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How Flea Collar Works?

How Do Flea Collars Work?

Here is how a flea collar works so that you know how it will affect your pets, letting you decide whether it is worth investing in it or not.

Looking for a flea collar to save you and your pet from the trouble of a flea bath? Want to know how flea collars work to determine whether it's safe for your four-legged friend?

Then don't worry because we are going to explain exactly what a flea collar is and the way it works so that you can decide for yourself if it is the best thing for your pet or not.

Related: Understanding the Efficacy of Flea Collars: How Long Does it Take for Them to Work?

What Is a Flea Collar?

What Is a Flea Collar?

If you have an extremely social dog or cat, the chances are that you have had to deal with a flea infestation at least once.

And while flea baths, pills, and spot treatments are other ways you can help get rid of these vermin from your pet’s coat. Along with that using a flea collar is the easiest and the cheapest option from the lot.

Flea collars are strips of plastic that you can put around the neck of your pets to help them get rid of fleas.

The reason many people find them a convenient solution for getting rid of fleas because all you need to do is put the collar on your pet, and it will do the rest.

Otherwise, you would have to give several flea baths to your dog or cat which can be quite distressing for pets, especially cats, who usually don't like water. And while using a flea comb can be a less stressful method to remove fleas, it can be long and tedious work.

Many people also like to use pills or spot treatments when it comes to dealing with fleas, but they are usually expensive. Also, it can be quite bothersome for you to get your pet to ingest their pills, while collars in comparison are quite easy to put on your pets.

And spot treatments, on the other hand, need to be done on a monthly basis to be long-lasting, but a good flea collar can provide protection from fleas for almost eight months.

Apart from spot treatments, flea collars are one of the few ways that not only eliminate fleas from your pet’s fur but also provide long-lasting protection from any future infestations.

Also, as a flea collar is removable, you can put it on your pet when it wishes to go outside to play and remove it when it is indoors and safe from any threats of getting fleas. Through this, you can ensure that your furry companion is not exposed to any toxins more than it needs to be, even if they are not fatal.

How Do Flea Collars Work?

Basically, a flea collar is made by mixing a pesticide, or any other chemical toxic to insects, with a plastic resin and then moulded into a band.

Because of this, the collar is able to release the chemicals to kill fleas in the fur of your pet. And so not only are the existing fleas killed when you put the collar on your pet, but no new fleas are able to make your dog’s or cat’s fur their home.

Although the extent to which a collar attacks fleas varies from type to type. Some flea collars target both adult and young fleas at the same time, making the extermination process quite fast.

While others only target adult fleas, therefore it may take them comparatively longer to completely rid your pet of the vermin.

Apart from emitting the insect-repelling substances to kill the fleas, there are various types of flea collars that also act as a sort of medication for your pet.

This is because they carry chemicals that are absorbed into the fatty layer, present under the skin of your pet, which kills fleas and ticks as soon as they bite.

There are also collars that are a hybrid of the two types mentioned above. This means that they emit a pesticide around them as well as have some of the chemicals seep into the skin of your pet.

This ensures that not only are fleas and ticks being repelled from your pet, but the ones that do try to nest in its fur are killed immediately on their first bite.

There are various types of fleas and ticks that might nest in your pet’s coat because of which the chemicals in different flea collars vary.

This is because each collar is designed to target and kill a specific type of vermin crawling in the fur of your pet.

And so, before you buy a collar for your pet, you need to consult with your vet on the type of fleas that normally infect your pet so you can choose the most suitable collar.

Things to Consider When Using a Flea Collar

  • Ensure pet is not wearing collar for long periods if already on flea medication
  • Toxins in the collar can become dangerous to your pet if combined with other medication
  • Check if flea collar is waterproof by studying packaging
  • Non-waterproof collars lose pesticide when wet and won't last long
  • Properly store collar in an airtight ziplock bag after use
  • Keep collar out of reach of pets when stored
  • Flea collars contain toxic materials and should not be used on young, old, sick, pregnant, or vulnerable pets
  • Always consult your vet before buying a flea collar for your pet
  • Collars are safe for healthy pets but precautions should be taken
  • Flea collars are useful for short periods when pet goes out to play.

How Long Does It Take For A Flea Collar To Work?

It usually takes around 24 hours for a good flea collar to eliminate all the fleas from your pet’s fur. However, some collars that only target adult fleas might take longer to completely eradicate all of them.

How Do Flea Collars Compare To Other Flea Treatments, Such As Spot-on Treatments Or Oral Medications?

Flea collars, spot-on treatments, and oral medications are all effective flea control methods, but they work in different ways and have different pros and cons.

Flea collars:


- Easy to use and apply

- Long-lasting protection (up to 8 months for some collars)

- Can also repel ticks and other parasites

- Can be used in combination with other flea control methods


- May not be as effective as other flea treatments at controlling severe infestations

- Some pets may have an allergic reaction to the collar

- Collars can be lost or chewed off, reducing their effectiveness

Spot-on treatments:


- Easy to apply

- Quick-acting (kills fleas within hours)

- Can also repel ticks and other parasites

- Can be used in combination with other flea control methods


- May need to be reapplied every few weeks or months

- Some pets may have an allergic reaction to the treatment

- Can be messy and may require the pet to be kept away from other pets or children until the treatment dries 

Oral medications:


- Quick-acting (kills fleas within hours)

- Convenient and easy to administer

- Can also treat other parasites, such as heartworms and intestinal worms

- Some medications provide month-long protection


- May not repel fleas, only kill them

- Some pets may have an allergic reaction to the medication

- May require a prescription from a veterinarian

- Some medications may not be suitable for all pets, such as pregnant or nursing animals

Ultimately, the choice of flea control method depends on the individual pet and their owner's preferences. Some pet owners may prefer flea collars because they are easy to use and provide long-lasting protection, while others may prefer spot-on treatments or oral medications for their quick-acting and comprehensive flea control.

Why Does a Flea Collar Sometimes Not Work?

As various collars are designed to attack various types of ticks and fleas if you use a collar that is not designed to kill the type of fleas your pet has, then the collar might not work.

Can Flea Collars Be Used On Puppies And Kittens?

The use of flea collars on puppies and kittens can vary depending on their age, weight, and the type of flea collar being used. Some flea collars are safe for use on puppies and kittens, while others are not recommended until the pet is older and larger.

It's important to read the label and instructions carefully before using any flea collar on a puppy or kitten. Some flea collars may not be suitable for young animals, while others may require a certain weight or age before they can be used.

Additionally, it's important to choose a flea collar that is specifically designed for puppies or kittens, as adult flea collars may contain a higher concentration of insecticides that can be harmful to young animals.

How Do Flea Collars Work On Outdoor Pets That Are Exposed To A Lot Of Fleas?

Outdoor pets that are exposed to a lot of fleas may require additional flea control measures in addition to wearing a flea collar. This is because flea collars are not always 100% effective at preventing flea infestations, especially if the pet is being exposed to a large number of fleas on a regular basis.

In addition to flea collars, outdoor pets may benefit from regular flea baths, flea treatments that are applied directly to the skin, and keeping the outdoor environment clean and free of fleas. Regular grooming can also help remove fleas and prevent infestations.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to long term protection from fleas and other vermin from making your pet’s fur their home, a flea collar is an extremely useful item. Also, as the collar is quite easy to use and low-cost, it is the go-to product for many pet owners looking for an easy and swift solution to battle the flea infestation of their pets.

But while it has its advantages, it has its disadvantages too, that is, it can be kind of dangerous due to containing toxic chemicals. This is why you need to be fully aware of how a flea collar works and the way you should use it.


Read more: Do Flea Collars Really Work?