By Chris Sherwood, eHow Contributor
What is Frontline?
Frontline is the number one specialty product used to kill flea infestations on household pets, such as cats and dogs. The product comes in three forms: Frontline Spray which is used only by veterinarians for severe outbreaks, Frontline Topspot for home use to kill hatched adult fleas, and Frontline Plus which kills adult fleas, as well as their eggs and larvae.
How Does It Work?
Frontline can kill up to 100 percent of fleas present on your household pet. It works by its active ingredient, fipronil. Fipronil is absorbed through your pet's skin and into its oil glands. This allows Frontline to be released to your pet's hair follicles and skin every time the oil glands are activated. Frontline stays in the animals' oil glands for up to a month, effectively keeping them flea free. All it takes to kill the fleas is contact with Frontline. Frontline also prevents tick infestations. The treatment should be repeated every 30 days.
How Long Does It Take?
Most fleas will die within 18 hours of first contact with a treated pet. Ticks may take up to two days to die. After application to your animals skin, translocation (or movement of Frontline from the application area to the rest of the animals body) can take up to 24 hours. After that point, any tick or flea that comes in contact with your pets hair coat will die.
Frontline Spot and Frontline Plus, are both largely safe for all animals, including puppies older than eight weeks, or animals that are pregnant or nursing. However, in rare instances, some pets may develop sensitivity to the product, manifested by irritation at the application spot. In most cases this is harmless, but if the irritation continues for more than a week or increases, you should contact your vet.
One common concern that some Frontline users have is the appearance of more fleas directly after treatment. This happens because the Frontline causes the existing fleas to move away from the surface of the animal and towards the tip of the coat. This makes them more easily seen by the naked eye.
Frontline users should also know that the product is waterproof. Since the product is stored in your pet's oil glands, it continues to be distributed after you wash your pet.