We have three pets, two dogs and a cat. They take up more of our budget than we would like. To cut back the pet section of our monthly expenditures, I decided to forego the monthly flea and tick prevention drops. With three pets, it can add up quickly, and I felt the chance of them actually getting fleas was quite small anyway. Even when we’d gotten the prevention drops in the past, I never remembered to use them.
Unfortunately, our cheap and lazy selves sent our dogs to the kennel in April with no flea protection. Days after coming home, we realized we had unwelcome visitors.
We looked online for tips on flea treatment and followed all of them. We called the vet’s office and followed their suggestions. The websites said our battle could last up to a month. That seemed like a long time. Little did we know, a month into the battle we’d be seeing very little improvement! We’d gotten every product and followed all suggestions with little progress.
We are in Week 10 of the battle and are breathing more freely. Based on the last week, I think we have finally beaten them. Though as we are looking at receipts, we are painfully aware of the cost of the “cheap option” of foregoing monthly flea prevention. Here’s an approximate breakdown of the products and treatments we have purchased in the last ten weeks:
- Cheap flea drops – $13
- Carpet powder – $26
- Natural pet sprays – $29
- Carpet spray – $13
- Flea repellant – $15
- Frontline drops- $76
- Capstar pills – $135
- Flea drops for cat – $16
- Capstar pills for cat – $41
- Yard sprays – $45
- Nematodes for yard – $92
- K9 Advantix drops – $59
- Boric acid – $5
- Vacuum bags – $30
All this plus tax comes to over $600. Granted, that includes flea protection drops for two more months, but still… ouch. We also threw out all the dog beds so will need to purchase new ones – another $50.
I was previously unfamiliar with Capstar products. They are pills that claim to kill all live fleas on the animal within four hours. I don’t think it worked quite that well for us, but there was a noticeable effect which was more than I could say for most of the other products. We used them in conjunction with the flea drops because the Capstar only kills live fleas, it does not repel fleas or kill flea eggs.
Luckily, the fleas seemed to stay on the animals, and we did not seem to have issues with them in the house or biting us. But I have put several years’ worth of use on our brand new vacuum cleaner in the last couple months.
So the moral of the story – if you have pets, don’t think that skipping monthly flea prevention will save you money. We tried that theory; it doesn’t work.