Flea Collar Formulations

Cat With Flea Dermititis

Cat With Flea Dermititis

Flea collars for pets all work on the same principle. A pesticide is imbedded in a plastic matrix in the form of a collar that can be buckled onto the neck of the animal. The plastic is formulated to slowly release the pesticide over the lifetime of the flea collar. In most products, a pesticide is used that is not absorbed by the animal, but coats the skin and fur where adult fleas feed. Products differ in pesticide ingredients and the plastic formulation of the collar and cost.

Many people have been disappointed by the lack of efficacy of products in the past. Some products are not very effective for a variety of reasons. Over time flea populations can develop resistance to insecticides. A product that was effective a decade ago, may lose effectiveness if flea resistance develops. The pesticide may not adequately cover the hind quarters of a large animal if the distance is too great. Products that perform poorly for pet owners typically perform poorly in efficacy trials.

Flea collars marketed in the name, Seresto, have performed well in 2012 and 2013 efficacy tests. The collars are at the high end of the price range, but are effective for up to 8 months. These collars contain a mixture of imidacloprid and flumethrin. In an Italian study* these collars were over 99 percent effective against ticks and 100 percent effective against fleas. In a study (funded by the manufacturer)** flea control varied between 97 and 100 percent for cats and 94 and 100 percent for dogs. These collars may be a useful option for pet owners who have flea problems.

*Dantas-Torres et al.: Efficacy of an imidacloprid/ flumethrin collar against fleas, ticks and tick-borne pathogens in dogs. Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:245.
**Stanneck et al.: Evaluation of the long-term efficacy and safety of an imidacloprid 10%/flumethrin 4.5% polymer matrix collar (Seresto®®) in dogs and cats naturally infested with fleas and/or ticks in multicentre clinical field studies in Europe. Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:66.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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6 Responses to Flea Collar Formulations

  1. Nancy says:

    I live in the state of Pennsylvania,and we really don’t seem to have a problem with fleas, are big problem seems to be ticks, the last 2 years a cat who adopted me moved in, Rascal likes to go outside and he hangs around our home the past 2 months he’s been coming in with ticks, we put on front line, which seems to kill them but they do bite and they attach themselves and die for the last 3 days I’ve been removing ticks, we do get deer that come to eat corn and bird seed and sometimes they sleep at the side of our home, so I’m assuming they’re falling off the deer would the collar be a better choice, or are we better off sticking with the front line ?

  2. Adam Hughes says:

    I’ve had numerous problems with Flea products,not working. I’ve sprayed the house with a insecticide and Treated my Dog with Frontline and various other treatments. Yet the fleas keep appearing. Even some of the more expensive treatments,don’t seem to work.

    In regards to ‘Seresto’ Is this available in the UK? I might give it a try. Thanks for the interesting and informative post.

  3. Pingback: Living With Tick and Flea Collars | Living With Insects Blog

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