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Periodic Graphics: Flea and tick treatments for pets

Chemical educator and Compound Interest blogger Andy Brunning digs into the chemical methods used to protect our pets from disease-carrying bugs

by Andy Brunning
August 25, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 33


Andy Brunning
Andy Brunning

To download a pdf of this article, visit

References used to create this graphic:

Flea and tick control in the 21st century: challenges and opportunities

Biology, treatment, and control of tick and flea infestations

Therapy, control and prevention of flea allergy dermatitis in dogs and cats

A collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest

To see more of Brunning’s work, go to To see all of C&EN’s Periodic Graphics, visit




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Lawrence Creemer (August 29, 2019 10:50 AM)
I was curious why the Periodic Graphic of Flea and Tick Treatments for Pets does not include Spinosad (Comfortis)? as an oral treatment? This seems like a glowing omission...……...
Andy Brunning (August 30, 2019 9:19 AM)
Hi Lawrence,

Space is always a factor with these graphics, and sadly means we can't always highlight every relevant compound. In this one we tried to highlight some of the commonly used compounds and give a broad idea of how they work, but we're aware there are plenty of additional compounds that could also have been included, with Spinosad amongst them.

Khanh Nguyen (August 30, 2019 12:12 PM)
How come some of these topical compounds don't work ? last year one of these compounds sold at Costco did not work at all and it was not cheap

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