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Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasites of dogs and cats, and consequently most ectoparasiticidal drugs target these parasites. Many of these drugs are also effective against lice, mitesmosquitoes and other less important parasites.

Based on their efficacy and reliability, there are two large groups of commercial products to control these parasites, "hard" products and "soft" products.

"Soft" products are mostly shampoos, soaps, sprays, powders and the like that kill or repel more or less quickly and effectively (70-80%) these parasites immediately after application, but offer no real protection against re-infestation (i.e. no residual effect). This may require frequent re-treatments during the parasite's season. These "soft" products contain often the same pesticides than the "hard" products, but in less sophisticated formulations. They also contain more or less natural insecticides, often with a partial but sufficient efficacy. Registration of these products is often rather easy and most of them have not been thoroughly investigated regarding efficacy and safety. They are sold mostly over the counter. And there are thousands of brands and hundreds of manufacturers of these "soft" products.

"Hard" products are mainly:

All these "hard" products have in common that they are highly effective (usually >90%) against the parasites and offer at least about 1 month protection against re-infestation. In contrast with the soft products most of these products have been thoroughly investigated regarding efficacy and safety because registration requirements are rather strict in most countries. For this reason most of the original products are marketed by large to medium pharmaceutical or agrochemical companies (e.g. BAYER, ELANCO, MERIAL, ZOETIS, etc.). Some of these products need a prescription and are sold only in pharmacies or veterinary clinics. Another common feature of these "hard" products is that they are often substantially more expensive than the "soft" ones.

Active ingredients used in flea + tick products

Very few active ingredients are effective against all external parasites and all their developmental stages. For these reason numerous brands contain mixtures of active ingredients.

A typical mixture is adulticide + IGR (=Insect Growth Regulator). Most insecticides are adulticides, i.e. effective mainly or exclusively against the adult parasites, whereas IGRs are effective against immature stages, and not against the adults. Most common IGRs used in these products are methoprene and pyriproxyfen that are added to ensure that fleas that may survive the adulticide do not reproduce. These IGRs have no effect whatsoever on ticks or mites.

Another typical mixture is insecticide + tickicide. Several excellent flea killers (e.g. imidacloprid, indoxacarb, spinosad, etc.) are not effective against ticks. To add tick efficacy they are often mixed with a synthetic pyrethroid (e.g. permethrin, cyphenothrin, etofenprox, etc.) or with amitraz. But all these active ingredients are rather toxic to cats, and as a consequence most of these mixtures are only for dogs. Synthetic pyrethroids are often also effective against mosquitoes.

Flea and tick control in dogs and cats is the largest single Animal Health market worldwide, and a verx profitable one. Consequently all large and small companies have fought and are still fighting fiercly to get their share of it. This has resulted in numerous new active ingredients of different chemical classes fruit of massive investments in R&D by the large laboratories. And it has also resulted in numberless generic brands, once patent protection expired for the most successful active ingredients, particularly for fipronil.

This section includes articles on the most popular "hard" products marketed in most English-speaking countries. You can select one article from the tables below or from the corresponding menu:


Flea + tick spot-ons

Brand Hosts Indications
Count. Active ingredients
Amflee DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Clear DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Easyspot Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Effipro DoCa Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil
Eliminall Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fipracyl Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fipralone Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fipnil Do, Ca Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiprex Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiproclear Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiproguard Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Fiprospot Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiprotech Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
First Defence Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Flevox Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Flick Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Frontline Top Spot Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil
Fyperix Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Parastar Do Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Pestigon Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Petarmor Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Pronyl PTC Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Ridaflea Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
ShieldTec Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
Total Care Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li AUS Fipronil
Vet Series Do, Ca Fl AUS Fipronil
VetGuard Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil
VetUK Flea Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Amflee Combo Do, Ca Fl, Ti UK Fipronil + methoprene
Ecto Advance Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + methoprene
Effipro Duo Do, Ca Fl, Ti UK Fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Fipralone Duo Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Fiproguard Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + methoprene
Fiprotec Combo Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + methoprene
Frontline Combo Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene
Frontline Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene
Fyperix Combo Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + methoprene
Petaction Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + methoprene
Petarmor Plus IGR Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + novaluron
Pronyl OTC Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + methoprene
Spectra Sure + IGR Do, Ca Fl, Ti USA Fipronil + methoprene
ZoGuard Plus Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li USA Fipronil + methoprene
Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Effitix Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + permethrin
Fiproguard Max Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Fiproguard Max Ca Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + etofenprox
Frontect Do Fl, Ti, Mo UK Fipronil + permethrin
Parastar Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Petarmor Pro Advance Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + permethrin
Pronyl OTC Max Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Pronyl OTC Max Ca Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Fipronil + etofenprox
  • Spot-ons with fipronil + IGR + tickicide

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Certifect Do Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene + amitraz
Frontline Tritak Ca Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene + etofenprox
Frontline Tritak Do Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene + cyphenothrin
Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Advantage Do, Ca Fl, Li Int. Imidacloprid
Advantage II Do, Ca Fl, Li Int. Imidacloprid + pyriproxyfen
Advantix Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Imidacloprid + permethrin
Adventure Plus Do, Ca Fl, Li USA Imidacloprid + pyriproxyfen
Clear Double Action Do, Ca Fl, Li UK Imidacloprid
ClearSpot Do, Ca Fl, Li UK Imidacloprid
K9 Advantix Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Imidacloprid + permethrin
K9 Advantix II Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Imidacloprid + permethrin + pyriproxyfen
  • Spot-ons with other active ingredients

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
4Fleas Protector Do, Ca Fl UK Pyriproxyfen
Activyl Do, Ca Fl Int. Indoxacarb
Activyl Tick Plus Do Fl, Ti Int. Indoxacarb + permethrin
Assurity Ca Fl USA Spinetoram
Bio Spot for Cats Ca Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene
Bio Spot for Dogs Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene + pyriproxyfen
Bravecto Topical Sol. Do Ca Fl, Ti Int. Fluralaner
Catego Ca Fl, Ti USA Dinotefuran + fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Cheristin Ca Fl USA Spinetoram
Exspot Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Permethrin
Freedom Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Permethrin
Liberty 50 Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA  Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Ovitrol X-Tend Ca Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene
Ovitrol X-Tend Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene
Prac-Tic Do Fl, Ti UK Pyriprole
ProTIcall Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Permethrin
ShieldTec Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Spot-on Flea Control Ca Fl AUS Pyriproxyfen
Triforce Canine Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Cyphenothrin + pyriproxyfen
Triforce Feline Ca Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + pyriproxyfen
Ultraguard Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox
Ultraguard Onespot Ca Fl USA Methoprene
Ultraguard Pro Ca Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene
Ultraguard Pro Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Etofenprox + methoprene + pyriproxyfen
Vectra Do, Ca Fl Int. Dinotefuran + pyriproxyfen
Vectra 3D Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Dinotefuranpermethrin + pyriproxyfen
VetGuard Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo USA Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Zodiac for Cats Ca Fl USA Methoprene
Zodiac for Dogs Do Fl, Ti, Mo USA Permethrin + methoprene

Flea + Tick tablets and oral suspensions

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
4Fleas Do, Ca Fl UK Nitenpyram
Bravecto Do Fl, Ti Int. Fluralaner
Capstar Do, Ca Fl Int. Nitenpyram
Clear Flea Do, Ca Fl UK Nitenpyram
Comfortis Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li Int. Spinosad
Nexgard Do Fl, Ti Int. Afoxolaner
Palatable Flea Control Do, Ca Fl AUS Pyriproxyfen
Program Tablets Do, Ca Fl Int. Lufenuron
Program Oral Susp. Ca Fl Int. Lufenuron
Sentry Capguard Do, Ca Fl USA Nitenpyram
Simparica Do Fl, Ti, Mi Int. Sarolaner

Flea + Tick Collars

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Adams Plus (large) Do Fl, Ti USA Methoprene + tetrachlorvinphos
Adams Plus (small) Do Fl, Ti USA Propoxur + methoprene
Beaphar Flea & Tick Do, Ca Fl, Ti UK Dimpylate=diazinon
Bolfo Do, Ca Fl, Ti Int. Propoxur
Breakaway Plus Ca Fl, Ti USA Propoxur + methoprene
Clear Collar Do, Ca Fl, Ti UK Dimpylate=diazinon
Kiltix Do, Ca Fl, Ti Int. Propoxur + flumethrin
Powerband Do Fl, Ti USA Propoxur + methoprene
Scalibor Do Fl, Ti, Mo Int. Deltamethrin
Salvo Do Fl, Ti USA Deltamethrin
Seresto Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li, Mi Int. Imidacloprid + flumethrin
Ultrashield Do Fl, Ti USA Deltamethrin

Flea injectables

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Program Injectable Ca Fl Int. Lufenuron

 

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