Flea Medicine and Time

Now that spring is here and summer is right around the corner, you may have noticed that the flies, ants, and other bugs are back, including fleas. If you’ve treated your pet but still notice that there are fleas around or they are still scratching, don’t panic. Even though it’s easy to think the medication must not be working or this new generation of fleas must be immune, chances are it’s more due to just time and making sure it is applied correctly. I treated my cats this week even though they are indoor only because I go to parks and have friends with pets and there is a small chance I could accidentally bring home fleas. It happened last summer and this year I decided to be more proactive.

There are several reasons why flea medication may not seem effective after one dose, here are a few common reasons why and what to do:

1: Failing to also treat the environment – adult fleas and eggs may be in your yard, carpet, and furniture. Treating your pet is one step but that doesn’t stop the eggs from hatching. If you haven’t treated every pet in your house, fleas may find that pet and bite her/him. Also, if your pet runs around in the parks, woods, or neighborhood they may encounter animals that have fleas and bring them home. Flea medication is meant to prevent fleas from living after biting a pet and make them also find your pet distasteful but it doesn’t mean they won’t hitch a ride.

2: Over-bathing can negate the flea medication – your pet has natural oils that form a layer on her/his skin and that is where the topical flea products go to work. Too many baths can wash away the oil and the product making it all ineffective. You may want to cut back on the romps in the lakes and muddy paths to space out baths throughout the summer. There are also soap free shampoos that you can use on your pet, talk to your vet.

3: One treatment isn’t enough – throughout the warmer months you need to apply the flea medication as directed. A flea’s life cycle and the time it takes for new eggs to hatch means the population sticks around for a while. It can take a few months before you see a decrease in the fleas around the parks, on other pets, and in your house if you’ve had an infestation. Stopping treatment too early can undo the hard work you’ve been doing so far. Continue keeping your place clean, treating your yard, and pets.

4: Some flea products “flush” fleas – Sometimes after applying a flea product you may see fleas on your pet’s fur. This is because the fleas are trying to get away from the treated pet and get away from the skin where they’ve been walking around. They may run across the outer fur instead and be more visible. It doesn’t mean your pet has more fleas, rather, it means the product is working.

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3 thoughts on “Flea Medicine and Time

  1. Thanks!
    Does anyone know of a “natural and SAFE” indoor product? I already use the oncce a month flea and tick control on my Dog, but this year ‘experts’ claim, is supposed to be pretty bad. Since our indoor Cat is allergic to flea & tick meds (and a lot of other stuff!) I wanted to be especially cautious..About 20 years ago, our Vet in FL. gave us a ‘flower and essence’ based powder to use on the carpet/floor cracks etc. It worked great and no ill effects on any of the pets or people. Now I can’t find anything like that, and the Vets in VA said they never heard of such a thing and “would not reccommend” something ‘natural.’
    Anyone have any knowledge of this? I forgot the product name.

  2. DC Millwater,

    You can use a laundry detergent, Borax. It is usually found in winn dixie. It will not harm the animals, you can leave it around the yard, house, and inddors also.
    I have found that is I bathe my pug in the original Skin So Soft in the bathtub, leave in on for a few minutes. Then is takes a few times of washing to get oily feeling off. Not more than 2 times, you want to leave the effects on the skin.
    You can use a natueal pet shampoo that I have found, that works very well. With the pepermint oil, tea tree oil, etc.
    The vet can give you a treatment called “Conformix” it is worth every penny.

    IF you treat your yard first, then outline the house with Borax. Do in interior of house also, and carpets, pet bedding wash your bedding with it also. Wash the pet with the above directions.
    Then you give the pet the Confortis-vet prescribed, this should clear up the infestation with in 2 treatments of the yard. Which should be done weekly or if it rains more often. You can not over protect the yard our the perimeter of the house on the outside. Carpets as often as you want to treat and vaccuum. By the second time you give the prescription of Confortis you should be free of most the fleas and ticks. The other good news is that the mosquitos are also repelled by it.

    Good Luck, hope this helps. I have used it and helped many others to treat help.
    best wishes
    Shannon Combee

  3. DC Millwater,
    A natural, safe, non toxic solution to treat carpets is diatemetous earth. It must be food grade. It is safe for people & pets. I purchases 10lbs. On line for $14.00 at earthworks health. I put it ina empty coffee can, poke holes in the lid & sprinkled on the carpet. Then it’s important to take a broom & work it into the carpet. How it works is that it affects the exoskeleton of the flea & they suffocate. Thefirst few days you may see mmore fleas jumping more visibly from the carpet. That’s because they’re trying to get away from it. After 4 days vacuum. Itmay take a couple of treatments, if its a bad infestation. This works! Good luck.