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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16315
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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2 nights ago we noticed 2 fleas on our dog (I managed to

Customer Question

Hi! 2 nights ago we noticed 2 fleas on our dog (I managed to kill only one). We just moved from NY to FL and we have been giving her Advantix monthly since April (we used to only use it seasonally in NY). Since it was late we immediately gave her a treatment of Advantix and washed her and our bedding and vacuumed. Yesterday we noticed 1 flea and I killed it. We gave her Capstar and an hour later combed her with a flea comb (found and killed 2 more, although the seemed pretty slow). We also replaced her bedding. Tonight we found and killed 2 more by combing through her. We vacuumed again(!). Should we be giving her another dose of Capstar? Since we just applied the Advantix, we don't want to bathe her, but we aren't sure what else we can do (although we are going to the vet tomorrow to get Program or similar). HELP!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about finding live fleas on your pup Joni.
Unfortunately Florida is the perfect environment for fleas, it is hot and humid and rarely gets cold enough for frost. That means that fleas can reproduce all year round and since there's no die off period they can also quickly go through several generations and become resistant to new flea adulticides when a few fleas that are resistant to a product reproduce. That means that even when products still work in other parts of the country they may not work in Florida.
The good news is that so far Advantix seems to still work in Florida, but the sheer numbers of fleas mean that you will likely still see adult fleas even when using an effective product. The fleas should die though, and they will be slower moving meaning that they are affected. Advantix has insect growth regulator ingredients that will interfere with egg and larvae development (Pyriproxyfen) so even should an adult or two survive they shouldn't be able to lay eggs that will hatch.
You can certainly use Capstar to quickly knock down any live adult fleas that hop on your pup, but it may not be necessary.
I don't think you need to bathe her and I would not recommend doing so.
My concern isn't the products that you are using on your pup.
I am concerned that your environment may be the problem. Only 5% of the flea population lives on your pup, the rest is in the environment.
You need to vacuum your new home throughly to remove as many eggs and larvae as possible. Concentrate on cracks and crevices, along baseboards, under furniture and areas where they like to sleep and eggs and larvae are at their highest numbers. Vacuum daily and throw away the bag.
You also need to continue to use effective products on your pup like Advantix. Flea preventatives should be applied every 3 weeks in a problem situation as the effectiveness does wane a little after 3 weeks. If you have other pets all animals must be treated or they will serve as flea reservoirs.
I also recommend treating the home environment with a product that has an adulticide (kills adult fleas) as well as an insect growth regulator to stop egg and larvae from developing. A great product is Siphotrol II Plus Premise spray. I like it because it has an insect growth regulator as well as an adulticide. You can spray it under furniture and into cracks crevices and along baseboards where fleas and their offspring hide. It should be used every 2 weeks and no vacuuming for 2 to 3 days after using it to allow it to settle in. Here is a link to show you the product:
The trouble with foggers is that they don't go under furniture or penetrate cracks and crevices so they just aren't effective where they need to be. And they end up in the air where they are nasal irritants for animals and people alike.
Your other option is to have a professional exterminator treat your home and outdoors. Ask for a guarantee and make sure that the products they use don't contain organophosphates and do have an adulticide and an insect growth regulator.
The key with flea treatment is consistency, not stopping too quickly, and using effective products.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Joni. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara