Using an Insect Growth Regulator for Fleas

An insect growth regulator is a treatment option for a flea infestation and should not be used as a self standing treatment but only in conjunction with other flea control products. The growth regulator will inhibit the development cycle of the fleas and will also prevent a possible re-infestation, which is common in affected households.

The Insect Growth Regulator

The insect growth regulator is often used in conjunction with other anti flea treatments such as Frontline, Advantage or other flea meds and topical solutions. When used as a self standing treatment, the insect growth regulator solutions may not be effective, as they won’t kill the adult fleas.

An insect growth regulator (IGR) is a substance that will interfere with the development of the fleas from a larval stage to adults. While affecting the lifecycle of the fleas, these solutions can be effective even when applied after eliminating the fleas, to ensure that all larvae are taken care of and prevent a new infection.

The IGRs may also be effective in controlling the development of other parasites that have a complex lifecycle that involves larvae. These parasites may include ticks (that are more common in certain bushy areas), houseflies or cockroaches.

Types of IGRs

There are several IGRs on the market such as:

  • Flea Fix
  • Precor
  • Martins

These contain various ingredients such as insecticides and also nylar, which is a substance that will make the IGRs sun resistant, so that even if your dog stays outdoors, the solution will not be broken down and made ineffective by sun.

Most of these IGRs have no odor and are available in liquid form.

The IGRs may have various degrees of strength and some of these will only be available through prescription. The costs of these flea inhibitor products may vary according to the manufacturer and the strength of the solution.

How to Use IGRs

The IGRs can be used on the dog’s skin, as well as the dog’s environment on furniture, carpets, the dog’s crate and bedding.

When applying the liquid, you should hold the dog still until the liquid dries, so as to make sure that the solution will not be wiped off the dog’s coat.

Apply the liquid directly on the skin, using a cloth or a cotton ball.

Some vets will recommend rotating the IGRs you use, so that the fleas won’t develop resistance to these products.

Insect Growth Regulator Safety

The insect grow regulator products are considered safe, even safer that most flea products available. This is due to the fact that the ingredients in the products are mild and will only affect the larvae. The solutions are not as powerful as killing the adult fleas.

However, some pets may develop some allergic reactions to the IGRs. The allergic reactions will manifest in the form of:

  • Skin rashes
  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness

The IGRs that are found on the market will not harm children or other pets.