Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Flea: control

Contributor(s): Omowumi Ajao, Dieter Barutzki, Maggie Fisher, Linda Horspool, Rosanna Marsella

Principles

  • Cats in different circumstances have different likelihoods of carrying and or acquiring fleas. For example, an indoor cat or sole cat in a household with no other pets locally, that has no existing flea problem may be considered low risk. In contrast, a cat that lives in a multipet household in an urban area may have substantial risk of having an on-going established flea infestation in the household and a substantial risk of re-infection from the outdoor environment, particularly when the weather is warm.
  • For the first situation, in the absence of fleas, then regular monitoring may be sufficient to ensure that fleas do not establish on the animal. For the second animal it may be necessary to carry out year-round flea control. Likewise, regular flea control may be essential for the FAD (flea allergy dermatitis)-prone cat where even a minor infestation could result in severe discomfort and clinical signs.
  • The distinction between treatment of the animal to control adult stages and treatment of the environment to control immature stages has become increasingly blurred as some treatments applied to the animal, such as lufenuron, are targeted only at immature stages in the environment, whilst others have both adulticidal and immature activity, which can be achieved by insecticidal activity alone or by the combination of insecticide with IGR (insect growth regulator) as is the case with the combination of fipronil with (S)-methoprene. Treatments applied directly into the environment may include insecticides and larval growth inhibitors, aimed at stages in the environment only.
  • Wherever possible, monitoring for the presence of fleas, regular vacuuming and washing pets bedding should be considered alongside treatment as part of flea management.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Flea control  Flea control to give to your client.

Flea control via animal administration

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Topical ectoparasiticides

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Orally administered ectoparasiticides

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Prevention of infestation or re-infection

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Environmental control through direct application into the environment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

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