A flea collar is a material that is used around the neck of a pet dog or cat for identification as well as to control ticks and fleas. Flea collar is worn in addition to the regular collar and flea treatment is added to the material to repel fleas.
However, be careful when considering flea collars for your pets. The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) noted that some commercially available flea collars contain ingredients that are cancerous and neurotoxic to your cat or dog. Some brands include in their labels a strict warning on the adverse effect of the chemicals used in flea collar that can cause cancer, defective offspring or reproductive risks. Several reports and comments on some brands of flea collars indicate that after using the product, pets began to be manifest awful reaction to the chemicals in it.
Nonetheless, a flea collar has been used as an effective way to control fleas. The flea collar originally introduced in 1964 was made of plastic and it emitted insecticides to kill adult fleas. It was also observed to have reduced bites to the animal.
In recent years, popular brands that manufacture flea treatment and control products have introduced flea collars in the market. They work to treat fleas in two ways:
- By discharging toxic gas and by releasing a toxin (pyrethrins) absorbed by the fat layer of your pet’s skin that will kill the fleas . The first method works well on the neck and head areas. The flea collar repels the fleas situated close to the collar. It is also effective when used inside a vacuum cleaner bag to terminate fleas that have been vacuumed.
- The second method is more effective. Aside from pyrethrins, it also contains insect growth regulator (IGR), which stops the growth of flea and larvae. When fleas bite your pet, they will die from the toxins absorbed by the skin. The collar is replaceable after 5 months of use.
Always ask your vet what collar your pet should have. The flea collar won’t work well with some animals. Some pet owners complain that their cats and dogs develop flea collar dermatitis; this is true because some animals may have low resistance to the chemical ingredients in it and may find them too harsh and toxic. Yet flea collar does work in preventing tick bites, but not in resolving completely the problem on flea infestation.
If you have an active pet that spends more time outdoor, a flea collar is advisable so it won’t be easily infected by other animals.
An electronic flea collar can be used too. Electronic flea collars emit ultrasonic pulses to ward off fleas from pets. They are designed to stop the parasites from biting until finally they leave your pet and look for other hosts to bite. Electronic flea collars claim to be harmless because they do not actually contain any pesticides. As to its effectiveness, no scientific evidence showed how they really work to rid your pets of fleas.
Using flea collars is one way to kill fleas, but there are other effective ways to treat your pet and the entire house, including the outdoors. If you want to have a completely flea-free household, it will involve a holistic approach to the flea problem.