All too often, a pet owner will come in and share their experiences in which he or she regularly applies Frontline Plus (Fiproguard Plus) or Advantage II, yet is angry that after several treatments they are still seeing fleas. There are several plausible explanations for persistent flea infestations that have nothing to do with lack of efficacy of these products.
First, I make sure that they are correctly applying the topical flea medications. It is easy to forget that it is important to completely part the hair and apply the product directly to the skin so that proper skin and hair follicle distribution can occur. This is something that can be somewhat of a challenge for thick haired pets, however, the pet medication will not work properly if only the hair follicles receive the medication – it must be applied to the skin. It’s also important to properly follow product label directions, which for some products like Advantage II for large dogs require that animal guardians apply the product in multiple spots down the pet’s back. While it is tempting for animal guardians to try and save money by using only portions of products labeled for larger pets on smaller animals, it is a process such as this that can lead to product failure. Another big reason for product failure involves not addressing home flea relief for the pet, where in some cases 80% of the flea life cycle may occur. Consider using Premise Treatment for indoor home use.
In very heavy infestations, I will often recommend a professional home exterminating service. My favorite home products include borate based products such as Flea Busters, which can often dry out or dessicate the various flea life stages. In spite of recent discussion in the veterinary literature, the development of wide spread flea resistance is still not believed to be a major factor to clients still finding fleas on their pets.
Have you been battling a flea infestation in your home? What are some of the ways in which you have been trying to get rid of them?