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Am J Vet Res. 1997 Nov;58(11):1260-2.

Comparison of flea control strategies using imidacloprid or lufenuron on cats in a controlled simulated home environment.

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Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts, United Kingdom.



To compare the effect of monthly treatments with imidacloprid (an adulticide) or lufenuron (an insect development inhibitor) for protecting cats against Ctenocephalides felis felis in a simulated home environment.


3 matched groups of 4 cats each.


A self-propagating flea life cycle continuously exposing cats to 'natural' infestation was established in 3 pens. Small artificial infestations were later superimposed to mimic the effect of a cat roaming outdoors and acquiring extraneous fleas. One pen housed an untreated control group, and the other 2 pens housed cats treated every 28th day with an imidacloprid spot-on formulation or lufenuron suspension, respectively. Flea counts were performed at 14-day intervals for 112 days.


Flea numbers increased on control cats around day 42 when mean counts on cats in the imidacloprid and lufenuron groups decreased by 100 and 86.8 percent, respectively. Fleas were not found on any imidacloprid-treated cat, but lufenuron-treated cats were consistently parasitized.


Imidacloprid administered at monthly intervals maintained flea burdens below the limit of detection, whereas clinically important flea populations developed in the lufenuron treatment pen.


Results from this experimental model suggest that flea populations within a home may be controlled by carefully timed on-host treatments with potent long-acting insecticides such as imidacloprid.

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