Flea Collars and Sand Fleas
Date Published: 10 November 2004
By way of advice, let me talk about flea collars. I've been asked numerous times if people should send flea collars to ward off fleas and sand fleas. Sand fleas, from everything I've been told here and in the states by medical personnel, are basically small mosquitos. They have wings, they fly, they're about 1/4 the size of a typical mosquito back in Ohio. They're not fleas, at least not what I've seen crawling on my pets, which have no wings. Further, I've never seen a flea over here, although I'm sure there probably are some, especially on all the dogs running around, nor have I been warned about fleas as a problem for soldiers (except for sand fleas, which are also called sand flies, and which again, are basically small mosquitoes). So, all that said, soldiers are issued DEET for insect repellent and encouraged (ad nauseum) to wear it, and they are also issued permethrin with which to treat their clothing. Both of these put together are supposed to be 95% effective at repelling insects. Deep woods Off, either spray or wipes, is also great to have. However, flea collars, getting back to my original subject, are not at all effective against mosquitoes and are typically worn around the ankles, presumably to ward fleas from crawling up one's legs. Do not send them. They're not effective, they're a health risk, and they're strongly discouraged by military commanders here (e.g. soldiers are told not to wear them, and could be disciplined for disobeying). Prior to deploying here, they showed us some pictures of chemical burns soldiers had sustained from wearing flea collars directly against their skin. Please don't send them -- send some Off! wipes instead.
As a separate note, flea collars are, in my opinion, not all that great even for pets. I've found that FrontLine is 100 times more effective of a treatment, and other products like Advantage and Program (I think that's it) were also much better.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.