Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flea Control and Issues With Pesticides

After my previous post about flea control, I wanted to mention something to all of you pet owners.

Al has been in the pest control business for many years and even though the newer topical flea control products cut down on his flea control business, he was very happy because it helped prevent a lot of suffering for the animals. He used to get a lot of business spraying houses and yards for fleas, but products like Frontline and Advantage changed all that.

These chemical products are rubbed on the pest neck once a month and it kept the fleas and ticks away. How could spreading pesticide on your pets skin be good for them?  Al has a customer who's dog developed a golf ball sized tumor at the site the chemical went.  Related?  I don't know, but I think I would quit using it on my dog if it were mine.

The products seem to work very well for fleas but over many years are they causing health problems to our animals?  I don't know, but I am concerned enough that I don't want to use them on my kitties.   I  wonder how basically feeding your pet pesticides could be good for the animal. I have to admit we have also used these products a few times many years ago, but the more I thought about it, the more hesitant I became.

Al recently read an article in one of his Pest Control Magazines, that said that a lot of pets are dying each year from these products and I'm sure there are a lot more that are never documented.  If he can find that article I will scan it and post it. It's something to be aware of.  I had a conversation about these products with our Vet last week. I related to her what Al told me and she said the problems were caused by the over the counter products (like Hartz) you buy at the grocery store.  I think both are causing serious problems. 

I realize how serious a flea infestation can be and how difficult it is to prevent, especially with dogs.  With our cats, we keep them inside and normally don't have a problem.

I think there may be safer ways to prevent fleas. These topical treatments can cause problems especially in very young or older pets.  Al says there is a spray product that he thinks you can get from the Vet that has a growth regulator in it.  It's called Petcor   He says it's safe because there is no pesticide in it.  You can safely use it right on the pet.  It is not a fast acting flea killing product. It sterilizes the flea so it can't reproduce. It disrupts the life cycle. It is supposed to be very safe, but like anything, be aware.

Pest Control operators are also now are using  these kind of products with growth regulators for many types of pest control.  Growth regulators are the wave of the future for pest control and most think it is a much safer alternative.

Okay...he found the article.  I will scan and post it tomorrow, but in the meantime here is a little part of it....

"In 2008 the EPA received 44,000 complaints associated with topical treatment of pets for flea and tick management, a 50% increase from 2007.  More than 600 pets died from topical flea treatment, which can cause skin irritation, neurological problems and in some cases death.  Worse, an insecticide can be transferred from a pet to children when the animal is petted or held"

I think 600 pets dying is not a lot considering the many thousands of pets that get these products each year, however if one of those 600 was your dog or cat, you might think differently.  Also, I am sure there are a lot of deaths unreported and a lot that no relationship between the death and the pesticide could be proven. 

I  realize that this article was posted in a magazine for Pest Control professionals and they could be considered to have an ulterior motive, but in my opinion it is worth considering this before you use these topical products on your beloved pets.

Just something to think about.  I know we all love our pets!

And here is my kitty picture of the night.


www.travelwithkevinandruth.com said... [Reply to comment]

We totally agree with you on this, but Whiskey was having such a problem we didn't have much choice. We had tried over the counter ones once before and never again, that is why we tried Frontline, it is said to be the least irritant to the pet. We will only use it for the time that we are down south. Up until then we have never ever had a problem with fleas and ticks and have never had to use them. Whiskey is right at the weight differnce between the two sizes of medication and we are always told to go to the lager of the two, which we don't. We stay with the smaller amount and it seems to work just fine. We will look into petcor as an alternative.

Thanks for the information.

Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

Karen and Al said... [Reply to comment]

Kevin, Ruth, and Whiskey,

I certainly understand flea issues. We're fighting them right now ourselves. I never meant to make you feel like you were doing the wrong thing in using Frontline, I just wanted to make everyone aware that it is a pesticide. I don't know how well the Petcor will work, but it may be worth a try. Mike and Gerri (RV Life of Mike and Gerri) mentioned they are using "Confortis" It's something new and appears it is also a growth regulator. Here is a snippet of what I found on the internet.

Oral control that prevents immature forms of fleas from becoming fertile adults. Program works by inhibiting the production of chitin in insect eggs and larvae, cutting the life cycle short. This ensures that juvenile forms do not become biting, breeding adult fleas. Simply give your dog a tasty treat with a meal once a month and let the IDI (Insect Development Inhibitor) lufenuron do its work. Can be used in combination with flea adulticide (such as Frontline Top Spot) to kill existing adult fleas. Package contains six doses. For dogs over six weeks old. Guaranteed USA Supplier.

Margie and Roger said... [Reply to comment]

Guess we all have opinions about this subject. I have two dogs, 3 lb. and 5 lb., and I saw a couple of fleas while in Florida. Bought Frontline Plus for small dogs and split the dosage between the two of them. Problem solved. However, I have always worried about these type products. Our previous home (TN) has flea and tick problems - but I rarely ever had a problem, with the dogs being inside and outside. What I used when I noticed a flea (rarely in years and years), I gave them Brewer's Yeast/Garlic tablets and that solved the problem.

I only used the Frontline Plus twice this year because I was afraid of getting a flea problem in the motor home. No sign of fleas now so I won't use it on them again. Annie only had two fleas and I didn't see any on Buddy, but gave him a couple of tiny drops anyway.

When we return to FL I think I'll go back to Brewer's Yeast/Garlic pills maybe a couple of times a week.

Good topic. I won't even spray myself when I see a mosquito - don't like the thought of an insecticide on me, so I just go back inside.

www.travelwithkevinandruth.com said... [Reply to comment]

No offense was taken. Kevin had done the research before using it and we new it had pesticides in it. We didn't want to really use it but as I said didn't feel we had much choice. We will difinitely look into these other products to see what they are like and the reviews on them.

Thanks again for the info, it will be very helpful I am sure.

Sure hope you get your flea problems fixed up soon.

Kevin and Ruth

mark said... [Reply to comment]

I don't think so that that product will give side effect to all.
But it is really dangerous if it provides an effect like brain tumor and for that every people will take care about this.
I think it was bad accident with Al.
-Pest Control