Flea and Tick Control
Fleas can be a major problem for pets and their owners. Not only do they bother the pet, they also cause anemia, flea allergy dermatitis, and tapeworm infestation. You can find evidence that fleas have been on your pet by using a fine comb and looking for black specks. The specks or flea "dirt" contain dried blood in the excrement of the flea. If you put some flea dirt on moist paper, it dissolves and leaves streaks of blood. Good flea control must involve all areas of infestation—on all pets in the household and in your house and yard.
-Topical flea products, Advantage, Advantage Multi, Advantix and Frontline, are very safe and effective and are not absorbed into your pet's bloodstream. These products are applied by parting the hair between the shoulder blades and down the back to allow you to apply the solution directly to the skin. Apply monthly, year round. If your dog is frequently bathed or suffers from flea allergy, you may apply Advantage up to once weekly. Wait 2 days before bathing or allowing your dog to get wet. In addition to killing fleas, Advantage Multi prevents heartworm and intestinal parasites, Advantix repels and kills ticks and mosquitoes and Frontline kills ticks.
-Flea sprays which are pyrethrin-based may be recommended when your dog is bathed often with therapeutic shampoos or are frequent swimmers.
-Topical flea products, Advantage, Advantage Multi and Frontline, are also very safe and effective for the cat. They are applied at the nape of the cat's neck monthly, year round. They can be applied more frequently if needed.
-Never use flea products labeled "for use on dogs only" or flea products that contain permethrin or "natural" citrus extracts on your cat. Cats are more sensitive to the chemicals in flea products and products may be toxic or deadly to the cat. Advantix contains permethrin and should not be used on cats.
INEFFECTIVE FLEA CONTROL
-Flea collars are unable to sustain high enough concentrations of insecticide over the animal's entire body.
-Flea shampoos kill adult fleas but have no residual effect and do not prevent re-infestation once they are rinsed off.
-Electronic flea collars; brewer's yeast; garlic; vitamin B tablets; and extracts of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, or pennyroyal are not flea repellent and provide no protection for your pet.
-Flea combs remove fleas but have no residual effect and do not prevent re-infestation.
-Flea bombs and foggers are inadequate flea control as they do not go around corners or under furniture where fleas hide.
FLEA CONTROL IN YOUR HOUSE
-Premise sprays should contain an adulticide and an insect growth regulator. Sprays should be applied to areas where your pets spend most of their time. Repeat treatment as instructed on the product label. Remove all pets, food and water bowls from the house. Cover or remove fish tanks. Allow time for the product to dry completely before returning and open windows to air out the home. Strong fumes can be irritating to your pet's eyes and upper respiratory system.
-Vacuum furniture, under furniture, baseboards and where pet spends time in the house as well as the car followed by disposal of the vacuum bag.
-Wash all animal bedding weekly in hot water with drying at high heat for 20 minutes.
FLEA CONTROL IN YOUR YARD
-Yard control may be necessary if pet and house flea control is inadequate. Focus on areas where your pets spend most of their time and where immature fleas may develop. Typically, fleas survive and reproduce in shaded, moist areas that contain plant, sand, or organic debris. Restrict your pet's access to crawl spaces, under decks, and vegetation.
-Yard control can be performed by an exterminator or by the pet owner. Use yard spray that contains malathion or diazinon. Perform the treatment as instructed on the product label.
-Parasitic nematodes can be applied to areas of damp soil. These worms seek and destroy flea larvae. Label directions must be followed closely for this product to be effective.
-Do not use flea products on pets younger than 7-8 weeks of age (according to the product label), pregnant or nursing pets, or debilitated pets. Consider using a flea comb and bathing with soapy water.
-Observe your pet closely after using flea products. If your pet exhibits unusual behavior, or becomes depressed, weak, or uncoordinated, you should bathe your pet to rinse off the product then seek veterinary advice immediately.