The Best Approach To Eradicating Fleas
The best approach to eradicating fleas is to implement an integrated flea control program. This means killing the fleas that are currently infesting your dog or cat and breaking the flea lifecycle so the environment does not get recontaminated. This may mean using more than one product. Products range from;
- Tablets (Sentinel, Proban and Capstar),
- Sprays (Frontline) and
- Topspots (Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advocate, Advantix and Revolution).
- Shampoos and rinses (Fido’s free-itch rinse concentrate and Permoxin)
We can discuss with you the best combination to suit your pets.
Some tips for helping control fleas are:
- Treat all dogs and cats in your household. Don’t make the mistake of only treating the pet that is itchy or looks like it has the most fleas because the other pets will be harboring fleas and recontaminating the environment.
- Don’t miss a dose. Treat at the frequency recommended by the product manufacturer or there will be a breakdown in treatment efficacy.
- Don’t make the mistake of not treating in winter. Fleas may be less active in cooler months but they still breed. Flea pupae can lay dormant in the ground for months and are impervious to many pesticides, waiting for their opportunity to make a mass resurgence in spring and summer.
- Regular vacuuming of your home will assist with removal of eggs and stimulate fleas to emerge. The latter may seem contrary to what you want to do, but these fleas have to emerge at some time. If you wait for fleas to build up until the climate suits them, then you are more likely to have flea ‘plagues’. By vacuuming regularly you spread out the release of these dormant fleas. Furthermore, by timing this with when you have recently applied flea control to your pets, the product is likely to be more potent and act faster to kill fleas, having a less noticeable impact on your pets.
- Regularly wash dog blankets and bedding in hot water (>60°C for 10 minutes).
- Avoid untreated animals entering your home environment.
- Reduce environmental sources of flea contamination (e.g. block pet access to under the house, keep moist shady areas free from debris). These are ideal habitats for fleas and maximise their survivability.
- Avoid regular swimming or washing. Most topical flea control products are water fast, however, dogs which swim regularly will reduce the overall effectiveness of these products.
Ticks are deadly parasites that affect both dogs and cats. They tend to be most prevalent in late winter through to the end of summer, however your pet can be affected at anytime of the year. A number of products are now available to help control ticks. These include Frontline® spray, Frontline® Plus topspot, Advantix®, Kiltix® collars, Proban® tablets and Permoxin® rinse. Before you choose what you want to use, there are some very important points to be aware of;
- Many of you may be using one of the above products already to control fleas. Just make sure that the frequency that you are using them is appropriate to control ticks. For example;
- Frontline spray needs to be used every three weeks instead of every 12 weeks.
- Frontline Plus topspot and Advantix need to be used fortnightly instead of monthly,
- Proban tablets need to be used every second day instead of twice weekly.
- Also don’t be mistaken in assuming that all flea products are able to control ticks. Other popular flea products like Advantage, Advocate and Revolution do not have any effect on ticks.
- It is important to stress that no tick control product is 100% effective. Always double check you pets by systematically feeling through their coat every day. This can be made easier if long haired breeds are clipped.
- The only products which is registered to help control ticks in cats is Frontline spray (NOT Frontline Plus topspot!!) and Fido’s free-itch rinse concentrate. Fido’s free-itch rinse concentrate will only prevent attachment of ticks for up to three days. While Proban tablets have no claim to prevent tick paralysis in cats, there are anecdotal reports that they are helpful and certainly easier to administer than Frontline Spray and regular bathing with Fido’s free-itch rinse concentrate.