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Fleas

Fleas are the most common external parasite in dogs and cats. 

They cause itching, scratching, biting, and can lead to secondary skin infections.  They also transmit a number of diseases, some of which can be passed directly to people.  For these reasons, it is important to prevent and treat infestations aggressively.  In order to treat infestations appropriately, it is necessary to understand a little about the flea.  Only 5% of the flea population at any given time is comprised of adult fleas.  The other 95% of the flea population is comprised of eggs and immature stages of the flea that do not live on dogs or cats.  These immature stages are found in carpet, rugs, furniture, grass, and other hospitable areas.  The eggs are generally deposited in warm, dark places.  They hatch in response to rising levels of carbon dioxide and motion.

Given this understanding of the flea life cycle, it is easy to see why just treating our pets with preventatives after an infestation is established is an inefficient way to kill fleas.  Once infestations are established, we recommend a three pronged approach.  First, treat the pet with preventatives.  Second, treat the yard with pesticides to kill the eggs and immature fleas outside the house.  Third, treat the inside of the house to kill the eggs and immature fleas inside the house. 

STEP 1:  FLEA PREVENTATIVES

DOGS

1.       Trifexis:  This is an oral once a month combination flea and heartworm preventative.  It offers the fastest kill of adult fleas on the market.  It does not contain a tick preventative

2.      Vectra:  This is a topical once a month flea and tick preventative.  It has been used effectively for many years, and has proven to be very safe for dogs and cats.

3.      Capstar:  This is an oral flea preventative.  It is the only product on the market that paralyzes fleas prior to biting.  It can be used as an aide to either of the first two products.  It only last for 48 hours, so it is not a long term solution.

CATS

1.      Revolution:  This is a topical flea and heartworm preventative.  Its efficacy against adult fleas is good, but not as good as frontline.

2.      Frontline:  This is a topical once a month flea and tick preventative.  It has proven to be very effective and safe over many years of use.

STEP 2:  YARD TREATMENT

Over And Out:  This is a granular fire any killer that contains fipronil, the same active ingredient as frontline.  It can be placed in a broadcast spreader, and applied to the yard per label instructions.  It kills fleas, eggs, and larvae.

SEVIN DUST:  This is a general insecticide.  It comes in a powder formulation, or in a liquid that can be applied via a standard garden hose.  Apply per label instructions to kill fleas, eggs, and larvae.  Let this product set on the yard for 24-48 hours before watering in.  It is generally very safe for pets, but watering should prevent any interactions.

The yard should be treated once per month for three months to eradicate existing infestations.  An alternative option to these DIY products is to hire an exterminator to treat the yard.  They can be equally effective.

 

STEP 3:  Treat The House

BORAX:  This is a powder that can generally be found either with the insecticides, or in the laundry detergent aisles at major home improvement stores.  To apply, vacuum any carpeted surfaces, sprinkle the powder liberally and allow to sit for 30 minutes, and repeat vacuuming.  It will kill eggs, larvae, and adult fleas.

A general spring cleaning should accompany treating the carpets and rugs.  Any dog bedding should be washed, or if it is not washable, it should be discarded.  All floors and surfaces should be cleaned with general cleaners.  All people bedding should be washed.  Remember, anywhere the dog goes, there will be flea eggs and larvae(maggots).

Inside treatment should be done once per month for three months.  Most infestations will require three months of preventative medication in addition to environmental treatment to get under control.

Happy Flea Killing!  Remember, the only good flea is a dead flea!

Contact Info

5063 Post Rd., Ste 104
Cumming, GA  30040
(770) 220-7000
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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