How Long Does It Take For Flea Drops To Work? – No Need to Wait to Know!

Published Categorized as About Fleas

If you have never had a pet, or have simply never tried flea drops, you are probably wondering how long it takes for flea drops to work on pets. Flea drops can be a fantastic way to control different types of pests on your pets, such as fleas and ticks. 

However, like any form of treatment, flea drops come in many different forms. It is not only important to know how to use them, but to know which flea drops are best for your pet.

If flea drops are something you are considering, but you do not know where to begin, then have no fear! In this article I will be narrowing down all the vital information you need in order to choose the correct flea drops for your pet. By the end of reading this, you won’t ever have to worry about those pesky little bugs again!

how long does it take for flea drops to work

What are flea drops?

Flea drops can also be known as spot-on treatments. They work by protecting your pet for up to 30 days, with just one simple application!

The drops work by being absorbed by your pet’s skin. Then, both their bloodstream and oil glands help to circulate the drops through your animal’s system.

Whilst some work by direct contact to the flea, others are only effective once the flea has actually bitten your pet.

The drops work by attacking the insect’s neural system and eventually killing the flea. Whilst this does not happen instantly, the chemicals in the drops slowly take over the flea’s nervous system and eventually the flea is paralyzed and then dies. This can take up to a few hours.

Whilst these drops sound extremely harmful, the level of chemical needed to kill a flea is so low compared to that of a cat or a dog, or even a guinea pig. So they are completely harmless to your pet, despite having toxic effects on your pet’s pests.

K9 Advantix II Flea and Tick Prevention for Large Dogs, 21-55 Pounds

How To Use Flea Drops

Flea drops are best if generally applied behind the ears, between the shoulder blades, and at the base of the tail of your pet. These locations are the most common for fleas to live.

Behind the shoulder blades and at the base of the tail can be extremely difficult for animals to reach and scratch. Animals can also remove some fleas using their mouth, but if they are unable to reach the area with their mouth then it means the fleas are safe from being bitten. 

This means that these areas are safe for fleas to settle, lay their eggs and begin to spread.

Not only are they a safe place for fleas, but they are very warm and cozy. Fleas like to lay in areas of heat, which is typically why they love fluffy and hairy pets. 

When you apply the drops, ensure that they touch the skin of your pet. Applying them to the fur only will not work as it needs to get in through the oil glands. If you get the drops onto the skin of your pet, it also saves your pet’s fur from becoming greasy and dirty from the drops. 

Applying the oils to the fur will be a waste of your money, the drops, and ultimately you will have to purchase more and apply them accurately to the skin, so it is important to get it right!

You can see a step by step account of how to apply a spot-on treatment below:

Types of Flea drops

As mentioned, flea drops come in many different types and brands, but three of the most common are Hartz, Frontline, and Advantage.

You can learn more about Frontline and how fast their treatments work if you click through the link. 

They all work slightly differently and so it is really important to follow the instructions accurately. If you are unsure of which treatment to purchase, you can contact your vet for some further advice. 

How long does it take for flea drops to work on a cat?

The answer to this is the same answer when asking ‘how long does it take for flea drops to work on a dog?’. 

The time it takes for flea drops to work on a cat or a dog will really depend on the brand you buy, and how accurately you apply to the drops. Some can take up to a few hours, whilst some begin to work their magic almost immediately.

It is important to remember that when discussing if they are working, this does not necessarily mean the fleas are beginning to die. For flea drops to begin working, it means they have started circulating your pet’s bloodstream and are reaching the fleas.

Don’t expect to see lots of dead fleas within the first hour of application, even if the drops say they work within 15 minutes!

However, you may start seeing results in terms of the fleas within 12 hours. This is not always the case, and it will again depend on the application and your pet, so you should allow up to 24 hours for any flea drop medication to really start kicking in.

Once the medication has reached the fleas, they will not die immediately. It will take a few hours. This is because the process, as mentioned, paralyzes the fleas first and then they slowly die. 

You should really allow a couple of days for any treatment to show some significant difference, so be patient!

How long does it take for Hartz flea drops to work?

Hartz flea drops claim to begin working within 15 minutes. Whilst this is going to depend on the extent of the flea issue, the success of your application, and your pet, Hartz flea drops should typically begin to activate and start circulating your pet’s bloodstream as quickly as within 15 minutes!

Hartz UltraGuard Dual Action Flea & Tick Topical Dog Treatment and Flea and Tick Prevention, 6 Months, 60+ Pound Dogs

Final Thoughts

Whilst flea drops can be a fantastic method to remove fleas, it is important to be patient with them.

When deciding your brand, you can speak to your vet for further advice, but sticking to well-known brands is going to be the most reliable method. 

Ensure that you apply any flea drops to your pet’s skin, and not the fur. This will help it reach the bloodstream and ensure it begins to work, instead of being wasted in the fur.

So, if you are facing flea problems, when it comes to flea drops I really wouldn’t hesitate. The are quick, easy and harmless to your pets, making them a fantastic way to have a fleas-free home within hours!


How long does it take for Advantage flea drops to work on cats?

Advantage flea drops claim to typically start killing fleas within the first 12 hours of application.

How long does it take for Advantage flea drops to work on dogs?

Advantage flea drops claim to typically start killing fleas within the first 12 hours of application. 

How long does it take for cat flea drops to work?

This depends on the brand. Advantage flea drops will start killing fleas within the first 12 hours, whilst Hartz drops claim to begin working within 15 minutes, however it is unlikely that the fleas will begin to die in this time. All flea drops will state the time their treatments start to work and so researching this is important before buying. 

How long does it take for flea drops to work golds?

Frontline Gold typically begins killing the fleas within 48 hours. This is when you should see almost all fleas to be dead, however the treatment will kick in before this, it just takes a few hours for the fleas to actually die.

Frontline Gold for Cats (6 Month)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *