Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

3850 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066

(310)391-6741

marvistavet.com

Flea Product Comparison

Confused about flea protection? This FAQ compares all the currently available flea control products to assist you in determining which is right for your situation. These products are available at licensed veterinary hospitals. If you would like to know why we haven’t included over the counter products (as would be sold in a grocery or pet supply store), click here. Because there are 18 different products compared in 16 different categories, we have split up the information into 4 separate tables.

 

Table 1:

Flea killing ingredient; Flea sterilizing or additional ingredients; For dogs or cats; Youngest age or size approved for use; Waterproof or water resistant

Table 2:

Approved for pregnancy or lactation (nursing); How long until maximum effect against fleas is reached; Other parasites killed, controlled or repelled; How often applied or administered

Table 3:

Oral or Topical, Prescription drug, non-prescription drug or insecticide; LD50 (lethal dose to 50% of the population)

Table 4:

Year first made available in U.S.; Manufacturer, Manufacturer’s website; Additional cautions

 

TABLE 1

Flea Killing
Ingredient

Flea Sterilizing or Additional Ingredients

For Dogs
or Cats

Youngest Age or Size Approved For Use

Waterproof or
Water Resistant?

Comfortis, AcuGuard*

Spinosad

none

Dog

14 weeks; at least 5 lbs

Waterproof

Trifexis

Spinosad

Milbemycin (for add’l parasites)

Dog

8 weeks; at least 5 lbs

Waterproof

Cheristin

Spinetoram

none

Cat

8 weeks

Water Resistant

Vectra 3D, SimpleGuard 3*, FirstShield Trio*

Dinotefuran & Permethrin

Pyriproxifen (flea sterilizer)

Dog

7 weeks; at least 2.5 lbs

Water Resistant

Vectra for Cats, SimpleGuard for Cats*, FirstShield for Cats*

Dinotefuran

Pyriproxifen (flea sterilizer)

Cat

8 weeks

Water Resistant

Catego

Dinotefuran & Fipronil

pyriproxifen

Cat

1.5 lbs and 8 weeks

Water Resistant

Revolution

Selamectin

none

Dog or Cat

6 weeks puppies 8 weeks kittens

Waterproof

Advantage II, Combiva, Crossblock II, Paradefense for cats

Imidacloprid

Pyriproxifen (flea sterilizer)

Dog or Cat

7 weeks puppies 8 weeks kittens

Waterproof

K9Advantix II, Paradefense for dogs, Provecta

Imidacloprid & Permethrin

Pyriproxifen (flea sterilizer)

Dog

7 weeks

Waterproof

Advantage Multi also called Advocate

Imidacloprid

Moxidectin (for additional parasites)

Dog or Cat

7 weeks puppies 9 weeks kittens

Waterproof

Advantus

Imidocloprid

none

Dog

10 weeks or older, 4 lbs or larger

Waterproof

Effitix

Fipronil & Permethrin

none

Dog

12 weeks

Water Resistant

Frontline Gold

Fipronil

Methoprene, Pyriproxyfen

Dog or Cat

8 weeks and 3 lbs

Waterproof but wait 24 hours before bathing or swimming

Frontline Fiproguard, PetArmor, EasySpot (cats) Parastar (dogs) Effipro (cats)

Fipronil

none

Dog or Cat

8 weeks

Waterproof

Frontline Plus, Fiproguard Plus, PetArmor Plus, Ectoadvance Plus

Fipronil

Methoprene (flea sterilizer)

Dog or Cat

8 weeks

Waterproof

Activyl

Indoxacarb

Indoxacarb both kills and sterilizes fleas

Dog or Cat

puppies 8 weeks and 4 lbs, kittens 8 weeks and 2 lbs

Waterproof (wait 24 hours before swimming/bathing)

Activyl Tick Plus

Indoxacarb & Permethrin

Indoxacarb both kills and sterilizes fleas

Dog

8 weeks and 4 lbs

Waterproof (wait 24 hours before swimming/bathing)

Bravecto Chew

Fluralaner

none

Dog

6 months and 4 lbs

Waterproof

Bravecto Topical

Fluralaner

none

Cat

2.6 lbs, 6 months of age

Water Resistant

Nexgard

Afoxolaner

none

Dog

8 weeks and 4 lbs

Waterproof

Simparica

Sarolaner

none

Dog

6 months and at least 2.8 lbs

Waterproof

Seresto

Imidacloprid & Flumethrin

none

Dog or Cat but each has own product

7 weeks old and 18 lbs for dogs,
10 weeks for kittens

Water Resistant

Program

none

Lufenuron (flea sterilizer)

Dog or Cat

4 weeks

Waterproof

Sentinel

none

Lufenuron (flea sterilizer) & Milbemycin (for add’l parasites)

Dog

4 weeks; at least 2 lbs

Waterproof

Capstar, Capguard, PetArmor FastCaps

Nitenpyram

none

Dog or Cat

4 weeks; at least 2 lbs

Waterproof

 

 

TABLE 2

Approved for Pregnancy and Lactation (nursing)

How Long Until Maximum Effect Against Fleas Is Reached?

Other Parasites Killed, Controlled or Repelled

How Often Applied
or Administered?

Comfortis, AcuGuard*

Manufacturer recommends against use but not specifically labeled against

100% Fleas Dead in 4 Hours

none

Monthly

Trifexis

Manufacturer recommends against use but not specifically labeled against

100% Fleas Dead in 4 Hours

Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms & Heartworm

Monthly

Cheristin

Manufacturer recommends consulting with veterinarian first

98 - 100% Fleas Dead in 12 Hours

none

Monthly

Vectra 3D, SimpleGuard 3*, FirstShield Trio*

No

96% of Fleas Dead in 6 Hours

Kills Ticks; Repels Flies and Mosquitos

Monthly

Vectra for Cats, SimpleGuard for Cats*, FirstShield for Cats*

No

98% of Fleas Dead in 6 Hours

none

Monthly

Catego

No

98% fleas dead in 6 hours

Kills Ticks & Lice

Monthly

Revolution

Yes

42 Hours to Zero Fleas

Dogs: Ticks, Ear Mites, Sarcoptic Mange Mites & Heartworm Larvae
Cats: Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites & Heartworm Larvae

Monthly

Advantage II, Combiva, Crossblock II, Paradefense for cats

Manufacturer recommends consulting with veterinarian first

98% of Pre-Existing Fleas Dead in 12 Hours; Then New Fleas in 2 Hours

none

Monthly

K9Advantix II, Paradefense for dogs, Provecta

No

98% of Fleas Dead in 12 Hours

Kills Ticks; Repels Flies and Mosquitos

Monthly

Advantage Multi also called Advocate

No

98% of Fleas Dead in 12 Hours

Dogs: Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms & Heartworm
Cats: Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites & Heartworm

Monthly

Advantus

not tested for either situation

96% fleas dead within 4 hours

none

daily or as needed (but not more than once a day)

Effitix

No

90% of fleas dead in 6 hours, 99% in 12 hours

Kills Ticks; Repels Mosquitos

Monthly

Frontline Gold

Yes

100% fleas dead in 12 hours

Ticks, Chewing Lice

Monthly

Frontline, Fiproguard, PetArmor EasySpot (cats) Parastar (dogs) Effipro (cats)

Topspot Yes; Spray No

24 Hrs to Translocate, then 4-18 Hours to Kill Fleas

Kills Ticks & Lice

Monthly

Frontline Plus, Fiproguard Plus, PetArmor Plus, Ectoadvance Plus

Yes

24 Hrs to Translocate, then 4-18 Hrs to Kill Fleas and 24-48 Hours to Kill Ticks

Kills Ticks & Lice

Monthly

Activyl

no

99.9% of fleas dead in 72 hours (66% of fleas dead in 24 hours)

none

6 weeks
(recommended to apply monthly)

Activyl Tick Plus

no

99.9% of fleas dead in 72 hours (66% of fleas dead in 24 hours)

Ticks

4 weeks

Bravecto Chew

Yes

88% in 4 hours, 100% in 12 hours

ticks, sarcoptic mange mites, demodectic mange mites

12 Weeks
(only kills Lone Star ticks for 8 weeks)

Bravecto Topical

no

100% of fleas dead in 8 hours

deer ticks, American dog ticks

every 12 weeks for fleas
(every 8 weeks for ticks)

Nexgard

no

99.5% fleas dead in 8 hours

Kills Ticks

Monthly

Simparica

no

>96.2% of fleas dead within 8 hours, begins to kills fleas after 3 hours

Kills Ticks, Kills Sarcoptic Mange Mites

Monthly

Seresto

no

24 hours (after that new fleas killed within 2 hours)

ticks, lice, aids in sarcoptic mange control

8 months (5 months if pet swims
or bathes once a month or more),
30 days for lice

Program

Yes

Peak activity at 6 Hours

none

Monthly for oral;
Every 6 Months for Injectable

Sentinel

Individual ingredients Yes, but combination not approved

Peak activity at 6 Hours

Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms & Heartworm

Monthly

Capstar, Capguard, PetArmor FastCaps

Yes

Maximum Effect in 4 Hours

none

As Needed or Daily
(no lasting activity)

 

 

TABLE 3

Oral or Topical?

Prescription Drug, Non-Prescription Drug or Insectcide

Lethal Dose to 50% of the Population
(the higher the number, the safer the product)
[What is LD50?]

Comfortis, AcuGuard*

Oral (Chewable)

Prescription Drug

>3,000 mg/kg in rats; >2.000 mg/kg in rabbits (translates to over 30 times recommended dose)

Trifexis

Oral (Chewable)

Prescription Drug

Spinosad: >3,000 mg/kg in rats; >2.000 mg/kg in rabbits Milbemycin LD50 information unavailable Symptoms of tremors and incoordination result at 19 times recommended dose

Cheristin

Topical

Insecticide

Dermal and Oral LD50 in rats > 5,000 mg/kg

Vectra 3D, SimpleGuard 3*, FirstShield Trio*

Topical

Insecticide

>2,400 mg/kg in rats for Dinotefuran, >4,000 mg/kg in rats for topical Permethrin

Vectra for Cats, SimpleGuard for Cats*, FirstShield for Cats*

Topical

Insecticide

>2,400 mg/kg in rats for Dinotefuran

Catego

Topical

Insecticide

Fipronil Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Fipronil Orally: 750 mg/kg in rats; >2,400 mg/kg in rats for Dinotefuran

Revolution

Applied Topically, but rapidly absorbed through skin

Prescription Drug

>1,600 mg/kg in rats

Advantage II, Combiva, Crossblock II, Paradefense for cats

Topical

Insecticide

Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Orally: 450 mg/kg in rats

K9Advantix II, Paradefense for dogs, Provecta

Topical

Insecticide

Imidacloprid Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Imidacloprid Orally: 450 mg/kg in rats >4,000 mg/kg in rats for Permethrin

Advantage Multi also called Advocate

Topical

Prescription Drug

Imidacloprid Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Imidacloprid Orally: 450 mg/kg in rats >2,000 mg/kg in rabbits for Moxidectin

Advantus

Oral

Over the Counter Drug

450 mg/kg in rats

Effitix

Topical

Insecticide

Fipronil Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Fipronil Orally: 750 mg/kg in rats; >4,000 mg/kg in rats for topical Permethrin

Frontline Gold

Topical

Insecticide

Fipronil Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Fipronil Orally: 750 mg/kg in rats Methoprene Orally: >34,600 in rats (virtually non-toxic)

Frontline, Fiproguard, PetArmor EasySpot (cats) Parastar (dogs) Effipro (cats)

Topical Topspot or Spray

Insecticide

Fipronil Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Fipronil Orally: 750 mg/kg in rats

Frontline Plus, Fiproguard Plus, PetArmor Plus, Ectoadvance Plus

Topical

Insecticide

Fipronil Dermal Dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats Fipronil Orally: 750 mg/kg in rats Methoprene Orally: >34,600 in rats (virtually non-toxic)

Activyl

Topical

Insecticide

Indoxacarb must be activated by insect metabolism (no activity in mammals)

Activyl Tick Plus

Topical

Insecticide

Indoxacarb is inert in the mammal body, >4,000 mg/kg in rats for Permethrin

Bravecto Chew

Oral

Prescription Drug

Dermal LD50: >2000 mg/kg (rat), Oral LD50: >2000 mg/kg (rat)

Bravecto Topical

Topical

Prescription Drug

Dermal LD50: >2000 mg/kg (rat), Oral LD50: >2000 mg/kg (rat)

Nexgard

Oral

Prescription Drug

LD50: > 1000 mg/kg in rats

Simparica

Oral (flavored chewable)

Prescription Drug

approx 783 mg/kg in the rat (over 300 times the therapeutic dose in the dog)

Seresto

Neither, it's a collar

Insecticide

imidacloprid dermal dose: >5,000 mg/kg in rats
Imidacloprid orally: 450 mg/kg in rats, flumethrin: ld50 oral rat (male) 258 mg/kg, ld50 dermal rat > 150 mg/kg

Program

Oral; or Injectable for Cats only

Over the Counter Drug

Orally: > 2,000 mg/kg in rats

Sentinel

Oral

Prescription Drug

Lufenuron Orally: > 2,000 mg/kg in rats Milbemycin LD50 information unavailable Symptoms of tremors and incoordination result at 19 times recommended dose

Capstar, Capguard, PetArmor FastCaps

Oral

Over the Counter Drug

Orally: 1,575 mg/kg in rats

 

 

TABLE 4

Year First Made
Available in U.S.

Manufacturer

Manufacturer Website

Additional Cautions

Comfortis, AcuGuard*

2007

Elanco

www.comfortis4dogs.com (AcuGuard is a private label*)

May promote seizures in dogs already predisposed to seizures

Trifexis

2011

Elanco

www.trifexis.com

Puppies less than 14 weeks of age may experience a higher rate of vomiting. May promote seizures in dogs already predisposed to seizures

Cheristin

2011

Elanco

www.cheristin4cats.com

none

Vectra 3D, SimpleGuard 3*, FirstShield Trio*

2007

Ceva

www.vectrapet.com
(SimpleGuard 3 and FirstShield Trio are private labels*)

none

Vectra for Cats, SimpleGuard for Cats*, FirstShield for Cats*

2008

Ceva

www.vectrapet.com
(SimpleGuard 3 and FirstShield Trio are private labels*)

none

Catego

2017

Ceva

www.categocat.com

none

Revolution

2000

Pfizer

www.revolutionpet.com

Pets should test negative for Heartworm before use

Advantage II, Combiva, Crossblock II, Paradefense for cats

1996

Bayer

http://advantage.petparents.comwww.paradefensepet.com/consumer-cat

none

K9Advantix II, Paradefense for dogs, Provecta

2003

Bayer

http://k9advantix.petparents.comwww.paradefensepet.com
https://provectapet.com

Do not use in cats (cats are sensitive to Permethrin)

Advantage Multi also called Advocate

2007

Bayer

http://advantagemulti.petparents.com

Pets should test negative for Heartworm before use

Advantus

2017

Bayer

www.petbasics.com/dog-products/advantus/product-detail

none

Effitix

2012

Virbac

www.virbacvet.com

Canine product cannot be safely used on cats

Frontline Gold

2016

Merial

www.frontline.com

none

Frontline, Fiproguard, PetArmor EasySpot (cats) Parastar (dogs) Effipro (cats)

1996 (Frontline)
2012 (Effipro)
2011 (all others)

Merial Sentry FidoPharm

www.frontline.com www.sentrypetcare.com www.petarmor.com www.easyspotpet.com www.parastarpet.com www.virbacvet.com

none

Frontline Plus, Fiproguard Plus, PetArmor Plus, Ectoadvance Plus

2000

Merial Sentry FidoPharm

www.frontline.com www.sentrypetcare.com
www.petarmor.com
  www.ectoadvanceplus.com

none

Activyl

2012

Merck Animal Health

www.activyl.com

Fleas tend to get more active when this product works on them so tend to be more visible. It may look like the pet has more fleas.

Activyl Tick Plus

2012

Merck Animal Health

www.activyl.com

Toxic to cats

Bravecto Chew

2014

Merck Animal Health

bravecto.com

none

Bravecto Topical

2016

Merck Animal Health

bravecto.com

none

Nexgard

2014

Merial

www.nexgardfordogs.com

May promote seizures in dogs already predisposed to seizures

Simparica

2016

Zoetis

simparica.com

Should not be used in dogs with known seizure disorders,
wash hands after using product

Seresto

2012

Bayer

www.petparents.com/products.aspx/index/seresto

Safety features of collar present so that collar breaks off if caught

Program

1994

Novartis

www.program.novartis.us

Give with food

Sentinel

1997

Novartis

www.sentinel.novartis.us

Give with food; Pets should test negative for Heartworm before use

Capstar, Capguard, PetArmor FastCaps

2000

Novartis

www.drugs.com/pro/capstar.html

none

 

As of spring 2011, Pfizer has discontinued the manufacture of Promeris (active ingredients: amitraz and metaflumizone)
As of 2016, Merial stopped production of Frontline Tritak. (active ingredients: fipronil, cyphenothrin or etophenprox, methoprene)

* VCA Animal Hospitals and Banfield Pet Hospitals market some products under their own hospital private label, made by the
   same manufacterer as the original product. It is the same product (made by the same manufacturer) but with a different name.

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Page last updated: 7/7/2017