Even when labels are read and instructions are followed, adverse reactions to flea product can happen. Call your vet immediately. Other resources are Animal Poison Control Center and Adverse Drug Reporting hotlines.
A shampoo, or "flea bath" is a good first attack on fleas for the pet that has large numbers of fleas visible on its body. Cats can be difficult to bathe. It is important to realize that a flea shampoo is not intended for lasting control. Many people are surprised when they see fleas and it was "only a week ago" that the pet had a flea bath. Shampoos are only effective for a day or less. They leave little residual chemical on the animal when properly used.·
Flea dips are strong chemical rinses to rid animals not only of fleas, but mites and ticks as well. Dips last approximately 1-2 weeks and leave a lot of chemical residue on the animal! ·
Flea collars work one of two ways - by emitting a toxic (to fleas, anyway) gas, and by being absorbed into the animal's subcutaneous fat layer. The toxic gas is usually only effective in the immediate area of the head and neck. This type of collar is best used in the vacuum cleaner bags to kill any fleas vacuumed up. The collars that absorb into the subcutaneous fat are much more effective. Flea collars are effective for adult fleas. ·
Flea powders and sprays
Flea powders and sprays offer short term (2-3 day) protection from fleas, and with some products, ticks and mites too. Powders and sprays have fallen out of favor recently with the newer spot-on treatments that are available. Most flea powders and sprays are only effective for adult fleas, some offer additional flea protection by inhibiting flea egg and larval development.·
There are several brand names. Please consult with your veterinarian for the best choice for your pet(s). These products are applied between the shoulder blades of the pet, and typically last about one month. Spot-on treatments are effective for adult fleas. Some include ingredients to inhibit the larva from emerging from the flea egg and some are active against larval development as well.·
Flea "pills" work by stopping the larva from emerging from the flea egg. There is also an injectable medication for cats. Fleas ingest the blood of animals on these medications, and the female fleas then lay eggs that are unable to hatch. They do NOT kill adult fleas. These medications are essential to break the flea life cycle and stop the flea problem when used in conjunction with flea adulticide treatments.