The recent influx of reports of many prescription medications used for oral or topical control of fleas and ticks has many people looking for alternatives. And these concerns have become highly charged debates all the while suggestions coming out of forums and social media are proven to be dangerous and even fatal. Now a battle over safety and effectiveness is bringing the scientists to confront a ever-growing population of consumers insisting on all-natural remedies. We will cover both sides and suggest the best paths to a safe household and even safer pets.


The battle between man and fleas is a very long and storied clash earmarked by many instances of suffering and huge historical events. The Black Plague in Medieval Europe was started by the bites of infected fleas on rats which carried the plague throughout the streets of Europe. For four years, the Plague (now named Bubonic Plague) killed over 25 million citizens throughout Europe. Bubonic plague still exists today and science has not figured out a cure or vaccine. One infected, a human has only days to seek treatment before it starts affecting vital organs. Once the bacterium gets into the lymph nodes, it is always fatal.

Other diseases have been attributed to these parasite insects including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. So for hundreds of years, science has fought a battle in trying to control the voracious critters who delight in biting animals and humans alike to dine on their blood. And in the effort to find a way to summarily repel the fleas and ticks and keep our pets and families safe, science has come up against a well armored opponent which has proven almost impossible to control. Each year it seems like new methods and solutions have come up short and the fleas and ticks are thriving still. Big Pharma and science has repeatedly upped their game to create more powerful chemicals in the lab and in the field. Both botanicals and lab chemicals have been employed to stop the onslaught and very few are proving to give a blanket sense of security. 


The veterinary community has come up with several types of product from pills, to chews, to topical solutions and even collar infused repellents. From the first Hartz flea collar in the 1970s to the current day battle armory of Simparica, Frontline, Nexguard, Credelio, K9 Advantix, and more, the list is long. The biggest problem has been a long list of allergic reactions which has resulted in skin lesions, vomiting, seizures, and even death. In the effort to make these products more convenient, manufacturers have made them timed release and each dose lasts for 30, 180, or 365 days. The active ingredients are encapsulated in a slow release formula which stores in the fatty tissues and slowly keeps a steady level of protection. However, the danger of a reaction in the pet is compounded by the fact that the ingredients are stored all over the body. Antidotes are only effective if cause immediately, and can still result in lifelong tremors, seizures, and other muscular afflictions.

According to the FDA the numbers of the most popular medications are frightening

FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) from the  FDA

Total Nexgard Reports = 14,116 that contain 47,550 Events;

Deaths = 341/14116 ( 2.4%);

Seizures = 981/14116 ( 6.97%)

Total Bravecto Reports = 16,896 that contain 45,924 Events;

Deaths = 416/16896 (2.5%);

Seizures = 468/16896 (2.8%)

Total Simparica Reports = 1,361 that contain 5,977 Events;

Deaths = 44/1361 (3.2%);

Seizures = 279/1361 ( 20.5%)

There are various formulas of each that have added flea and tick control in combination with heartworm medication that seemingly has more side effects that the original flea/tick formulation contained.

The most popular topical fleaCollar Seresto, is in the middle of a huge controversy regarding a reported list of 1700 cases where pets


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