Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?
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Thread: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I live in South Florida where we are beset by fleas and ticks year-round. As a future puppy owner I'm looking at my choices and don't know which ones are safe. I'm tempted to try Sentry's Natural Defense, as it's a natural product with essential oils. Has anybody used this? Can you rate effectiveness? I don't mind a strong smell as long as it works.

    If that doesn't work I'll try Frontline Plus but I've read here and some other places that Frontline's effectiveness can decrease over time. Is this true? I like that it seems pretty safe compared to some other strong ones, and can be used on pregnant females and puppies as young as 8 weeks. Then I read that Fipronil (in Frontline) can be passed on from the fur of animals to children (I have two children, including one who'll be 3 by the time we get our puppy). Oh man.

    I hear many good reviews about K9 Advantix, but then it's a chemically laden product as well, with the permethrin that can be toxic to people and/or pets. I wish BioSpot would work for us, as it works on mosquitoes as well, but I've read too many bad reviews and it also uses very harsh chemicals.

    I probably should never try to combine an essential oil with Frontline, correct?

    This is what I want: A safe and effective product for the dog, my children, our household and the environment that's easy to use and apply (no intensive labor on my part). Kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Does that exist? Or in my dreams? (I would like the product to be kind to the environment, but I admit if I found an effective product that repels all three pests and is kind to the pet and the children, I would take it).

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    Senior Member pittsabowawa's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I've heard that sentry's products are crap.

    I highly recommend you get k-9 advantix. Fleas seem to be becoming immune to the frontline. K9advantix also helps with your mosquitos.

    If you don't want to do a topical prevention you might try capstar.. it will get all the fleas and ticks off your dog but the problem is it doesn't help keep them off.

    I think others on this forum use Comfortis and from what I've heard that is the best.. unfortunately I can't afford it so I have no clue how it works

    One joy shatters a hundred griefs

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by pittsabowawa View Post
    I've heard that sentry's products are crap.

    I highly recommend you get k-9 advantix. Fleas seem to be becoming immune to the frontline. K9advantix also helps with your mosquitos.

    So nothing natural out there that works, eh? Thanks for your reply, Pitts.

    I have Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health book but it seems like with diatomaceous earth, essential oil mixes, homemade diet and manual tick and flea removal it would be a lot of work for me in addition to my mom duties, home educating, household and regular pet care duties. Going to do more research on K9 Advantix.

    Any Floridians?

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Yep, I live in St. Petersburg, FL. I don't do ALL natural, because it doesn't work here in FL. We manage to stay pretty flea-free most of the time. Here's what I do:

    Nematodes outside lawns
    Diatomaceous Earth inside
    OR, 20 Mule Team Borax (a laundry product, yes) sprinkled under furniture cushions, on rugs and carpet, and under crates.
    Frequent vacuuming & toss bag in garbage. I put DE in my Dyson vacuum.
    Weekly/bi-weekly baths for dogs, prn (Advantage prn)
    Apple Cider Vinegar & water rinse after shampoo (fleas don't like it)
    Daily flea combing to check cats (Advantage prn)
    Apple Cider Vinegar in drinking water (preferrably the unfiltered kind with the mother in it, found at health food stores). Changes the ph and fleas don't seem to like it, so may have some value as a repellant. At any rate, it's healthy and good for your dog.

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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Just like any pesticide, the more a certain flea preventative is used, the more resistance the fleas develop. Dogs can pass fleas around at dog parks, daycares, or any place they encounter other animals. It only takes a couple of fleas that are resistant to the preventative you're using and you've got an outbreak. Therefore, I suggest using something less popular than Frontline. K9 Advantix might be a good choice, but check with vets about what they sell in your area - then choose something different!

    I have found Frontline to be completely ineffective in my area. K9 Advantix was acceptable, but I didn't like how easily it washes off. I recently switched to an oral flea med (Program once a month and Capstar if I see a flea). I prefer the oral meds because my dog can swim/get muddy/get rained on/get a bath without me worrying about washing off the flea meds. Also, there's no greasy spot(s) on her and no chance of the meds rubbing off on me or the furniture (or kids, if you have them!) Plus I found the spot-on stuff to be a hassle to apply.

    Instead of relying on a vet, check online for better prices and selection on flea meds!

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Poodleholic, dumb question: do I need to vacuum even though we have no carpets in the house? No rugs? We have an all tiled house with leather couches and don't even own a vacuum cleaner right now.

    I haven't even thought about medication. I assume they're safe for the dog? I like that apple cider idea, and I'll be sure to research a bit more.

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I am in Panama City, FL and I use Comfortis. I use to use K-9 Advantix, but it costs almost the same as the comfortis and it does not last a full month. The comfortis does not help against ticks or misquitos, but it is the best thing on the market for fleas. I also add vinager to my girls water and use it in their bath and we don't have no issues here :-)
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Senior Member pittsabowawa's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    If you have dog beds that have the zipper to take the stuffing out you can also fill them with cedar shavings (like you would put in a rabbit hutch or something). Fleas HATE cedar so doing that will help. I think cedar oil works to.. and as an added bonus your dog smells like a christmas tree LOL (I love the smell.. especially when mixed with bellas coat).

    The DE and borax works as well (sorry I wasn't thinking of the household stuff).

    Pretty much if you decide on a preventative, keep up with baths and removing fleas, plus treating the house and yard for fleas you shouldn't have a problem.

    The KEY is to nip it early in the bud... we live on a lake and we get fleas all year round but in the summer we also get the mosquitos and ticks.. its ridiculous. Every year we end up with a flea infestation bc my parents don't keep up with the vacuuming and getting everyone with the preventative. Its horrible.


    @ GLM.. whats your preventative called? I really want an oral one for Bella bc she goes swimming almost everyday in the summer and I can't keep the fleas off of her. Also does it work on cats? I know the capstar does because we buy the big pills and cut them in pieces to give to all the cats and dogs.

    One joy shatters a hundred griefs

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by pittsabowawa View Post
    If you have dog beds that have the zipper to take the stuffing out you can also fill them with cedar shavings (like you would put in a rabbit hutch or something). Fleas HATE cedar so doing that will help. I think cedar oil works to.. and as an added bonus your dog smells like a christmas tree LOL (I love the smell.. especially when mixed with bellas coat).

    The DE and borax works as well (sorry I wasn't thinking of the household stuff).

    Pretty much if you decide on a preventative, keep up with baths and removing fleas, plus treating the house and yard for fleas you shouldn't have a problem.

    The KEY is to nip it early in the bud... we live on a lake and we get fleas all year round but in the summer we also get the mosquitos and ticks.. its ridiculous. Every year we end up with a flea infestation bc my parents don't keep up with the vacuuming and getting everyone with the preventative. Its horrible.


    @ GLM.. whats your preventative called? I really want an oral one for Bella bc she goes swimming almost everyday in the summer and I can't keep the fleas off of her. Also does it work on cats? I know the capstar does because we buy the big pills and cut them in pieces to give to all the cats and dogs.
    The comfortis is oral and works great for dogs that like to swim. It is a bit pricey, but it works better than anything I have ever seen!! You can actually put it ona dog that is infested with fleas and within 15-20 minutes you will see the fleas come to the top of their coat and fall of dead. It is quite amazing!!
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Senior Member pittsabowawa's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Really? I'm going to ask my vet about it the next time I go to get some flea stuff.. I don't know if they carry it though. I need something like it bc she is constantly swimming or getting dirty and needing baths and her flea stuff always washes off.

    I don't think its safe for cats though?

    One joy shatters a hundred griefs

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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Don't waste your time with "essential oils". Use Frontline. Problem solved.

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Thanks! I'm looking into Comfortis and judging whether Frontline Plus would work in my area or not. Sigh. No easy answers.

    Okay, Comfortis is for fleas only, but what about ticks and mosquitoes?
    Last edited by sagira; 01-20-2010 at 08:57 PM.

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    Senior Member pittsabowawa's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    You can get skin so soft (I think is an avon product but I could be wrong) its for people but you can put it on dogs and it repells mosquitos.. I'm not sure about the ticks.. the only thing I know of is the K9 Advantix

    One joy shatters a hundred griefs

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by sagira View Post
    Poodleholic, dumb question: do I need to vacuum even though we have no carpets in the house? No rugs? We have an all tiled house with leather couches and don't even own a vacuum cleaner right now.

    I haven't even thought about medication. I assume they're safe for the dog? I like that apple cider idea, and I'll be sure to research a bit more.
    Yes, vacuum everywhere, including your leather couches and even the windowsills. If you have floor length draperies, vacuum them, too.

    I don't like using chemicals on my dogs, around them, or giving them orally. Sometimes it's necessary.

    Be careful if you try Skin So Soft - it's very strong, and if you get any in their eyes it's bad news. You also need to dillute it. Frankly, it's not worth the trouble. I can't stand the smell either. What works much better and is safe is Marigold Spray made by EQyss.

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by pittsabowawa View Post
    If you have dog beds that have the zipper to take the stuffing out you can also fill them with cedar shavings (like you would put in a rabbit hutch or something). Fleas HATE cedar so doing that will help. I think cedar oil works to.. and as an added bonus your dog smells like a christmas tree LOL (I love the smell.. especially when mixed with bellas coat).

    The DE and borax works as well (sorry I wasn't thinking of the household stuff).

    Pretty much if you decide on a preventative, keep up with baths and removing fleas, plus treating the house and yard for fleas you shouldn't have a problem.
    thanks for the tip! I searched and found something called Nature's Defender Best Yet. Has anyone used this?

    http://www.cedaroilstore.com/product_p/4000.htm

    It has the cedar oil that kills many insects, including fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Trying to read more reviews, but it sounds promising, and best of all, safe enough to use not only on pets but on people, including babies. That would be ideal! Going to research some more.

    Thanks for the tips! Keep them coming!

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    Senior Member brandiw's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I have not had good luck with K-9 Advantix, I still had ticks and fleas on my dog. Also, if you have cats, you should not use K-9 Advantix as it is very toxic to them. I was told by my vet that if your cats are around your dogs at all, you shouldn't use it. I always use frontline and have had good luck with it.

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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I live in central florida and I've had my dog for about a year and only give her neem capsules and I've only seen a flea on her once. When most people talk about natural, I think they mostly talk about vinegar and garlic, which I think tests show they don't work even though people swear by them.

    Of course I bath my dog once a month, while I know people who go 6 months without bathing her. I use sulfur and neem oil based products, which seems to kill fleas and many parasites.

    Almost everybody I know in central florida seems to be using frontline or comforits, in which I would use comforits. comforits and a tick collar combination seems what a lot of people like.

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    Senior Member ladyshadowhollyjc's Avatar
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    Re: Flea and tick prevention in Florida - what do you use?

    I use Advantage at the moment.
    Along with vacuuming like a maniac and apple cider vinegar rinses and in drinking water. That helped us out a lot last summer when we had a flea infestation.

    Most customers at the clinic I work at complain about using Frontline. More and more people are coming in asking for comfortis. I've heard that work well for a lot of people.

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