No one wants fleas in their home. Once established in the home, they can take months to get under control. They bite, can cause sores and can even carry disease. Often the first thing you want to do is run out to buy a flea collar. There are however concerns with the original kind of collar, and a much safer alternative is available (there are other safe flea products and preventions available at the clinic, but we are just discussing the collars here now).
The original kind of flea collar that is available at a lot of pet stores is a plastic band that is embedded with a pesticide. The pesticide is good at killing the fleas but not good at being safe for your pet. It could be compared to taking a whole can of flea spray embedding into the collar then setting around your pet’s neck. Many of the concerns are worried about inhaling the pesticide as it is very close to your pets’ nose and mouth, irritation on the skin as it is rubbing the pesticide onto the neck area, being touched by your family and it will only be killing any fleas that are on the neck leaving the rest of the pet unprotected.
The alternative to this is an Ovicollar. It is a rubber collar that is embedded with a flea specific hormone that affects the flea only, not your pet. It acts a bit like “birth control” for the fleas. It makes the adult female fleas unable to reproduce any eggs, and if by some chance they did reproduce the eggs would not be viable and thus unable to hatch. This stops the life cycle, and the flea population will decrease as no new ones are able to populate the environment. Using this method will take a long time with a heavy burden.
This collar is safe for cats for one year and dogs for eight months, Ovicollars are available the vet clinic. Now if you have a heavy flea burden you may also need additional help with other products for the home or on your pet, but this is an inexpensive option to help lower the numbers or avoid the issue.
Written by: Lisa Clifford, RVT & Office Manager