Okay, so it’s April Fool’s Day–but that’s no reason you have to feel like an idiot about flea and tick season. Yep, there’s a lot to know about the situation and a lot of products to choose from. When exactly is flea and tick season? And how does one decide between Advantage or Frontline? Or between Frontline or Advantix?
Why Are Fleas and Ticks Important To Prevent?
These insects live on the blood of our pets. And did you know fleas can jump thousands of times (an average is the length of three football fields) and up to two feet in each jump in search of a host? :: shudder :: Fleas live sixteen days to twenty-one months, depending on the environment, feeding on your dog or cat about once every two days.
Fleas can cause anemia in adult dogs. And in puppies a flea infestation can be life threatening. Pets who are allergic to the saliva of fleas can have problems after a single bite of one insect.
Ticks are often picked up in urban parks and deep woods, and can transmit serious diseases in pets. Diseases like ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and others.
When Is Flea and Tick Season Where I Live?
Well, it all depends on temperature and humidity. For instance, if you live in California or Nevada, flea and tick season begins in February and runs through October. If you’re in Florida, Pennsylvania or Ohio, the season starts closer to March.
Which Is Better: Natural or Traditional Flea and Tick Products?
Honestly, Dave and I are fanatical about doing everything natural we can for our pets, just as we choose organic solutions for ourselves. BUT, our experience has been negative with the use of organic flea and tick repellants. When we picked out our Brittany puppy, Castle, the breeder explained she had been using brewer’s yeast to prevent fleas. When we spoke to our vet, she was adamant that this does not work. But, we took that with a grain of salt since, after all, our vet’s office sells flea and tick preventatives. Dave chose a natural product for her, which contained rosemary, lemon, lavender and peppermint. That sweet little dog smelled like we were cooking all the time!
And yet–not very long into our first season with her, Castle presented with fleas–and it turned out she had an allergy to them! By the time we discovered her treatment wasn’t working, it was an expensive trip to the vet to get her comfortable, plus we had to treat all our cats and dogs, just to make sure none of her visitors were jumping off for a ride on anyone else! Not good.
Having said that, if you’re reading this and you’ve had an awesome experience with a natural flea and tick preventive, we’d LOVE to have you write a review on it. 😉
Traditional Flea and Tick Season Products In General
First of all, there are all kinds of ingredients in different products on the market–most are topical, but some are oral. Any topical product you choose needs to be waterproof. You want to make certain you do not use products designed for dogs on cats, and vice versa.
It’s super important that you get specifics from your vet on which product is safe to use on your puppy, or your lactating or pregnant pet. And be cautious if your pet has a history of seizures. Some products require your pet to test negative for heartworm before use. And some should only be given with food.
How Do I Decide Between Advantage or Frontline? between frontline or advantix?
Advantage’s benefits are: this topical product is available for dogs or cats and can be used on puppies and kittens. It is waterproof, is given monthly and kills 98% of pre-existing fleas in twelve hours; then new fleas in two hours. Contains a flea sterilizer.
Frontline’s benefits are: this topical product is available for dogs or cats and can be used on puppies and kittens. It is waterproof, is given monthly. BUT only its PLUS line contains flea sterilization, and it takes longer to work (twenty four hours to translocate, then four to eighteen hours to kill fleas).
Advantix’s benefits are: this superior topical product is available for dogs or cats and can be used on puppies and kittens. It is waterproof, is given monthly and contains a flea sterilizer. 98% of fleas are dead in twelve hours. It also kills ticks; repels flies and mosquitos.
We like: Vectra 3D because: this topical product is available for dogs (even as small as 2.5 lbs) or cats and can be used on puppies and kittens. It is waterproof, is given monthly and kills 96% of fleas in six hours. In addition, it kills ticks and repels flies and mosquitos!
But it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating pets.
Using a different product altogether and want to see how it compares? Go here.
So yeah–dealing with fleas and ticks is no joke. Your pet should not be hosting a flea circus! Be smart, talk to your vet. And if you’d like to see how prices compare online, check out Your Pet Rx Space.
Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.