• Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
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  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
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Flea and Tick - least toxic

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Flea and Tick - least toxic

For more information on protecting your pet from pesticides, read Beyond Pesticides factsheet, Pesticides and Pets: What you should know to keep your pets safe. Also see Beyond Pesticides’ factsheets, Least-Toxic Control of Fleas and Least-Toxic Control of Ticks.

Also see poisoningneonicotinoids pyrethrins,,  industry shenanigans/regulatory and legal

Despite Nearly 1,700 Pet Deaths from Seresto Pet Collars, Pesticide Product Remains on Market (Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2023)  US story.   Despite evidence of toxicity to pets from Seresto pet collars (manufactured with the neurotoxic insecticide flumethrin, as well as the notorious neonicotinoid imidacloprid), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has announced that the popular flea and tick collars will remain on the market, but with new mitigation measures.   SNAP Comment: There are 99 imidacloprid products registered in Canada as of 23 March 2021, many of them registered for pet treatments. Flumethrin is not and has not been registered in Canada. The Seresto trademark is not registered in Canada.

Coverup of Dog Deaths at EPA, According to Internal Emails on Seresto Flea and Tick Collars     (Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2022) According to reporting by E&E’s Greenwire, internal emails at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that career scientists at the agency expressed worry about pesticide-laced pet collars, such as the notorious Seresto flea and tick collars, but that EPA managers “instructed them to avoid documenting those worries in publicly accessible records.” The emails were released pursuant to a 2021 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), that sought records of internal communications. 

Despite 1,700 Dog and Cat Deaths from Flea Collars, EPA Silent; Children at Risk   (Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2021) Pet owners will be alarmed to read the report, by USA Today, that a popular flea and tick collar — Seresto, developed by Bayer and sold by Elanco — has been linked to nearly 1,700 pet deaths, injuries to tens of thousands of animals, and harm to hundreds of people... Beyond Pesticides and other advocates have warned of the toxicity of pet pesticide treatments, not only to the animals themselves, but also, to children and other household members. There are nontoxic ways to protect pets from fleas and other pests, and to protect human family members at the same time.    The active pesticide ingredients in the Seresto pet collars are imidacloprid and flumethrin.  The neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid is a commonly used pesticide associated with serious health and environmental decline. ... Flumethrin is a chemical in the pyrethroid class of synthetic neurotoxic insecticides, which have been repeatedly linked to neurological issues, such as seizures and learning disabilities in children, and to gastrointestinal distress, as well as to damage to non-target invertebrates, according to EPA’s own analysis.'   SNAP Comment: There are 99 imidacloprid products registered in Canada as of 23 March 2021, many of them registered for pet treatments. Flumethrin is not and has not bee registered in Canada. The Seresto trademark is not registered in Canada.

Environmental Poisoning by Pesticides—Household Chemical Products and Medications Impact Domestic Pet Populations   (Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2020) A new report from the University of Milan and Poison Control Center (CVA) in Milan, Italy suggests that domestic animals experience frequent environmental poisoning by household toxicants. 'Researchers note, “These findings can provide useful information for the identification and monitoring of known and emerging toxicants, with positive repercussions on human, animal, and environmental health.  Pesticides and medicine are the two major causes of domestic animal poisoning (34.1% and 33.5% of incidents, respectively). The remainder of animal poising incidents are from household products and other causative agents. The number one cause of pesticide-related poising events is insecticides (44.6%)—including pyrethrin/pyrethroids and neonicotinoids, followed by rodenticidesfungicidesherbicidesmolluscicides, and unspecified pesticides. The leading cause of medicine-related poisoning is veterinary prescriptions.Species observations demonstrate that dogs and cats are most frequently associated with animal poisoning incidents. The most common exposure route is ingestion, preceding dermal and mucosal exposure (via inhalation). Nearly all animal exposures incidents are accidental (93%), however, some incidents occur due to owner errors/misuses, intentional poising, or unknown sources.

Pesticide Incident Prompts Dog Owner Warning about Flea and Tick Chemicals   (Beyond Pesticides, June 15, 2020) ' A dog owner in southern Florida is warning other owners about the safety of flea and tick medication after his dog suffered a seizure and lost mobility in her back legs. As reported by CBS WINK, owner Joe Brewster switched to the product PetArmor Plus for Dogs, manufactured by Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., just three days before his dog, Buddha, suffered a seizure.     EPA told WINK news that over the last decade, it received over 1,300 reports of pesticide incidents involving pets, and 67 involving humans after the use of PetArmor products.     The active ingredients in PetArmor plus are fipronil and methoprene, both of which are commonly found in many pet flea and tick treatments.

Dogs (Canis familiaris) – Research Tracks Dogs’ Exposure to Contaminants in the Home, Serves as Sentinel Species for Chemical-Induced Human Diseases     (Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2020)    'However, dogs can develop comparable anthropomorphic diseases from susceptibility to the same environmental contaminants, but at a much quicker pace. This research highlights the significance of researching disease identification methods, mutual amid multiple species, to mitigate challenges surrounding long disease latency periods. Matthew Breen, Ph.D., professor of comparative oncology genetics at NC State, asserts, “If we develop ways to correlate dog disease with their exposures over time, it may allow human-health professionals to mitigate these exposures for both species. This study reinforces the concept of One Health, demonstrating that in addition to being our closest animal companions, our dogs are truly a sentinel species for health.”    As the prevalence of environmental pollutants continues to rise annually, the disease implications associated with the contaminants may subject to regulatory standards or in many cases may not be fully evaluated. Humans and dogs share over 360 analogous diseases, including various cancers (i.e., testicular, breast cancer, etc.).   Research models find significant correlations among chemical exposure levels for pets and owners, due to similar chemical concentrations in urine samples and silicone devices. An environmental contaminant present in both human and dog urinalysis is organophosphate ester, a chemical in flame-retardant. The most abundant phthalates on wristbands and dog tags are dioctyl terephthalate (DEHT) and di(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), respectively. Trans- and cis-permethrin are the most abundant pesticides present on wristbands and tags. Furthermore, these silicone devices detect the presence of both pesticides and phthalates 100% of the time. '  Only these few chemicals were tested in this research but thr silicon devides have been shown to accurately quantify pesticide exposure. 

That Perfect Green Lawn Could Be Deadly For Your Dog (Christina M. russo. The Dodo. 05/01/2015   Not exactly newly published but has links to all studies and includes some I was not aware of before.

Millions of eggs removed from European shelves over toxicity fears (The Guardian, 3 Aug.2017)  Food contamination is not an unknown occurrence in Canada either. Fipronil is an insecticide used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks on pets but is not allowed in food production. If ingested long term the highy toxic can damage the liver, thyroid gland and kidneys....but it's OK for pets... When you buy a flea product, pease check the ingredients. Also filed under food 

That Perfect Green Lawn Could Be Deadly For Your Dog    By Christina M. Russo. mainly about rodenticides but "Arguably more concerning is a 2012 study examining the impact of lawn care on canines. Treated lawns were associated with a greater risk of a type of cancer called canine malignant lymphoma (CML), and professionally applied pesticides were particularly dangerous, associated with 70 percent higher risk of CML."NOTE: When we fought the battle to ban pesticides in Regina in the early 2000, one naturopathic vet spoke in favour of a ban and her presentation cited many cases she got every years of pets poisoned by pesticides. But when I subsequently went to the vet college in Saskatoon to ask about occurrences or statistics of pets poisoned by pesticides, I was told there were none... Are we training blind vets up there, in spite of the toxicology school?

Cat and dog flea treatments can be toxic to pets, humansCBC Marketplace investigates risks to humans and pets from popular pet products. By Megan Griffith-Greene / Marketplace, CBC News Posted: Dec 05, 2014 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 05, 2014 11:57 AM ET.  “Paws for Concern” aired Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television. video in link.

Protecting Pets Without Pesticides (PANNA)  Scroll down. This page includes a very well done 15 minutes video on the risks of pesticides to pets and how to maintain a  beautiful lawn organically. In our heavy soils, add regular aeration to the required steps.The Truth About Cats, Dogs & Lawn Chemicals (direct link to the youtube video) 

Pesticides and Pets What you should know to keep your pets safe (Pesticides and You.Vol. 27, No. 3, 2007, p.12. Beyond Pesticides)

Rachel Carson Council; publication for veterinarians: "36 Insecticides Used on or around Dogs and Cats"(2010);

 EPA Announces Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Pesticides. (Beyond Pesticides, June 22, 2009). Similarly, one of the known cancer-causing pesticides used in pet collars, propoxur, is under review in Canada. Adverse effect reporting is fundamental to PMRA reviews: adverse effects forms.

 Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Consumers from Toxic Pet Products (NRDC) and Beyond Pesticides, April 28, 2009)  This is a US lawsuit for pet products containing propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos without adequate warning.In fall 2012, a quick check of Canadian registered pesticides indicates that both products are still available to home owners for pets in Canada, with minor warning that some pets may react to any pesticide product. One propoxur label (fall 2012) reads "Harmful if dust is inhaled or absorbed through skin. Avoid contact with mouth, eyes, skin". The collar contain dust. I assume a collar could not protect the whole animal for 5 months unless the dust spreads on the fur. How is it possible to put a flea collar on a dog or cat and not touch the animal? What would be the point of having a pet? In addition, pets sit on laps,furniture and floor and would deposit the pesticide dust everywhere. 

The Dangers of Pesticides and Animal Abuse. General information, stories and photos; links to articles and reports of interest to pet owners including recalls of pesticide products causing pet deaths and others; alternative and holistic care for pets and Pyrethroid syndrome in an animal keeper

Pets and pesticides: Let's be careful out there from the Center for Public Integrity (2008) flea and tick treatment containing pyrethrins can endanger pet and their handlers' health.

New Data Finds Pesticides Are Leading Cause of Summer Pet Poisonings  Statistics compiled by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center confirm that July and August are the most dangerous time of year for companion animals. The data found that over 3,000 (48%) of the cases involved animals being exposed to pesticides. This includes commonly used insecticides (flea and tick products), rodenticides (mouse and rat baits) and herbicides (weed killers). Full article: Animal Poison Control Center Warns Pet Owners About the Dangers of Summer Pesticides  is no longer on line. 

High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals Contaminate Cats And Dogs (April 2008) Environmental Working Group Report. No pesticides were tested but I am sure they would have found them if tested.

Cancer Registry and Surveillance System for Companion Animals Archival site. No data added after 2010 but links to newer info. Breast Cancer Environmental Risk Factor (BCERF) Research Project.

Chocolate, cocoa mulch and pets.Theobromine is the natural chemical stimulant found in chocolate. It is toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate is extracted from cocoa beans. Apparently cocoa mulch, containing the largest quantities of theobromine a pet might encounter (300-1200 mg/ounce), is now sold in stores and is potentially dangerouns to pets as it smells nice. However very few pets will eat it.