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Program Flea Control

- Systemic flea control medicine -

Summary: Program (tm) is an oral flea control medication that contains lufenuron, an insect growth regulator that stops flea eggs from hatching. Program does not control adult fleas, or ticks, so is often combined with other flea control methods if these pests are a problem.

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)

What is Program?

Program (tm) is an oral flea control medication in the form of chewable tablets for dogs or liquid for cats. The active ingredient, lufenuron, is an insect growth regulator (IGR) that circulates in the pet's blood stream. Fleas ingest the active ingredient when they bite and exposed fleas produce eggs which do not hatch. Because lufenuron acts on eggs it does not kill adult fleas nor is it effective against ticks.

Since Program is not intended to control adult fleas that may already be present, you should start Program before fleas are a problem or use it in combination with methods that control adults.

Adult cat flea (original photo by Ken Gray)

Adult cat fleas (1/5"-1/10") move between the host animal and "nest".


While Program is very effective I still prefer the non-systemic, spot-on flea control products like Frontline and Advantage (see Flea Control in Homes and on Pets) because they may have fewer side effects and some products control adult fleas and ticks as well.

Program might be an excellent alternative to spot-on medications in situations where an animal can't tolerate the topical treatments. Please read over the General Information and Precautions before using any of the flea control products.

If you live where heartworm has been reported your pets should be protected from this serious, often fatal, parasitic infection that is carried by mosquitoes (see What is Heartworm?). Program does not protect pets from the mosquitoes that transmit heartworm.

Program as well as several less expensive generics are available without prescription from Amazon here.

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