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Selecting Effective Flea And Tick Control

Part of a series on pet parasites


Courtesy of
Farnam Pet Products

Fourth in a 5 part series on pet parasites

Part I - Danger Lurks!
Part II - Glossary
Part III - Keep parasites away
Part IV - There's No Place Like Home...Yours!
Part V - Fighting Fleas & Ticks

Flea and Tick lifecycles
All text & images ©
Farnam Pet Products

With 62 percent of households owning pets - 68 million dogs and 73 million cats in the U.S. - it's no wonder that it sometimes seems like a continuous problem with flea and tick infestation. Even the most diligent pet owner can't eliminate the risk of fleas or ticks, and when preventive methods fail, it's time to get tough with these parasites.

Fighting on Several Fronts
Putting a stop to a flea or tick infestation requires treating the pet itself, home, yard and sometimes the car. Simply eliminating adult fleas and ticks from a pet may not be sufficient because eggs and larvae may be hiding in carpeting, bedding, upholstery and in cracks in doors, windows and floors. The maturation process may take months, so thoroughness and perseverance are key to effectively eliminating fleas and ticks.

Choosing Your Parasite Control Products
Products that aid in flea and tick control come in many forms, including shampoos, spot-ons, sprays, wipes, dips, collars, foggers and dusts. Some act as repellents; some kill adult fleas and ticks; and some attack the immature fleas, preventing them from developing into adults that reproduce and continue the life cycle. Some products do all three. To select the best product, always read the label carefully, follow directions exactly, and never use products intended only for dogs on cats. Flea and tick control products are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and are available through pet supply stores and catalogs, over the Internet and through veterinarians.

An Effective Plan
Adulticides are compounds that kill and repel adult fleas, ticks and other insects. Pyrethrins, extracted from the flowers of Chrysanthamums, and permethrin, a synthetic form of pyrethrin, are among the most effective and commonly used adulticides. However, permethrin CANNOT be used on cats and is not found in cat-specific products. Insect growth regulators (IGRs), such as Nylar®, mimic a naturally occurring insect hormone that interferes with normal flea development, preventing immature pests from becoming adults that reproduce and continue the life cycle.

Products such as Bio Spot® Spot-On Flea & Tick Control for Dogs and Adams™ Flea & Tick Mist with Sykillstop™ contain both an adulticide and an IGR. They repel and kill adult fleas, ticks and mosquitoes and also eliminate flea eggs and larvae. Bio Spot® Stripe-On™ Flea Control for Cats & Ferrets contains an IGR plus Flea Halt!™ towelettes that control adult fleas. Other on-animal treatment options include flea and tick shampoos, mist-on sprays, dusts, dips and collars. For those who prefer an alternative, Gentle Touch™ Flea Drops for both dogs and cats help kill and repel fleas using natural ingredients.

To assure the effectiveness of spot-on flea control products, it is important not to wash them off when shampooing the pet. Bio Guard® is a gentle, water-based pet shampoo specially formulated so as not to wash out spot-on flea control products.

For a comprehensive approach to eliminating pests, Adams™ carries a broad line of products to treat the premises as well. Adams' carpet powder, carpet spray and room fogger all kill adult fleas, ticks and other pests and contain an IGR to kill flea eggs and larvae. Adams Yard Spray concentrate is used with a hose-end sprayer to kill pests in yards.

For more information about the proper use of flea and tick products, go to www.farnampet.com. For information about Farnam Pet Products, For Healthier, Happier Pets™, in the U.S. call toll free at (800) 234-2269 or direct at (602) 285-1660.

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®Nylar is a registered trademark of McLaughlin Gormley King Co.

See Also:
All About Fleas

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