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Natural Flea and Tick Protection That’s Safe for Your Pet (and Your Family)

Does your cat or dog spends time outdoors?  Then flea and tick control may be part of your usual summer routine.  Perhaps an unwelcome part.

Fleas and ticks are parasites that feed on your pet’s – and potentially your family’s – blood.  In addition to making your pet itchy and uncomfortable, bite sites can develop into skin infections.  Creepy fleas and ticks can also transmit dangerous diseases to humans.  Fleas carry typhus, pneumonic plague and were responsible for the famed Bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 1500s. Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted  Fever are debilitating bacterial diseases common in much of the United States and both are tick-borne infections.

To keep your family safe, adult fleas and ticks, eggs and larvae must be eliminated.


Flea and Tick Protection: Spot-On

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of testing done to evaluate approximately 70 products designed to manage fleas and ticks on pets. These products were ones applied to a spot on the pet’s skin, typically in the neck or spine areas, hence the group name of “Spot-On”.  In that same year, the agency received over 1,100 letters from consumers during a 60 day comment period, with most reporting incidents of moderate to severe adverse effects.


EPA Recommendations

Based on the tests completed in 2010, the EPA recommended that the following actions be taken by flea and tick pesticide producers:

  • Improve dosing information to define narrower weigh ranges
  • Change labels to clearly distinguish between dog and cat products; cats can be injured or killed when dog products are used on them
  • Make labels easier to understand and include information about potential side effects
  • Disallow “inert” ingredients that have suspected toxic effects

Bottom line – the EPA has received many consumer complaints and is changing the requirements and disclosures required by makers of flea and tick protection products.  And, because not all producers have made the recommended changes, risks to pets exist even when label instructions are followed.


Flea and Tick Protection: Natural and Organic

There are effective natural and organic choices for controlling fleas and ticks. Some can be sprayed on landscaping to kill the parasites before they find your pets or family. Other products can safely be used directly on pet’s fur.  Relying on botanical oils that deliver demonstrated efficacy and a pleasant scent, these products control fleas, ticks and more, safely.  And talc-like diatomaceous earth, which is OMRI listed and scentless, is useful  to control ants, cockroaches, spiders and other crawling insects, and can be rubbed into pet fur to control fleas and ticks.


Reduce Life’s Risks

You love your pets. And your family. Why take unnecessary risks with their health when safe flea and tick protection options exit?


9/23/2013    Insects, Snails & Slugs