To go along with my previous post that outlined a plan of attack for tackling a true flea infestation, I thought it might be helpful to offer some suggestions about what products I have used in the past for each step of a flea infestation treatment. I live in a rural part of Texas and I am not too proud to say that fleas sometimes become a huge issue for me and everyone around me. It can be very hard to keep the population under control when there are so many wild animals nearby acting as great carriers.
Disclaimer: Some of the links to products go to a retailer that I trust and have ordered from in my veterinary work. I tend not to order Frontline and Capstar from Amazon because there is not always great transparency about where the product is coming from. For this reason I prefer to order from the same place my vet does.
Initial Treatment Options
The goal here is to eliminate any existing fleas on your dog as quickly as possible. I used to do this with a flea shampoo but that was only as reliable as my ability to get shampoo on every inch of my dog – if I missed any area you better believe that was the area all the fleas migrated to.
More recently, however, I’ve been using a product called Capstar. It is a one dose pill that kills any flea that bites your dog over the 24-hour period after the pill is administered. This product has truly been a game changer – it is so fast and foolproof and easy. The dosage is weight specific so be sure to get the appropriate package based on your dog.
A lot of topical flea prevention products are on the market but my favorite has always been Frontline. It’s easy and effective and can last up to 90 days so that makes it a win for me. The only things I have to remember with this are not to apply it right after a bath and not to bathe my dog right after application. I usually give myself a 2-day window both before and after application where no baths occur.
The brilliant thing about this duo is that you can give a Capstar one day and all the fleas die then you can apply Frontline the next day to maintain your flea-less state. No bath to get rid of fleas means no waiting period to apply the Frontline.
My next few recommendations all come from the same brand because they have a wide range of products to address several issues and, again, these were sold in the clinic and recommended by the vets. Treating the home requires a couple of steps. Fleas are very good at burrowing into carpet so a product that is dedicated solely to carpet should be included in your general treatment plan. I’ve had luck with this one:
It’s relatively easy – just sprinkle it over all carpeted areas, wait for the specified amount of time, then vacuum it up. In theory it kills the fleas and they get vacuumed up as well.
In addition to the carpet, all other areas should receive some type of treatment as well. The most efficient way to do this (though not always pleasant) is a fogger. The best way to approach using one of these is to buy several foggers (the number depends on how large your home is), set them up according to the instructions on the package, turn them on, then leave. For a while. The last time I had to use one of these I packed up and left for the weekend. This gave the fumes a chance to dissipate.
Okay now that we’ve eliminated fleas on the dog and in the house the last step is the yard. This is relatively simple – just get a yard spray dedicated to flea control and treat the yard. This one has worked for me in the past:
I cannot stress enough that if you truly have a flea infestation you need to fix the problem from several angles – just treating your dog won’t work because the fleas hiding in the yard and the carpet will come back to haunt you in round two. I have personally used all the products above and had great results but it will always be an ongoing problem for us since we live in a temperate area with lots of wildlife.
That being said, once the problem is under control, I rarely have to go through the entire process twice. Keeping up with the treatments for the dog and the yard seem to be a pretty good combination for maintenance. If you have any questions or want to share tips for how you have handled fleas at your home please leave a comment below – I am always interested to hear how other people tackle these issues.