Could Your Petâ€™s Flea Treatment Be Killing More than Just Bugs?
Does it scare you to know that most flea treatments work by paralysing an insectâ€™s nervous system?Â Many people will be familiar with the concept of exactly how this works by thinking of movies they have seen where nerve gas is used.
Think about other living beings in your home with nervous systems- would you assume that the chemical used to complete this task is able to distinguish between the nervous system of an insect and that of a dog, a cat, or even a person?Â When ingested, even in small doses over a long period of time, the effects can be dangerous and even deadly to pets and even small children who are often exposed far more often to such chemicals than their big and tall parents.
How can such chemicals be allowed in everyday treatments?
One of the most common active ingredients in flea and tick treatments is Permethrin, which is easily identified by looking at the box a flea or tick treatment comes in.Â Many boxes have warnings about how such a chemical can negatively impact health, but it is not in high enough doses to warrant being banned completely.Â However, more and more families are saying â€˜enough is enoughâ€™ and deciding itâ€™s time to go with cleaner, safer, greener pest control options.Â Fleas can be tough to get rid of even with harsh chemicals, leaving many families asking, what can I do?
Attack from all angles.Â It isnâ€™t enough to simply treat a pet, a home or a yard.Â If all three arenâ€™t taken care of the pests will come back once and again.
Treat the Pet
- Make sure the pet is eating a healthy diet with as few unnatural components and additives in the food as possible.Â Almost all parasitic bugs are attracted to weak immune systems, which can be caused by poor nutrition.
- Groom the pet by bathing it regularly and brushing out the fur.Â Use a small amount of vinegar and your regular pet shampoo to get troublesome fleas off for good.Â Many companies also now make â€˜greenâ€™ environmentally friendly pet shampoo which helps combat fleas and has excellent natural components such as plant matter and oils.
- Use flea combs while grooming to get as many fleas and eggs as possible off the pet.
Treat the Home
- Vacuum the house regularly, especially during an outbreak of fleas.Â Do not forget to vacuum upholstery, floorboards, rugs, mattresses, and any other porous surface where the pet might pass.
- Wash all bedding, clothing, mats etc. at least every other week, and more often during problem times.Â As with bathing the pet adding a bit of vinegar to washing will help kill fleas and eggs, and will not leave on odour on laundry.
- Purchase flea traps for the home.
Treat the Yard
- Landscape for success by avoiding gravel and sand, which both attract fleas.
- Consider natural remedies like nematodes which feed on flea larvae and can be sprayed on the lawn.
If you feel you have exhausted all the green, chemical free options you can find to relieve your pet of fleas or ticks, try asking your vet about some low chemical options which are still environmentally friendly and healthy for your pet.
This article was written by Jessica Josh about APM, your local residential pest experts