Adams Plus Flea & Tick Carpet Spray is an aerosol insecticide. It’s mainly used to kill fleas and ticks, but can control other insect pests as well. Prallethrin and etofenprox are included in the spray to quickly kill adult fleas, while methoprene will prevent eggs and larvae from becoming adults for 7 months.
Adams Plus is a decent flea spray. However, it contains less insect growth regulator (methoprene) than other top competitors. This is the most important ingredient for premise sprays, because 95-99% of flea populations are pre-adults living in the environment. Thus, Precor 2000 Plus may be the better choice.
- Prices are based on Amazon.com at time of publishing.
How Adams Plus Flea & Tick Carpet Spray Works
Methoprene is an insect growth regulator (IGR). It works by mimicking juvenile hormone (JH) in insects. When JH or an IGR is present, young insects continue living as larvae. Normally, JH subsides and metamorphosis is triggered. However, those exposed to an IGR will never reach adulthood. In addition, IGR-exposed adult female can’t lay viable eggs. Methoprene lasts 7 months when applied indoors, which is great for control and prevention.
IGRs are the most important ingredient in flea premise sprays. This is because 95-99% of populations are eggs, larvae, and pupae living in the environment, often deep within carpets. Sprays can’t penetrate flea refuges well, which is why an insecticide with a long-lasting effect is important. Traditional insecticides aren’t as useful because they have a relatively brief period of activity. Plus, IGRs are considered safer, because they affect hormones rarely found outside of insects.
Etofenprox & Prallethrin
The adulticides in Adams Plus are etofenprox and prallethrin. Prallethrin is a pyrethroid, and etofenprox is a pyrethroid derivative. Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides based on pyrethrum, a botanical compound found in Chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are typically altered to have superior chemical stability. They are commonly employed against fleas and other indoor pests. These insecticides work as neurotoxins, causing spasms, paralysis, and ultimately death.
When sprayed, Adams Plus should kill any emerged adults in the environment. Unfortunately, only 1-5% of fleas will be in the adult stage, and most of these will be living on pets. The adults don’t leave hosts of their own volition. Thus, few adults will be in the environment at any given time. This is why adulticides aren’t as important as IGRs.
Many immature stages won’t affected by the adulticides, because they live in protected refuges where sprays can penetrate well. Thus, many young fleas present at the time of spraying will eventually emerge as adults. However, they should be the last generation, since new eggs will fall onto IGR-treated surfaces and won’t survive.
N-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide (MGK 264) is a synergist. It doesn’t have insecticidal properties, but will boost the potency and efficacy of pyrethroids. This allows less insecticide to be used, resulting in safer and cheaper products.
Adams Plus is a decent flea premise spray. However, top competitors contain more IGR, which is the most important active ingredient for environmental flea control. Of the professional aerosol sprays, Precor 2000 Plus is the cheapest choice by a small margin.
The following instructions were taken from the Adams Plus product label. Before using the product, view the label for the full directions and precautionary statements.
Tips for Success
Fleas lay eggs on their host, but the eggs aren’t sticky and soon fall into the environment. Most eggs accumulate where pets spend time sleeping, grooming, and eating. In bedrooms, most tend to be found near beds. In living rooms, hot-spots occur near pet bedding or near seating.
When spraying, thoroughly treat the entire floor of infested rooms. However, special attention can be given to potential or identified hot-spots. If follow-up treatments are necessary, they can be limited to the hot-spots, where the majority of the final adults are emerging from.
Have Realistic Expectations
Realistic expectations lead to less stress. There isn’t any product or method that instantly ends a flea infestation. Control usually takes multiple months. This is because the bulk of infestations are immature stages living protected in the environment, where sprays and vacuums can’t penetrate. Many will survive control efforts. Before the infestation ends, all of these immature stages must mature, emerge, and die. New adult fleas emerging after spraying is common. It doesn’t mean that the spray failed. These new adults should be the last generation, as new eggs falling onto the IGR-treated surfaces won’t develop.
Pre-emerged adult fleas can cause many control issues. After pupating, adults can elect to stay within their cocoons and enter into a quiescent state. This sleep-like period can last for up to 5 months. However, heat and pressure (a host) will cause the fleas to immediately wake up and emerge. Vacuuming is one way to simulate these host cues and force emergence.
Vacuum all carpets before spraying. This will lift up the carpet fibers, allowing the spray to penetrate deeper. Don’t vacuum again until the spray dries. Then vacuum around once every other day. Studies have demonstrated that dry vacuuming shouldn’t reduce insecticide efficacy. Vacuuming may actually improve efficacy by forcing cocooned adults to emerge into the insecticide.
Premise Sprays Aren’t Enough
Adult fleas account for 1-5% of infestations and live on their host. They won’t leave a host by choice. Premise treatments aren’t enough for flea control, because the on-host adults will continue to thrive. Each female will lay around 25 eggs a day. If any eggs fall onto an untreated surface, then the infestation will continue or restart.
Integrated flea control is the best way to fight fleas. Treat the environment to prevent immature stages from developing. Treat pets to kill adults before they can lay eggs. And a establish regular vacuuming routine to help eliminate fleas of all stages from the environment.