It makes sense when you think about it. If you are pouring enough poison on your pet to kill fleas for 3 months, its probably harmful to your cat or dog as well. Children are also especially sensitive to chemicals and pesticides. It’s amazing that in a time when we will pay 3 times more for an organic apple, we still bring pesticides into our homes and put our loved ones in direct danger.
After taking the time to consider how dangerous a product that your pet wears on their skin for 3 months can be, I decided to pick up some flea shampoo. That sounds safe, right? You scrub the dog, the fleas die, you rinse and repeat as needed. Next time you’re in the pet aisle, read the back of that flea shampoo bottle. If it gets on your clothes, in your eyes, consumed, or inhaled, there are directions for what you’re supposed to do; usually you’re supposed to call Poison Control. But for some reason, it seems okay to rub all over your pet? I don’t think so.
My sister in law got a 3-in-1 flea spray for her cat, Tiny Kitty. This spray was supposed to be safe for small kittens, which is why she purchased it to begin with. She sprayed Tiny Kitty with the toxic chemicals, thinking that a large pet store chain would never carry a product that could potentially harm their own customers. A few hours later she found her cat completely paralyzed and near death. She instantly thought of the flea spray and washed off her cat, which thankfully recovered quickly. The results of that incident could have been fatal for her cat. Heaven forbid that she had a baby in the home!
I have a two year old and I am not about to put him in danger. These flea control chemicals could potentially cause irreparable brain damage that might not be discovered for many years. He has never been one to put his hands in his mouth like many children, but he is one to climb all over our dog, Chopper. Caleb and Chopper are best buds and do everything together. Caleb will even lie on top of him while he watches TV. To think that I could contaminate my dog, and that he in turn, could poison my son! It’s a dreadful thought!
The NRDC posted a press release called Flea-Control Products Threaten Pets and Children. In it, the adverse effects of chemical flea warfare are discussed. Fleas are more than just a pest, they are a health risk. They can carry diseases like the bubonic plague, and parasites such as heart worms. If I am trying to keep my family safe, why would I put them in danger while I do it?
I’ve decided to try a safe an non-toxic approach to flea control… Now what? I searched the web for safe and non-toxic flea control tactics. There are far more out there than I ever thought. The great news is that they are comparatively inexpensive. The down side is that they are usually time consuming and need to be repeated consistently to have a lasting effect. I learned that any dog shampoo that lathers will kill fleas by suffocation, adding a drop or two of lavender will help ward them off after the bath. Adding some of that lavender or other essential oil to the rinse cycle when washing your pet’s bedding will to the same. You can even wash your child’s linens as well. Its safe, and it smells nice!
Tonight I am cooking up a “citrus repellent”. I got this recipe from GrandmasHomeRemedies.com.
You can make an effective flea repellent from lemon by cutting it into quarters and immersing it in boiling water. This is then steeped overnight to get you the repellent. By spraying this all over your pet, especially behind the ears and generally around the head, and also at the base of the tail and the ‘armpits’, you can rid it of fleas.
Before you decided to trust your children, pets, and other family members to pesticides, chemicals, and poisons, I urge you to do some research. The EPA is doing their own research as well, and that should be enough to raise an eyebrow or two. I don’t want to come across as a conspiracy theorist, but there is probably a correlation between all the chemicals that we bring into our homes and all of the new diseases that seem to pop up everywhere over night. If there is a safe way to protect my family and pets, I will definitely take it over risking their health.