Is your pet scratching or chewing on himself? Does your pet have places where the hair is missing, or the skin looks inflamed? Can you see black dirt on your light colored pet? If you comb your pet with a flea comb, do you see fleas or flea dirt caught in the comb? All the above are signs of a pet with fleas.

Today your family's veterinarian can assist you with a safe, easy, and effective means of controlling fleas on the family pet. You no longer have to risk being scratched by the family cat or chase the dog throughout the house trying to spray it with a flea spray that might last for only a few days. The war against fleas should be fought on all fronts. First you need to decide the severity of the flea problem. If many animals have lived in your house with little or no flea control, you probably have an entrenched flea problem which will require treating both your animals and the surroundings. If you have just acquired a pet, your veterinarian can help you prevent a flea colony from being established in your household.

Killing Fleas Indoors

First thoroughly vacuum all rugs and upholstery. Wash or dispose of the pet's bed. Fleas lay their eggs in your rugs and sofas not on your pet. Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag outside of your home; otherwise the eggs will hatch in the sweeper bag. Sprinkle all carpets with Borax, and sweep into the carpet with a broom. Revacuum the carpet. The Borax will dehydrate the fleas; it will not damage the carpet. For severe infestation, consider using a premises spray or a flea bomb. Your veterinarian can help you choose the appropriate product. Remember to ventilate the area after using any insecticide, and never use a premises spray directly on your pet.

Killing Fleas on Your Pet

New treatments available only through a veterinarian effectively and safely kill fleas on your pet or prevent fleas from propagating.

Introduced by Bayer in April 1996, Advantage is a topical solution that kills 98-100 percent of adult fleas within 12 hours of application. Advantage kills fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs -- and with no eggs, there are no larvae, therefore breaking the flea life cycle. Additionally, fleas that jump on a treated pet are killed within two hours. One convenient treatment lasts one month. Advantage is available exclusively through licensed, practicing  veterinarians with a doctor-client- patient relationship.

Program is a once a month oral flea tablet for dogs and a oral liquid for cats. Program breaks the flea life cycle by preventing eggs from developing into adult fleas. Program is an excellent choice in households where the pet will not be exposed to fleas from other animals. Program can be used alone to rid a household of fleas, but for a quicker kill the house should also be treated. Program does not kill adult fleas, so you will not notice an immediate improvement unless you also kill the adult fleas.

Frontline Top Spot is a revolutionary new treatment for killing adult flea on dogs for up to three months and on cats for up to one month. Frontline Top Spot will also kill ticks for up to one month. Frontline Top Spot is liquid applied to the skin between the animal's shoulder blades. Frontline will kill 96% of the fleas on your pet within two hours and all fleas within 24 hours. Rain will not lessen the effectiveness of this product.

More information on Advantage from the manufacturer.

More information on Program from the manufacturer.

More information on Frontline from the manufacturer.

The Flea Life Cycle

The flea life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Only the adult flea lives on your pet. The adult fleas lay eggs which fall from your pet into your home or yard. These eggs will then hatch into larva. The larva passes through the pupa stage on the way to becoming adults.

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