Do Flea Collars Work?

Post of Do Flea Collars Work?

Warmer weather offers the opportunity to spend more time outside with loved ones and pets. But the increase in temperature also leads to more pesky insects like ticks and fleas in your yard. Like many homeowners with furry friends, you may be wondering, “do flea and tick collars work to protect my pets?” Fortunately, a wide range of flea and tick collar varieties are available to keep your pets safe through flea and tick prevention.

How Do Flea Collars Work?

There are different versions of flea collars, and each works a little bit differently.

Typically, flea collars are made of plastic and do one of two things: repel fleas or eliminate them outright. Some collars may only provide one function, while others may do both. Either way, the insecticide must be involved for fleas to be repelled or eliminated.

Flea collars that release a strong odor around your pet’s neck repel fleas through the gas coming from the collar. These types of collars tend to be less effective because they only prevent fleas in the area around the pet’s neck, not their entire body.

Other flea collars are designed to release a small dose of active insecticide onto your pet’s fur, slowly spreading across their skin over time and with movement. When fleas and ticks encounter these active ingredients, they are poisoned on contact.

Another type of flea collar releases an insecticide that absorbs into your pet’s fatty skin layer. This causes fleas to die only after your pet is bitten.

Depending on the collar, the active ingredients could include:

  • Flumethrin
  • Imidacloprid
  • Permethrin
  • Tetrachlorvinphos

Related Topic: How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

How Well Does a Flea Collar Work?

There’s much debate on how effective flea and tick collars are. They can be an appropriate preventative measure against fleas and ticks but may not be the best solution for every situation.

Although flea collars are not highly effective when used alone, combining them with other flea control offers better pet protection. For best results using flea collars, experts recommend selecting a brand that contains IGRs (insect growth regulators). IGRs ensure that flea larva doesn’t mature into adult fleas. This keeps flea infestations from reoccurring, as they can do when using a collar that only targets adult fleas and not the larva.

If you’re curious about the effectiveness of a specific flea collar, visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more about the product.

Flea and Tick Collar Safety

If flea collars work by emitting chemicals, are they safe for your pets and home?

Sometimes it can seem like a double-edged sword to protect pets in a safe manner when eliminating pests. Insecticides are necessary to repel and eliminate fleas and ticks, but large doses for an extended time may cause more harm than good.

For example, flea collars containing organophosphates can cause a toxic reaction in pets and people when exposed to them for a long time.

Additionally, permethrin flea collars, which cost less, can be harmful to cats. Felines tend to be more sensitive to permethrin than other mammals like dogs are. In fact, some cats are so sensitive that they can react to permethrin even after casual contact with a dog that’s been treated with it.

There’s even a risk of permethrin overdose when pet owners place flea collars designed for dogs onto a cat. These products can have up to 45% more permethrin than needed to protect your cat. Signs your cat may be having an adverse reaction to a flea and tick treatment include tremors, seizures, and, in some cases, death.

Is a Flea Collar Right for Your Pet?

Most flea collars are recommended for dogs, but do flea collars work on cats too? Yes, there are flea collars that are appropriate for felines, but keep an eye out for any reactions your cat may experience to a new collar. Because they have an increased sensitivity to some flea collar ingredients, cats have a greater risk of skin irritation and other reactions.

Speaking to your veterinarian about choosing the proper flea collar for your pet is highly recommended. Any flea collar can pose some danger to a household with multiple pets, as they may lick or chew each other’s collars, resulting in toxic exposure. But your veterinarian can help you minimize risks and reactions by finding the best collars to meet your household’s needs.

Advantages of flea and tick collars include:

  • Ease of use. Topical flea protection often requires an application and drying time, but with a flea collar, you can protect your pet in the time it takes to secure the collar.
  • Cost-effective. Typically, flea collars provide up to six months of protection at a reasonable price.
  • 24/7 protection. Flea collars stay with your pet and deliver consistent protection.
  • No prescription is required. Most flea and tick collars can be purchased over the counter without a prescription from the vet.

Do Flea Collars Kill Fleas?

Flea and tick collars are designed to kill most fleas and repel ticks. Depending on the type of collar you have, it may only kill adult fleas and not flea eggs (larva) or young fleas (pupa).

It is also worth noting that some flea collars only emitting an odor around the neck are ineffective at killing or repelling fleas, not in the immediate area around the collar.

Flea and Tick Prevention for Your Pets

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, flea and tick collars can be a useful tool to keep them safe. While these collars provide some level of protection for pets, they may also raise concerns when you consider the repellant is in direct contact with your pet and easily accessible to children.

If you have such concerns, there is a better alternative. Your local Mosquito Joe offers traditional and natural barrier spray treatments to help keep fleas and ticks off your pets so you can all enjoy your outdoor time. To learn more about how to protect your family and household pets from fleas and ticks, give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 or find a location near you.