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Beware of the New Tick & Flea Products

Beware of the New Tick & Flea Products

There are new convenient products formulated to repel and kill ticks and fleas.  They are made with fabric and have permethrin woven into the fibers. There are bandana, dog beds, dog playpens and other products.  Beyond Pesticides is an organization that speaks out and warns the public about pesticides.  They have an action alert about the permethrin fabric products.


Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid which is defined as a pesticide by the EPA.  It is a poison.  When insects eat or come in contact with permethrin it affects their nervous system causing insects to die.  Although synthetic pyrethroids are often thought of as “safe as chrysanthemums,” they are chemically engineered to be more toxic than natural pyrethroids.  The government does not impose any regulation upon insecticides for pets.  In fact, the EPA allows the manufacture and sale of pet products containing permethrin and other pesticides with little or no demonstration that a child’s exposure to these ingredients would be safe.  Just because these products are on store shelves does not mean they have been tested or can be presumed safe.  My article Natural Flea & Tick Repellent contains products that are safe.  Most conventional vets push these pesticides (neglecting to inform dog owners of the dangers) and I have a feeling that they will be recommending these permethrin products.  I learned the hard way about the dangers of these pesticides as my little Chinese Crested mix experienced a seizure after application of a pesticide on-spot treatment.  That scared the SH&* out of me and literally scared the SH&* (amongst other things) out of my dog!!!

tick 2




The warning label information for K9 Advantix II (which contains permethrin) is pretty scary:


Side Effects:Monitor your dog after application, Side effects, although very rare, may include signs of skin irritation such as redness, scratching, or other signs of discomfort. Gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhea have also been reported. If these or otherK9 ADVANTIXThe disposal instructions should make you wonder a bit:If (the K9Advantix II applicator) is partly filled:
Call your local solid waste agency or 1-800-422-9874 for disposal instructions. Never place unused product down any indoor or outdoor drain.
Side effects (such as lethargy) occur, consult your veterinarian or call 1-800-422-9874.ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
This product is extremely toxic to acquatic organisms, including fish and invertebrates. Do not add directly to water.


Notice the spelling error “acquatic.”  They threw in an extra “c.”  Whenever I see errors like that I wonder how many editors and departments gave their stamps of approval.  You see, I am not an enormous multi-billion dollar corporation with tens of thousands of employees.  I go solo.  I just hate sloppiness – especially when it is being provided to consumers by well-staffed corporations who are selling potentially dangerous products.  Making any errors (on of all things) a warning label which is critical to the welfare of people, many of whom have children and animals is unacceptable.


ticks and engorged

In all fairness, the product described above contains permethrin in a different form.  Also, permethrin is one of the two pesticides in K9 Advanix II.  I haven’t actually read the label for the permethrin-embedded products, but in light of the toxicity and the environmental hazards, wouldn’t you be just a bit concerned based upon reasonable inference?


Symptoms of permethrin toxicity in dogs include skin redness, itching, hair loss, sores and ulcers. GI tract symptoms included salivation, diarrhea and vomiting. Nervous system symptoms included lethargy, nervousness, movement problems, tremors and seizure.

Several on-spot  treatments like K9 Advantix II contain permethrin.  They are highly toxic to dogs. Remember – They KILL insects.  There are warnings on the labels. Hmmm… Common sense dictates that when the same pesticide is embedded into fabric, there should be some concern.


The National Resource Defense Control (NRDC) reports that “many and perhaps most Americans believe that commercially available pesticides, such as those found in pet products, are tightly regulated by the government. In fact, they are not. Not until the passage of a 1996 law focused on pesticides in food did the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begin examining the risks from pesticides in pet products in earnest. To this day, the EPA allows the manufacture and sale of pet products containing hazardous insecticides with little or no demonstration that a child’s exposure to these ingredients would be safe. Just because these products are on store shelves does not mean they have been tested or can be presumed safe.”


Giant flea

Although this chemical is woven into the fabric and “appears” to be safe, I would keep my dogs away from it. I am not comfortable with this type of product and if you have a baby, please don’t use these products.  The EPA has neglected to perform adequate studies to ensure the safety of these products.  Please check out my article Natural Flea & Tick Repellent  to read more about good, bad, and the ugly (not necessarily in that order) of repellent products.  You may make your own flea collar.  Check out DIY Natural Flea Collar.


***Please keep in mind that I could easily promote this type of product.  Please know that I adore and respect people who love their dogs.  I gladly forgo commissions that are earned through the sales of products that I have reason to believe are harmful or do not meet my standards.  When I recommend products, I do so with great thought.  A great number of things I recommend I have tried myself or I have done plenty of critical research on.  I am thankful to my readers for trusting my authenticity.  If you see things on my website that interest you, please click onto those links and/or images.  The purchases made through my website provide a small commission for me.  I label these products as affiliate websites to abide by FCC regulations and provide transparency to my readers. Many of my affiliates carry products that have flea and tick products that I will NOT promote.  I wanted to make my readers aware of that.  Again, thank you for your support and please spread the word.




“Beyond Pesticides Chemical Fact Sheet: Permethrin.” Beyond Pesticides. Beyond Pesticides, Web. 8 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Compendium of Veterinary Products.” Compendium of Veterinary Products. Bayer. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Don’t Fall for This Mistake with Your Pet’s Pest Control…” 3 Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Poisons on Pets.” NRDC:. 1 Nov. 2000. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <>.


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  1. Candice Sides

    The manufacturer of these blankets and other cloth based items say that the permethrins do not get on or in your skin even when wet, and therefore the items are safe for pets and humans. The company that started making these items have lab tested them. I’m a registered vet tech and have seen too many times what Hartz and Spot-on can do. I have looked into these items for that reason and my company sells them too. If you have information that I have not seen on these items I would like to know. We do not want to sell anything that could harm pets.

    1. Janie

      Hi Canice-

      Thank you so much for visiting my website and commenting.

      I don’t know for sure about the toxicity of the product, but the EPA has neglected to perform adequate studies to ensure the safety of such products for children and infants. Furthermore, The government does not impose any regulation upon insecticides for pets. It is not unreasonable to imagine a dog chewing at this type of product. I prefer to use products that dogs would be unable to physically access. A bandana can find its way into a dog’s mouth and a tent or blanket can be licked or chewed. Many of these companies do in-house testing which usually tests out in favor of a product. When impartial third party testing is performed, results are more likely to be unbiased and accurate. I think the jury is still out on the safety of these products.

      I added a link to my newest article so that you can check out how to make your own flea collar.

      Please continue to enjoy my articles.


      1. wendy

        Maybe try experiencing Lyme disease and Rocky mountain spotted fever like I have and still do…. I will look at some healthy options if they work but trust me tick borne disease is probably much worse.

        1. Janie

          Hi Wendy-

          Thank you for writing. The whole point is to make your dog healthy enough so that his immune system will not falter when bad things happen. There are natural ways to avoid ticks. That’s why I use natural supplements and a species appropriate diet along with other natural preventives. After one of my dogs had a seizure from one of those tick and flea treatments and I saw all the side effects I realized that I need to use healthy alternatives in order to protect my dogs. It was negligent of my vet at the time to not warn me beforehand.

          All the best

    1. Janie

      Hi Kathy-

      Since my dog, Beverly (Bevi) had a seizure within moments of applying a topical tick & flea pesticide I became really critical of conventional vets. It catapulted me to write about natural alternatives that the majority of conventional vets neglect to study.

      Thanks for visiting my website and for your question. I hate those products. There are options. I wrote an article on ticks & fleas. It might help you out. I am going to publish an article about heartworm really soon so I will have info. about that too. The most important thing is a raw diet (which I have written about in several articles). Insects are attracted to dogs who have poor nutrition as nutrition affects the body’s chemistry and immune system. Dogs on a biologically appropriate diet don’t have the extent of “doggie odor” that dogs on over-processed commercial diets have. Pests love smelly dogs. I personally use the internal powder and a repellent spray. The problem with the internal powder is that it is a product that needs to build up in the system. I also sprinkle a little bit of diatomacious earth onto their bedding (just in case….). The article is Natural Tick & Flea Repellent.

      Tick & flea products are not necessarily 100% effective. Fleas are mutating and becoming resistent to these pesticide products. Therefore, it is far better to repel pests (natural approach) as oppsed to kill (chemical products). If those chemicals are killing pests, keep in mind that they are very bad for dogs. Those chemicals penetrate into the dog’s system – not a good thing.

      If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to write back. Also, please spread the word about my website to others so that more people can benefit from the articles that I write.

      All the best-

  2. Linda Williams

    I am always interested in finding safe ways to keep my 5 dogs and 8 cats pest free so I read your article with interest but then I read your comment, “Insects are attracted to dogs who have poor nutrition as nutrition affects the body’s chemistry and immune system. Dogs on a biologically appropriate diet don’t have the extent of “doggie odor” that dogs on over-processed commercial diets have.” and with that I realized you are doing a great disservice and spreading BAD information that could actually harm dogs. Insects are not ‘attracted’ to dogs with poor nutrition only. Insects are opportunist and if the opportunity for a meal is present they will feed no matter that that meal has eaten. So called natural products would be great if they actually worked but what happens is pet owners are lulled into a false sense of security thinking they are doing something worthwhile and instead they are wasting their money. I am speaking from personal experience while being in the mist of a tick invasion that started with a rough coated collie becoming imbedded with THOUSANDS of seed ticks. Currently I have dozens of containers of ticks on my counter and every container holds a different method of tick control. Very few actually work and NONE of the ‘natural’ methods have worked even when sprayed directly on a tick. Since ticks have 4 distinct life cycles it means that NO products is effective against all life cycles and if all are not killed off then the cycle starts all over again and any dog is still a target. Ticks are attracted to carbon dioxide and that carbon dioxide is the SAME regardless of what you feed your dog. Tick borne illness are very serious business and touting bad science or giving pet owners bad information on how to protect their pets will do great harm and I am sure that is not your intent.

    1. Janie

      Hi Linda-

      Thank you for writing.

      I did not say that the only contributing factor is nutrition. You mentioned spraying ticks directly. Natural products are not designed to KILL ticks – only repel. Over-vaccination is another contributing factor when it comes to dogs being unable to resist disease as well as diet. The pharmaceutical products are very dangerous and are not always 100% effective on every dog. Even the packaging state the dangers of such products – hence the EPA identifies those chemicals as pesticides/insecticides. Not any one product works for every dog. This is why I clearly referred readers to my other article that discusses products. Combining natural products is the best route. After one of my dogs had a seizure moments after applying an on-spot tick & flea product (recommended by a vet), I became disgusted that a vet would recommend something that is so dangerous that it could do such damage. According to the packaging, there were several warnings. Do not expose to children, wash hands if you come in contact with the product…

      By the way, it is NOT “bad science” It is using caring for dogs with respect for BIOLOGY (specifically – how the body works naturally) instead making a direct move to CHEMISTRY (specifically chemicals). The problem is that convention vets rarely learn about biologically appropriate diets. Many overuse vaccines despite serology and recommend harmful products like pesticides.

      With regard to diet, there are many holistic vets who take an enormous amount of advanced coursework BEYOND vet school who learn such techniques. Here is anarticle: CAN FEEDING A RAW DIET PREVENT FLEAS? that confirms that biologically appropriate diets DO help to ward off ticks AND fleas.

      My information comes from the best of the best vets. Their information is not what is learned in vet school programs which are supported by the very companies that many conventional vets support in their practices.

      If you have a holistic vet who has advanced study in species appropriate/biologically appropriate diets and do not recommend “prescription diets,” you will get the same information from such a vet. If your vet doesn’t have such advanced study, then you cannot expect that vet to have that knowledge. It’s sad, but unfortunately true. Check out Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Dobias. They are excellent sources of information.

      All the best,

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