The Battle of the Fleas: Better Weapons Needed!!!!

This is the first time I feel like I am losing the battle against the fleas since the advent of topical flea prevention. All of a sudden this year, Frontline may as well be motor oil. It’s just not working!!! Last year, I switched off my usual products to FrontlinePlus and Heartgard. I was using Sentinel/Advantix for the Papillons and then Revolution on Carmina. Lizzie has just been on Frontline and Heartguard since I got her. I don’t know if this is a product issue or if fleas have just gotten tough in general, but the FronilinePlus seems to be doing very little to help.

About a month ago, Riyo started scratching like crazy. Next thing I know, he’s chewed and scratched off half his hair and lost a good portion of his ear fringe. He looks pathetically reminiscent of a plucked chicken. Not a good look for a Papillon. I thought it was fleas so I kept bathing and treating the dogs with the Frontline every two weeks. NO help. He was still scratching like crazy. I got worried that maybe it was something other than fleas, so I took him to the vet. Diagnosis, flea allergy and resulting tapeworms! The vet says if he gets one flea on him, he’s so sensitive that he will scratch and bite till he gets it off. What goes with that is he gets tapeworms, which I’ve treated him for twice in the last two months. They also said that it is essential to exterminate in addition to the topicals because once the fleas get a hold in an area, they just take over despite the topicals.

Following vet instructions, I went to the local chemical store and consulted with them on what to get to spray both the house and yard. They recommended Permetherin. I then got a sprayer, mixed it up and went through and sprayed the house and the whole yard. I really hate messing with insecticides; it makes me feel like I’m giving myself cancer and killing fish all in one toxic swoop. But I hate fleas worse, so I did it.

One week later, SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH!!!!!!!!!! AAARRRGGG!!!!!! I’ve bathed, I’ve Frontlined, I’ve Advantaged, I’ve Adams’d, i’ve Permetherined…..what more must I do to beat these darn FLEAS!!!


I am going back to Advantix. It does better on the Papillons’ fine coats and it can’t do any worse that Frontline.

One thought on “The Battle of the Fleas: Better Weapons Needed!!!!

  1. I got this response to this blog from Riyo and Darcy’s first mom 🙂 I will go look for this stuff and try it out! Also was told by another Papillon expert to try something called Comfortis.:

    Use a yard and house spray with IGR in it. Will be more expensive, but has a chemical in it that basically neuters fleas. Most sprays etc…only kill the adult fleas leaving the eggs, and other stages to hatch out and form into adults only to carry on the problem. IGR is an insect growth regulator that neuters them when they come into contact with it so the ones that continue to hatch out even after spraying will not be able to reproduce thus putting a kink in their life cycle. It may not totally stop the problem, but the IGR usually lasts for a while. Also, spray in the evening time near as sunset as possible. Sunlight breaks down the poisons and makes it not last as long and be less effective. Giving all night to begin killing is best. You should also repeat the treatment in 7 days with most sprays.

    Yes, fleas are showing signs of getting immune to things that have been on the market for a while. That’s why we are always waiting for the next big break through product. Treating the dogs and the yard is the best you can do. Just be sure to be careful when looking into those newer products that claim to do multiple things all in one such as fleas, worms etc…They are often too harsh for toy dogs and cause an array of reactions from neurological to even death in some cases. I have also stuck with Advantage more than frontline as I know more dogs that have had issues with frontline from irritated skin to coat loss.

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