Every pet owner knows how annoying fleas can be. These minuscule insects can multiply in days and easily infest your pet from head to paws. They will even jump off Fido or Kitty, turning to your family members for their next tasty meal. While flea bites are definitely itchy and can cause a rash in most cases, the bigger problem is ticks.
These tiny parasites can not only cause huge health problems for your furry companion, but they can put your own life in danger. Ticks carry a number of nasty diseases, including Lyme disease, caused by a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, in the tick’s saliva. (1) While one harmful bacteria is bad enough, new research shows there may now actually be a second bacteria called Borrelia mayonii that is far worse, causing even more intense Lyme symptoms like vomiting and neurological issues. (2)
There are many commercial treatments to keep these tiny blood suckers at bay such as flea and tick collars, topical solutions, powders or sprays, but they are also highly dangerous to your pet (and anyone else in your family).
These treatments work by poisoning the ticks or fleas using harsh chemicals like imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen. (3)
These highly toxic chemicals have been shown to cause multiple and significant health problems in pets including cancer, organ failure, nerve damage and endocrine disruption to name only a few.
And your pet is not the only one at risk according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). (4) Most of these products are registered as pesticides and as such, are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US.
Some of these, however, like the organophosphates and carbamates, are known poisons and have even been banned for household use, yet they are still used in pet collars and sprays.
In fact, in 2008 alone, the EPA received more than 44,000 complaints of “adverse reactions” from these products that ranged from rashes to seizures and even death. The EPA further admits these reports have increased by a staggering 53 percent and that they are looking into finding ways to make these products safer, but in the interim, they remain on the market. (5)
So what is the alternative? The fleas and ticks aren’t going anywhere so we have to look at safer more natural products that will get the job done. Luckily, nature can do just that!