Since you appear to be dealing with environmental control of fleas through your exterminator's
contract, I assume that you have discussed the problem with the representative from that company in
It appears that your effort at increased flea control would best be directed at control of fleas directly
on your animals. Discussing possible options with your veterinarian is a good first choice to develop a
specific flea control program to suit your needs.
Products for your pet can be divided into ones that are either given orally(by mouth) or ones that are
directly applied to the skin(or topically).
Oral products have the advantage of convenience, possible long duration of action, ease of
administration, and minimal exposure to family members of the active ingredients. Disadvantages may
be reaction to taste, the need for administration with food, and possibly a longer interval before total
results are achieved.
Topical products come in many types such as shampoo, flea dips, sprays, foams, collars, and
one-spot skin treatment products.
Because some topical products have a lower margin of safety than others, it is very important that
consumers read all label warnings and instructions very carefully prior to their use. The advantages of
shampoo, foams, sprays, dips, and collars can be cost and availability. The disadvantages can be
short duration of action, possible incomplete control, unpleasant odors, hypersalivation, and difficult
or time consuming mode of application. One exception to these rules is the new monthly flea spray
called Frontline which can be used on puppies or kittens over eight weeks of age.
The newest products available are the one-spot skin treatments sold by veterinary clinics today. We
have received very positive feedback from almost all our clients using these products. These topicals,
such as Advantage and Frontline Top Spot -, offer the advantages of long duration of action, ease of
application, and minimal side effects for the animals. The main disadvantage is higher cost per
Never before have consumers had more options for better flea control
and your veterinarian would be glad to help you in making the right
choice for your special pet.
This article generously contributed by:
Belle Terre Animal Hospital
WAYNE A. ROGERS, D.V.M.