The U.S. EPA is going to be tightening requirements related to so-called “spot-on” pet treatments, i.e. the kind where you squirt the little tube onto the back of your pet’s neck/shoulder area. This is being done for the usual reason, which is that people are idiots and don’t read the label first. Examples include using a product meant for dogs on your cat, or getting the weight class wrong (as in using a dose meant for a Rottweiler on a chihuahua), or using pesticides on an animal that is “weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant or nursing.” I wish sincerely that people would consult their veterinarian, read the instructions, and follow them.
I normally avoid pesticides, but i had a flea problem recently with a rescue cat, and had to use some of this stuff. Here’s my recommended methodology. Spread a towel somewhere that the pet likes to sit, and get the critter comfy there. Have the little tube at hand, and have a sealable container ready for the empty, like a pill bottle or soda bottle. Put on surgical gloves…vinyl, nitrile, whatever, just avoid latex because some people are allergic, and that might mean YOU, or even Fido, and now is not the time to find out. I wear my chemical splash goggles as well, even though we’re dealing with a small amount, because Fluffy might try to shake it off. Squeeze the entire tube onto the area, and what i do that the label doesn’t say is that, using my gloved hands, i rub that stuff into the fur…label says part the fur to get maximum skin contact, but picture holding a skittish kitty and wishing you had an extra hand. In fact, it’s very helpful to have a friend and fellow animal-lover to help wrangle the surly beast.
Now you can put the empty little plastic tube into the screw-top container you had handy, peel off the gloves inside-out, get that stuff into the trash can, and wash your hands. Monitor the pet for a half-hour or so to look for reactions. If you see excessive drooling, that means that you were sloppy, and applied some of that bug juice to an area that the critter was able to lick…don’t panic, it’s a common reaction when ham-handed clowns are using this stuff, but make sure there’s plenty of fresh water in the dish.
This takes care of fleas on the animal companion, but not of all the eggs and larvae in the rugs, couches, and bedding, Bomb the house? Better get the critters out while you do it, if you have that much of an infestation and have to go to that extreme…they don’t need to be breathing that stuff any more than you do. My alternative is to have squirt-bottles of my homemade herbal flea spray handy, and apply that stuff liberally anywhere our 6-legged enemies (or 8-legged in the case of ticks) can hide out. Makes yer house smell nice, too. I’ll post the recipe on here later, if anyone’s interested enough to submit a query. So far, i’ve had hits from all over, but few comments.