A Google search for “Are fleas becoming immune?” will result in a repeat of this question paired with “Frontline” for the majority of the hits on page one of Google. The reading is interesting, to say the least. Some vets and the manufacturer are saying fleas are not immune to Frontline, and on the other side of the question is a plethora of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.
What are People Saying?
On the “it doesn’t work side” there is the breakout category of “I used it for X number of years and, it doesn’t work anymore.” That comment is in rebuttal of the vets, the manufacturer and some other users questioning whether the product is being used correctly.
The consensus certainly is that there must be a certain amount of follow up to eradicate all fleas. In addition to treating your pet, you have to treat the environment as well, until all fleas, eggs and larvae are gone. If you stop short of this goal, fleas will return. However, there are many people saying that they have been using Frontline for years and it no longer works.
Milder winters contribute significantly to higher numbers of fleas, ticks and other bugs. Pests that would normally die during the colder months are surviving in larger numbers, meaning more on your pets in the Spring. This is why vets recommend treatment all year long. Discontinuing use in the fall and winter may set you up for an infestation in the spring and summer and once fleas take hold of your environment, it requires a lot of time and, sometimes money, to get it back under control.
Natural Flea Remedies
Many people are trying to get away from harsh chemicals, so here are some natural solutions.
- Since fleas do not hold onto your pet’s fur, simply putting your pet into the bathtub will wash fleas away and drown them. You can also lightly shampoo your pet.
- Fleas are repelled by citrus. You can rub lemon or orange juice into your pet’s fur or boil some slices and spray on the fur after cooling.
- Give Avon Skin So Soft a try. People have used it for years to repel mosquitoes, and say that is works on your dog for fleas as well.
- Sprinkle salt liberally on carpets. Salt kills by dehydrating the fleas and eggs. Leave on for a day, then vacuum well.
- Food grade diatomaceous earth is another safe way to get rid of fleas. It is all natural, made from fossilized phytoplankton. There are debates as that how it works, but it is safe for both humans and pets to ingest. Sprinkle on your pet’s food daily.
So, are fleas becoming immune? Something certainly seems to be going on in the last couple of years. I personally have friends whose houses and pets are overrun with fleas, even after exhaustive measures to conquer this tiny beast and in their shoes the question of immunity pales next to the question of, when will I get rid of these fleas? Anyone who has fought this itchy battle knows how they feel. So if you are fighting a losing battle with fleas on your pets, it might be time to try some alternative measures.