Wow! There are so many different Flea and Tick Control types of application what one should I use for my pet? This has nothing to do with who may have manufactured the product but the “delivery” system of the treatment to get rid of the problem. Whether you are dealing with fleas or ticks, developing a program of Flea and Tick Control Prevention or treating a particular situation we have the information here to help you may an informed decision. Over the years the process of treating or ridding your pet of any pests they may have, has risen to a science of destruction. We now know more than ever what it takes to not only disrupt a flea or tick life cycle but what products are best for every scenario we might confront.
Companies have developed a vast assortment of products to help us in our quest. This article will discuss topical treatments, sprays and mists, flea collars, shampoos, dipping products, flea combs and oral tablets. There are also repellents, desiccants, powders and foggers but are generally very specialized treatments, not recommend or not very effective and won’t be part of this discussion. Where do you start and which Treatment Application is right for my situation? The best approach I think is to understand what each type of application is meant to do and when to use it. From there, selecting the right approach should be a lot easier than you might expect. We’ll go down the list one-by-one and see what they have to offer.
Topical treatments are applied to pet’s outer skin. The medication is applied directly behind the head between the shoulders. This stops the pet from licking off the medication once it is applied. It’s a quick application method from a single dose plastic applicator. They work well and are effective in a good Flea and Tick Control program. These applications are designed to kill adult fleas within 24 hours. They also kills flea eggs and larvae to keep ALL stages of fleas from developing. Topical liquids also kill all stages of 4 major ticks, including the one which may carry Lyme disease. They stay waterproof and some can be used on puppies 8 weeks and older.
However, if you have more than one pet this might not be the best method. One pet might lick off the medication from another. I have this situation but my Min Pins actually sleep in a pet carrier at night so I put it on at bedtime and once they’re locked up I don’t have that issue. For those that can’t keep their pets separated, then a course of oral medication may be in order. If you have young children in the house this type of treatment may not be a good choice either. When kids are at that stage of their lives when everything goes in the mouth, if they happen to touch the pet and get some of the meds on their hands they may wind up ingesting some of the meds. Again an oral medication may be appropriate to remedy this type of situation.
Flea & Tick Sprays and Mists
These are products administered from a spray bottle. Flea and Tick Spray can be used on dogs, cat, puppies and kittens to control fleas, ticks and flea larvae. They generally contain Insect Growth Regulator (IGR’s) and provide quick relief killing adult fleas and ticks on contact. It also continuously kills flea eggs laid on the animal, breaking the flea life cycle. Residual activity of the product prevents re-infestation. Fleas are killed within the first day. Sprays continue to work for up to one month. Use a spray when combating large areas of infestation. Children in the house might cause you to think twice. The spray, although quite effective can get all over when they are used. Containing the spray to a very specific area is a noble gesture but impractical at best. If kids aren’t in the house then this is a great way to protect your pets and areas they inhabit.
Flea & Tick Collars
Flea and Tick Collars are available for dogs or cats. Collars come in several sizes specifically addressing the size of a pet’s necks. They are plastic and over time release insecticide to kill the fleas or ticks. They were developed in the early 1960’s and were an effective and practical treatment at the time. The downside is that their effectiveness tends to be more localized around the head area. Although many dogs and cats tend to get “collar dermatitis” at the neck, they add an extra layer of protection keeping them away from their head especially if it is an outdoor pet.
Shampoos and Dips
Flea and tick dips are used when you need an immediate knockdown of fleas and ticks. They tend to be used on outdoor dogs that are infested. To effectively treat the pet you need to dip them in a solution up to their necks or sponge it all over their bodies. Not for use on cats. Dips have a residual smell and you probably don’t want that in the house. Shampoos are another quick remedy for relieving your pet of ticks and fleas. They don’t have any residual prevention against these pests though. They do clean your animals quite well and effectively help with skin conditions. Read the product label for more details.
A flea comb is a good pesticide-free method of removing fleas from your dog or cat. A flea comb works by catching the fleas in the very narrow gaps between the teeth or forcing them to jump off. Use a flea comb outside, and keep a container of soapy water nearby for drowning the fleas, or comb your pet in a bathtub where you can rinse the fleas down the drain. Start by running the comb gently through your pet’s coat. After each run through, dunk the comb in the water and leave any fur caught in the comb in the water. The soapy water will kill the fleas. Continue this procedure until the entire pet has been combed, making sure to comb their underside. A flea comb can be used every day when fleas are bad, and can help prevent fleas entering the house if used before the pet comes inside.
These are chewable tablets for your pet. They have a short span of effectiveness usually 24 hours. People give them to their pets if going to a park or an area they may have a concern about having them get infested while walking them. They can be given daily to your pets. Look at what your individual needs are in terms of a treatment plan for your pets. Once you know that and how bad the problem is hopefully this list gives you an idea of what treatment application will be most effective for your pet and their surrounding areas.
Thanks for reading.