Photo by Melody

Fleas on Pets and in the Garden- a Treatment Overview

By Geoff Stein (palmbobFebruary 24, 2011
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Fleas will be with us forever. But there are effective ways to keep them away. This article talks about what works and what doesn't, both on your pet and in your garden.

Gardening picture 

Fleas are a ubiquitous parasite that just about everyone who owns a pet knows at least something about.  This article is about what they are, how to control them on your pets, in your home and in the yard, along with some discussion of erroneous information about their control that one runs into often on the internet.

There are many species of flea but only one really affects us and our pets, the cat flea.  Dog fleas are nearly extinct thanks to the cat flea's superior reproductive and feeding strategies.  Cat fleas infest all sorts of animals including just about all mammals (even us, but only if forced to) and even birds.  About the only other flea one might likely encounter on their pets are rat fleas (rare, but the bad guy behind the Black Plague in Europe centuries ago) and bird fleas (aka ‘stick-tight fleas).  The latter look like miniature cat fleas but act more like ticks, just sticking to the fur and not moving around at all.  You might find these on your dog or cat if she has been raiding bird nests, or have had a bird in their mouth recently.  The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is a blood sucking parasite that has an amazing ability to adapt to cold, heat, drought, humidity, lack of food sources etc. that is almost awe-inspiring.  This tenacious parasite has several life stages from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult, with the first and third stages being the toughest ones for us to deal with (at least in terms of getting rid of them).  The third life stage, the pupa, is nearly indestructible (at least to our toxins) and can survive for many months in just about any environment (except extreme cold and full sun).  Yet at the slightest touch or sensation of a mammal's presence or heat, the adults can pop out of these pupae like popcorn and feed immediately. 

 cat flea photo Wikipedia

Once on a pet, the cat flea lives its life there, leaving the pet only if scratched off (or forcibly removed in some other way, such as bathed or combed off) or dead of old age.  However eggs readily fall off into the environment and hatch when the time is right (usually very soon).  A cat flea can lay up to 50 eggs or over 1000 eggs in her lifetime (several months).  Multiply this by the number of fleas often found on pets and that's a LOT of eggs that fall into the carpet or in the yard.  The eggs hatch into small larvae that are vulnerable to desiccation, heat, drought, light, toxins etc.  This is one of the weak links in a flea life cycle, but not an easy one to find, unfortunately.  Then the pupal stage, (sort of like the cocoon stage of a butterflies life) lasts a very variable length of time (3 days up to a year). 

The flea eggs are white, egg-shaped objects smaller than the head of a pin, but visible to the naked eye.  These are usually only seen in long-haired pets, or on pets with severe infestations.  Put your dog or cat on a dark blanket and rub the coat back and forth.  You can sometimes see the eggs come off- they can be popped under your fingernail with little effort.  Flea larvae are very tiny caterpillar-like creatures and almost never seen, and flea pupae are rarely seen, either.  The adult fleas are small, dark brown and move quickly through the pet's coat (or hop onto your socks if there are large numbers in the carpet and yard)- you can easily see them if you are wearing white socks.  The other identifiable objects one can see in flea infestations is what is we call, euphemistically, flea dirt (dried feces basically of digested blood).  This is a black, dirt-like debris often found on your pet, usually near the rump mostly and can be seen when your pet's fur is rubbed back and forth and standing on a white sheet.

Fleas on your pets can cause a long list of problems starting with simple blood loss (even fatal anemia) if present in high numbers, to a variety of blood parasites and bacteria they can carry, and even severe allergic skin disease.  In fact the most common allergy seen in the pet cat and dog is the flea allergy (allergy to flea saliva)- far more common than any food allergy or even environmental allergy.  The veterinary and pet industries make millions, if not billions, of dollars a year on trying to control fleas on your pet and in the yard.  I think there must be more products made to kill fleas and prevent flea infestations than just about any other category of pet product (aside from pet food) in existence

Topical and Oral Flea Products    

Back when I first got out of veterinary school, we were basically in the infancy of trying to control flea infestations on our pets and in our environments.  There were dozens and dozens of shampoos, powders, sprays, spot-ons, and collars, all fairly toxic not only to the fleas but to us and our pets as well (though thankfully to a lesser degree).  Unfortunately fleas had developed some degree of resistance to almost all of these toxins and battling fleas was a constant effort.  We shampooed them, we combed them, we applied leave-on products and we treated our houses and yards with all sorts of poisons and products.  The effect was, if enough effort was applied, a stand-off.  Some products stood out as being more effective than others, though.  Organophosphates, carbamates, and the many related poisons were the initial mainstays against fleas.  All these products ended up being rather toxic to children and pets, and have, for the most part, been replaced today, though some are still on the market.  Then  the pyrethrins and pyrethroids (synthetic pyrethrins) became the main stays of control in most cases.   About the only one of these ingredients in full use still today are the pyrethroids, synthetic versions of pyrethrins, a ‘natural' product derived from Chrysanthemums.  All are fairly toxic to children and pets and should be used extremely carefully.  Pyrethroids are relatively non-toxic to dogs, but very toxic to cats, so be sure you don't use these products on them.  Unfortunately most of the cheap over-the-counter (OTC) products have pyrethroids in them and sometimes pet owners like to ignore the big warnings all over the packages that these are NOT cat products.  But even small dogs frequently become toxic with these products, even sometimes if not overdosed.  There are many other excellent and safer options today.

 kitten

cats, and especially kittens, are hightly sensitive to nearly all the older OTC flea products.

cat safe product

This 'spot on' is one of over a dozen brands designed specifically for cats, and though it does contain a pyrethroid (Etofenprox), it is in much lower dose that what would normally be applied to a dog so it does have a much higher safety factor (but probably lower effectiveness as well) than the canine products have.  This product also has an IGR (insect growth regulator- see below) which is a very safe product indeed, but does not kill fleas directly.

The first products that actually had a real effect on flea control during my years as a veterinarian were the insect growth regulators.  These products did NOT kill fleas at all, but rendered them completely sterile.  This may not sound like a great breakthrough, particularly in light of today's very effective flea-killing products, but it was huge progress back in the 1980s and actually really knocked out flea populations effectively and extremely safely.  These products were the first truly safe products that worked.  Many of today's products still have these in them (see chart below).

Then, about 15 years ago, a product that had been used in agriculture for years, and commonly found in the garden section of your local nursery, was reformulated for dogs and cats and actually had a nearly 100% effectiveness killing fleas fairly rapidly, and was incredibly safe for mammals (Imadcloprid).  This product, and many of the newer spot-on products since, have seriously revolutionized the battle against fleas.  No longer were we just at a stale mate, but now had something that was easy, safe and effective.  The battle of course continues, but it is much easier to win nowadays.  Now there are at least half a dozen safe, effective and simple products to use on fleas from spot-ons (topical preparations in very small tubes applied to the skin and either absorbed immediately or spread across the skin's surface) to oral medications (see chart below).  It is interesting and ironic that the safest flea products available are the ones you need a prescription for from the veterinarian, while the much more dangerous ones are the ones sold over the counter (OTC) and can be purchased by anyone at any age.  You would think it really should be the other way around.

 advantage

This product was the first out that contained topical product that actually proved SAFE and EFFECTIVE killing fleas rapidly.  Now there are over a half dozen equally effective and safe products on the market

These products are divided into two completely different categories as far as the FDA is concerned.  One category include the pesticides.  These are the products that primarily work on the surface of the pet or on the environment (area sprays, dessicants, shampoos, collars, some spot-ons, bombs, yard sprays etc.).   These are not considered drugs and are not restricted by the FDA, but the EPA.  These do not and never did need a doctor's prescription for use.  The other products are the internally effective ones (oral and spot-ons).  Since these are considered drugs, they need a prescription, and possibly always will.  Many associate drugs with toxicity, and topicals with safety.  However, in most cases, the topicals are the much more toxic products while the drugs being used today for flea control are far safer and much less toxic.  This confusion and resulting fear and even paranoia has lead many pet owners to avoid these safer veterinary products and to rely more heavily on either the highly toxic inexpensive pesticides, or upon products that have no effectiveness at all (such as most, if not all, ‘natural' products).  See chart below for summary of these products.

 pesticide sentinel

the product on the left is a topical product that is considered a pesticide, even though it does get absorbed into the pet's system, so it is controlled by the EPA;  The product on the right is a prescription drug for fleas (and heartworms, primarily) and is under FDA control.  The first product is OTC at a pet store while the latter product can only be purchased through a veterinarian.

Fleas in the yard

This is a weak link in the circle of flea control on most pet animals that go outdoors.  Indoor animals can often be treated 1-2 months with some of the better flea control products and that will be the end of the problem.  However, outdoor pets are exposed to an endless potential source of fleas from roaming cats and other dogs that come into the yard, as well as wild animals that often carry and drop flea eggs (cats and opossums tend to be the largest contributors to the flea-egg load in most rural and suburban yards).   Most home-owners efforts seem erroneously aimed at killing fleas in the lawn, where fleas are actually the LEAST likely to be found anywhere on the entire yard (including indoors).  Fleas do NOT like sunlight and lawns are generally in full sun.  So the last place one should put any effort into ridding fleas in the yard is the lawn.  Fleas like shade and so do most pets for that matter.  So where cats and dogs are sleeping or avoiding the sun, or wild animals are spending most of their time, is where one should concentrate their efforts at controlling the yard fleas.  These are under shrubs, on the porch and alongside the house and the perimeter of the property.

 squirrel  dave 

Some wildlife are among the weak links to keeping fleas out of the yard;  lawns are the last place to look (and treat) for fleas.

Newer topical and oral products work so well in killing fleas that many times yard treatment is unnecessary, since the pet will act as a flea magnet and go about the yard killing the fleas by just having them jump on the pet.  This will unfortunately involve some infestation time and owners will see fleas on their pets over and over again.  This frustrating situation is the primary cause of most owners wrongly concluding that the current flea products being used on their pets are not working.  This incorrect assumption is what leads most owners to trying out other less effective over-the-counter (OTC) products that are also often more toxic and dangerous.  I have heard over and over again how this or that product sold to them by a veterinarian no longer is working on their pet and I know that it simply is not true.  There is very little to no evidence (yet) of resistance to any of the newer, safer and more effective products (though that possibility is always a concern). The problems are with owners expectations- most expect an instant kill, which most products do not deliver.  And most owners also expect to never see another flea on their pet again, which is simply unrealistic and cannot possibly happen if there is an endless source of fleas in their yards.

 yard sprays yard spray 2

some products that can be used on the yard specifically for fleas.  There is some degree of resistance in many flea populations to all these products, however, and most of the products will eliminate most other insect life as well

If one is overwhelmed with outdoor fleas, there are numerous products on the market for this problem.  Unfortunately the emphasis and research on flea control over the last twenty years has been on products given directly to the pet.  There are really few new environmental products, and most involve relatively toxic poisons from which many fleas have developed at least some resistance.  Additionally all environmental flea products are fairly nonspecific in their spectrum and will easily kill beneficial insects and arachnids as well.  Fortunately fleas tend to live on the ground, so product application should only be on the ground, not on bushes, trees and flowers where bees might be affected.  As mentioned already, owners should concentrate their yard efforts on the shady areas nearest the house, or anywhere their pets sleep in the yard.  Some efforts might also concentrated on the yard perimeter, as that is usually where cats and opossums walk along and drop flea eggs into the yard.

 pussy on bench pussy on wall

resting spots in the shade are where most fleas end up in the yard;  cats walking along perimeters tend to drop a lot of flea eggs there.

The following table is an incomplete list of the chemicals and products used to treat fleas on your pet and in the yard and includes relative effectiveness, safety (toxicity), frequency of application, prescription etc.  Note: Hazard numbers are rough estimates only.

 

Chemical Name

Some Common Names

Class of toxin or General Category

Hazard to Pet (1- minimal, 10- dangerous)

Hazard to non-target species

Form/Use

Prescription or OTC

Imidacloprid

Advantage, Premise, Marathon

Nicatinoid

1

3

Topical/ yard

‘OTC'

Fipronil

Frontline, Termidor

GABA receptor blocker

1

4

Topical/ yard

‘OTC'

Selamectin

Revolution

Avermectin

1

2

Topical

Rx

Spinosad

Comfortis

Spynosin

1

2

Oral/ yard

Rx/ OTC

Nitenpyram

Capstar

Nicatinoid

1

2

Oral

Rx

Dinotefuran

Vectra

Nicatinoid

1

1

Topical

‘Rx' for now

Metaflumizone

Promeris

Semicarbazone

1

1

Topical

Rx

Lufeneron

Program

IGR

0

1

Oral

Rx for now

S-Methoprene

Precor, Frontline Plus

IGR

0

1

Topical

Rx

Boric Acid

Many

Inorganic compound

2

2

House

OTC

Diatomaceious Earth

many

Inorganic compound

2

2

House/yard

OTC

Dichlorvos

Vapona

Organophosphate

8

8

Topical/house

yard

OTC, but partially banned

Tyrichlorfon

Neguvon etc

Organophosphate

6

8

Topical/house

OTC

Chlopyrifos

Dursban

Organophosphate

6

8

Topical/yard

OTC

Phosmet

Phosmet

Organophosphate

6

8

Topical/yard

OTC

Diazinon

Knox-out

Organophosphate

6

8

Topical

House/yard

OTC

Malathion

 

Organophosphate

5

8

House/yard

OTC

Tetrachlorvin-

phos

Rabon

Organophosphate

7

8

Topical

OTC

Carbaryl

Sevin

Carbamate

5

5

Topical/yard

OTC

Propoxur

Baygon

Carbamate

5

5

yard

OTC

Pyrethrin

 

Pyrethrin

3

3

Topical/yard

OTC

Permethrin

Biospot, in Vectra 3D and Advantix

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical/yard

OTC or Rx

Resmethrin

many

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical/house

and yard

OTC

Etofenprox

Biospot for cats

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical

OTC

Cyphonthrin

Sargent's

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical

OTC

Phenothrin

Hartz

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical

OTC

Cyfluthin

Tempo

Pyrethroid

4

4

House/yard

OTC

Deltamethrin

Suspend

Pyrethroid

4

4

Topical/house

and yard

OTC

Rotenone

 

Plant extract

3

6

Topical/yard

OTC

d-Limonene

Flea-Stop

Botanical

4

2

Topical

OTC

Citronella

Avon Skin-

So-Soft

Botanical

1

2

Topical

OTC

Garlic

 

Botanical

2

0

Oral

OTC

Eucalyptus

 

Botanical

3

1

Topical

OTC

B12

Yeast Extract

Vitamin

0

0

Oral

OTC

 

The Organophosphates, as a group, are relatively toxic products and even small overexposures can lead to acute medical emergencies.  At least there are some antidotes for organophosphates available today at many veterinary hospitals.  Carbamates are related compounds, though slightly less toxic over all, but cause the same sorts of symptoms.  There really are no antidotes for carbamate poisoning.  Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, though still available here and there, and sometimes found in garden products, are especially toxic to cats and should be avoided completely if one has cats.  DDT is in this category though was never, as far as I know, used for flea treatment specifically.  DDT is one of the least toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons, though.  Pyrethrins (‘natural'poison produced  by Chrysanthemums), pyrethroids (the synthetic forms of pyrethrins more often found in flea products) and piperonyl butoxide (a synergist) are still found in a lot of flea and garden products today.  These products, when used as ‘spot-ons', despite  their non-drug categorization, are absorbed readily in the system and can cause significant poisoning that way, particularly in cats.  For most dogs, these products are among the least toxic OTC products, but I still see poisonings frequently with these sorts of poisonings, particularly in smaller dogs (and VERY often in cats).  Today, the pyrethroid products kill more dogs and cats than all the other flea products combined (primarily due to the other OTC products mostly taken off the market).  Be careful if you decide to use one of these products!  There is a huge flea resistance issue with all these OTC products as well.

This link discusses some of the dangers of these OTC products:  http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/flea_tick_OTC_pet_products.html

poisons  more poisons

 toxins 

Just some of the toxic stuff for the yard and home that have some effectiveness against fleas.  Careful with most of this stuff! Some of these products (all found at large garden outlet stores) have organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethrins in them.  Note, do NOT apply any products that you get at a home and garden outlet store directly on your pet... these are strictly premise and yard poisons.  Go to pet stores are veterinary hospitals for products meant to be put on pets.

pet store products This shot is of just some of the overwhelming variety of flea products sold at this particular pet store.  Most of these contain pyrethrins or 'natural' oils and are 'a bit' safer than the garden products (since these are actually meant to be used directly on your pet) but are really not that much more effective and still have numbers of safety and/or effectivity issues.

 pyrethrin products more pyrethrins

These sprays, powders and shampoos nearly all contain pyrethrins.  I really do not know if there are actually any differences between them

 spot ons spot on 2

 spot on 3 spot on with IGR

Just four examples of half a dozen that are available as OTC spot ons containing pyrethrins FOR DOGS ONLY (but often, accidently or erronously used on cats, often with disastrous consequences).  The last product on lower right also contains an IGR, possibly in attempt to make this product look more like some of the newer prescription products or those recently also sold OTC (but much more costly).

 cat products

cat spot ons

 these feline products also contain pyrethroids, but lower toxicty ones and at lower concentrations

Some inorganic products have been used for fleas, too, some very successfully.  These products are OTC, or used by professional exterminators, and applied to carpeting, furniture or in yards and barns as non-specific arthropod killers, acting by desiccating them.  Though often advertised as 100% safe (which they are if used properly), they can, if inhaled, be very irritating and toxic, and can result in death if breathed in liberally.  Read instructions!

 borax

The product on the left is one of dozens of Borax containing OTC products that are used as a flea dessicant, made for applying onto the carpet (some also say they can applied outdoors in barns, stables and even lawns)

The newer pesticides include Imidacloprid, as mentioned above.  This is an insecticide only (does not kill ticks or mites) that has a very high degree of safety for both dogs and cats (and most other vertebrates) and is extremely effective against fleas.  However, careless use in the garden with products containing Imidacloprid can result in significant bee deaths.  In the garden it is used as a systemic (plants absorb it in their roots) but on animals it is used only as a topical and it is not absorbed into the system at all. Fipronil is another relatively new and extremely safe and effective flea product that does have some affectivity against mites and ticks.  This product is particularly toxic to fish, however and should not be put on dogs that like to then swim in the koi pond.  It is also toxic to birds, though some much more than others.  For some reason, rabbits also seem sensitive to this product so it is not recommend for use on rabbits, or rodents.  I have not seen garden products with Fipronil in them but they exist, and it is used in agricultural pest control. Dinotefuran is one of the newest topical products that have good safety as well as affectivity.  It is somewhat related to Imidacloprid.  I don't know much else about this one, but I also know nothing bad about it, either.

 frontline advantix

The product on the left contians Firponil and is among one of the safest, most effective products available, and one of the few OTC products that are in this category.  The product on the right is NOT the same as Advantage (notice the spelling difference!) and though it contains imidicloprid, a very safe and effective product that can be used on cats, this one also has pyrethrins in it and is a DOG PRODUCT ONLY.  Unfortunately many pet owners fail to notice the package warnings and put this on thier cats, again often with disastrous results.  This is also sold over the counter (OTC) nowadays.

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) include a category of extremely safe insecticides that are among the safest of all the flea products.  These are absorbed into the system, but somehow are not regulated by the FDA, and exist in OTC products.  These do not, however, kill fleas.  The sterilize them effectively breaking the reproductive cycle.  Most owners have not been happy with these as sole treatments for fleas, however as it takes months for a ‘kill' to be realized and today's consumers do not have that sort of patience when there are far more effective and rapidly- acting products available.  But some flea products have insect growth regulators in them as well.

 program

this was the very first Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) sold on the market (that I know of) specifically for fleas.  It is an oral product and is extremely safe.  This product revolutioned flea control and was the first truly effective flea product. However, it does NOT kill fleas directly.  Now there are several IGRs in various prescription and OTC flea products.

These last products mentioned here are all prescription medications for flea control and cannot be found OTC (at least not legally).  Selamectin is a product that is applied topically and is rapidly absorbed into the pet's bloodstream.  This product is very effective in killing fleas (nearly 100%), but it also prevents heartworms, many intestinal worms, and gets rid of mites and many ticks as well.   Nitenpyram is an extremely fast-acting flea product taken orally, resulting in about 100% kill in less than an hour after ingestion.  It is very safe and often used as a flea killer in small kittens and puppies.  Its primary disadvantage is it only lasts for twenty four hours, so its uses are primarily limited to an initial phase in a flea control plan.  Spinosad is another ‘natural' product that has an amazingly rapid kill rate when taken orally as well, only this product's affectivity lasts up to a month or more.  One can find Spinosad commonly in garden insecticides as well, often marketed as a ‘greener' product.  Metaflumizone is one of the newest drugs sold for flea control on the market- another topical product.  It appears to not only be very safe and effective, but seems to have a longer period of effectiveness than most other topical flea products.

 revolution capstar

on the left is the Selemectin product, a prescription spot on;  right is the oral Nitenpyram product

 comfortis promeris

left is one of several Spinosad brands on the market; and right is the Metaflumizone product- both prescription only

 spinosad product

I include this photo of some garden products to show the product on the left, which is also Spinosad, but NOT in a formulation meant for applying onto pets (though how dangerous or effective that would be I have no idea). 

Resistance to any of the newer products has not been realized to this date (2011) but rumors of some resistance to Imidacloprid and Fipronil have been going around.  Whether this is an impression of owners or a real trend is unknown, but for now, there has been no proven resistance to these products.  There is plenty of resistance problems with all the OTC products. 

Natural products are very popular due to their perceived low toxicity (NOT always the case!) and good effectivity (NEVER the case).  But there is something attractive about the word 'natural' so these products will continue to remain popular no matter how useless or even dangerous they are.  Studies done on Brewer's yeast, garlic, witch hazel and essential oils have proven beyond a doubt that these products have minimal to no activity against fleas whatsoever.  There has been a lot of talk about dozens of other holistic or natural products on line that claim to work against fleas, but none have either gone through, or passed, any serious testing.  One product I had some hope for years ago before the newer products came out, was Avon Skin-So-Soft as it seemed to have a good anti-mosquito activity.  Turns out the ingredient that was working was citronella, a nearly useless product in the fight against fleas.  There is no way my discussion of these ‘natural' products and their complete and total lack of effectiveness will convince everyone that these products are a waste of time and money- many will still need to try them anyway and make their own conclusions. 

citronella

Among these myriad pet store flea products is a spray-on product with citronella in it.  I cannot comment on its safety, but its effectiveness is definitely in question when it comes to repelling fleas, though it might work great for mosquitoes

 natural products

naturals

'natural' products for flea control are very popular and most are probably relatively safe (though careful with the Limonene products!), but also relatively ineffective

'Biocontrol' is one area of flea control in the yard that had some promise, and still seems to have some degree of effectiveness in  the proper climate and soil type.  Certain parasitic nematodes, sold for this purpose, will feed on flea larvae outdoors.  The problems encountered with these nematodes is they seem to only survive in very humid climates and sandy soils, and they have a relatively short lifespan, so need to be replenished periodically.  Also, they certainly need to be put in areas where the flea larvae most likely are (not in the lawn where most people seem to want to put them)- shady, moist areas where pets and wildlife are apt to spend most of their time resting and scratching off the eggs.  These are at least 'safe and natural', but the hopes for them being a great flea control method seem not to have been realized.

And one should know that just because something is described as ‘natural', or a ‘plant extract' does not make it any safer.  In fact, some of the plant extracts and plant materials are much more toxic to cats and dogs than are some of the ‘chemical' products listed above that have a good safety record.  For example, Rotenone is very toxic plant extract.  Limonene is a citrus oil that is highly toxic to cats.  Garlic is toxic to both cats and dogs (there is controversy on the amount of garlic it takes to make dogs sick, though cats seem much more sensitive.  Some dogs seem able to ingest quite a bit of garlic without getting anemic, while others only require small amounts- be cautious either way!).  Pyrethrin, another plant extract, can be toxic to cats.  Essential oils (eg . tea tree oil and pennyroil) are also quite toxic to cats.  So if you insist on using holistic methods to control fleas on your pet and in the yard, at least avoid the toxic products and be ready for some disappointing results.

Here is a typical article about 'natural' flea control that discusses some useful products (diatomaceous earth) and useless ones as well (nematodes, garlic and brewer's yeast).  Note  that this article also claims most fleas are found in your home, not on your pet.  This is completely false information so it is not a stretch to conclude their has been little if any research to back up the remainder of their 'facts' as well.

http://eartheasy.com/live_natural_flea_control.html

garlic photo Wikipedia

Garlic is often perceived as a 'cure-all' and certainly been touted for use against fleas (both orally and topically).  Stay away from these products!  They do not work at all and they are potentially toxic to both cats and dogs.

So if you are overrun by fleas, both on your pet and in your yard, you can see from the above discussion that there are certainly plenty of options and strategies for contolling them.  Fleas will, however, probably be with us forever and perhaps even after we are gone.  All we can hope for is to keep them under control and provide our pets with the best quality of life possible.


  About Geoff Stein  
Geoff SteinVeterinarian and Exotic Plant Lover... and obsessive, compulsive collector of all oddball tropical and desert plants.

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Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
No Fleas, No Pesticides Indigokitty 1 19 Mar 8, 2011 3:22 PM
Good advice DameAnneWorthit 0 11 Mar 3, 2011 11:33 AM
Finally, a little hope! Sundownr 0 12 Mar 2, 2011 10:24 PM
What about Cedarcide? dianne99 1 18 Mar 2, 2011 7:08 AM
Great!!! otisbird 0 13 Mar 1, 2011 1:23 AM
Fleas Bellababy 0 17 Feb 28, 2011 9:16 PM
Great Article! KLowe 0 16 Feb 28, 2011 4:02 PM
Absolute must read for pet owners Adaylilyfan 6 74 Feb 28, 2011 2:50 PM
diatomaceous earth dun1kirk 1 23 Feb 28, 2011 2:45 PM
Geof Stein Article About Fleas gammill 0 15 Feb 28, 2011 2:27 PM
new product that really really works! lildinks 3 54 Feb 28, 2011 11:29 AM
Flea solutions for cats and kittens earlyburd 0 22 Feb 28, 2011 10:15 AM
Flea Solutions irishfairy 1 25 Feb 28, 2011 8:18 AM
Thanks for info! thea611 0 16 Feb 28, 2011 7:50 AM
Will share with friends digger9083 0 19 Feb 24, 2011 3:46 PM
Excellent!! catzgalore 0 18 Feb 24, 2011 3:05 PM
Well Done! darius 1 29 Feb 24, 2011 10:05 AM
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