Flea Collars May Cause More Harm than Good

Before you put that flea collar on your dog, be aware that your “best pet friend” will actually be wearing a pesticide product that could cause health issues for you, your children, or even your pet.

Did you know that all of us carry traces of harmful chemicals and pesticides in our bodies? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does periodic studies on people to measure human exposure to environmental chemicals and the most recent report, issued in January 2017, found that of the 44 pesticides they were looking for, most were present in the people tested.

If you find this news alarming and have concerns about the toxic risks to pesticide exposure within your home environment, here’s more to be concerned about. Most EPA-approved, commercial flea-prevention products, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy group, “… are linked to serious health issues in people, such as cancer and neurological and respiratory problems.”

Even pets can be adversely affected from the very products meant to protect them from fleas and ticks. According to NRDC, flea collars contain “some of the most dangerous insecticides.”

NRDC offers some rather simple, non-toxic and, perhaps, somewhat old-fashioned solutions you can try before resorting to a pesticide-laden flea collar:

  • Bathe your dog often with regular soap and water.
  • Groom your dog with a flea comb and drown the captured fleas in soapy water.
  • Vacuum, wipe down favorite pet spots and wash pet bedding often.

If you still want to use a flea collar, the NRDC recommends not using products that contain tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl, or propoxur, which are dangerous insecticides. If you have a cat in the house, they also caution not using products that contain permethrin and pyrethrins, which are highly toxic to cats.


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