intestinal worming prevention.

Advantage, for instance, is very good at eliminating adult fleas in dogs and cats. However, another benefit is that micro-crystals of the preparation drop from the animal's coat into the areas that the pet visits, such as its bed and its resting spots in the garden. These micro-crystals are like 'mine fields' that will bomb the developing flea larvae. Therefore, while controlling adult fleas on the animal, Advantage also controls the developing larvae that are hatching from eggs - and this is occurring right now in your house and yard. It makes you feel kind of creepy doesn't it?

Frontline can also be used on dogs and cats. It is available in two forms. The first is Frontline Spray and the second is Frontline Plus. The spray form is very effective and one spray should eliminate fleas for two to three months. You need to apply it properly by thoroughly rubbing it into the animal's coat with a gloved hand. This does take a bit of work but it's worth the effort. If this is a bit too difficult, then the Frontline Plus 'top spot' version, which is used every month, is easier, particularly with cats.

An additional benefit of using Frontline on dogs is that it also gives ticks the flick. The spray should give good tick control for three weeks and the Top Spot should control them for two weeks.

Revolution is quite different and has multiple action. While it controls adult fleas in puppies and kittens and in dogs and cats, it does a whole lot more as well. It prevents flea eggs from hatching, and apparently kills fleas and their larvae in the environment. Furthermore, it is the only 'spot on the back of the neck' preparation to control heartworm in dogs and cats. In addition, it also controls ear mites in dogs and cats, sarcoptic mange in dogs and, in cats, controls roundworm and hookworm. This is quite a novel way to control most of the common pests that affect our pets. It is available now from your veterinary surgery. Revolution is aiming to eliminate the need to use separate flea and heartworm preparations each month.

Now let's hop away from 'spot on the neck' preparations and look at Sentinel. This popular product has a multiple action too, but is a monthly tablet. It combines the insect growth regulator, Program, with the once-per-month heartworm preventive, Interceptor. Used monthly, Sentinel will control fleas, heartworm and most intestinal worms. Its flea control effect relies on preventing flea eggs from hatching. However, it will not kill adult fleas directly so another preparation may be needed to them until Sentinel has zapped the eggs in the environment. Sentinel is a prescription drug and, therefore, by law cannot be dispensed over the counter by veterinarians. Sentinel works well with Capstar, a sister product from the same company. Capstar is a tablet flea killer that kills fleas very quickly but has no residual action.

A large range of flea control products exists other than those mentioned above. For instance, Proban is an insecticide tablet given once or twice per week and is effective against fleas and ticks. 

Flea shampoos also deserve a mention. There are many on the market including Fido's Free Itch Shampoo. They will clean your dog and cat and will kill fleas present at the time but usually will not give any residual action. Therefore shampoos will not usually affect fleas once the pet's coat is dry.

Flea control is a complicated topic. Seek advice from your pet care professional or veterinarian and give fleas the flick.

Flea control is a complicated topic.  Seek advice from your pet care professional or your veterinarian and give fleas the flick.