Information on Fleas and Flea Control for your Pets
- Fleas thrive in 80 degree F temperatures and 80% humidity! Temperatures less than 65 degrees F and humidity less than 70% will slow their growth.
- The average lifespan of a flea is 2 to 3 months.
- If you see a flea on your pet, it may have come from eggs that were laid 3 to 8 weeks ago! This can be a reason why you see fleas for a few weeks even if you have started optimum flea control.
- Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day. A female flea may lay 2000 eggs in her lifetime! These eggs drop off into the house and yard and will hatch weeks to months later. The fleas must jump onto the animal before most products work.
For Effective Flea Control
- If ONE pet in the household has fleas then ALL pets in the household must be treated.
- Use flea control ALL YEAR ROUND to prevent resistance to products and to maintain a flea free pet!
- Use a flea product with an adulticide and a growth regulator to kill both the adults and the eggs/larvae.
- If you see flea "dirt", your pet has fleas!!! (Picture to right shows flea droppings commonly called "flea dirt".)
- Treat the yard as well!
Flea Product Helpful Hints
- Apply topical products to the skin - not on top of the haircoat.
- Do not split doses between pets - you cannot be sure you are applying the correct amount to each pet.
- BE CAREFUL WITH CATS! DO NOT apply a product that says "DOGS ONLY" onto a cat. If you have a dog and a cat be sure the product labeled for the dog is safe for the cat as the cat may contact the product by laying with the dog and this could cause toxicity (or even death) with some products.
- You may decrease some products efficacy if you bath the animal frequently of if the dog swims frequently.
- Don't forget to apply the product once a month for optimum flea control.
- Even if your animal does not appear to have any fleas, it may have a flea allergy! Some of the most sensitive animals that are allergic to fleas will have severe reactions in the skin from 1 flea bite!
What Flea Products Do I Use?????
Flea Collar = INEFFECTIVE.
The flea collar does not offer enough coverage to kill or repel fleas. It can cause hair loss or allergic reactions in some pets.
Flea Bath = INEFFECTIVE.
A flea bath just kills the adult fleas on the pet and has minimal residual activity. To be effective, you would have to bath the pet every 1 to 2 days (and then deal with the dry skin!). Adult fleas are only 1 to 5% of the total flea population so if you are just using a flea bath as control, you are only treating 1 to 5% of the problem!
Flea Spray (not including frontline spray) = INEFFECTIVE
Short lasting, mainly kills adults, requires frequent application
Over the Counter Permethrin Products = INEFFECTIVE
These old products are not very effective because of documented resistance of the fleas to these products. The are often not waterproof and many only last 2 weeks compared to the suggested 4 weeks. These products can cause severe toxicity and death in cats (read the labels!).
Newer Flea Products = VERY EFFECTIVE
Advantage (cats and dogs, monthly product, rapid action, shampoo wash off, kills adult fleas only)
Advantage Multi (cats and dog products are separate, monthly product, partial shampoo wash off, kills adult fleas only, heartworm and intestinal worm prevention as well)
Advantix (DOGS only, monthly product, partial shampoo wash off, kills adult fleas only, kills and repels ticks, repels mosquitos)
Frontline Plus Topspot (cats and dogs, monthly product, shampoo resistant, kills larvae and adult fleas, kills ticks)
Frontline Plus Spray (cats and dogs, monthly product, shampoo resistant, kills larvae and adult fleas, kills ticks)
Promeris Dogs (DOGS ONLY, monthly product, kills adult fleas and ticks, slow onset, waterproof, odor, large volume)
Promeris Cats (CATS ONLY, monthly product, kills adult fleas, slow onset, odor, large volume)
Revolution (cats and dogs, monthly product, kills adult fleas and eggs, kills brown dog ticks in dogs, heartworm prevention and some intestinal parasite control)
Vectra 3D (DOGS ONLY, monthly product, kills fleas and flea eggs, repels and kills ticks and mosquitos, rapid action)
Bravecto - Dogs, kills fleas and most ticks for 3 months (lone star tick for 2 months) , very safe (tested in shelties with MDR1 gene mutation).
Capstar - Cats and dogs, daily product, rapid flea kill, very safe.
Comfortis - Cats and dogs, monthly product, rapid flea kill, caution in dogs with epilepsy.
Nexguard - Dogs, kills fleas and ticks, monthly product, beef flavored chewable.
Sentinel Spectrum- Dogs, monthly product, beef flavored chewable, kills fleas eggs, adult fleas, also prevents heartworm disease and intestinal parasites.
Click the link below for more flea information:
Flea Life Cycle (with some product descriptions)
East Lincoln Animal Hospital carries a variety of flea products. We have the oral products capstar, comfortis, nexguard, sentinel spectrum, and the topical products frontline plus topspot, frontline plus spray, and revolution.