If you are a pet parent, the idea of fleas in your home can be a terrifying thought. Not only can it cause your pet to suffer, but it can also spread to other animals and humans in the home. Although fleas may seem harmless, they have been known to cause serious problems, such as tapeworms and Lyme disease, for your pets.
Whether your pet is displaying symptoms of these complications or not, you’ll want to take care of their fleas as soon as possible to avoid them getting sick and spreading the fleas to other animals.
Various Flea Treatment Options
How do you know what is the best way to get rid of fleas and which treatments are the most effective? Following are a variety of flea treatments that are known to work and which you may want to try if your home has been invaded by these highly destructive creatures:
- Oral medicine: Oral medicine for flea treatment provides complete treatment for the pet’s entire body. They usually come in a pill form and can be fed to your pet to avoid the mess of spot-on treatment.
- Spot-on treatment: Spot-on treatment is applied directly to the areas where the flea infestation is happening to provide relief, as well as prevent flea larvae developing.
- Special collars: There are different types of collars for treating fleas. One emits a type of scent that repels fleas, and another type goes into the pet’s skin to provide immediate insecticide to kill the fleas. Neither is harmful to your pet.
- Powders: Most flea treatment powders offer a more healthy and chemical-free option for pet owners who want to avoid bombarding their pet with chemical substances. Some pet-owners even like to make their own home-made powder using various powders and diatomaceous earth.
- Sprays: Sprays are often used to keep flea larvae from developing and last for a long time if the pet is not washed.
- Injections: A flea treatment that is injected every six months and is for controlling the number of fleas and stopping the eggs from growing.
How Well Do They Do Work?
Because various flea treatments provide your pet with different results, understanding how effective they are will depend on what you are looking for. For example, if your pet already has full-blown infestation of adult fleas, injections may not work that well for them. To help you choose which one is best for your situation, we’ve listed the various ways these flea treatments work and which is best for each stage of development:
- Oral medicines: Oral medicines are effective in stopping flea larvae from growing into adult fleas. They can be highly effective when used in conjunction with another treatment for eradicating adult fleas. Oral medicines are effective in ridding the whole body of fleas as they spread throughout the blood and are ingested by the fleas.
- Flea collars: There are some collars that can be effective in preventing the growth of larvae and eggs, but most them only work on fully-grown fleas.
- Injections: Medicinal injections can be used every six months and are effective in controlling flea outbreaks by killing the eggs. They work well in conjunction with other medications to rid the pet of adult fleas.
- Sprays: Sprays can be highly effective in eradicating flea larvae from your pet’s coat, especially if you don’t wash your pet on a regular basis.
- Powders: Powder treatments are effective in treating the flea problems for a few days, but aren’t the best for completely ridding your pet of the flea infestation.
- Spot-on treatments: Spot-on treatments are good for getting rid of adult fleas and they work well for minor infestations, but may not be as effective for full-blown problems. They last for about a month and depending on the ingredients, could also help to eradicate eggs and larvae.
- Collars: Whether you use a collar that emit a spray or the alternative which allow the treatment to be absorbed into the skin, you can rest assured that they will be effective in ridding your pet from their adult flea infestation.
How Long Do They Take?
Because some treatments are used for controlling flea growth and killing eggs while others are used for eradicating adult fleas, the time it takes to work may differs. To give you an idea of how long you can expect to wait before your pet is flea-free, we have compiled some rough estimates for each treatment:
- Oral medicine: Oral medicine works right away by killing the fleas as soon as they make contact and can last up to 30 days.
- Spot-on treatment: While it depends on the spot-on treatment that you choose, many of them work within 24 hours to kill the fleas on your pet’s body.
- Collars: This is a tricky one as it will typically take about 4 days to kill the fleas using this method, during which time a flea can reproduce. If you want to see quick results, it’s important to use a collar along with another type of flea medicine.
- Powders: Flea powders typically kill within hours, depending on the strength of the powder.
- Sprays: Some sprays are better than others, but the good ones will work within in 24 hours and can continue to work for an entire month.
- Injections: Injections usually kill the larvae upon contact, but it’s important to keep in mind that is only effective on eggs and not adult fleas.
Where Can They Receive Treatment?
You can give your dog oral medicine and spot-on treatment that has been recommended by their vet, as well as collars and powders and sprays. To get injections for your pet’s fleas, you will want to visit your vet. You can also make an anti-flea powder from different ingredients at home.
Cost and Comparison
Unfortunately, pet medications and treatments are typically costly. Injections are more costly than other flea treatments due to the need to have them done at your vet and other factors. If what you are looking for is an effective yet affordable medicine, the best one to get that will both kill larvae and adult fleas is oral medicine. They are typically more cost-effective than other medicines that only do one thing or the other.
Whichever type of medicine you choose to get rid of your pet’s fleas, it is important to clean your home and wash all of the fabrics and furniture that your pet may regularly come in contact with to ensure that you get them out of your home completely.