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 US Fipronil
Effipro DoCa Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil
Eliminall DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK, IR Fipronil
Fipracyl DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fipralone DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fipnil DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK, NZ Fipronil
Fiprex DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiproclear DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiproguard DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Fiprospot DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Fiprotech DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
First Defence DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Fleatix DoCa Fl, Ti IR Fipronil
Flevox DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK, IR Fipronil
Flick DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Frontline Top Spot DoCa Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil
Fyperix DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Parastar Do Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Parex DoCa Fl, Ti IR Fipronil
Pestigon DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK, IR, NZ Fipronil
Petarmor DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Petscience Flealine DoCa Fl, Ti, Li NZ Fipronil
Pronyl PTC DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Ridaflea DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
ShieldTec Ca Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
Total Care DoCa Fl, Ti, Li AU Fipronil
Vet Series DoCa Fl AU Fipronil
VetGuard Ca Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil
VetUK Flea DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil
Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Amflee Combo DoCa Fl, Ti UK Fipronil + methoprene
Ecto Advance Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + methoprene
Effipro Duo DoCa Fl, Ti UK, IR Fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Fipralone Duo Do, Ca Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Fiproguard Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + methoprene
Fiprotec Combo DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + methoprene
Frontline Combo DoCa Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene
Frontline Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li Int. Fipronil + methoprene
Fyperix Combo DoCa Fl, Ti, Li UK Fipronil + methoprene
Petaction Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + methoprene
Petarmor Plus IGR DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + novaluron
Pronyl OTC Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + methoprene
Spectra Sure + IGR DoCa Fl, Ti US Fipronil + methoprene
ZoGuard Plus DoCa Fl, Ti, Li US Fipronil + methoprene

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Effitix Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US, UK, IR Fipronil + permethrin
Fiproguard Max Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Fiproguard Max Ca Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Fipronil + etofenprox
Frontect Do Fl, Ti, Mo UK Fipronil + permethrin
Parastar Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Petarmor Pro Advance Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Fipronil + permethrin
Pronyl OTC Max Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Fipronil + cyphenothrin
Pronyl OTC Max Ca Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US 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 DoCa Fl, Li Int. Imidacloprid
Advantage II DoCa Fl, Li Int. Imidacloprid + pyriproxyfen
Advantix Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Imidacloprid + permethrin
Adventure Plus DoCa Fl, Li US Imidacloprid + pyriproxyfen
Clear Double Action DoCa Fl, Li UK Imidacloprid
ClearSpot DoCa Fl, Li UK Imidacloprid
Evance DoCa Fl NZ 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 DoCa Fl UK Pyriproxyfen
Activyl DoCa Fl Int. Indoxacarb
Activyl Tick Plus Do Fl, Ti Int. Indoxacarb + permethrin
Assurity Ca Fl US Spinetoram
Bio Spot for Cats Ca Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene
Bio Spot for Dogs Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene + pyriproxyfen
Bravecto Topical Sol. DoCa Fl, Ti Int. Fluralaner
Catego Ca Fl, Ti US Dinotefuran + fipronil + pyriproxyfen
Cheristin Ca Fl US Spinetoram
Exspot Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Permethrin
Freedom Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Permethrin
Liberty 50 Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Ovitrol X-Tend Ca Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene
Ovitrol X-Tend Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene
Prac-Tic Do Fl, Ti UK, NZ Pyriprole
ProTIcall Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Permethrin
ShieldTec Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Spot-on Flea Control Ca Fl AU Pyriproxyfen
Triforce Canine Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Cyphenothrin + pyriproxyfen
Triforce Feline Ca Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + pyriproxyfen
Ultraguard Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox
Ultraguard Onespot Ca Fl US Methoprene
Ultraguard Pro Ca Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene
Ultraguard Pro Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Etofenprox + methoprene + pyriproxyfen
Vectra DoCa Fl Int. Dinotefuran + pyriproxyfen
Vectra 3D Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo Int. Dinotefuranpermethrin + pyriproxyfen
VetGuard Plus Do Fl, Ti, Li, Mo US Permethrin + pyriproxyfen
Zodiac for Cats Ca Fl US Methoprene
Zodiac for Dogs Do Fl, Ti, Mo US Permethrin + methoprene

Flea + Tick tablets and oral suspensions

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

Flea + Tick Collars

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

Flea Injectables & Oral Suspensions

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

Dips & Sprays

Brand Hosts Indications Count. Active ingredients
Aludex Dip Do Mi UK, IR Amitraz

 

 

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