To remove fleas from your house
and your pet completely, it’s vital to attack the infestation
at all four stages of a flea’s life. Destroying the eggs is
particularly important. Also key is to kill fleas living on
your pet; not only do fleas cause discomfort for your pet, but
they will continue to lay eggs.
Remove Fleas from Your Cat or Dog:
There are several methods for flea prevention for dogs and cats, with
differing degrees of severity. Your veterinarian can advise you
on which method is most appropriate for your cat or dog.
Shampoo: Flea shampoos will kill fleas on
contact. Check carefully to see if the shampoo you purchase
will also attack larva and eggs since some shampoos only
target adult fleas, which only temporarily solves the
Flea Powder & Sprays: Flea powders and
sprays can be applied to your pet to kill fleas (both adult
fleas and eggs). Again, check carefully when purchasing
powers to ensure that it will kill eggs since not all powders
do. Note also that powders can cause your pet’s skin to dry
Flea Collars: Of the two varieties of
flea collars, the most
effective type, like Seresto,
emits a toxin that is absorbed into your pet’s skin. This
toxin contains an insecticide that kills fleas. Other kinds
of collars emit gas toxic to fleas—these collars are
effective at eradicating fleas around your pet’s head but do
not have an impact on fleas further away on your pet’s body.
Spot Treatments: Spot treatments like
Frontline and Advantage attack the flea’s nervous
system. They also contain chemicals that attack larva and
prevent eggs from hatching. These treatments generally
protect animals from fleas for a month or more.
Oral Medicine: Most oral flea prescription
medicines work by attacking the fleas in their larva or egg
state, preventing fleas from reaching adulthood. Some newer
medicines can also target adult fleas.
De-Flea Your Home
You’ll want to attack removing fleas from your house at the
same time as you work to get fleas removed from your pet.
Vacuum: Use your vacuum thoroughly – pay
particular attention to any nooks and crannies, and go over
carpeting multiple times. Vacuum carefully around the area
where your pet typically sleeps. Vacuuming removes the flea’s
eggs, which prevents the flea’s life cycle from perpetuating.
The nozzle attachment of your vacuum will be helpful with
corners, the baseboard, and along cracks. Dispose of
vacuum bags carefully, since it contains flea eggs.
Wash sheets, towels, bedding, etc: Wash
fabric on the hottest cycle possible, and dry on a high heat
as well. If you have a dog bed, remember to wash that as
Insecticide: After vacuuming, you can apply
insecticide to carpets and surfaces. The most effective
insecticides contain Insect Growth Regulator, or IGR, which
acts to stop fleas from being able to give birth. You can
apply insecticide yourself, be careful to wash dishes and
surfaces afterward or use a professional. Insecticides come
in the form of foggers or powders.
If you live in a warm climate prone to fleas—or if you’re
having a particularly difficult time getting rid of the fleas
in your house—you may find it helpful to remove your carpet
entirely. Carpets provide a comfortable breeding ground for
fleas and are also difficult to clean completely. Keep in mind
that fleas prefer warm, humid environments.
Prevent Fleas from Getting Back In
Once your home and pet are flea-free, you’ll want to make sure
to avoid tracking fleas back inside. Since fleas are capable of
jumping nearly a foot vertically, it’s easy for dogs, outdoor
cats, or you (from shoes) to track fleas back into the house.
There are a few simple steps to make your yard and garden an
unfriendly habitat for fleas:
Trim grass: Keep your grass trimmed very
short. This will increase the amount of direct sunlight, and
create an inhospitable environment for fleas, who cannot
survive in extremely hot and dry climates.
Spray Insecticide: Use your garden hose to
spray insecticide on your garden and grass, avoiding spraying
near vegetables and flowers.
Since flea eggs can take a few weeks to hatch, be mindful that
this process may have to be repeated a few times until all eggs
Flea and Tick Prevention and Treatment Options
With all the flea and tick prevention and treatment options out
there, it can be difficult to know what you need. With various
medications like Nexgard and Revolution for dogs, it can be tough to
decide what is best for your pet.
Keeping your pets, family, and home safe from fleas and ticks is best achieved through
preventative measures and consistency. Be proactive with the
tips below and consult your veterinarian about the best methods
of treatment for your pet when in doubt.
Prevention is the best method of controlling fleas and ticks,
but if your pets get either fleas or ticks, consider both your
home and pets infested and work swiftly to avoid a larger
problem. If any of your pets have had fleas or ticks, there can
be more of them in your home.
With all of the flea and tick products out there, it could be
difficult to decide on a proper course of action. We hope this
guide will help keep you and your pets in great health, the
best way--flea and tick-free.
Flea and Tick Control Types
Spot-on treatments, sprays (like Frontline Spray), and oral medications such
as Credelio for
dogs are the most common and effective means of flea
and tick prevention and treatment. Some prevent, others treat,
some do both, read on to learn more about your options. Keep in
mind that most of these products are not recommended for dogs
and cats under 6 weeks of age.
Spot-on treatments like Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix are the most popular
for good reason--they work. They are sold in monthly doses and
you apply the liquid in each dose to the skin on your pet's
back once a month. They're relatively inexpensive, generally
have no side effects, apply easily, prevent fleas and ticks
from hosting on your pet, and kill them when they try. There
are some differences among popular spot-on treatments to
consider before choosing the best option for you and your pet.
Sprays are another useful product for flea and tick prevention
and treatment. Sprays kill fleas and ticks on contact. While
alcohol-based sprays are usually highly effective, they can
have unwanted side effects on certain pets (and even people who
apply them). Certain sprays can be used alongside topical
medications, or applied between dipping, while others function
over an extended period of time, working to keep eggs from
hatching. Always read the package information for instructions
on use and any possible interactions with other flea and tick
products and medications.
Oral Flea and Tick Control
Oral medications are useful in that they provide protection for
your dog’s entire body, whereas sprays and rinses might leave
some areas of your dog vulnerable to fleas and ticks. There are
some oral medications that serve to protect your dog solely
from ticks, and others that will protect your dog only from
fleas. As with all medications, be sure to read the directions
carefully, as dosages differ from one medication to the next.
How to Check Your Pet for Fleas and Ticks
Thoroughly check your pets for fleas and ticks on a daily
basis, particularly in warmer months, which you can do while
grooming or playing with them. Fleas and ticks can be anywhere
on your pet's body but prefer attaching themselves near the
head, neck, ears, and paws. You may feel a tick bump before you
actually see a tick.
Evidence of fleas can be
found in the flea dirt they leave behind in your pets’ coats
and skin. Flea dirt is black specks that resemble pepper or
bits of dirt, which are actually flea fecal matter. You can
detect flea dirt by holding a white paper towel beneath your
pet and running a metal comb through their coat (touching their
skin). If either the comb or the paper towel produces black
specks, there’s a good chance they have fleas. If you come
across live fleas while following this method, drown them in
soapy water, as they could potentially jump onto you or your
pet. Then move on to treating your flea problem.
Controlling Fleas and Ticks in Your Home
Whether you’re using sprays, spot-on treatments, topical
treatments, or oral medications, you should keep in mind that
if your pets do get fleas and/or ticks, the adults are only a
small percentage of the total
infestation. The majority of fleas and ticks in a given
infestation are the eggs, larvae, and pupa, which are probably
throughout your home, primarily in your pets’ living areas. If
fleas and ticks are in your home, they‘re likely to be found in
the cracks or crevices of walls, upholstered furniture, in
bedding, and even beneath carpeting.
But don't panic!
First, treat your pet. Capstar is a highly effective pill that
works for 24 hours and kills most fleas within 4 hours. It can
be taken daily for up to two weeks and works for dogs and
Controlling fleas and
ticks in your home is best achieved through a process
of thorough vacuuming, and using an approved insecticide and
insect growth regulator (IGR). IGRs work to keep the egg and
larvae of fleas from developing, stopping the next cycle of
fleas from maturing. Some approved sprays containing IGRs (such
as Adams Plus) are particularly effective, as they can be
applied to a variety of surfaces. When fleas and ticks get
beneath carpeting, vacuuming won’t be enough. Foggers, such as
Adams Plus Fogger can kill fleas and ticks beneath carpets.
Take any throw rugs, bedding, and fabrics that can be removed
from upholstery and wash them in water as hot as the fabric
Controlling Fleas and Ticks in Your Outside Environment
It isn’t difficult to ensure a tick-free environment outside your home,
but it takes some consistency. If possible, install barriers
that enclose your property, preventing animals from passing
through your yard. Regularly mow your lawn, take care to keep
your bushes trimmed, and remove any mulch or leaf litter. This
creates a less hospitable environment for fleas and ticks. Keep
garbage containers tightly closed. Making waste inaccessible
reduces stray animals and/or rodents (common flea and tick
hosts) from passing through your property. If you bring your
pets outdoors, make sure that they are protected with some form
of flea and tick treatment and avoid tall grasses or brushes.
A Note on Flea and Tick Control in Cats
Treatments that are perfectly suitable for dogs can be toxic to cats. Cats are
particularly sensitive to chemicals, so make sure to read all
labels carefully and be absolutely certain that you are using a
method of treatment designed for cats. Advantage II for Cats is made
specifically for our feline friends.
Best Tick and Flea Control for Dogs and Cats Chart
What do you do when you need tick and flea control for dogs and
cats? Every product reports to be the best flea
and tick medicine for
dogs and cats on the market now, like Advantage
II or Comfortis,
but picking the right one for your pet can be tricky! And
dealing with ticks and fleas
on dogs or
cats can be enough of a headache as it is. We'd like to
simplify the process for you with this convenient chart.
COMPARE FLEA and TICK MEDICATIONS
Compare Flea, Tick and Heartworm Medications
These medications require a prescription.
How PetPlus Can Help
Whatever medication you choose, PetPlus can help. All of the best flea and
tick medicine, from Advantage
II to Trifexis,
can be purchased through PetPlus,
and for a fraction of the price, you will find anywhere
else. PetPlus is a membership
program that is designed to make keeping your pet protected and
healthy affordable for anybody.
Adams Plus Carpet
Advantage II for Cats
More on Fleas and Ticks
How to Detect Fleas and Ticks
K9 Advantix vs. Frontline Plus for
How to Use Frontline Plus for
This information is for informational
purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the
professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your
veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or
other qualified professionals with any questions you may have
regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking
professional advice due to what you may have read on our