Your Pets

Flea and Tick Control

If you are a pet owner, you probably know that it’s important to keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. However, you may not know that many products commonly used to treat fleas and ticks, including spot-on treatments, collars, sprays, and foggers, contain chemical pesticides that can easily spread around your home and make it into our waterways.

Because of this, the safest option for your home and waterways is using oral flea and tick medications as well as non-chemical methods for keeping fleas and ticks off your pet.

The Impact of Flea & Tick Products on Our Waterways

Recent studies have found flea treatment chemicals in wastewater draining to the San Francisco Bay, sometimes at concentrations that may be harmful to sensitive aquatic species. Because wastewater treatment plants aren’t capable of fully removing these chemicals, they ultimately end up in our creeks, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and the San Francisco Bay. 

So how do flea and tick products reach the Bay? Harmful pesticides from these treatments can end up in our local waterways when you:

  • Bathe your pet: Contrary to manufacturer labels, spot-on products wash off during bathing. Washing a pet can lead to pesticide discharges to the sewer.
  • Wash items that come into contact with your pet: Studies indicate that chemicals from indoor flea control (including spot-ons, collars, sprays, and foggers) can wipe off on your hands, clothing, and furniture and travel throughout your home.
  • Apply outdoor flea and tick sprays: Chemicals from outdoor flea and tick sprays can be washed with runoff into waterways.

Find more important facts about flea and tick control products here >

How To Avoid Flea & Tick Pesticide Pollution

To avoid exposing your pets, family, and Bay Area waterways to chemical residues from flea and tick treatment, please speak to your vet about using oral medications to control fleas and ticks and avoid the harshest chemicals such as fipronil, indoxacarb, imidacloprid, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin.

Additionally, there are non-chemical ways to keep fleas and ticks off your pets. This includes regularly vacuuming your home and furniture, keeping pets out of thick vegetation, and inspecting your pet thoroughly after hikes. 

Find more tips for safely keeping your pets free of fleas and ticks here >