Permethrin – Beware of New Flea & Tick Products

Taken from Essentially Dogs News letter December 19, 2015

Please view Essentially Dogs Articles for more health information

Beware of the New Tick & Flea Products

Beware of the New Tick & Flea 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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