What to do when Frontline is not working

Frontline and Frontline Plus are among the most popular topical flea control products. Yet over and over again on discussion boards and in forums, you see comments from dog and cat owners claiming that Frontline isn’t working. Commercial topical products such as Frontline, Advantage, K9 Advantix, and Revolution are, of course, formulated to control fleas. Each of them contains different chemicals, many of which are hazardous. (See the post about dangerous chemicals.) Some of these chemicals may be more effective than others in flea control. A flea is a very resilient creature — difficult to control because it reproduces so rapidly, and difficult to kill because of its bodily structure. Can a flea build up a resistance to chemicals such as fipronil, a key ingredient in Frontline? Quite possibly. Evidence exists that insects can become immune to certain chemicals over time. If you are using a commercial topical product like Frontline, be sure you are following the manufacturer’s application instructions precisely. If you suspect it is not controlling your pet’s fleas, you may, in certain cases, be able to reapply it in as little as two weeks and try again. Speak to your veterinarian about this first. One alternative is to switch to another topical product. Another alternative is to supplement the topical product with another product that works internally, such as Capstar. Natural Flea Control Products We Recommend: Capstar for Dogs Over 25-lbs 6-count Capstar for Small Dogs and Cats 2-25-lbs 6-count Capstar for Small Dogs and Cats 2-25-lbs 60-count Based on the research conducted for our Flea Control book, however, we believe the best alternative is a natural one. We...

Common flea control products contain harmful chemicals

There are many commercial products available to prevent, control, and kill fleas, but the majority of these products contain unsafe, harmful ingredients. In fact, most commercially available pesticides contain toxic chemicals. Often these ingredients are toxic to the very animals they are supposed to protect – and can even do harm to you and...

Get Rid of Fleas with Salt! How to Kill Fleas…

When fleas infest your home, they can get everywhere; in fact, any place your dog or cat frequents, fleas will be present. Carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture are especially vulnerable to infestation. Adult fleas jump from animals to these surfaces and lay eggs. These eggs hatch as larvae that can get caught in carpet fibers, creating an on-going problem. Vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets and rugs will help, but there are natural treatments that can be even more effective. One of these treatments is safe and uses a common everyday substance – salt.  Yes, you can get rid of fleas with salt! The salt acts as a dehydration agent and dries out the bodies of the fleas. How to kill fleas using salt:  Obtain some highly refined household salt or sea salt. Make sure it is as finely ground as possible, almost to a powder consistency. Sprinkle it lightly but evenly over your carpet. Brush or rake it in. Leave this in your carpet for 12 to 48 hours, then vacuum thoroughly. Salt can attract moisture, so do not leave it in for very long in very hot or humid conditions.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with salty, wet carpet. For serious infestations, salt can be mixed together with boric acid. This chemical is found in a number of commercially-available products, such as Borax. Use the same technique as with refined salt; however, check with the carpet manufacturer to make sure your carpet can withstand boric acid. While boric acid is generally non-toxic, long-term, low-level exposure to boric acid can cause some health conditions in humans and pets, so this...

Flea allergy dermatitis: the most common dog allergy

Flea allergy dermatitis: the most common dog allergy “Harmless as a flea” may be a common expression but, unfortunately, fleas are not entirely harmless. At the very least, a flea bite will cause an animal to scratch. Because one flea is just a sign of many fleas, animals typically get multiple flea bites, which causes even more scratching. You may not think a few flea bites amount to much, but they can be a source of your pet’s constant scratching. If this scratching continues, the flea bites can become infected, and lead to a skin condition called flea allergy dermatitis.  A report by CNN indicates flea allergy dermatitis is a growing problem for pets. Flea bites are considerably worse if the dog or cat is allergic to the flea’s saliva. According to Sandra Diaz, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, the most common form of allergic reaction in dogs is to flea saliva.  In smaller sized animals such as puppies, and sometimes in young children, fleas can actually cause anemia. The host loses blood through the flea bites and excessive scratching and becomes anemic. Anemia is a serious condition if it remains untreated. Natural Flea Control Products We Recommend: Happy Tails Dry Dog Instant Clean Happy Tails Sparkle & Shine Shimmering Mist Happy Tails Healthy Skin Shiny Coat Dogs and cats can scratch flea bites until they bleed and even become infected. This just makes it easier for fleas to get more blood from their victim, so it really is a vicious circle for an untreated animal. One effective natural...

Diatomaceous Earth: A miracle cure for flea control?

Diatomaceous earth, sometimes referred to as “DE,” is a natural substance that is actually created from the remains of diatoms, microscopic water plants that are like algae. It contains such minerals as silicon, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. It has a consistency similar to talcum powder and is available at most garden suppliers. This is a remarkable substance that is a desiccant – it actually dries out the waxy outer layer of fleas so they dehydrate and eventually die. As an added benefit, diatomaceous earth can eliminate other insects. So yes, in some respects, it is a miracle cure for fleas. It’s a product we’re pretty proud of, and consider to be worth the investment in the long term, in the same way you’d invest in insulation. Never having to worry about fleas working their way deep into your home is a comforting thought for those with pets who love the outdoors. But even though diatomaceous earth is a natural substance, its dust is dangerous to breathe for both humans and animals. Using it requires gloves and a dust mask. Be certain to read any cautions that come with the product and use it only as directed. Outside the home, spread it around the foundation and entry points. Inside the home, spread it around windows, doorways, and baseboards and rub it into the carpet. If you use this method, always use gloves, a dust mask, and goggles, and leave the house for several hours after use. It is not safe to inhale this substance when any particles are floating in the air. Fish, birds, and animals should not be left...