Advantage® Flea Adulticide

Advantage® utilizes revolutionary new chemistry to produce unprecedented results on cats and dogs. Advantage® contains imidacloprid, a chloronicotinyl nitroguanidine synthesized from the nitromethylene class of compounds. This new active ingredient has a mode of action unlike any other flea control product on the market.


Advantage® works by binding to the insect’s nicotinyl receptor sites on the postsynaptic neuron. This causes impairment of the nervous system and death to the insect. Thanks to this new chemistry, Advantage® begins working almost immediately, killing 98-100% of existing fleas on cats and dogs in just twenty-four hours. Since Advantage® works on contact, fleas don’t have to bite the pet in order for it to work – which is perfect for pets with flea allergy dermatis. Advantage® comes in a topical solution easily applied on the back of the neck on cats and between the shoulder blades on dogs. Once applied, Advantage® spreads naturally on the skin surface at the hair root level, aided by body movement, providing whole body coverage. More than 90% efficacy is observed at twelve hours, and full efficacy is attained within twenty-four hours.

Frontline® Top Spot™ and Frontline® Spray treatment is a topically applied, stand-alone product that rapidly kills fleas and ticks on dogs and cats with a single application, controlling fleas for up to three months and ticks for a month. Fipronil, the active ingredient in Frontline®, collects in the hair follicle and oil glands of the pet. From the hair follicle, it continually and slowly releases onto the animal’s skin and hair. By killing adult fleas and ticks within hours after application, Frontline® breaks the flea life cycle at the adult stage and quickly gives animals relief from the symptoms of flea infestation. Frontline® also controls flea larvae by remaining active on shed hair, thus helping to control emerging flea populations in bedding and other areas. Frontline® kills ticks usually before they attach, reducing the risk of transmitting disease. A single application of Frontline® can control fleas for up to ninety days on dogs and thirty days on cats and controls ticks for thirty days on both species. Monthly applications are recommended to provide continuous protection against pests. Fipronil’s unique chemical structure acts on the gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) receptor of an insect’s central nervous system by blocking the flow of chloride ions.

Note: Any flea control product that is prescribed by a veterinarian, such as Advantage®, Frontline®, Program® or Sentinel® requires a doctor to examine the pet prior to dispensing the medication. It is an FDA requirement that these medications be prescribed based on the client, patient doctor relationship in which the doctor has examined the pet that the medication will be used on. Many of these newer products are being marketed to our clients through TV and Print Ads. The client may assume, therefore, that they can just pick these products up at a Veterinarian.

Vectra 3D® is a spot on preparation topical. The active ingredients are; Dinotefuran 4.95%, Pyriproxyfen 0.44% and Permethrin 36,08%. Dinotefuran rapidly kills adult fleas and pyriproxyfen is an insect growth regulator which kills the eggs and larval stages.
It is effective against all stages of fleas, 4 types of ticks (Rhipicephalus spp, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma maculatum) and 3 types of mosquitoes (Culex spp, Ochlerotatus spp, Aedes spp). It has a rapid knock down effect, killing 96% of fleas in 6 hours. It is effective for 30 days after application and remains effective after bathing and swimming. Vectra 3D® is toxic to cats.

Revolution® (Selamectin) is a topical insecticide used for the treatment and prevention of fleas, ear mites, some internal parasites, and some types of mites and ticks; and the prevention of heartworm disease. Over 98% of fleas on the pet are killed within 36 hours of application. Once in contact with Revolution®, fleas will not lay viable eggs. Selamectin kills parasites by blocking nerve signal transmissions. Revolution® enters the bloodstream through the skin. It then stays in the bloodstream protecting against heartworm disease, passes into the gastrointestinal tract where it can kill certain intestinal parasites, and passes into the sebaceous glands and then onto the hair and skin providing protection against fleas and certain mites and ticks. Revolution® is safe in dogs and cats from 6 weeks of age and can be used in breeding, pregnant and nursing dogs and is safe in collies.

Promeris® (dogs) is a topical, waterproof spot on application for the control of fleas and ticks in dogs. It is applied once a month. Promeris® contains metaflumizone and amitraz. Metaflumizoneis a neurotoxin; it blocks the movement of sodium required to propagate a nerve impulse along the neuron. This results in reductions in feeding, loss of coordination, paralysis and death of fleas. Amitraz is effective against ticks. Promeris® is safe in dogs older than 8 weeks of age.

Promeris® (cats) contains metaflumizone. It is effective against fleas and works by blocking the movement of sodium ions which paralyzes the fleas. It is applied as a once a month topical insecticide.

Oral Medications

Pro-Ban®, Miles is one commercially available product that contains an insecticide, cythioate, and is administered orally every three days. This product works by creating a toxic dose of organophosphate within the blood stream of the dog. This dose is enough to kill the flea when it feeds. This product does not prevent fleas from biting, and therefore, will not help a pet with flea allergies. Indications for this product might include a household where the humans are unable to provide other methods of treatment, such as shampoos, or where the humans are intolerant to powders, sprays, household products, etc. The oral product does not provide complete control of fleas, but is effective in reducing the numbers of fleas in a controlled environment. As with the organophosphate pour-on, other organophosphates should not be used in the environment or topically, since the risk of toxicosis would be increased. The pet should also be tested negative for heartworms.

Program® (Lufenuron) works when the flea bites the pet and ingests lufenuron and lufenuron is deposited in the flea’s eggs. Most eggs cannot hatch. Larvae that are able to hatch soon die and pre-existing larvae that ingest lufenuron from feces of treated fleas also die. Program® is supplied as an oral tablet for dogs and a liquid suspension for cats. It must be given with food to ensure complete absorption. This is a common reason for failure. All pets in the household must also be treated. It is safe for nursing and breeding animals, and for kittens and puppies as young as six weeks. Program® has no contraindications, no warnings, and no side effects. The cat dose is 30mg/kg and is three times the dog dose at 10mg/kg. To hasten control, you may recommend temporary use of conventional flea products. Once the pre-existing population is destroyed, discontinue additional measures. Program® (lufenuron) used alone will maintain effective control.

Comfortis® (Spinosad) is a monthly chewable oral medication for the treatment of flea allergic dermatitis. Spinosad is a derivative of macrolide antibiotics Spinosad attacks the nervous system of the flea acting on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, there is no interaction with other insecticides. The fleas are paralyzed and start to die with 30 minutes of administering the tablet and is 100% effective within 4 hours. The fleas are killed before they have time to lay eggs. In severe environmental contamination fleas may persist for some time due to fleas emerging from existing pupae. Safe for use in dogs over 14 weeks of age.

SENTINEL® (Lufenuron) is a monthly oral medication for the prevention of heartworm and control of fleas. Sentinel® contains milbemycin and lufenuron. Milbemycin interferes with invertebrate neurotransmission eliminating the tissue stage of the heartworm larvae and Lufenuron, an insect growth inhibitor, which breaks the flea life cycle by inhibiting egg development. Sentinel® is safe for use in dogs and puppies over 4 weeks of age weighing more than 2 pounds and is safe to use in pregnant and nursing dogs.

Capstar® (Nitenpyram) is an oral flea control product for use in cats and dogs to kill fleas. It interferes with the nervous system of the flea blocking the nerve receptors. Capstar® can be used in cats and dog over four weeks of age and 2 lbs body weight. It starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and has its peak effect after 4 hours. It is most useful for treatment of pets in hospital, boarding or grooming to ensure rapid kill of fleas on infected animals and to prevent fleas being transmitted to the home. It does not have a residual effect as the drug has left the pet’s system within 24 hours. Capstar® is very safe and can be used in pregnant or nursing dogs and cats.

Flea Collars

The effectiveness of flea control using flea collars is dubious at the top level. Flea collars however have been responsible for more sales than any other flea control device. They are easy and give the owner a sense of fulfillment. The ultrasonic flea collars are not effective. Note: Preventic® collars contain amitraz, which has little effect on fleas, but is effective against ticks.


Foggers do not penetrate well, nor do they deliver the ingredients under objects like beds, sofas, chairs, area rugs, etc. Therefore, they are not an effective method of flea control. They may be effective in very confined areas such as boats, but be careful of the fumes and explosive potential.