Fleas cause flea allergy dermatitis, the most common skin disease in dogs and cats. Allergic signs include itching, hair loss, redness, sores and scabs, they are also responsible for passing on tapeworms. Fleas will bite pets and people.
The best flea control is prevention. Diligent use of topicals, and taking preventative action will help control fleas. Whichever methods or products you choose, you may want to consult your veterinarian before using. Always read instructions and warnings.
- An adult flea can lay 50 eggs a day
- Egg stage is not susceptible to insecticides but is to Insect Growth Regulators (IGR)
- The pupa stage (cocoon) is most resistant to elimination, it takes 9 days to mature, but can remain in the at stage for many months
- The entire cycle can take place in as little as 2-1/2 weeks
Prevention On Your Pets
Topicals – Better topicals such as Frontline, K-9 Advantix (dogs only) or Advantage (for cats), & Biospot are important in preventing fleas. If your pet has fleas, these topicals will reduce the flea population 90% in the first 24 hours and 100% in the next 24 hours. It takes a short time after exposure for the flea to be killed, thus making some people think the product isn’t working. Bathing should be avoided within 24 hours of application. They must be applied monthly.
Sprays – Can be used for addition support in flea control. Always follow manufacturer’s directions as to how to spray and how often. Sprays such are Adams Pet and Area Spray and Vets Best Natural Pet Spray are some choices.
Collars – Seresto Flea collar is a newer product, and offer the same prevention as the better topicals. They will last for several months. Other flea collars can be effective but they use an insecticide on the collar. Watch carefully for irritation and remove immediately if found. Never use collars containing Amitraz, permethin or organphosphates on cats.
Flea combs – Great tool for finding fleas. Since they are non-toxic, they are the best choice for infant, ill or pregnant pets.
Natural or Alternative Flea treatments – They work more slowly and attack fleas only in the adult stage.
Neem oil, which can be found in shampoo such as Tropiclean Neem Shampoo, claims to be effective as a natural insecticide, parasiticide and anti-fungal. Oils should NEVER be used on cats.
Sentry Natural Defense uses other oils as a topical for flea control.
Flea shampoos – May help in giving relief as well as washing away flea dirt, flea eggs and some adult fleas. Because they have no residual protection, bathing is not a major contributor in the overall effects of flea elimination.
Flea Treatment in Your Home
Vacuum floors several times a week, seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it immediately. Never put flea collars or moth balls in your vacuum cleaner since toxic fumes will result.
Wash all pet bedding weekly.
Fog or spray your home at 2 week intervals. Adams has both foggers and carpet sprays. Also available are Vet’s Best Natural Home Spray and NaturVet Carpet Powder. Read and follow directions carefully.
Flea Treatment in Your Yard
Rake up leaves, mulch, straw grass clippings or other organic debris where fleas and eggs thrive. Remove pets and treat areas where they stay. Also, treat patios and under porches. Don’t use products where and when run off can go into lakes or rivers.