Best Tick & Flea Control Products

Fleas and ticks are tiny parasites that survive by sucking the blood of mammals and birds - and your beloved pet is not immune to becoming a host. While fleas cause discomfort, certain tick bites can be deadly - making parasite protection a topic of prime concern. Continue Reading...

111 listings
Capstar Tablets
3.5 from 32 reviews

Novartis promises that its Capstar Tablets provide rapid relief from an infestation of adult fleas in cats and dogs weighing 0.5-11 kilograms who are over 4 weeks old.

  • Value for Money
    1.3 (3)
  • Ease of Use
    1.0 (2)
  • Side Effects None (1) and Death (1)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeCat and Dog
  • TargetsFleas
  • Minimum Pet Age4 weeks
Comfortis Tablets

Comfortis Tablets

 · includes 5 listings
2.8 from 239 reviews

Elanco Comfortis provides a monthly beef-flavoured chewable tablet to attempt to safeguard against fleas. However, it can cause dangerous side effects in pets, including death.

  • Value for Money
    2.1 (14)
  • Ease of Use
    2.0 (14)
  • Side Effects None (4), Short-term illness (4), Long-term illness (5) and Death (8)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog and Cat
  • TargetsFleas
  • Minimum Pet Age14 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Sentinel Spectrum Tasty Chews

Sentinel Spectrum Tasty Chews

 · includes 4 listings
2.9 from 113 reviews

Sentinel Spectrum is made to protect dogs from heartworm, all major intestinal worms including hydatid tapeworm, and flea infestations. As a point of note, this medication doesn’t kill adult fleas.

  • Value for Money
    2.9 (15)
  • Ease of Use
    2.9 (14)
  • Side Effects None (9), Short-term illness (5) and Personality change (1)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Roundworm and Tapeworm
  • Minimum Pet Age6 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Exelpet Capstar For Cats and Dogs

Exelpet Capstar For Cats and Dogs

 · includes 2 listings
2.7 from 57 reviews

Promising to kill fleas within 30 minutes of application, Exelpet Capstar can kill fleas but can also cause harm to pets themselves.

  • Value for Money
    1.0 (1)
  • Ease of Use
    1.0 (1)
  • Side Effects Short-term illness (2)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog and Cat
  • TargetsFleas
  • Minimum Pet Age4 weeks
Advocate for Dogs & Cats

Advocate for Dogs & Cats

 · includes 6 listings
2.3 from 246 reviews

While Bayer Advocate for dogs and cats claims to protects pets from a wide range of parasites, extensive reports of severe side effects have left many reviewers unhappy with this product.

  • Value for Money
    2.3 (47)
  • Ease of Use
    3.3 (43)
  • Side Effects None (17), Short-term illness (23), Long-term illness (5), Personality change (4) and Death (3)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog and Cat
  • Targets
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Lice, Mites and Roundworm
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites and Roundworm
  • Minimum Pet Age7 weeks to 9 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly

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Zoetis Revolution for Cats
2.3 from 196 reviews

Latest review: Had a free sample of Revolution Kitten. Used it, kitten was freaked for maybe 2mins but the product stayed in the spot and dried fast so it didn't cause any kitten urges to groom it off. Recently

  • Value for Money
    1.7 (29)
  • Ease of Use
    3.3 (27)
  • Side Effects None (16), Short-term illness (9), Long-term illness (4), Personality change (4) and Death (1)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeCat
  • TargetsFleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites and Roundworm
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Zoetis Revolution for Dogs

Zoetis Revolution for Dogs

 · includes 4 listings
2.4 from 72 reviews

This topical treatment from Zoetis claims to offer protection for dogs and cats by covering a wide range of parasites to keep your pet healthy. However, it can be responsible for causing dangerous side effects, including death.

  • Value for Money
    2.0 (7)
  • Ease of Use
    2.7 (6)
  • Side Effects None (2), Short-term illness (4), Long-term illness (2), Personality change (1) and Death (2)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog
  • Targets
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites, Roundworm and Tapeworm
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites and Roundworm
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Lice, Mites and Tapeworm
  • Minimum Pet Age6 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Advantage for Cats

Advantage for Cats

 · includes 2 listings
2.4 from 56 reviews

Latest review: I have two cats two weeks ago i put a vial each on them, they are still scratching, have had to put another vial each on them days ago , they are still scratching, i paid $52, waste of

  • Value for Money
    1.3 (12)
  • Ease of Use
    2.9 (10)
  • Side Effects None (6), Short-term illness (2), Long-term illness (1), Personality change (1) and Death (3)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeCat
  • TargetsFleas
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Advantage for Dogs

Advantage for Dogs

 · includes 4 listings
2.4 from 60 reviews

Latest review: I have been using Advantage on my 2 cats (large) and dog (medium) for over 15 years. Once applied, the backs of their necks were wet for a couple of days. I've noticed in the last year that there is

  • Value for Money
    1.8 (5)
  • Ease of Use
    3.0 (5)
  • Side Effects None (2), Short-term illness (4) and Personality change (1)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas and Lice
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Aristopet Fleas, Heartworm and Worms Spot On
4.1 from 9 reviews

Latest review: An easy to apply product to my 4 jumpy cats . No side effects. No problems trying to apply to the back of the cats necks. Aussie product for the

  • Value for Money
    3.7 (7)
  • Ease of Use
    4.4 (7)
  • Side Effects None (6)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeCat
  • TargetsFleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites and Roundworm
  • Minimum Pet Age9 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Nexgard Spectra

Nexgard Spectra

 · includes 5 listings
2.2 from 91 reviews

Latest review: A week ago we gave our 6 month old Whippet Puppy a single monthly dose of Nexgard Spectra. Within 24 hours she was "ticking" and having tremors which progressed over the next few days into

  • Value for Money
    2.4 (47)
  • Ease of Use
    3.2 (42)
  • Side Effects None (17), Short-term illness (19), Long-term illness (12), Personality change (1) and Death (7)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Mites, Roundworm, Tapeworm and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Inca Malaban Wash Concentrate

Latest review: Great stuff helped rid my dogs and Cats of those horrid sticky tight fleas, I need to do one more application my dogs and cats as it did not remove normal

  • Value for Money
    2.6 (5)
  • Ease of Use
    3.0 (5)
  • Side Effects None (2) and Short-term illness (1)
  • Application TypeSpray
  • Pet TypeCat and Dog
  • TargetsFleas and Lice
  • Minimum Pet Age12 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodWeekly
Aristopet Fleas, Heartworm and Worms Spot On for Dogs and Puppies

Latest review: I stumbled on this by accident and thought I would try it on my dogs. Excellent product. Love that it’s all in one, not messy and not a single flea or ear mite in months. Definitely keep b

  • Value for Money
    4.2 (5)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (5)
  • Side Effects None (4)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog
  • Targets
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Lice and Mites
    • Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworm, Lice, Mites and Roundworm
  • Minimum Pet Age7 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Seresto Fleas And Tick Collar For Kittens And Cats

Latest review: My cat started to have seizures and nasal blockage without discharge for 4 months. Nothing detected on x-rays, 4 vet visits. After 2 days without collar the symptoms totally disappeared. Thankful my

  • Value for Money
    2.3 (21)
  • Ease of Use
    3.2 (20)
  • Side Effects None (7), Short-term illness (8), Long-term illness (3), Personality change (1) and Death (3)
  • Pet TypeCat
  • TargetsFleas and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age10 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodEvery 4-6 months
Bravecto Chew for Dogs

Bravecto Chew for Dogs

 · includes 5 listings
1.8 from 418 reviews

Latest review: This was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life. Hours after administering, my almost 2 year old healthy boy fell over paralyzed and lost all control of his body. He then started having seizures. While

  • Value for Money
    1.5 (56)
  • Ease of Use
    2.3 (55)
  • Side Effects None (14), Short-term illness (18), Long-term illness (18), Personality change (4) and Death (15)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas, Mites, Tapeworm and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodEvery 4-6 months

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Advantix for Dogs

Advantix for Dogs

 · includes 4 listings
1.9 from 123 reviews

Latest review: This product seemed to keep fleas away for about a year but in the last 3 months my dog has been infested with fleas. It appears to have no effect at all. I followed the instructions exactly but to

  • Value for Money
    2.0 (14)
  • Ease of Use
    3.0 (13)
  • Side Effects None (9), Short-term illness (2), Personality change (1) and Death (3)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas, Lice and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age7 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Frontline Plus for Dogs

Frontline Plus for Dogs

 · includes 4 listings
1.8 from 170 reviews

Latest review: Productreview states to to be factual when leaving a review. Well here's the facts...this product does not work. Put it on my dog, disposed of all the dog bedding and and after 3 days still

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    1.5 (10)
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    3.0 (8)
  • Side Effects None (7), Short-term illness (1) and Long-term illness (1)
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  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
NexGard Chewables

NexGard Chewables

 · includes 4 listings
1.8 from 657 reviews

Designed to protect dogs from fleas and ticks, NexGard comes in the form of a small beef chew that provides 30 days of protection. However, this product will not suit all pets. Dangerous side effects have been reported in dogs, sometimes resulting in death.

  • Value for Money
    1.5 (61)
  • Ease of Use
    2.3 (58)
  • Side Effects None (10), Short-term illness (25), Long-term illness (23), Personality change (5) and Death (17)
  • Application TypeChewable
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas, Mites, Tapeworm and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Kiltix Dog Tick Collar
3.2 from 10 reviews

Latest review: My dog became very ill within a day of putting the collar on her, having nausea, anorexia and lethargy She recovered quite quickly though once it was removed. I wouldn’t recommend this product

  • Value for Money
    1.0 (1)
  • Ease of Use
    4.0 (1)
  • Side Effects Short-term illness (1)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeDog
  • TargetsFleas and Ticks
  • Minimum Pet Age12 weeks
Frontline Plus for Cats
1.8 from 80 reviews

Latest review: I received Frontline plus on a Monday and 4 days later my cats are still acting as if I used nothing. Both cats are still scratching and biting at fleas. I can't recommend this as a good flea

  • Value for Money
    1.2 (11)
  • Ease of Use
    2.8 (11)
  • Side Effects None (8) and Short-term illness (3)
  • Application TypeTopical
  • Pet TypeCat
  • TargetsFleas
  • Minimum Pet Age8 weeks
  • Reapplication PeriodMonthly
Page 1 of 3

A puppy biting herself after getting fleas

Flea facts

  • Fleas can be found all year round, however they’re more widespread in summer months and in warm, humid regions.
  • One female flea is capable of producing up to 2, 000 eggs in her 3-week lifespan. After laying eggs, these will fall off your pet's body and hatch within 2-5 days, contaminating your home’s environment.
  • Fleas jump from one host to another, so if you have more than one pet, you should automatically treat this as multiple infestations.
  • Fleas host tapeworms, which can also be passed onto your pet if they eat the fleas.
  • A flea bite often causes discomfort and itchiness in animals, and some cats and dogs are hypersensitive to the bite and also the saliva released by the flea, which results in an allergic reaction - flea allergy dermatitis. Pets may also constantly scratch and bite themselves, leading to further irritation.

What kills fleas instantly?

There are two types of cat and dog flea treatment.

Killing existing fleas

A number of products are designed to cause adult fleas to die and fall off your pet’s body within a short, stipulated period of time. Some products promise that existing fleas infesting your pet will drop off in just 30 minutes.

Some of these products also claim to kill ticks, and they all do so using a strong insecticide, such as nitenpyram.

They’re made with one purpose in mind - to kill fleas quickly. Most are ‘adulticides,’ meaning they only kill adult fleas. Source a product that also contains an insect growth regulator - as this will also kill eggs and larvae.

These products may provide immediate relief to your pet, however they are short-term solutions that deal temporarily with an existing infestation.

Preventing re-infestation

There’s usually nothing to stop fleas from jumping back on after the treatment time of instant-kill products is finished.

That’s why it’s important to have some kind of ongoing preventative treatment plan in place. This includes sourcing either a commercial flea prevention product or a natural flea treatment for dogs of cats. You'll also need to thoroughly clean your house.

When cleaning pay particular attention to areas your pet frequently rests (such as bedding and a kennel) - but the whole residence will need cleaning, as fleas and eggs are spread throughout a home.

Flea pupae can stay dormant in an environment for up to 12 months. Eggs then hatch and re-infest your pet - and you don't want either them or you to go through that again.

Flea prevention treatments

These medications aim to prevent flea infestations to begin with. They should be administered regularly, depending on the manufacturer's directions. There are products that need to be administered to your pet as a form of monthly protection. Other products need to be taken every 3 months or 6 months.

Fla prevention treatments are made to disrupt the flea life cycle, killing flea larvae and sometimes preventing eggs from hatching.

These treatments may not kill adult fleas already infesting your pet - which will likely necessitate the use of an adulticide, as discussed above.

Tick facts

  • Ticks are tiny, blood-sucking parasites that latch onto your dog or cat using hook-like mouth parts.
  • While around one-eighth of an inch in width to begin with, ticks can swell up to half an inch when ‘engorged.' This happens after the pest feasts on your pet’s blood.
  • Ticks are found in the bush, on long grass and on native wildlife. If you live near bushland your dog is at a higher risk. However, even if your dog or cat only goes out to play in the yard occasionally, they can still pick up a tick from a bird or possum that has passed through the area.

Types of ticks

Brown dog ticks

These are the most common tick type in Australia, and is found across all Australian states. When latched onto your pet, it causes irritation and restlessness.

Ticks can also infect your pet with blood-borne diseases when they bite, including tick fever. Tick-borne illnesses can be contracted when a tick is left too long on an animal’s body. This includes Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Bush ticks

These are found in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia. They carry the same diseases as brown dog ticks, and will cause the same symptoms.

Paralysis ticks

Found along coastal regions of eastern Australia, paralysis ticks are the most dangerous. The same symptoms are caused by the Southern Paralysis tick, found specifically in lower NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Paralysis ticks release a toxin called holocyclotoxin into a host animal through their saliva, before biting. This toxin causes severe illness in pets, leading to paralysis, and potentially death.

Even if your cat or dog is bit by a tick and you successfully remove it from the body, it’s important to go to the vet straight away, as the toxin will still be doing its damage.

Also importantly, not all tick control medications protect pets against tick paralysis. If there are paralysis ticks where you live, make sure to source a product that protects against this specific type of dangerous tick.

What kills ticks immediately?

There are a number of products that can prevent ticks on dogs and cats. However, if your pet already has a tick on them, the first step is to remove the tick from your pet’s body.

There’s a method to this.

Ticks latch onto your pet's skin using their hook-like mouth parts.

Gross, right? This means if you try and pull a tick off your pet’s body without much thought, it probably won't budge.

Their mouths are firmly under the skin, forming a secure kind of anchor.

Don't try to twist or jerk the tick off - this means that while it's body may pop off, its mouth parts will stay inside your pet's skin.

Source the right tools.

It’s best to either buy a special tick tweezer or a tick removal hook. However, fine point tweezers will also work, if you have them.

The method

First make sure your pet is calm, then grasp the tick with the instrument as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Pull straight up, gently. It may take a little while, but if you keep applying pressure with a steady hand, the tick will be successfully pulled off.

Killing the tick

Then you can move on to killing the tick. Place the tick in a secure jar along with some rubbing alcohol. Listerine may also do the trick. It’s important not to just throw the tick in the bin, as it’s still alive and can re-contaminate your pet.

Types of tick and flea control products

Oral treatments

This refers to a variety of tablets or ‘tasty chews’ that you feed your pet, rather than applying it to their body, as you would with a topical treatment.

These treatments (particularly oral chews) may have to be chopped up and hidden in your pet’s food, as most won’t accept being hand-fed the medication.

Make sure to stick to the recommended dosage according to the manufacturer. This dose is often based on your pet’s size and weight.

Pros

Commonly considered by vets as more effective than spot-on treatments, as the formulations often contain newer drugs.
Suitable for dogs who love water as the treatment will be effective even if dogs bathe or swim frequently.
Easier to administer than topical treatments, provided that your pet enjoys the taste and eats the tablet with no fuss.

Cons

Some pets find oral treatments unpalatable and will spit the chew out. Others may eat it without fuss, but vomit it up later.
Can smell like chemicals which makes pets avoid them, due to their sensitive, powerful noses.
Can be easy to forget to stick to the treatment schedule, making treatment ineffective.

Topical treatments

A spot-on treatment being administered to a cream and brown coloured cat

Spot-on treatments

Pictured in the image above, these medications have a gel-like consistency and are applied from a small tube. They’re applied to a specific spot on your pet, for example high up on the back of your dog’s neck - so they can’t lick it off.

Pros

An easier alternative to oral treatments if your pet point-blank refuses to eat any form of flea and tick medication.
Can be safer than oral treatments, as the medicine rarely goes into the bloodstream - however this depends on the specific medication and the specific animal, as adverse reactions are difficult to predict.

Cons

Can be difficult to apply correctly. The liquid must be applied directly onto your pet’s skin, rather than their outer fur, and incorrect application will make the product useless.
Chemicals easily rub off after application, and can contaminate the house or kid’s hands.
Not waterproof so if your pet loves to get themselves wet, it renders the treatment ineffective if they end up in water up to 48 hours after application.

Sprays

Spraying for fleas is similar to applying a spot-on treatment in the sense that it's applied onto your pet's skin. However, it will come in a spray bottle, and have a liquid consistency.

Pros

Fast acting formulations mean you can give your pet a spray before heading out to bushy areas or parts of land with long grass, and have the medicine kick in before arriving.

Cons

Time consuming and not-so-easy to apply as the entire body has to be sprayed evenly. For example, Frontline Spray requires 80 pumps to be effective on a large dog.
Must be applied frequently, for example Frontline Spray must be applied once every 3 weeks to be effective against paralysis ticks.
Not as readily available as other flea and tick control treatments.

Shampoos

Shampoos or rinses contain medicated ingredients to prevent fleas and/or ticks infesting your pet.

Pros

The safest option when it comes to flea and tick control, as adverse reactions are less common. However, this also means they aren’t necessarily as strong, and could require the use of a spray in between washes.

Cons

Requires regular washing - at least once every 2 weeks in spring and summer, which are peak seasons for ticks to be a menace.

Flea and tick collars

These look like regular pet collars, but they’re infused with chemicals that repel fleas and ticks.

Pros

Last a long time as these collars can be worn for several months at a time.
Doesn’t require ticks to bite before the active ingredients kick in, unlike other treatments.

Cons

Collar must touch your pet’s skin in order for it to be effective. Even then, some collars may only be effective at keeping fleas and ticks away from the head and neck, rather than the whole body.
Can cause allergic reactions as the chemicals will constantly be touching your dog’s skin. They may show signs of visible discomfort, such as scratching or trying to take the collar off.
Varying treatment times for fleas and ticks may mean you have to find some interim solution. For example, the Seresto Tick and Flea Collar protects against fleas for 8 months, but keeps away ticks for only 4 months.

An important note about side effects

Flea and tick preventatives can be dangerous to pets

This can seem counter-intuitive, as these products are designed to protect a pet from harm and keep them healthy.

However, these products can be dangerous because the active ingredients are strong pesticides. These are required to kill fleas and ticks, by forcing their nervous systems to fail.

However, because these harsh chemicals are released into your pet’s bloodstream, they can cause serious side effects. The most extreme of these, tragically, is death.

For example, products containing isoxazoline class drugs (such as Bravecto, Nexgard and Simparica) have been scientifically proven to bring a risk of muscle tremors, impaired movement and seizures.

Some products are dangerous for cats

Make sure to choose a product specifically designed for cats. Many flea and tick products contain permethrin, which is extremely toxic to cats and causes extreme side effects, the worst of which is death. Advantix is an example, and should never be used on cats.

Be as informed as possible before buying

While it can be difficult to predict whether your pet will suffer an adverse reaction, it doesn’t hurt to be as informed as possible before beginning a course of flea and tick treatment.

Do independent research beyond the manufacturer’s promises of safety, to see if there are any contra-indications that may suggest it's unsafe for a medication to be given to your pet. This includes reading reviews from other pet owners.

Always seek the advice of a vet if you’re unsure - or if your pet is breeding, pregnant, lactating, or experiences an ongoing health condition. They may not be able to take these medications at all.

Puppies and kittens can only start taking these medications after they're a certain number of weeks in age (depending on the specific product). Again, if you're unsure, consulted with your trusted vet in this instance as well.

Due to the potential risk of harm from these products, safety is also a more important consideration than price.

Wrapping up

Finding the right flea and tick treatment for dogs and cats can provide peace of mind for both you and your beloved fur companion. However since these products contain strong chemicals, they can be dangerous to pets.

Doing research into a prospective product to make sure it's likely to be suitable for your pet is recommended. You can then balance this with other considerations, such as effectiveness, convenience, and whether to pair your new medication with a heart and intestinal wormer or buy a combined flea, tick and worm prevention product.