Here are some high-points:
- Fleas don't jump off one dog and onto another. They stay on a dog until the are full of blood, jump off to lay eggs. So, your dog doesn't get fleas from those pesky neighbor dogs.
- The most common vector for fleas is the opossum. He comes through your yard at 3 AM shaking off fleas and flea eggs which infest your yard.
- The flea life cycle is about 8 weeks. So, if you can treat your dog(s) for 8-10 weeks and they don't get out in the yard for re-infestation, you can eradicate them in your home using the dog as bait.
- Flea control comes down to two options: a topical product or an oral pill (Comfortis).
- We like and use both approaches. Comfortis is very popular. As to topicals, there are so many out there nowadays, it is confusing, even for the veterinarian. I like Vectra and that is what I use on my own dogs. Generally speaking, for small dogs Comfortis is the choice. For large breeds, Vectra is the way to go. FYI, Comfortis doesn't get ticks while Vectra does.
- Other steps like vacuuming and discarding the full bag outside; professional exterminators, etc. are also tools to use. In my experience, it is nearly impossible to eradicate fleas from your yard or under your house because of continual re-infestation by small mammals, e.g. the opossum.
- According to researchers at universities, all the topicals work about the same. The key is continual application for at least 8 weeks. To buy one ampule at a time is normally counter-productive.