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Top 5 Best Pesticides For Fleas (2020 Review)

Fleas may be small, but they can be harmful – to you, your children, pets, and livestock. 

Fleas are also very rugged, i.e.; they’re hard to kill.

This article will arm you with the following information:

  • Our #1 pick for pesticides for fleas
  • The top five best pesticides for fleas
  • How pesticides work on fleas
  • Are pesticides safe for children and pets?
Top pesticide for fleas
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PT Alpine Flea and Bug Pressurized Insecticide
It works great and because it is a pressurized aerosol, it is easy to use. There is no mixing required. You buy it, take it home, shake it a bit, and spray.
FEATURES
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
  • Easy to use

To get rid of fleas requires using the right pesticides the right way in the right place.

Flea control, and pest control, in general, requires a disciplined approach if you expect to kill fleas. Ready to get started?

(Or click here to skip to our recommended pick!)

ImageProduct
pest-table__image
PT Alpine Flea and Bug Pressurized Insecticide
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
  • Easy to use
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
  • Easy to use
View on Amazon
pest-table__image
BASF 671858 PT Ultracide Pressurized Flea Insecticide
  • Easy to use
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
  • Easy to use
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
View on Amazon
pest-table__image
Dominion 2L
  • Strong pesticide
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on a variety of insects
  • Strong pesticide
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on a variety of insects
View on Amazon
pest-table__image
Taurus SC
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on other insects
  • Good for professional use
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on other insects
  • Good for professional use
View on Amazon
pest-table__image
Precor IGR Insect Growth Regulator
  • Breaks the breeding cycle
  • Cost-effective
  • Effective on many insects
  • Breaks the breeding cycle
  • Cost-effective
  • Effective on many insects
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 10/18/2019)

PT Alpine Flea & Bed Bug Pressurized Insecticide is our favorite way to get rid of fleas. It works great and because it is a pressurized aerosol, it is easy to use. There is no mixing required. You buy it, take it home, shake it a bit, and spray. 

It doesn’t come in a sexy container with bright colors and day-glow pictures on it. The appearance is kind of drab if you want to know the truth. Luckily, the fleas won’t be alive long enough to be offended by its looks.

If you want to know how to get rid of fleas, this is it. It kills fleas with no messing around.

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Rating: 97.50

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Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

Top 5 Best Pesticides For Fleas

Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results.

If you're interested in learning about natural flea spray, the following video can teach you more.

Keep on reading below to learn more about pesticides for fleas.

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What Are Pesticides For Fleas?

In the simplest terms, a pesticide is any substance that is designed or intended to kill or destroy pests.

Technically, raccoons, skunks, foxes, snakes, and other small animals and birds can be classified as pests, but in general, pesticides are thought of as insecticides. 

In this discussion, we will use the two words interchangeably as any substance that kills fleas and is used to control a flea infestation.

An insecticide that kills fleas which have already hatched will not kill unhatched fleas still in their eggs, nor will it substantially harm the pupae.

In order to eradicate a flea problem (sometimes fleas even end up in your carpets), you’ll need to use something in addition to a regular pesticide. That something is called an Insect Growth Regular, or IGR.

To fully understand the need for an IGR, you need to know something about the flea life cycle.

Adult Fleas

The most common flea is the cat flea. Adult fleas are about 3mm in length, colored reddish-brown or black, and wingless. They have strong hind legs like a grasshopper for jumping.

Like a bed bug or mosquito, the female requires fresh blood in order to produce flea eggs. After a blood meal, the female can lay 1-2 eggs per hour.

Adult fleas can live in any crack or crevice in your home, along the baseboards, in the cushions of your furniture upholstery, and any sleeping area such as your bed or your pet’s bedding or kennel.

Flea Life Cycle

Flea Eggs

Flea eggs are white ovals about half a millimeter in diameter. If the female lays her eggs on your pet, they will fall off since they are not sticky and will not adhere to your pet’s skin or hair.

This is why vacuuming is one of the first things you should do when beginning a flea treatment, to collect and get rid of the eggs. During this stage, fleas are essentially immune to pesticides.

Larvae

Flea larvae hatch from the eggs after a couple of days. They resemble tiny, semi-transparent worms about 1-5 millimeters long. They will eat any organic residue on the floor but the main part of their diet is fecal matter from adult fleas.

This is another reason for vacuuming, to eliminate their food source. They will go through several growth stages, called instars, getting larger each time until they are ready for the next step in their life cycle.

Pupae

The final stage of the flea life cycle is the pupae stage when they spin a silky cocoon around themselves. The outside of the cocoon is very sticky, attracting all kinds of dirt and debris, which camouflages them.

It is very difficult for pesticides to penetrate the cocoon. When they emerge from the cocoon they will be adult fleas and the whole cycle starts over again.

During half of their life cycle, fleas are exempt from any pesticide, flea control products, flea collars, flea shampoos, or essential oils you use. Flea products, no matter what they are, won’t be able to hurt them.

Read more: How long can fleas live without a host?

How Do Pesticides For Fleas Work?

There are two basic kinds of pesticides; insecticides containing active ingredients that kill the fleas and insecticides containing IGR chemicals such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

An IGR will interfere with the growth cycle of the fleas, either preventing them from molting properly from one instar to the next or accelerating their growth too fast for them to sexually mature. Either way, the end result is the same – birth control for bugs.

Read Also: What are the best respirators for pesticides?

The other pesticides have active ingredients such as permethrin, which is one of the pyrethrins. Fipronil and imidacloprid are other active ingredients that kill fleas.

Any pesticide that lists one of these chemicals on the label as the active ingredient will be a flea killer. They all work by slightly different methods, some by attacking the central nervous system and others by focusing on the muscles.

The best flea insecticides though are the pyrethroids.

Pyrethroids include: 

How Do You Find The Best Pesticides For Fleas?

When purchasing insecticides, scrutinize the label. The EPA requires the active ingredients, along with other information, to be listed on the label.

The common name, as well as the chemical name, will be listed showing what percentage of the total product the active ingredient accounts for.

The following tables will show you which active ingredients are contained in which pesticides.

Bifenthrin, Permethrin,

D-phenothrin

Cypermethrin, Cyfluthrin, Deltamethrin, Fenvalerate,

Lamda-Cyhalothrin

Talstar

Demon WP

Bifen IT

Cyper WP

Permethrin SFR

Cyper TC

Tengard SFR

Suspend SC

Dragnet SFR

Conquer

Steri-Fab

... and many more

The following active ingredients are included in their respective products:

Fipronil - Termidor, Taurus, Fuse

Imidacloprid - Dominion 2L, Premise

Pyriproxyfen (IGR) - Nylar, NyGuard

Methoprene (IGR) - Precor

Dinotefuran (IGR) - PT Alpine

pesticide

Some products, such as PT Alpine will have more than one active ingredient listed on the label. If the secondary active is an IGR, it is a combination pesticide that both kills the adult fleas and prevents those that hatch later from reproducing.

It’s a one-two punch. If the label lists only one active ingredient, you’ll need to mix it with an IGR before spraying in order to achieve the same effect.

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Are Pesticides For Fleas Effective?

Yes, but there is a condition. They are effective, if and only if, you use them according to the directions on the label. The label on EPA regulated pesticides is not a marketing tool. It is required by law and it is the law.

The EPA mandates pesticide manufacturers go through multi-million dollar testing cycles to determine exactly how much pesticide is required to kill each and every insect it works on, then list the mixing directions on the label.

If you violate those mixing directions, known in the pest control industry as “going off label” you’ve broken federal law. If you get caught doing that, the fines are substantial.

Normally we don’t like regulations any more than you do, but in this case, we’ll make an exception. If you use too much pesticide, it could have adverse effects on other creatures you’re not trying to eliminate. If you use too little, it will sicken the fleas but not kill them, thus “vaccinating them” against future spraying with that pesticide.

Read the label before using any pesticide then follow the instructions word for word.

How To Use A Pesticide For Fleas

This is the easiest part. Once you’ve finished vacuuming all the floors and upholstery and mixed the pesticides, with an IGR, in your 1-gallon pump-up sprayer, spray every inch of the baseboards, floors, and furniture in the entire house.

Don’t get it soaking wet, but it should be damp to the touch when you’re finished. An average house of 1,800 square feet should take 1-2 gallons of mixed chemical to properly spray.

Fleas don’t normally live indoors. They are an outdoor bug that found their way inside.

Read more: Can fleas fly? How do they get around?

That means you need to kill the outdoor fleas too. Spray a ten-foot wide band all the way around the house. That will take another 1-2 gallons, maybe more.

Two weeks later, repeat the process. Two weeks after that, repeat it a third time. The fleas should be gone.

Are Pesticides For Fleas Safe Around My Pets and Children?

Yes and no.

If the pesticides are used as directed on the label, then yes, they’re safe around everything except fish and birds. Cover all the fish tanks and bird cages while you’re spraying. Leave them covered until all the pesticide has dried.

If you go off label and over-mix the pesticide, then no, they’re not safe. Cats are more susceptible to pesticides than dogs. Infants are more susceptible than school-age children.

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Best Pesticides For Fleas Reviewed

This contains an active ingredient, dinotefuran, as well as an IGR and a synergist. A synergist is a chemical that doesn’t have any pesticide qualities in an of itself but acts to enhance the potency of any pyrethroid ingredients. It comes premixed in an aerosol form which makes it extremely easy to use. It has the added benefit of being impossible to go off label.

Pros

  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Strong smell

This is another aerosol pesticide for flea and tick control. It contains two active ingredients, an IGR, and a synergist. It is premixed, easy to use, and avoids any possibility of off-label issues. It is labeled for a wide variety of homes, hospitals, restaurants, factories, trucks, trains, vets, warehouses, and others.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Premixed
  • Contains an IGR

Cons

  • Nozzle has a tendency to clog
  • Strong pesticide
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on a variety of insects

No products found.

Dominion actually started out as a termiticide for killing termites. Then it was discovered that it was useful for exterminating a variety of other insects, including fleas. You have to mix it with water in a sprayer and add an IGR to it for it to be fully effective. It only takes an ounce or two of the concentrate for each gallon of water so one bottle of it will go a long way, which makes it very cost-effective.

Pros

  • Strong pesticide
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on a variety of insects

Cons

  • Needs to be mixed
  • Have to add an IGR to it.
  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on other insects
  • Good for professional use

Taurus is another pesticide that started as a termiticide. In addition to killing fleas, Taurus is death on steroids for ants. The active ingredient, fipronil, isn’t as effective at killing fleas as some others, so it will take an extra treatment to fully eradicate them in your house and around the outside. It also requires you to add an IGR to it. On the bright side, it only requires a small amount of concentrate for each gallon of water so it is cost-effective.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Good impact on other insects
  • Good for Professional uses

Cons

  • Takes extra treatments to work
  • Needs to be mixed
  • Have to add an IGR to it
  • Breaks the breeding cycle
  • Cost-effective
  • Effective on many insects

Precor is an IGR concentrate. Following the directions, add a small amount to one gallon of water. Add an active ingredient pesticide and mix thoroughly. Because you use such a small amount each time, it is cost-effective over the long run and it works on more than just fleas (see the label for a full list of insects).

Pros

  • Breaks the breeding cycle
  • Cost-effective
  • Effective on many insects

Cons

  • Has to be mixed
  • Has a peculiar odor

Final Thoughts On Pesticides For Fleas

Spraying for fleas is straight forward. If you follow the mixing directions on the pesticides and treat three times once every two weeks, you’ll be able to get rid of fleas and prevent any re-infestation as well.

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