How to get rid of fleas in your house, on your pets, and how to stay rid of them once they're gone – a step-by-step guide to flea control.

The Pros and Cons of Using Flea Powder

Powders used to be a popular way to treat pets for fleas. These days, there are much more effective methods, namely the topical “spot” treatments such as Frontline Plus and Advantage.

Flea powders used for pets contained insecticides, and there were several reasons they were less than ideal for getting rid of fleas on pets.

  • It was hard to distribute the powder evenly over the animal. Fleas had a tendency to linger in one or more areas of the pet’s coat, and re-infest them after the powder wore off.
  • There was no real residual effect to the powder itself. It tended to fall away over time, and not offer any long-term protection.
  • To be effective, flea control treatments need to be comprehensive, and kill not just the adult fleas, but the eggs and larva as well. Powders didn’t accomplish this.
  • Powders created a toxic cloud during treatment, which could be inhaled by both the pet and the person treating them.

For these reasons, it’s actually much more effective, not to mention convenient, to use a topical or oral treatment. These can be applied once a month and protect your pet from adult fleas, as well as eggs and larva.

Flea Powders for Use on Carpets

There’s one application for which powders are quite useful, and that’s to kill fleas and eggs in your carpets.

These powders, such as the Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus, contain borate. Borate is non-toxic to pets and humans, and will penetrate your carpets well. It’s a very fine powder, and has the added benefit of being statically charged.

Being statically charged means that once it penetrates the carpet, it will cling to the fibers and provide protection against fleas for a long time, even through repeated vacuuming.

Fleabusters powder is also Ph neutral, meaning it’s neither acidic or alkaline. Many insects, fleas included, can sense a high or low Ph and will avoid the area. With this powder, fleas have no such warning and will crawl through it and die.

So, to best utilize flea powder for flea control, stick to using it on your carpets. There are much better methods for treating the fleas on your pets – Frontline Plus and Advantage being the most popular.

But, stay away from toxic powder on your pets. It’s more trouble than it’s worth, and not particularly effective.

On a related note, check out this brief video about using run of the mill Borax on your carpets to kill fleas. It may not be as effective as Fleabusters RX, but it’s cheap and easy to find.

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3 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Using Flea Powder”

  1. dana says:

    My nieghbors live in a duplex next to us and had to bomb 11 times due to the prior tenants having like 5 dogs and 4 cats in the building…the infestation was so severe that when we went into the yard you would get fleas on you and carry them into the house. My husband and I have a 3 year old and 2 jack russells and have never had a flea problem because our dogs dont sleep in the house…the sleep in the back hall….We have bombed 3 times, did the treatment for our yard( and because we were getting bit up we did the neighbors yard as well) we are still getting bit up and my husband’s bites turn into sores unlike mine, my daughters are around her midrif because you cant keep a 3 year old off the floor!!! (someone asked if my daughter had chickenpocks which was quite upsetting)….we are at our wits end and need something safe……HELP!!!!!

    • Sara says:

      If you need something safe try apple cider vinegar. Great for dogs and humans and if you don’t mind the smell. They don’t like acid.

  2. Tome says:

    Hi, I just wanted to point out that Frontline and other similar flea control methods also do contain insecticides. I know this because I have worked in research with the active ingredients in these materials in agriculture. They are not as messy as flea powder and much less toxic than older flea control methods but they are still insecticides.

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