Top positive review
110 people found this helpful
Tips for getting rid of a flea infestation
on 10 October 2014
Unfortunately the general public lack knowledge about fleas. The flea life cycle is made up of four stages - using Frontline or any spot on product only treats one stage (adult fleas). This stage only accounts for around 5% of the life cycle, the other 95% of the life cycle is in your home - carpets, furniture, bedding etc. To combat a flea infestation, it is VITAL to treat the home with a household flea spray containing an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). Even once you've done this, flea eggs and larvae can stay dormant for months, especially over the winter, so it can take a while to get a flea infestation under control. This then leads people to believe the product isn't working. It can take around three monthly uses of a flea treatment (and treatment of the home) before you'll notice a significant difference. Even then your cat/dog will pick up fleas from being outdoors so you may still see them, however they should die within 24 hours of being on the animal. Bearing this in mind, how many people use Frontline, see no difference after a month so swap to another product which magically happens to work? It's not the product, it takes time.
As for Frontline not working, according to research, Fipronil (the active ingredient in Frontline) is still the most effective chemical at killing fleas. It works by being absorbed by the oil glands and then the oil is secreted into the fur, which fleas crawl through. Fipronil causes intense hyperactivity in the fleas eventually causing them to die, but in the meantime they will bite more and come to the surface more, making them more visible and leading people to think that the problem isn't getting any better. Advocate/Advantage are also good - they use a different active ingredient called Imidacloprid. It's good practice to switch between active ingredients now and again so that the generations of fleas can't build any immunity (e.g. use one pack of Frontline, then one pack of Advantage, then back to Frontline etc, or try swapping a couple of times per year). I would not advise using tablets, sprays or anything you can buy without a qualified person (SQP) having to prescribe, these will be ineffective and a waste of money (examples include Bob Martin, Johnsons or anything you can just pick up off the shelf).
If you have fleas on your cat/dog, you will already have an infestation in your home. Wash all of their bedding and anything else washable at the highest temperature you can. Hoover very carefully, moving furniture and going right around the edges (the vibrations encourage eggs to hatch, making it easier to kill them). Then treat your home with the flea spray, following the instructions. Even if your pet only goes downstairs, spray upstairs too as you will have trodden flea eggs all around the house. Allow the cat/dog access everywhere so that the fleas have chance to jump on them and therefore be killed. Regularly hoover (you can spray the inside of the hoover with flea spray too), routinely treat your cat for fleas and within three weeks to three months you should see a difference.
Don't forget to treat your cats for worms too as if they are licking and eat a flea, they will probably have worms. Combination flea treatments/wormers (e.g. Advocate) don't cover all worms so make sure you speak to your vet.