Close

May 1, 2019

Your Flea and Tick Prevention Guide

Flea and Tick Prevention

Southern California is known for its temperate weather which also means that fleas and ticks are a common problem for cats and dogs here year round. Not only are fleas a nuisance for your pet, but they can also become a health issue by transmitting parasites such as tapeworm. By taking preventative measures, such as using flea and tick treatments, you can minimize the risk of an infestation.

Fleas

Fleas are a particularly prolific type of parasite. One female flea lays about 50 eggs a day. The eggs turn into larvae which then incubate for a couple weeks and when the temperature is right, they mature into adult fleas and those fleas start to reproduce. Before you know it, your home and pets are infested with fleas. Your favorite dog park or dog beach is likely to be infested as well.

A flea infestation can be seen by the “flea dirt” on your pet’s coat. This will look like a fine black grime that will dilute red in water. You may also notice skin irritation, hair loss, pale gums, tapeworms or excessive licking, biting or scratching.

Prevention

There are a number of ways to kill fleas, and a myriad of products in each category. There are many good flea shampoos and dips out there, but unless you are regularly taking your pet in for grooming, you are likely not shampooing them often enough to make it an effective treatment plan. Remember, any flea preventative you select will work best when you apply or administer it once a month or as directed by your veterinarian. Don’t wait until you see fleas to protect your home and pet. By then, you will have an infestation.

The top preventatives have topical and oral applications. The various products have different active ingredients that do a good job of preventing flea and tick problems. You can choose a product like Frontline Plus or Advantage II and have good protection for your cat or dog. Frontline Plus’ active ingredients are Fipronil and S-methoprene and Advantage II’s are Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen.

You can also select another brand with the same active ingredients to ensure good results. If you take your dog out hiking a lot, or live in a high tick-infested area, it would be best to select a brand that kills fleas as well as ticks. One thing to avoid is using a flea and tick product formulated for a dog on your cat or vice versa. Many flea preventatives for dogs contain ingredients that could make your cat very sick.

A common mistake people make when they discover fleas on their pet is to just treat the animal. You have an infestation and it is imperative you treat both your pet and the environment around you. If you don’t, the fleas in the pupae stage are hiding in your bedding, floorboards and carpeting. They will later hatch and jump on your pet and you’ll have the whole issue to deal with again. With a little planning and preventative maintenance, you can keep your home and best friend safe from these pesky parasites!

Products for Cats

Name Active Ingredient(s) Kills Availability $
Frontline Plus Fipronil/S-methoprene Fleas,Ticks, Chewing Lice Vet, Retail, Online* $$
Pet Armor Fipronil Adult Fleas Retail, Online $
Advantage II Imidicloprid/Pyriproxyfen Fleas. All stages Vet, Retail, Online $$
Vectra for Cats Dinotefuron/Pyripproxyfen Fleas, all stages Vet Only $$$
Revolution Selamectin Adult Fleas and eggs, worms Vet Only $$$

Products for Dogs

Name Active Ingredient(s) Kills Availability Availability $
Frontline Plus Fipronil/S-methoprene Fleas,Ticks, Chewing Lice Vet, Retail, Online* Topical $$
Pet Armor Fipronil Adult Fleas Retail, Online Topical $
Advantage II Imidicloprid/Pyriproxyfen Fleas. All stages/Chewing Lice Vet, Retail, Online Topical $$
Vectra 3D Dinotefuron/Pyripproxyfen/Permethrin Fleas, all stages/Ticks/Mosquitoes Vet Only Topical $$$
Revolution Selamectin Adult Fleas and eggs, Heartworm/worms Vet Only Topical $$$
Comfortis Spinosad Adult Fleas Vet Only Oral $$$
Trifexis Spinosad/Milbemycin Oxime Adult Fleas/Heartworm Vet Only Oral $$$$
Capstar Nitenpyram Adult Fleas Vet, Online Oral $
Sentinel Milbemycin Oxime/Lufeneron Immature Fleas/Heartworm/Worms Vet Only Oral $$$
[903334]
[903334]
[903333]
[903333]