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.