Well it’s here, flea season that is, and for those of us with pets who live in more humid climates, it can become an overwhelming problem – especially if the flea control product you’re using isn’t working.

I’ve had a number of comments on a post about Frontline not working that I blogged about a couple of years ago.  Many of us have used Frontline quite successfully from year to year only to find the next year it doesn’t control the fleas at all. 

Frontline, and its low-cost counterpart, Pet Armor, contain Fipronil as the main ingredient to control fleas. Apparently, what happens is the fleas develop a resistance to the drug over time and they don’t die.

If that has happened to you, I recommend going with Advantage or Advantage Plus – NOT AdvanTIX if you have a cat – that product is ONLY for dogs…and from what I’ve read about it, it can be toxic to some dogs so ..

Anyway, I’ve had no problems with Advantage. It seems to work consistently year after year and is better tolerated by my cats and my dog than Frontline. 

For those with multi-pet households, monthly flea control can get expensive. Many vets will sell single doses of flea control drops. Also, Advantage and Frontline can be dosed out.  Talk to your vet about buying a pack of Advantage (or Frontline) for large dogs and then ask them to help you figure out the dosage for your cats.  The only difference between the large and small vials of Advantage and Frontline  is the amount of flea control product in them. 

Since I have 12 cats, I buy the three-pack of Advantage for extra-large dogs and dose it out.  Dosing requires a syringe however so make sure you get instructions from your vet and don’t deviate from them.  One three-pack of extra-large dog Advantage lasts two months for me.

If Merck and whoever makes Advantage were smart, they’d sell one large vial with dosing instructions for multi-pet households.

Now, if you can’t afford the high price of Advantage or Frontline, Adams Flea and Tick Spray is a good alternative. It contains the all- natural ingredient, Pyrethrins, which comes from the chrysanthemum flower and is very effective.

There are now also internal flea control products available through your vet, but most I think are for dogs. I’m never going to use them on my cats if any are for cats simply because, well, have you EVER tried to pill a cat??? Never gonna happen.

Finally, a word about flea infestation in your house.  Many of us have hardwood, laminate, or vinyl plank flooring and think we won’t have a flea infestations. Wrong. Fleas will get into everything: area rugs, furniture, drapes, bedding, clothing. Anywhere they can nest and lay eggs. They will EVEN get in between the wood, laminate, and vinyl planks in your floor and lay eggs there!

For carpets and area rugs, I recommend using powdered boric acid.  Work it into the rug or carpet with a brush or broom. It will cause any flea eggs to shrivel up before they hatch, breaking the flea cycle.  For drapes and furniture, use a good quality flea spray for furniture.  Adams makes a line of good products for that, as well.

If you vaccuum, put a flea collar IN your vaccuum cup or bag.  It will kill any fleas that get sucked up and will also kill fleas that hatch from any flea eggs that get sucked up.  Flea collars are ineffective for controlling fleas on pets because they only kill the fleas around the neck area and not on the rest of the pet. Plus, they can cause irritation around your pet’s neck. 

FLEA PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND YOU STAY AWAY FROM:

Bio-spot: There have been numerous reports of cats and dogs having neurological problems and seizures, even death from this product. Google it and read for yourself.

-Any topical flea drops (with the possible exception of Adams) that are not either Advantage, Frontline, Pet Armor or Advantix.  The other brands of so-called flea drops you see in your local big box store or grocery store use the same ingredients as in a can of bug spray like say, Raid.  They are toxic to your pets.  Just because it’s a flea drop, doesn’t mean it’s the same as the more expensive drops. Cheap is not always better – do your homework.

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