How Long Does Revolution Take to Kill Fleas?

Every pet owner’s worst nightmare is dealing with a flea infestation. Not only do these pests cause discomfort to your pet, but they also threaten their health and potentially your home’s hygiene. One of the popular flea treatment options is Revolution (selamectin), a topical medication known for its comprehensive protection against various parasites, including fleas. But exactly how long does Revolution take to kill fleas?

Revolution: A Multi-Parasite Assassin

Before we go into the specifics of the time frame, let’s understand how Revolution works. This topical solution doesn’t merely eliminate adult fleas; it also breaks the life cycle of these pesky parasites by killing flea eggs and larvae. Beyond fleas, Revolution safeguards your pet against heartworms, ear mites, hookworms, and roundworms.

How Quickly Does Revolution Act?

According to latest studies, selamectin, the active ingredient in Revolution, is 100% effective against fleas by day 3, when dosed correctly. This implies that within 72 hours, your pet should be flea-free, provided the medication was administered properly. However, it’s crucial to note that this timeframe refers to the elimination of fleas present on your pet at the time of application.

What About New Fleas?

Now, what happens if your pet encounters new fleas after the application? Selamectin is a systemic ectoparasiticide, meaning it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and redistributed over the body. When a flea bites your pet, it consumes this deadly compound and quickly dies. Hence, Revolution acts as a protective shield for your pet against any future flea encounters within its effective period, which is roughly a month.

Why Do I Still See Fleas?

There can be several reasons for this. One possibility is that the fleas you’re seeing are new arrivals that haven’t bitten your pet yet. Another explanation is the continual emergence of new adult fleas from pupae in the environment. Even if the adult fleas on your pet are killed, the flea lifecycle in your home continues, leading to reinfestation. It’s vital, therefore, to treat your home environment along with your pet. Lastly, ensuring you’ve applied Revolution correctly and in the proper dosage is crucial for its effectiveness.

Is It Safe to Use Revolution?

Revolution is generally well-tolerated by cats and dogs and is considered safe when used according to your veterinarian’s instructions. It’s worth noting that the benefits of protecting your pet from potentially dangerous parasites far outweigh the minor risks associated with its use.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Revolution starts to work against fleas shortly after application and is fully effective within 3 days. However, patience and persistence are key when dealing with fleas, as it takes time to completely eradicate these resilient parasites from your pet and your home. It’s always recommended to consult with your vet for the best flea treatment strategy for your pet.


How does Revolution work against fleas?

Revolution contains the active ingredient selamectin, which targets the nervous system of fleas, ultimately causing paralysis and death. The medicine is systemic, meaning it’s absorbed into the pet’s bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body. When a flea bites your pet, it ingests selamectin and quickly perishes. Moreover, Revolution disrupts the flea life cycle by also eliminating flea eggs and larvae on your pet.

Does Revolution kill flea eggs and larvae?

Yes, in addition to eliminating adult fleas, Revolution effectively kills flea eggs and larvae. This helps break the lifecycle of the flea population, reducing the chance of reinfestation.

Why are there still fleas after using Revolution?

Fleas can be persistent pests, and it’s possible to see them even after applying Revolution. The reason could be new fleas jumping onto your pet from an infested environment or the emergence of new adult fleas from pupae in your home. This underscores the importance of treating not just your pet, but also your pet’s environment to completely eradicate a flea infestation.

How often should I apply Revolution for optimal results?

Revolution is designed as a monthly topical treatment. Applying it every 30 days ensures that your pet is consistently protected against fleas and other parasites. Always adhere to your vet’s recommended dosage and application frequency for the best results.

Does my pet’s weight affect the dosage of Revolution?

Yes, the weight of your pet directly influences the dosage of Revolution. The medication comes in various strengths, and the right one for your pet is determined by their weight. Using the incorrect dosage can lead to ineffective treatment or potential side effects. Therefore, it’s essential to know your pet’s current weight and discuss it with your vet when considering Revolution.

What precautions should I take when applying Revolution?

To apply Revolution effectively, part the hair at the base of your pet’s neck and apply the solution directly to the skin. Avoid bathing your pet for at least two hours after application. The product is harmful if swallowed, so ensure your pet cannot lick the application site. Always wash your hands after handling Revolution.

Is Revolution safe for all pets?

Revolution is safe for most cats and dogs when administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions and your vet’s guidance. However, puppies and kittens need to be at least eight weeks old before receiving the treatment. If your pet is ill, weak, or underweight, consult with your vet before starting Revolution.

Can Revolution be used in conjunction with other flea treatments?

In some cases, yes, but it’s crucial to consult your vet before combining flea treatments. Certain products may interact with each other, leading to reduced effectiveness or potential adverse effects. For instance, products like Capstar (nitenpyram), which kill fleas on pets within a short period, can sometimes be used in conjunction with Revolution under a vet’s supervision.

Can indoor pets benefit from using Revolution?

Absolutely. While indoor pets may have a lower risk of flea infestation compared to outdoor pets, they are not entirely immune. Fleas can enter homes on humans or other animals, or through infested items. Therefore, using Revolution as a preventative measure can help ensure your indoor pet stays flea-free.

What side effects could occur after using Revolution?

While side effects are rare with Revolution, they can occur. Some pets may experience temporary hair loss, sores, or irritation at the application site. More serious side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, rapid breathing, and lack of coordination. If your pet shows any adverse reactions after using Revolution, contact your vet immediately.

Can pregnant or nursing pets use Revolution?

Revolution is generally considered safe for use in pregnant and nursing pets. However, as with any medication, it’s important to discuss its use with your vet if your pet is pregnant or nursing.

Is it normal for my pet to scratch after applying Revolution?

Some pets may exhibit increased scratching after the application of Revolution. This doesn’t mean the medication isn’t working. In fact, it’s often a sign that the product is killing the fleas, which can cause them to move around, triggering your pet’s urge to scratch. However, if the scratching persists or if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, consult your vet.

What happens if I miss a dose of Revolution?

If you miss a dose, apply Revolution as soon as you remember. Then, continue applying it every 30 days as originally scheduled. Do not apply two doses at once or give a double dose to make up for the missed treatment, as this could lead to an overdose.

What should I do if my pet accidentally ingests Revolution?

If your pet accidentally ingests Revolution, they may experience symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. It’s important to contact your vet immediately if your pet shows any signs of illness following ingestion of the product.

Can I bathe my pet after applying Revolution?

You should avoid bathing your pet for at least two hours after applying Revolution. The product needs time to absorb into your pet’s skin to provide optimal protection against fleas. After this period, bathing your pet will not affect the efficacy of Revolution.

Does Revolution prevent flea infestations in my home?

While Revolution effectively kills adult fleas on your pet, it also works to disrupt the flea life cycle by preventing flea eggs and larvae from developing into adults. This can help reduce the flea population in your home over time. However, for existing severe infestations, additional environmental control measures like regular vacuuming and using approved insecticides may be necessary to eliminate all stages of fleas in your home.

Is there a specific weight or age for pets to start using Revolution?

Revolution is safe to use for kittens as young as 8 weeks old and puppies as young as 6 weeks old. The dosage depends on your pet’s weight, so it’s important to have accurate weight information to ensure correct dosing. Always consult your vet for the appropriate dosing information.

Can I use Revolution on other animals besides cats and dogs?

Revolution is formulated specifically for cats and dogs and should not be used on other types of pets unless directed by a veterinarian. Using Revolution on species for which it is not intended can result in serious health issues.

How does Revolution work to kill different parasites?

Revolution contains the active ingredient selamectin, which enters the bloodstream and gastrointestinal tract of your pet after being applied to the skin. Selamectin targets the nervous system of parasites like fleas, heartworms, and ear mites, causing paralysis and death.

What should I do if my pet has an allergic reaction to Revolution?

Allergic reactions to Revolution are rare but can occur. Symptoms may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, or seizures. If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction to Revolution, contact your vet immediately.

Can Revolution protect my pet against ticks?

While Revolution is effective against several types of parasites, it does not provide protection against ticks. If ticks are a concern, you should consider a different product or an additional product that is designed to kill ticks. Always consult with your vet to ensure safe and effective protection against multiple parasites.

How should Revolution be stored?

Revolution should be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. It should also be kept out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse.

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