Veterinarians are warning pet owners throughout the country that fleas may become resistant to chemicals used in various flea treatment products. If you continue to use the same type of topical liquid, spray, shampoo, flea collar, etc. on your dog month after month, it may lose its effectiveness. Whether it’s a cheap $5 flea collar or a $50 box of FrontLine Plus, there’s a very real possibility of fleas developing a resistance to the chemicals it contains. So, how do you solve this problem and enjoy a flea-free life?
Fleas can turn an otherwise harmonious indoor environment into a living nightmare for its inhabitants. Just a single flea can bite into a host several hundred times per day, each time drawing blood while releasing a small amount of saliva. Granted, the flea’s saliva isn’t toxic, but it may still trigger an allergic reaction that’s associated with itching, burning and redness. Flea bites are particularly problematic in people and animals that suffer from flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) — a condition in which the immune system responds by attacking the area exposed to the flea saliva.
Most people rely on FrontLine Plus, Advantage, flea sprays, bombers, foggers, collars and similar products to rid their home of fleas. Taking a stroll down the flea & tick aisle at your local pet store will reveal dozens of different products, ranging in ingredients, method of application, and duration of protection. Regardless of which product you decide to use, however, it may only offer some initial relief of fleas. Once the blood-sucking parasites that are co-inhabiting your home develop a resistance to the product’s chemicals, you may struggle to keep the fleas under control.
To prevent fleas from developing a resistance to active chemicals, it’s recommended that you use a different product every couple of months. If you are going to use FrontLine Plus this month, use Advantage the next time you.
Dr. Dryden of Kansas State University notes that it can take weeks or even months to fully rid a home of fleas.
“Most of us, by the time we start treating fleas, our homes are already infested,” said Dr. Dryden, a professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University. “No home is ever under control in a week, and it can take weeks or months in some homes. It can take time for a flea infestation to be gone, and that has nothing to do with resistance.”