Pet Flea Treatments: Polluting Rivers

September 21, 2021

Last September, Sussex University published some startling news:

1. Pet flea treatments contain two pesticides that are banned in agricultural use
2. The two pesticides — fipronil and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid — are contaminating English rivers at an alarming rate (1)

Fipronil and imidacloprid are both prohibited in farm use as a result of the damage they cause to the environment. However, they are still being used in veterinary products. Pet owners are actively encouraged to treat their dogs and cats throughout the year, meaning that the use of such products has rapidly increased. The increase in usage has had a devastating effect: researchers found that 98% of the freshwater samples tested contained fipronil and 66% contained imidacloprid. Both concentrations far exceeded safe limits.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

Studies show that both pesticides are associated with declines of aquatic invertebrate communities and that they are highly toxic to fish, insects and organisms. Professor David Goulson estimates that flea treatment of a medium-sized dog containing imidacloprid contains enough pesticide to kill 60 million bees! (2) The routine use of pet flea treatments incurs unnecessary costs to both pet owners and the environment.

It is of the utmost importance to minimise the use of such products. Please only use flea treatments when absolutely necessary and keep your pets away from water after doing so. Contamination can occur from bathing of pets; washing of hands, pet bedding or other surfaces that have come into contact with treated pets; rainfall wash-off from treated pets; and swimming.

PRODUCTS TO AVOID: Advantage®, Defense Care®, K9 Advantix®, Advantage II®,Advantage Multi®, Seresto®, Advocate®, Frontline®, Barricade®, Easyspot®, Effipro®,Sentry Fiproguard®, Parastar®, PetArmor®, Pronyl OTC®, Spectra Sure®, Fiproguard®,Flevox®, Fiprotec®, RidaFlea®

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES: Billy No Mates!®, AniForte®, Herbal Dog Co®, Biospotix®




Main photo credits:

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

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