A Pill to Prevent Fleas?
Flea Control Pill from Ciba Geigy
We no longer carry the Program. It was a good product when it first came out,
but there are much better topicals on the market now. We recommend
Frontline. It kills
fleas and helps to control any infestation more quickly, for a lot less money.
Is Program too good to be true?
Good news: The good news for veterinarians and some consumers is that there is now a
monthly pill called Program which your pet can swallow to help control
the fleas coming into your house. Although fleas that bite your dog or cat
do not die, any flea that comes into your house by hitchhiking on your pet
(consuming a delicious blood meal on the way) will be unable to reproduce
for up to two weeks and thus temporarily unable to re-infest your living
space. Experiments with confined dogs in kennel environments have shown
that within a few months, formerly flea-infested research kennels have
become almost flea free after treating the animal who lives there with
Bad News: The medication is only worthwhile for a small minority
of pets. Because fleas are not killed or repelled by the oral dosage,
dogs and cats that roam free (not confined to a controlled area) pick up
new fleas and flea bites repeatedly as well as being bitten again and
again by the now-sterile but still biting original pests. The pill costs
approximately $30-$50 per 6 month treatment and your pet must take it all
year, which makes medicating a single pet ($60-$100/year) expensive, and a
multiple pet household outrageous.
Stray Animals Leave Reproducing Fleas in Your Environment: Even if you keep your pets confined, what about fleas in your yard or the
apartment complex grass, from your neighbors' dogs, stray cats, squirrels or
other uncontrolled wildlife? Any animal that strolls near your environment
dropping fleas which have not already feasted on your own pet will be leaving
reproducing flea time bombs. Their eggs will hatch and each and every
hatchling will have to bite your poor dog or cat before the problem is under
Likewise, apartment dogs and indoor/outdoor cats, while preventing your
apartment from becoming infested with fleas they bring inside, will be
providing the flea sterilization program for the whole neighborhood. Each
flea in the surrounding grass will have to bite your pet. In an apartment
environment, it is virtually impossible for one animal on the pill to clear
the whole area, so your hard earned dollars spent on the pill will be wasted.
What about flea allergies? Dogs and cats with flea allergies cannot have
even one flea bite if you wish to prevent the tortuous reaction they suffer
and the veterinary bills that come with it. Taking the pill is a little like
closing the barn door after the horse is out. The flea has to bite BEFORE it
is affected. In fact EVERY flea has to bite your allergic dog every two weeks
before the problem is solved. Being repeatedly bitten by fleas is unacceptable
for the dog who is allergic to the flea bite. But it is equally unacceptable
for a dog who is not allergic if you don't want him to develop an allergy.
What can you do? Why not use an
inexpensive, non-toxic IGR--Insect Growth
Regulator (birth control for fleas)--similar to the pill but applied directly
to the carpet or yard where the fleas reproduce? There are several brands of
non-toxic, hormone-mimicking insect growth regulators (IGR) in liquid form
for premise application. (See Archer products
for more information)
Unlike the pill, when you use an IGR fleas don't need to bite your pet
to stop reproduction. Flea eggs developing in an area treated
with an IGR are unable to complete their reproductive life cycle, and
never mature. It is as safe or safer than the pill, less costly, more
effective, and some IGRs can be used inside and out.
What about the pill?
It may help, but remember that Program is only half
of the program!
FLEAS? Never Again!
1-800-658-6699 toll free
Inquiries: (270) 777-0743
729 Mercer Rd., Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101
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