There are signs from comments in forums on the internet and on this website that Advantage flea treatment is better than Frontline (topical spot treatments).
There is a page on the Mumsnet website (a large website) which supports the thought that where Frontline fails Advantage works. Vets and researchers are inclined to respond to complaints about Frontline by saying that the cat owner is not doing enough to treat the whole home thereby allowing fleas to return. They don’t know of a difference between these products in their effectiveness.
Some comments on PoC:
“When I lived in Cyprus the only flea treatment available was Frontline and even my vet admitted that it no longer seemed to be very effective in killing them.” (Michele S)
“Frontline didn’t work, the sprays for around the bedding didn’t work, the natural remedies didn’t work. Finally the Advantage kicked in.” (Elisa)
“I agree the Frontline and Natural stuff has not been working very well for us for a while.” (Jan)
I sense that most experts may be wrong is dismissing complaints out of hand.
There is a distinct difference in the ingredients of these products. The names of the insecticide chemicals will mean nothing to us but I set out some details below and guess at the problem with Frontline:
Active Ingredients: fipronil: 9.8%, (S)-methoprene: 11.8%
Active Ingredients: Imidacloprid 9.10%, Pyriproxyfen 0.46%. Other ingredients: 90.44%
How they work
- fipronil — this is a slow working, broad spectrum insecticide which disrupts the working of the central nervous system of the insect. It results in nervous system toxity.
- methoprene — this is a gowth inhibitor
- imidacloprid — this also works on the insects central nervous system but in a different way in disrupting the transmission of signals. It is not described as “broad based”. Broad based means less specific.
My thought is that Frontline is slow acting which may make it less effective in homes where there is an infestation. Also cat fleas may have developed resistance to the method of central nervous system disruption of Frontline which concerns chloride channels. I presume the chemical chlorine in some form perhaps, as ions, is used by the nervous system to transmit signals.
The Advantage flea treatment works by blocking the transmission of nerve signals by interfering with the working of neuron receptor proteins. The chemical Imidacloprid is described as “systemic” meaning affecting the system.
There may be another factor. I can’t find details of the history of these products. If Frontline was invented as a cat flea treatment some years before Advantage it may be that cat fleas do become resistant over time and if so fleas will also become resistant to Advantage in due course.