Pet Pest Control
Warm summer days romping outdoors with your pet are a dream. Fleas and ticks? An absolute nightmare—but there are new ways to prevent them.
How to tell if your pet has fleas
When fleas hitch a ride on your dog or cat, you’ll see:
- Excessive scratching.
- Licking or biting of the skin.
- Small dark specks on your pet’s body called “flea dirt.”
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How to spot ticks
Use your fingers to:
- Feel for bumps on their skin, focusing on areas like their ears and neck and underneath the tail.
- Part your pet’s fur, looking for black or brown insects as small as a pinhead.
- If you find a tick, put on gloves (they can bite you too) and carefully pull it out with a pair of tweezers.
Note: Never treat a cat with flea and tick treatments labeled for dogs and vice versa.
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How they work: A common active ingredient, spinosad, kills fleas before they can lay eggs.
What's new: A limited number of brands (mostly available by prescription) help kill and control ticks too.
Pros and cons: While chewables are mess-free and fast acting, it’s not always easy to get pets to take them.
Best for: Dogs or cats who are severely infested. Tablets can begin tackling fleas within 30 minutes.
Protects for: One month
How they work: Usually liquids, they absorb into the skin, poisoning adult fleas, ticks, larvae and eggs within 12 hours of application.
What's new: Topicals with newer chemicals and formulations are faster acting and longer lasting.
Pros and cons: Some protect against other parasites—like heartworm, tapeworm or lice—but all may cause skin irritation.
Best for: Dogs or cats who may get anxious. Application is stress-free compared to other options.
Protects for: One month
How they work: In one type, active ingredients are absorbed through the fatty layers of your pet’s skin, where they spread to ward off and/or kill parasites. Another type emits a gas to repel pests.
What's new: In one type, active ingredients are absorbed through the fatty layers of your pet’s skin, where they spread to ward off and/or kill parasites. Another type emits a gas to repel pests.
Pros and cons: Wearables are inexpensive and most are waterproof, but if not fitted properly, pets can pull them off.
Best for: Dogs or cats who spend time outdoors. Collars can be a great set-it-and-forget- it long-term option.
Protects for: Eight months