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Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Scary Deets about DEET

5 Scary Deets About DEET

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Scary Deets about DEET

DEET is arguably the most popular bug repellent in the U.S. Each year, millions of Americans spray it directly on their skin before camping, hiking, and cookouts to repel biting insects like mosquitoes. While DEET has one of the safer reputations among synthetic insecticides, it’s still an artificial chemical, and therefore something you should think about seriously before using around yourself, your family and pets. Here are 7 scary details to consider before you reach for another bottle of DEET-based bug spray.


Mosquitoes Are Adapting to It

While some types of mosquitoes are known to have a genetic resistance to DEET-based repellents, it seems now other mosquitoes are developing an immunity, too.

A study examining the host-seeking behavior of mosquitoes found that three hours after an initial exposure some mosquitoes displayed insensitivity to the repellent. Researchers believe this decreased response to DEET after previous exposure indicates that individual mosquitoes can adapt an immunity against the repellent that’s based on something similar to a learned behavior rather than solely genetics.


It’s Been Linked to Seizures

Although infrequent, potentially fatal seizures have been linked with DEET use. In 1998, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed to up to 46 cases of possible DEET-related seizures, including, sadly, 4 deaths.

The agency noted “it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity,” and also suggested that more seizure cases are probably linked to the repellent but that “physicians may fail to check for history of DEET use or fail to report cases of seizure subsequent to DEET use.”


It Can Increase the Toxicity of Other Insecticides

Did you know DEET can actually strengthen the toxicity of other common synthetic pesticides?

Carbamates, a toxic family of insecticides often used in conjunction with DEET, is one such example. One of the studies that looked at DEET’s toxic interaction with carbamate insecticides concluded, “These findings question the safety of DEET, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health.”


It’s Neurotoxic to Mammals

It was long believed that DEET simply had an olfactory effect on biting insects like mosquitoes, meaning it repelled them simply by smell. More recent studies have discovered that while DEET does repel by scent, it also deters pests through neurological means.

One such study states “We’ve found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase, in both insects and mammals”. Commenting on similar findings, researchers of another study concluded, “These findings indicate that DEET has neurological effects on insects in addition to known olfactory effects, and that its toxicity is strengthened in combination with other insecticides.”

 

It Can Melt Plastic

If you knew your bug spray could melt plastic, would you still put it on your skin?

In addition to repelling bugs, you might be surprised to learn DEET is a rather powerful solvent, especially when it comes to synthetic materials like plastic. This is especially relevant to outdoor enthusiasts like hikers and campers, as DEET is known to destroy items like camping gear, plastic bottles, sportswear, and more.

 

It’s Toxic to Pets

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center states that pets exposed to DEET products can experience “significant clinical” side effects. These health complications include skin irritation, eye damage, and respiratory issues, including airway inflammation and difficulty breathing. Gastrointestinal distress and nervous system problems are also linked to DEET exposure, such as ataxia, disorientation, and seizures.  


It’s Said to Alter Mood and Impair Cognitive Function

The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University reports that in the late ‘80s Everglades National Park employees were studied to help determine the possible health consequences associated with prolonged DEET exposure.

It was discovered that those who used DEET more frequently were more likely to suffer negative side effects, including but not limited to insomnia, mood disturbances, impaired cognitive function, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and more.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Ways to Reduce Your Pet's Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

5 Ways to Reduce Your Pet’s Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Ways to Reduce Your Pet's Exposure to Harmful Chemicals


As responsible pet parents, we try to give our animals the best lives possible. We feed them awesome food, we entertain them with outdoor activities, treats and toys, and we protect them from harmful annoyances like fleas and ticks. But, there’s one arena that many pet parents don’t consider when it comes to their pet care routine and it’s arguably the most impactful: Household chemicals.

Many common items we consider safe—from air fresheners to plastic pet toys—actually contain toxins that can poison our cats and dogs, resulting in illness, sometimes even death. Thankfully, by being just a little more conscious, we can help make our pet’s environments safer and much less toxic. Here are 5 ways to reduce your pet’s exposure to harmful chemicals.

 

Say No to Artificial Fragrances

Artificial fragrances—air fresheners, candles and other synthetically scented products—often contain chemicals that are unsafe for your pets, including heavy metals, phthalates, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like ethanol and formaldehyde.

Devastating health effects associated with consistent and long term exposure to these chemicals include heart disease, respiratory problems, birth defects, reproductive complications, even cancer.

But how common are these chemicals? Sadly, very. In a first-of-its-kind study, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) published the Polluted Pets report in 2008 to give the public a better understanding of the chemicals affecting our pets’ health. Their research found that American pets are riddled with phthalates, among other toxic chemicals found in artificial fragrances. Specifically, they discovered that dogs were contaminated with traces of phthalates at levels up to 4.5 times higher than humans; cats were contaminated at levels higher than in any of the over 5,500 people tested by the CDC.

Thankfully, from essential oils to natural air fresheners, there are numerous non-toxic and naturally sourced alternatives to artificial deodorizers and synthetic air fresheners.

 

Switch Out Your Household Cleaners

Indoor air pollution affects more than just our homes’ air quality, it impacts our pets’ health and lifespans, too. Many traditional household cleaners contain bleach, formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine and other toxic ingredients and synthetic fragrances that fill our home with noxious contaminants. Through inhalation, incidental ingestion, and absorption from the floor, our pets are commonly exposed to these chemicals, and the risks can be dire: Cancer, anemia, organ damage and more have all been linked to these toxins.

To protect your pets from potentially harmful exposure, carefully read cleaner labels and consider switching to non-toxic alternatives the next time you go shopping.

 

Choose Non-Toxic Flea & Tick Control

Pills, collars, sprays—in whatever form, traditional flea and tick solutions can pose a significant health risk to not only your pets, but also you and your family. Common ingredients in these products, such as organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids, have been linked with countless health complications in both animals and humans. Organ damage, seizures, cancer, nervous system damage, and death in pets have all been associated with toxic flea and tick repellents.

Frighteningly, it’s been shown that synthetic flea and tick products can persist on our pets’ fur for weeks after initial application. Research has revealed that concentrations of these remaining pesticide residues pose a risk of cancer and neurological damage to children “up to 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s acceptable levels.”

To limit your pet and family’s exposure to these potentially life altering ingredients, consider switching from conventional flea and tick prevention products to non-toxic solutions without harsh chemicals.

 

Ditch the Plastic Toys

We mentioned above that a family of toxic chemicals called phthalates are typically present in artificial fragrances. Another common use for Phthalates is to help make plastic products more flexible. Unfortunately, this includes our pets’ toys.

Given that these items all but live in our pet’s mouths, the idea that they contain possibly life changing chemicals is just a little more than unsettling. (If you recall, the aforementioned Polluted Pets Report study found that dogs were contaminated with phthalates at levels up to 4.5 times higher than humans, and cats were contaminated at levels higher than in any of the humans the CDC tested.)

In addition to limiting household fragrances to natural sources, avoiding plastic pet toys is essential to protecting your cat or dog from the effects of phthalate poisoning.  

 

Avoid Synthetic Lawn Products

Traditional, chemical-based lawn care products present a unique danger to your pet’s overall health. Think about it: They spend considerable time outside, playing and lying in your lawn, and sometimes even eating its grass. Given the harmful chemicals hidden in many fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, sometimes a simple paw-lick is all it takes to negatively impact their health.

To start, conventional fertilizers often contain a noxious mix of phosphorus, nitrogen and other chemicals that at the right dose can be outfight fatal to pets, especially if ingested. The more pressing threat, however, is traditional outdoor pesticides. Alarmingly, several types of pet cancers are strongly linked with these products. One study, for example, found that dogs exposed to pesticides commonly used by lawn care services had a 70% higher risk of fatal canine malignant lymphoma.

Research published in the journal Science of the Total Environment discovered that “exposure to herbicide-treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs.” Another scary chemical to look out for is allethrin. This pesticide is found in many outdoor products used to treat flying pests like mosquitoes, and it’s been linked with increased risk of liver cancer in dogs. Considering cats absorb more chemicals than dogs due to their grooming habits and more delicate digestive systems, cat parents need to be extra careful around allethrin as well.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, Essential Oils: 6 FAQs

Essential Oils: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Cedarcide blog post image, Essential Oils: 6 FAQs

From social media to blogs to your local supermarket, it seems like essential oils are everywhere these days. Like many you might be wondering: What even are essential oils, and how can I use them? As natural lifestyle advocates and big fans of these organic oils, we’d like to help clear up the confusion. Below you’ll find 5 of the most frequently asked questions regarding essential oils. Enjoy!
 

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are simply highly concentrated organic compounds extracted from the seeds, leaves, flowers, bark, roots or fruits of plants and trees. Essential oils are usually distilled via a steaming process which helps separate the desired botanical oils from the rest of the plant material. Essential oils can be over 75 times more potent than their source material (for example, it takes roughly 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make a single ounce of peppermint essential oil!)

 

What Are they Used For?

The internet is full of misinformation and countless unsubstantiated health claims when it comes to essential oils. While they’ve been used for centuries to help relief health issues and support wellness, scientists have only somewhat recently started researching their potential health benefits, including:


Pain Relief
From minor to major, essential oils have been shown to help alleviate various forms of pain. A study from Pain Research and Treatment looking into a variety of potential applications ranging from postoperative pain and chronic neck and back pain to cancer and labor-related pain “found a significant positive effect of aromatherapy in reducing pain,” especially when combined with traditional pain management approaches.


Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Relieving stress is one of the most popular essential oil uses and science appears to back up this benefit. A 2016 clinical trial involving the effects of rose water aromatherapy on dialysis patients showed anxiety levels were “reduced significantly in the treatment group compared with the control group.”

Another study looking at anxiety and depression in postpartum women discovered “positive findings with minimal risk for the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy in both anxiety and depression.” A 2014 study centered on quality of life in the elderly found similar results, concluding “depression, anxiety, and stress levels were significantly reduced…showing that aromatherapy can help to maintain the psychological health of community-dwelling older persons.”
 
Boosting Energy Levels
It’s long been believed that aromatherapy and other essential oil applications have a naturally uplifting effect on energy levels. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looked at the effect of peppermint essential oil on young male athletes for this very reason, ultimately finding that the “results of the experiment support the effectiveness of peppermint essential oil on exercise performance…blood pressure and respiratory rate.”


Promoting Healthy Sleep
A 2014 University of Minnesota review evaluated 15 studies on the effects of essential oils on quality of sleep. Their search revealed the majority of these studies “suggested a positive effect of essential oils on sleep,” with lavender being the most frequently studied essential oil. 

A more recent study published by the British Association of Critical Care Nurses investigated the impact of lavender essential oil on the sleep quality and anxiety levels of patients in a coronary intensive care unit. Their research concluded that “lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced anxiety” in these patients.

 

How Do I Apply Them?

Now that you understand what essential oils are as well as some of their benefits, you might be wondering: But how do I use them? While there are limitless ways to incorporate essential oils into your natural lifestyle, there are 3 main application methods: Aromatherapy, DIY mixtures, and topical.

We suggest starting with the first two and moving onto topical application only after you’ve done more research on essential oils and consulted a professional.

Aromatherapy is the most popular approach, and involves using a diffuser or simple inhalation to harness the beneficial aromas of essential oils.

Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to DIY mixtures like homemade soaps, cleaners, or natural air fresheners is a fun way to enjoy essential oils’ therapeutic qualities.

Because of their small molecule weight, essential oils are readily absorbed into the skin, making topical application an effective way to enjoy these organic oils. After proper dilution with a carrier oil, essential oil mixtures can be applied directly to the skin as a soothing lotion or balm.

 

Should I Consult a Doctor Before Using Essential Oils?

Definitely!
For many reasons—including possible contraindications with medicine, potential allergies, and underlying health issues—we strongly suggest consulting a physician before starting an essential oil regimen, especially with the elderly and children. Essential oils, while natural, are highly concentrated and misuse can cause irritation and other unwanted reactions.

 

Do I Need to Dilute Them?

Absolutely!
Essential oils are much too concentrated to use undiluted. It’s a common misconception that diluting essential oils with a carrier oil or other DIY mixture will reduce their effectiveness, but that’s simply not true. In fact, carrier oils can increase efficacy and the aromatherapeutic effects of your chosen essential oil by preventing evaporation and premature absorption into the body. Failing to dilute essential oils before use can lead to severe skin irritation, rashes, or more serious health complications like respiratory issues.

The exact amounts will vary, but start by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a carrier oil like almond, avocado or coconut oil, or to a mixture like a DIY soap or homemade natural cleaner. Start small and increase the amount of essential oil as needed—generally, aim for somewhere in the 1-4% strength range.

 

Can I Use Them on My Pets?

Yes and no. We suggest always consulting a vet before incorporating essential oils into your natural pet care routine, especially for cats. When used correctly, essential oils can offer a chemical-free alternative to help address inflammation, anxiety, and other health concerns. When used incorrectly, however, they can do more harm than good.

First, always dilute before use and never allow your pet to ingest essential oils. Second, know which ones to avoid, not all essential oils that are safe for people are safe for pets. In general, avoid using the following essential oils on or around your pet:

  • Citrus oils (like lemon and orange)
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Ylang ylang
  • Tea tree
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Wintergreen
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic
  • Anise

5 Essential Oil Safety Tips for Dogs

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 4 ways to protect you and your pets from bug bites

4 Quick Tips to Protect You and Your Pets from Bug Bites

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 4 ways to protect you and your pets from bug bites

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner—which means bugs and bug bites are becoming increasingly more common. Seasonal vacations, backyard partying, and outdoor fun like hiking and camping all expose you, your family and pets to potentially harmful pests like mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, ants, and fleas. Here are 4 tips to help you and your pets enjoy the warm weather without having to worry about troublesome bug bites.

 

Use an Essential Oil Based Repellent

Beaches, road trips, and adventure travel can mean countless bug bites for you and your family. Using a non-toxic repellent like Cedarcide Original does more than prevent these potentially harmful bites, it also ensures you don’t bring any of those nasty bugs back home.

 

Protect Your Pet Without Harsh Chemicals

Dog parks, walks, and backyards are often littered with unseen fleas, mites, ticks, and mosquitoes—which can spread deadly heartworms and cause other potentially life-threatening complications. Applying a pet-safe bug repellent before these activities is essential to your dog or cat’s protection this spring and summer.

 

 

Avoid Harmful Tick and Mosquito Bites with Extra-Strength Protection

For deep woods activities like hiking and camping, avoiding tick and mosquito bites can be a serious health concern. For extended stays in known flea and tick infested areas, sometimes a little extra protection is necessary. That’s why we formulated our extra strength formula Tickshield—it has twice the active ingredient (cedarwood oil) and is perfect for outdoorsmen and animals over 20 lbs.

For optimal protection, apply before and after outdoor activities in tall grass to avoid bites and prevent accidentally bringing bugs back into your vehicle, home, or yard.

 

Apply Monthly Yard Treatments During Warmer Months

Enjoying time outside—from BBQs and warm nights on the porch, to long walks and camping—is one of the absolute best things about summer and spring. The pests that often show up to spoil these fun activities—like ants, mosquitoes, chiggers, fleas and ticks—are the absolute worst.

Applying a non-toxic repellent like Cedarcide Original to family and pets can make grilling out, pool parties, and other backyard activities bite-free. A monthly yard treatment like Yardsafe or PCO Choice will control active bug populations and help repel additional pests from moving into your lawn and eventually your home.


Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

5 Ways to Use Our New Pet+Bedding+Home Spray!

Did you know traditional household air fresheners and scented candles can fill your home with harmful toxins, threatening the health of your family and pets? Cedarcide Pet+Bedding+Home is naturally sourced and free of synthetic fragrances and other harsh ingredients. Here are 5 ways to use our new deodorizer and air freshener alternative! 


Pets and Pet Bedding
Cedarcide Blog Post Image, Pet and Pet Bedding

Face it: Our cute pups and their bedding don’t always smell so cute. Pet+Bedding+Home’s natural scents are a quick and easy way to combat canine odors between baths.

 

Alternative to Artificial Air FreshenersCedarcide Blog Post Image, Air Freshener Alternative

Deodorize bathrooms, trashcans, hampers, and living areas without resorting to chemical-based air fresheners.

 

Gear and Sports EquipmentCedarcide Blog Post Image, Gear and Sports Equipment

You know what’s worse than funky camping gear and sports equipment? Stinky, harmful chemicals. A few spritzes with Pet+Bedding+Home and you won’t have to worry about either.

 

Refresh Linens and FurnitureCedarcide Blog Post Image, Linens and Furniture

Harness the natural power of essential oils to keep furniture, blankets, and other linens smelling fresh every day. (For sensitive furnishings, test on a small area first.)

 

Deodorize Your VehicleCedarcide Blog Post Image, Deodorize Your Vehicle

Pet+Bedding+Home freshens without synthetic fragrances.Transform your car’s stuffy air by lightly spraying cloth seats and carpeting.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Essential Oils Awesome for Natural Pet Care

10 Essential Oils Awesome for Natural Pet Care

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Essential Oils Awesome for Natural Pet Care


Over the last few decades, Essential oils have become a popular way to naturally improve physical health and mental wellbeing. Somewhat more recently, pet parents realised they could extend this same healing power to their dog babies as well. But not all oils that are safe for humans are safe for canines—so which oils are a good fit for your pup? The following are our 10 favorite essential oils for dogs. Enjoy!


A word of caution: Always consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine. Specifically, ask if your chosen essential oil is safe for your pup, how the oil can benefit them, and what the best way to use the oil might be. Essential oils should always be diluted before use on or around pets.
For useful essential oil recipes for dogs, click here. For additional essential oil safety tips for dogs, click here. We do not suggest using essential oils on or around cats unless first approved through a veterinarian 

 

Frankincense

Because of its mild characteristics, frankincense essential oil is a great choice for pet parents new to essential oil use. Frankincense essential oil is said to increase blood flow, relieve nervousness and anxiety, boost immune system health, and ease pain associated with external ulcers. Many claim it also helps fight cancer by halting and/or reversing tumor growth.


Cedarwood

As you might have guessed, cedarwood is our absolute favorite essential oil (after all, it’s the basis of nearly all our botanical solutions). Cedarwood essential oil smells awesome and it’s an effective natural alternative to chemical-based flea & tick products. Because cedarwood essential oil is antifungal, antiseptic and because it helps increase circulation, it’s also said to help relieve a long list of canine skin issues—from dandruff and mange, to hot spots and general dermatitis due by insect bites. Some claim it also helps ease kennel cough as well arthritis!

 

Helichrysum

Helichrysum is one of the finest essential oils for canine pain relief. Gastrointestinal upset, cuts, bruises, aches, joint pain—all are said to be helped by this natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal solution. Breathing problems due to allergies or build up of mucus in the lungs are also said to be helped by this flower-derived essential oil.

 

Lemongrass

6 Reasons We Love Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil has become a staple here at the Cedarcide offices. In addition to adding it to our new Tickshield formula, we use it to naturally freshen the air, as an odor-fighter for our office pups, and for aromatherapy to keep our team alert, optimistic and feeling great! With a long history of uses—including natural pest control, topical pain relief, and to help with canine skin health—lemongrass is one of the most useful essential oils for chemical-free pet care.

 

Lavender

Lavender is arguably the most popular essential oil among natural pet care enthusiasts. Prized above all for its soothing effects on anxiety, insomnia and hyperactivity, lavender essential oil can be an invaluable aid for calming your dog during car rides, vet visits, social events, and when left alone at home. In fact, a study from 2006 confirmed that lavender essential oil, when used in aromatherapy, helped alleviate travel-induced anxiety in canines. Cool, huh?

 

Marjoram 

Reportedly antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial, Marjoram is an earthy essential oil used for pets primarily to prevent infection, soothe depression, and in some cases even aid in diabetes and liver complications.

 

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile essential oil is a known anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, making it especially popular among outdoor enthusiasts and their adventure pets. Muscle tightness, cramping, teething pain, and joint complications are all said to be helped by this powerful essential oil.

 

Peppermint

Peppermint is another essential oil praised for its soothing, pain-relieving effects. Its cooling, anti-inflammatory powers are renowned in the natural lifestyle community for helping improve discomfort associated with canine arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint conditions. When used in conjunction with ginger, peppermint essential oil is also said to reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness in pups. As a bonus, it also boasts natural pest-control qualities.

 

Cardamom

Cardamom is a unique essential oil in that it helps with both digestion and respiratory problems. Pet parents have long given their pups relief from stomach aches, nausea, and gas using cardamom essential oil. Many also report that coughing and difficulty breathing are also improved through cardamom use.

 

Niaouli

Does your pup constantly suffer from allergies? Then niaouli essential oil might be just the natural remedy for you and your animal baby. As a powerful natural antihistamine and antibacterial Niaouli essential oil can combat both seasonal and skin allergies as well as secondary skin infections occurring as a result of allergy symptoms. Niaouli is often chosen as a safer alternative to tea tree oil, which can be harmful to some pets at higher doses.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

6 Reasons You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, Why You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Did you know over 1 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides are used worldwide every year? Even scarier, over 95% of these chemicals end up somewhere other than their target destination—such as in oceans, forests, drinking water, our food, and inside our homes, pets, children, even breast milk! By choosing Cedarcide, you’re helping combat this worldwide problem, and taking steps toward a brighter, less chemical-dependent future. Here are 6 reasons you can feel good about switching to Cedarcide.

 

You’re Helping Protect You & Your Family

From flea collars to yard treatments to personal bug sprays, traditional pesticide use can have a serious impact on you and your family’s health, especially in the long term. Not to freak you out, but many synthetic pesticides have been linked to all of the following health conditions:

By switching to a non-toxic alternative like Cedarcide, you’re helping minimize you and your family’s pesticide exposure. Children and pregnant women stand to benefit the most from this switch. Studies show that children with parents who use chemical-based pesticides are at higher risk of behavior issues, brain damage, lower IQs and several types of childhood cancer. Because of their tendency to put their hands in their mouths and proximity to flooring (most floors are tainted with pesticides), children absorb considerably more pesticides from their environment than adults. And because of their low body weight, our kids are much more likely to be harmed by this exposure.

As public health scientist Miriam Rotkin Ellman has said, “with a pesticide it doesn’t take very much to cause effects that will stay with kid[s] for the rest of their lives.”

 

You’re Helping Pets Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Much like children, our pets are extremely vulnerable to pesticide poisoning. Unfortunately, from flea collars to yard sprays, our pets have countless opportunities for exposure. Choosing naturally sourced yard sprays and pesticides over traditional chemical-based options helps limit that exposure.

Think about it: Your pets live and play in your yard (they sometimes eat its grass, too!). Studies have shown that dogs exposed to lawn pesticides have up to a 70% higher chance of contracting potentially fatal canine malignant lymphoma. Other studies have found that bladder cancer is also associated with lawns treated with synthetic pesticides, with even indirect exposure from adjacent lawns raising your pet’s risk of this cancer. Chemical burns, gastrointestinal complications, organ failure, even death—all have been associated with use of traditional flea and tick medications. In addition to using pet-safe bug repellents, we suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to find the healthiest flea & tick options for you and your pup.

Worried that your pet may have pesticide poisoning? Read Signs and Symptoms Your Pet has Pesticide Poisoning


You’re Not Poisoning Your Home or Yard

A big issue with traditional pesticides is that they contaminate your home and lawn with toxins. Whether used inside or not, pesticides almost always find their way indoors. Pesticides applied to your lawn, for example, are easily introduced inside via windows, vents, shoes, and even your pet’s paws. Studies have found that within a week after outdoor pesticide treatments, pesticide residues are commonly found on indoor surfaces—including flooring, kitchen countertops, and tabletops. By choosing non-toxic options like Cedarcide, you’re helping reduce the levels of pesticides both inside and outside your home, doing a big favor to the environment, wildlife, and your neighbors in the process.

 

You’re Helping Save Wildlife

Wildlife—especially marine life and birds—have been hit hard by traditional pesticide use. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 72 million birds die in the U.S. each year as a result of pesticide poisoning. Because many types of pesticides are bioaccumulative—meaning small, incremental exposures can can build up to toxic levels within an organism over time—they have the potential to disrupt entire food chains, affecting nearly every living thing on the planet.

But what can homeowners like you do to help minimize the impact of pesticides? A lot, actually! The average homeowner uses ten times more pesticides per acre than farmers do on industrial farmland. So in many ways, it’s in the hands of people like us to start reducing pesticide use for the sake of animals and families everywhere.

 

Your Purchases Support Good Causes

Without you we could not support the causes that inspire us! Animal welfare is one such cause essential to the Cedarcide mission. In addition to supporting animal rescues and founding the Cedarcide Horse Rescue, our team spends a great deal of their personal lives fostering and volunteering for disadvantaged cats, dogs and other animals.

Veterans, soldiers, and first responders also play a big role at Cedarcide. These real life heroes inspire us every day, which is why each year we support and participate in Dallas’ Carry the Load March. This 20-hour walk honors military service of all shapes and sizes, with proceeds benefiting corresponding charities.

 

You’re Helping the Environment

As mentioned earlier, pesticides nearly always end up somewhere other than intended. Wind, runoff, and over-application are the obvious culprits. In addition to wildlife, the environment pays the highest price for this widespread pesticide contamination. But just how extensive is pesticide pollution? According to one study by the U.S. Geological Survey, pesticides were found to contaminate every stream in the United States, and over 90% of all wells researchers tested. Unbelievable, right? By adopting non-toxic pesticides and engaging in responsible pesticide practices—like careful application and avoiding overuse—you can have a real impact on the health of your family and community.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Cedarcide? What do you most enjoy about the switch? Let us know in the comments or head over to our Facebook page and strike up a conversation!

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Home

10 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Home

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Home

If you want your cat or kitty to enjoy a long and healthy life, cat-proofing your home is absolutely essential. From the kitchen to the bathroom, there are plenty of spaces to address and items to store far out of reach. Don’t get intimidated: it doesn’t take that long and it’s really not that difficult. Taking just a few extra precautions could save you a lot of heartache and veterinary costs in the long run. Here’s a short guide to get you started.

 

Keep the Toilet Lid Down

An open toilet lid is an invitation for a drink—a very unsanitary drink. Even worse, young cats can slip and fall inside, making toilets a drowning hazard, too. As a precaution, keep bathroom doors shut and toilet lids closed as often as possible.

 

Lock Up Medication

Keep medications, both prescription and over-the-counter (including vitamins and supplements), out of reach of your cat, such as in a cabinet or drawer. If like many cats, your feline can open cabinet doors, use locks or baby proof latches to secure them.

 

Secure Window Dressings & Cords

As cat parents know all too well, felines can’t resist anything resembling string. Case in point: window dressings and blind cords. Just like with children, these represent a serious strangulation risk to your cat. Whether it’s tucking them behind the top of the blinds or simply knotting them, find some way to hide these items from your cat. It might just save their life.

 

Keep Chemicals out of Reach/ Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaners & Pesticides

From detergents and cleaning supplies to pesticides and antifreeze, our homes are filled with chemicals that endanger our feline friends. For chemicals with non-toxic alternatives—like pesticides, kitchen cleaners, and air fresheners—make the switch if at possible. The long term side effects of these chemicals on our cats—not to mention ourselves—are both frightening and well documented. For the chemicals you can’t easily replace, like antifreeze for example, just be sure to store them far out of reach of your kitty.

 

Secure Trash Cans & Recycling Containers

Cats are curious, and one thing they often get curious about are trash cans and recycling bins. They’re full of interesting smells and sometimes food scraps our kitties would just love to snack on. But hazards like plastic bags, floss, bacteria, and sharp objects also lurk inside. Choose trash cans and recycling bins with securable lids, because once your cat pries off that top, there’s no telling what they’ll get into.

 

Monitor Furniture

Furniture—especially items that recline or fold like sofa beds—are surprisingly dangerous for cats. Cats love hiding in hard-to-reach places, such as those inside recliners and underneath couches. As you can imagine, failing to check these spaces before use can have life-threatening consequences for your feline.

 

Hide or Organize Electrical Cables & Cords

If your cat bites into a live electrical cable, they could get shocked. If they get tangled in appliance cords, they could suffocate. In addition to health concerns, if your cat snags a wire, they could easily damage costly entertainment equipment or your cell phone. Make your life simple: organize, conceal or use cord protectors for exposed electrical cables and cords. For extra safety, unplug unused cables when leaving home (it helps save energy, too!)

 

Remove Toxic Plant Life

Some cats just love chewing plants. Even though non-toxic plants can still cause stomach issues, for the most part this habit is little more than an annoyance. However, if you have toxic plants inside your home, things can go wrong quickly. To sidestep an emergency vet visit, remove or stow away plants toxic to cats. Consult this list to know which plants to avoid.

 

Keep Windows Closed

A barely open window is plenty for your cat to escape and get lost. To keep things simple, never leave a window open unless you’re home and can monitor the situation. Do a quick check of your home’s window screens, too. Not only are cats notorious for getting tangled in loose screens, but if you live on a higher floor, a faulty screen could mean a nasty, potentially fatal fall for your feline.

 

Keep Human Food Out of Reach

Whether toxic for cats or not, keep all food in your home off counters and out of reach of your felines. Non-toxic foods can still cause an upset tummy, but more importantly, food packaging doubles as a serious choking and suffocation hazard.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What You Need to Know About Mites

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What Are Mites?

There are over 48,000 species of mites. They can be found in almost every corner of the world, surviving everywhere from tropical environments to arid ecosystems, even indoors alongside humans.

Like ticks, mites are both arthropods and arachnids, but unlike ticks, not all mites are parasites. Some—like house dust mites—are scavengers, feeding off the dead skin and hair of humans. Some mites feed on mold and other plant-life. Some are symbiotic, living on the backs of insects like bees. And, yes, some are parasitic—like bird mites, rat mites and chiggers—which feed on the blood or skin of their hosts.

Do Mites Affect Humans?

You might be surprised to learn that the overwhelming majority of American homes have mites. The good news is that most mites are harmless to humans. However, there are in fact a few species that bite or pose other health risks to people. The extremely irritating skin condition scabies, for instance, is caused by an allergic reaction to the itch mite, which burrows into the skin of mammals to live and lay eggs. Mange is often the result of the same itch mite, along with another species, the Demodex mite (or eyelash mite), which infests the eyelashes of millions of people each year. The Demodex mite has also been linked to rosacea.

The most common biting mites found in the home are rat mites and bird mites. These two parasitic species prey mostly on small animals, but occasionally feed on humans too, causing dermatitis and acute itching. Another common household mite, the dust mite, is not parasitic and therefore does not bite; however, it’s a leading cause of allergies and has been found to cause asthma, too.


How Do You Get Mites?

The two most common biting mites—rat mites and bird mites—enter our homes through wild animals and pests. The former is typically brought into the home by a rodent, while the later finds its way in from nearby bird nests. Dust mites on the other hand live almost exclusively within homes, where they deeply embed themselves in carpets, bedding, rugs and other especially dusty surfaces. In fact, a typical mattress contains tens of thousands of these mites. Even more—around 100,000—can live in a single square foot of rug or carpet.

Perhaps most offputting of all, Demodex mites—sometimes called eyelash mites—make their home in the hair follicles and glands in and around the human eye. People with pets are particularly at risk of contracting Demodex mites, as these insect-like organisms are usually transferred to humans from dogs and cats.


What Are The Signs Of A Mite Infestation?

Because of mites’ near microscopic size, and because they vary so greatly from species to species, it’s extremely difficult to correctly identify a mite infestation. While some mites leave noticeable markings—spider mites spin webs, clover mites are recognizable by their bright red color—most mites leave little to no evidence of their existence.

In fact, the sole sign of an infestation often comes by way of the symptoms mites can cause in humans, such as skin irritation and general allergic reaction. Unless you’re able to capture a mite sample and have it identified by a professional, there’s little to no way to confirm what sort of mite infestation you may or may not be dealing with.

What To Do if You Have Mites

While some mites—like the mostly harmless dust mite—are all but impossible to completely eliminate from your home, troublesome biting mites are comparatively easier to treat. Rat mites and bird mites, for example, can often be solved simply by removing any small rodents, birds and bird nests from your home.

If you have mites, but are unsure of the source, fogging your entire home might be a good option for you. If you believe mites have infested your bedding or other linens, washing and drying them on a hot cycle should rid your items of any remaining mites.

Watch Cedarcide’s Fogging Tutorial Below:

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, 9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer

9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer

Cedarcide blog post image, 9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer
We’d all like our cats to live long, healthy lives. While nothing can be done about genetics, there are several things that we as cat owners can do to improve our feline’s lifespans. From simple lifestyle changes to maintaining healthy habits, here are 9 things you can do to increase your cat’s life expectancy.

 

Keep Up with Those Vet Visits

Regular nose-to-tail examinations are a must for keeping your feline in tip-top shape. Compared with dogs, cats are more likely to disguise pain, so you might not notice when they’re ill or injured. In addition to maintaining overall health, keeping up with vet visits will help catch potentially serious health concerns before they become life-threatening. From dental issues to advice managing an aging pet, maintaining regular contact with your vet is a no-brainer approach to extending your kitty’s life.

 

Keep Them Inside

Because of elements like infectious disease, pesticides, animal attacks and car accidents, outdoor cats tend to live much shorter lives. In fact, outdoor cats live only 2-5 years on average compared to 15-20 years for indoor cats. An easy way to not only extend your cat’s life but improve their quality of life is to never leave them outdoors unattended (It only takes a second for your cat to ingest something toxic or get snatched by a wild animal). Now, enjoying outdoor activities with your adventure cat is a different story—we’re all for that!

 

Keep Them Hydrated

Many household cats do not drink enough water, and it’s not always the owner’s fault. Firstly, in the wild, cats consume much of their water through feeding. Secondly, some cats can be weird about stagnant water sources, including traditional water bowls. If your cat is not adequately hydrating, you can help them get more water by switching out dry foods for options with higher water content (we suggest consulting your vet for specifics). Additionally, feel free to turn on the faucet every now and then so your cat can grab an extra drink. Just make sure to switch it off when they’re done—wasting water is no bueno.

 

Spay or Neuter

A study by Banfield Pet Hospital found that spayed and neutered cats live longer than those that haven’t undergone these procedures. In addition to saving literally millions of animal lives from euthanasia each year, these surgeries can help limit undesirable behaviors like marking as well as reduce the likelihood of certain diseases. Want your cat to live as long as possible? Fixing them is one of the easiest steps you can take in that direction.

 

Improve Their Diet

As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and the same goes for our feline friends. It’s simple: If your cat eats a high quality, balanced and age appropriate diet, they’re going to live longer. Specifically what that diet includes will vary from cat to cat based on lifestyle and specific health needs. In general, aim for a diet that’s as organic and fresh as possible and avoid over or underfeeding. Keep treats to a minimum, too. Consult a vet (or holistic vet) to determine what diet is best for your cat.

 

Manage Their Weight

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 60% of cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. All that extra weight can put a serious strain on your cat’s body, potentially causing type 2 diabetes, organ damage, joint problems or heart failure. On the other end of the scale, an underweight cat can point to underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease or cancer. If your cat’s weight is unhealthy, visit your vet to strategize how to improve your pet’s physical fitness. If you’re unaware if your cat’s weight is healthy, visit petmd’s weight tool to find out.

 

Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is about more than quality of life—it can affect how long your cat lives, too. Bacteria from mismanaged teeth can enter your pet’s bloodstream, ultimately causing organ damage and in some cases even premature death. Most cats over the age of three already experience some form of dental disease. If you’ve neglected your cat’s teeth, it’s not too late! Make an appointment with your vet for a dental checkup and maintain regularly scheduled visits thereafter. Also, consider professional teeth cleanings if you don’t feel comfortable performing them at home.

 

Fend Off Boredom

Bored, depressed, and stressed cats on average live shorter lives. Providing your cat with engaging toys as well as perches and scratching posts can help keep them nimble and alert (just remember to rotate the toys occasionally). Playtime and grooming can be a much needed source of stress-relief for your cat, too—the shared bonding time will not only improve your relationship but also help keep your cat’s behavior in check. Bored and stressed cats are much more likely to act out or otherwise misbehave. Adopting a friend for your cat is another fun way to keep your kitty entertained. Click here for tips on showing your cat some love.

 

Ditch the Chemicals

From cleaning supplies to outdoor pesticides to flea and tick products, your cat is surrounded by toxic chemicals that can shorten their lifespan. Limiting their exposure to these chemicals is essential. Firstly, consider switching out household cleaners and air fresheners for natural alternatives. Making your entire cleaning routine pet-safe is even better. Secondly, trade traditional, chemical-based pesticides and bug repellents for pest control options sourced from natural ingredients.

From heartworms (which are spread by mosquito bites) to skin diseases caused by fleas and mites, bugs can put a serious hurt on your cat’s health. Protecting your cat from these pests—and the harmful topical pesticides normally used to treat them—is something every cat owner should take seriously. To safeguard your feline, we suggest applying a non-toxic insect repellent to your cat’s fur weekly (2-3 times a week for outdoor and adventure cats).

 


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