Flea, tick management sans chemicals

If you like cat videos, this one is the best. It's the original French version of the wildly-viral "Pattycake" video -- and it's better in French than the English version, there is something about the tone of the narrators' voices that's inimitable. Children and adults alike love this video. Check it out, it's under 2 minutes long:

Which brings us to the subject of pet flea collars. Especially if you have small children, be careful of any product that kills fleas and ticks, particularly ones containing tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur. Breaking news: on March 14, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached agreement with Sergeant's Pet Care Products and Wellmark International to cancel flea and tick pet collars containing propoxur marketed under the trade names including Bansect, Sentry, Zodiac and Biospot. The cancellation is by mutual agreement. It has to do with toxins in the collar rubbing off and protentially harming humans (children in particular) who come in contact with the stuff.

However, flea collars will stay on the market until April 2016... so be very careful choosing collars until then. If you do elect to purchase a propoxur pet collar, follow all instructions on the label to protect your family from exposure. Do not allow children to play with the collar, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling, don't let pets in your bed with fresh collars, and keep petting to a minimum for the first day or two when chemicals are most active.

Try reading How to Control Fleas Without Chemicals, by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

And, definitely watch that cat video -- ooh la la:

See video on YouTube, it's really charming!