Flea and tick treatments for pets fall into that murky area in a lot of consumers' minds: We know the chemicals are designed to ward off or kill bugs ... but somehow we don't associate the products with the term "pesticides."
But the Environmental Protection Agency has received an increasing number of reports of pets having adverse reactions to "spot-on pesticide products" -- those between-the-shoulder liquid treatments designed to infuse the pet's skin with pest-fighting toxicity. Now the agency is taking a harder look at the potential toxicity of these products. "Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures and, in some cases, the death of pets," the organization reports.
Previously, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported that people can be exposed to flea and tick pesticides at 1,000 times the recommended safe dosage just from petting a dog or cat that has been treated.
Beyond Pesticides recommends these alternatives to spot-on treatments:
The NRDC has similar recommendations:
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.