Flea & tick control products raise health concerns?

This time, I am the one who asked the question! My husband found this article in Consumer Reports siting concerns about flea and tick control products.

"Certain products used to control fleas and ticks are raising hairs. In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advisory after an increase in the number of reported health incidents in pets treated with some flea and tick control products.

Following the EPA advisory, in an unrelated effort, the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit in California against major pet product retailers and manufacturers for allegedly failing to use warning labels on flea and tick control products that contain a chemical linked to cancer."

So I sent a note to the group and got some wonderful feedback!

Yvette Roman of Beyond the Lawn shared this awesome Green Paws site where you can check each specific product.

Kiki Christianson of Re:source shared this tip - "We use Dr. Bronner's soap, diluted, about once a month, to wash our short haired dogs. Seems to work pretty well. No grass in your yard helps too!! Fleas need water to live and breed, so dry out your yard where you can."

Iain sent this info -

Certainly nothing will be as effective as a pesticide, but to be effective, the natural flea remedy must aim to reduce the habitat of the pest, both in your house and outside. Remedies such as diatomacous earth and beneficial nematodes can give you impressive outdoor protection with almost no unwanted side effects.

I highly recommend this website for all your pest/gardening questions.

Here are some facts about the most common spot-on flea remedies -

Fipronil (Frontline) is a nerve poison.(10) It caused thyroid cancer in laboratory tests, and affected the development of the nervous system in offspring when pregnant mothers were exposed.(14) [Fipronil factsheet]

Imidacloprid (Advantage) is another nerve poison.(10) It caused miscarriages and abnormal development of bones in laboratory tests with rabbits.(15) [Imidacloprid factsheet]

Lufenuron (Program) stops the development of flea eggs.(16) It is given to pets as pills or as a liquid mixed in food. In some dogs and cats, it caused vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and itchy skin.(17,18)

Methoprene (Precor) prevents emergence of adult fleas.(10) It stimulated gene activity in a laboratory study using mammalian cells.(19)

Pyriproxyfen (Nylar, Archer) prevents flea larvae from molting.(10) It caused anemia and increased blood cholesterol levels in a laboratory test using dogs.(20)

Thank you everyone for your help!

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