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Health and Wellness

What to do with those ever troublesome fleas?
 
Published Friday, May 20, 2005

 

For the aide of all our website readers here is a list of ingredients that are sold to you for the aide of flea control, and what they really are. In alphabetical order:

ADULTICIDE: A substance that kills only adult fleas. Advantage: The generic name for the active ingredient in Advantage is “IMIDACLOPRID”. Amonthly spot;on prescription issued by your Vet. This prescription kills adult fleas on your pet. Imidacloprid interferes with the functioning of nerve cells in the flea’s body. It may leave an oily mark on your pet if they have short or silky hair. It should be reapplied if your pet gets wet to truly be 100% protective.

ALLETHRIN: A pyrethroid ingredient found in some over the counter products. See also “Pyrethroids”.

BORATE (BORIC ACID): a CRYSTALLINE POWDER THAT, WHEN ingested, kills flea larvae. It is applied only to carpets, ceramic tiles and baseboards. DO NOT APPY TO THE BODY OF YOUR PET. If you have a patio stoned area sweep this product into the cracks of the stone. Reapply after heavy rains. It is different from traditional flea powders, which usually contain a pyrethroid to paralyze or suffocate the flea.

CAPSTAR: See “Nitenpyram”.

CARBAMATES: See “Organophosphates”.

D-LIMONENE: An Herbal oil that repels fleas temporarily, but does not kill them. It is similar in this regard to tee tree oil, cedar oil, yeast and garlic.

DUCARBOXIMIDE (N-OCTYL-BICYCLOHEPTENE-DICARBOXIMIEDE): a synergist that helps many pyrethroids last longer and work better.

FIPRONIL: The generic name for the drug in Frontline, a monthly spot-on product available by prescription. Fipronil is similar to invermectin (see below) in mechanism. It is one of the few monthly products labeled for control of TICKS as well as fleas.

HEARTGUARD: A monthly chewable tablet for heartworm protection, available by prescription. Ivermectin (see below) is its active ingredient.

IMIDACLOPRID: The Generic name for the active ingredient in Advantage, a monthly spot -on prescription product that kills adult fleas on your pet. This ingredient interferes with the functioning of nerve cells in the flea’s body. It may leave an oily mark on pets with short or silky hair. It should be reapplied if the pet gets wet to be 100% effective.

INSET GROWTH REGULATORS: Products that prevent eggs from hatching or larvae/pupae from developing, but that do not kill fleas. These products may be applied to the premises, the pet, or taken internally by the pet, depending on the formulation. Some are prescription, some are nonprescription.

INTERCEPTOR: A monthly heartworm pill, available by prescription. See “Milbemycin”.

IVERMECTIN: A popular prescription pest-control drug that is best known as a treatment for heartworm.

LUFENURON: The generic name for a drug in Program and Sentinel, two insect growth regulators that are taken internally on a monthly basis, and are available by prescription. They interfere with the development of eggs and larvae, but do not kill fleas on the pet.

METHOPRENE: An insect growth regulator widely available to the OTC (over the counter) market. It interferes with flea reproduction, but does not kill fleas.

MIBEMYCIN: The generic name for a drug in Sentinel and Interceptor who prescription heartworm products. Milbemycin is chemically related to ivermectin.

MOXIDECTIN: The generic name for a prescription drug soon to be introduced as Proheart, a long acting injectable for heartworm control, but not flea control.

NITENPYRAM: The generic name for a drug in Capstar, a prescription adulticide flea pill for dogs or cats.

NYLAR: See “Pyriproxyfen”. OPS: Organophosphates (see below).

ORGANOPHOSPHATES: A general class of insecticides that are similar to, or derived from, a natural insecticide obtained from the African chrysanthemum. Pyrethroids slow insect nerve transmissions and paralyze the flea. Some have good “knock down” or quick kill characteristics. Examples include pyrethrin, permethrin, allethrin, resmethrin, tetramethrin and sumithrin (d-phenothrin), which often are found in nonprescription sprays, shampoos and foams. Foams work well for cats that are nervous about sprays. Shampooing is the overall best result a sprays and foams often miss areas. Weekly spray treatment thereafter work well for both dogs and cats. Combine with an insect growth regulator for an ongoing flea problem. Pyrethroid sprays can repel mosquitoes that are pestering the dog or cat, but are not suitable for preventing heartworm disease.

PROHEART 6: The main ingredient is moxidectin. Proheart 6 is Canada's first and only injectable heartworm preventative that provides protection for a full season for dogs six months and older protecting your animal from the host of heartworm which is the mosquito. In addition to heartworm, ProHeart 6 is also indicated for the treatment of canine hookworms Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala.

PYRIPROXYFEN: An insect growth regulator sold as Nylar.

REVOLUTION: See “Selamectin”.

SELAMECTIN: The generic name for the drug in Revolution, a spot-on heartworm product for dogs and cats that is available by prescription. Its active ingredient is similar to invermectin, so the product also provides some protection against fleas.

SENTINEL: See “lufenuron”.

SYNERGIST: Ingredients (dicarboximide and piperonyl Butoxide) found in most pyrethroid products to enhance and protect their action.

Confused? You should be after reading all that! The type of product(s) needed varies from region to region.

Things to remember: Fleas have a longer “season” than do mosquitoes (which transmit heartworm). Also, heartworm infection is still rare in some areas (ask you local veterinarian how often it is diagnosed in your region). Monthly systemic products that are made for dogs only cannot be used in households shared by dogs and cats. Cats are sensitive to higher concentrations of many popular flea agents; make certain your Vet knows you have cats! Some monthly spot-on medications may diminish in effectiveness over the month. At 21 days, one of these products has a kill rate of only 72 percent. Even one surviving flea can lay 40 to 50 eggs per day for up to 100 days.


 



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