Yes. There are many more aggressive ways to control pest infestations on your beloved pets. We have fleas and ticks in Southern Orange County. The sooner you face it, the sooner you can do something about it. I picked three ticks off of my own dog only two nights ago. I’ve also recently found ticks crawling on my clothes while simply walking down the sidewalk. Rescue off-the-street cats are frequently (if not always) infested with fleas.
The last thing anybody wants is flea and tick infestations in their own home. The smartest place to start is to keep fleas and ticks off your pets.
There are plenty of products you can use. But what’s good? What’s bad?
What's even safe for your pet?
|What is it?||Kills||How long does it take to kill all pests?||Waterproof?||How long does it last?||Safe
|How is it applied?||Active Ingredient||Surrounding Area?|
|Advantage®||Fleas||12 hours||Yes||4 weeks||Puppies: 7+
Kittens: 8+ weeks
|Topical||Imidacloprid||Inhibits larval development|
|Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes||12 hours||Yes (slight decrease of effectiveness)||4 weeks||Puppies: 7+ weeks||Topical||Imidacloprid & Permethrin||Kills larvae|
|Frontline PLUS & Topspot®||Fleas & Ticks||Fleas: 18
Ticks: 48 hours
|Topical||Fipronil||Kills fleas in all stages in pet surroundings|
|Frontline Spray®||Fleas & Ticks||24 hours||Yes (for 30 days)||8-12 weeks maximum||Puppies/Kittens: 8+ weeks||Spray||Fipronil||Not notably effective|
Cats: 4 hours
4+ weeks & 2+ lbs
|Oral Tablet||Nitenpyram||Not notably effective|
|Program®||Sterilizes Adult Fleas (makes them unable to reproduce)||7 days||N/A||4 weeks||Pregnant/Nursing||Dogs: Oral
|Hormone Lufenuron||Does not kill adult fleas.|
|Revolution®||Fleas, Ticks (dogs), Ear Mites, Mange (dogs), Heartworm, Hookworm (cats), Roundworm (cats)||36 hours||Yes||4 weeks||Puppies/Kittens:
|Topical||Selamecitin||Not notably affective|
|Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes||24 hours to a few days||Yes (reduced with shampoo usage)||Ticks &
Mosquitoes: 4 weeks
Flea Eggs/Larvae: 123 days
|Puppies 12+ weeks||Topical||Permethrin & Nylar||Not notably affective|
What do all of those "Active Ingredients" DO?
Did you know that some chemicals in flea/tick products are dangerous to your pet if applied incorrectly?
Fipronil (Frontline): Locks stabilizing ions in the neurons of invertebrates (like fleas). Without stabilizing ions, the fleas die from hyperstimulation. This means that the fleas may become slightly more active just before they die.
Permathrin: A synthetic relative of natural pyrethrins; however, it is much more stable on your pet and more active on insects. Both permethrin and natural pyrethrins work by disrupting the insect’s nervous system. Products containing permethrin should NEVER be used on cats or ferrets as they are sensitive to this compound.
Imidacloprid (K9 Advantange & Advantix): Affects parasite nerve cells. Causes paralysis and death of fleas.
Selamecitin (Revolution): Stops nerve transmission in parasites and kills them. Stays in bloodstream, thereby protecting against heartworm. Passes into gastrointestinal tract and kills some gastrointestinal parasites. Topical application prevents against mites and ticks.
Nitenpyram (Capstar): Enters the gastrointestinal tract and is absorbed by the bloodstream.
Nylar: Nylar mimics an insect hormone involved in egg hatching and maturation of the immature insect to the adult stage. When exposed to Nylar, insect eggs fail to hatch; therefore, they die before becoming biting adults. Nylar does not kill adult insects.
Lufenuron Hormone: A hormone that when present in the blood meal of the parasite effectively sterilizes the female by preventing eggs from hatching.
Amitraz: Used in dips for demodectic
mange. Found effective as a tick repellant and is used in tick
collars. Do NOT use amitraz on cats. Can be used with other
flea and tick products such as Biospot.
A few words about natural parasite protection:
Although natural solutions may be appealing, it is important to remember that natural does not always mean safe. Citrus products generally contain d-Limonene or linalool extracted from the peelings of citrus fruits. In excess, these extracts can intoxicate your pet. There has been no clinical advantage found by using citrus over insecticidal flea prevention. In heavy infestations, citrus products should be used in conjunctions with other more powerful parasite killers.
No clinical trials have been conducted to prove the effectiveness of herbs and vitamins such as brewer's yeast, thiamine, garlic, citronella, or rosemary. Although these may work in some situations, they have not been proven to be effective.
In Conclusion ...
Solutions to summer parasite problems are virtually endless. It is important, however, to choose one. For the comfort and safety of both your pet AND you, recognize the presence of parasites and prevent them before they can become a problem.
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