Repellents Enjoy Natural Popularity
As natural products become more widespread, flea and tick options experience an uptick in demand.
BY SANDY CHEBAT
Natural flea and tick products are trending up with customers who rank product safety and efficacy as their top concerns, according to manufacturers and retailers.
“Everyone wants a natural product because they are nervous
about putting chemicals on their pets,” said Frank Bickley, owner
of Westhampton Pet in Westhampton Beach, N. Y. “A lot of people
come in looking for something natural, expecting it to be as effective
as the stronger chemicals.”
Industry insiders report that along with seeking natural flea and
tick products that are safe for the entire family, consumers want
transparency—from labeling to manufacturing.
The potential toxicity of synthetic chemicals and other harmful side effects greatly concern pet owners, said Cindy Wenger,
president of Peaceable Kingdom Essentials in Hershey, Pa. In response, Peaceable Kingdom Essentials and other companies offer
information about the ingredients they use along with their healing
Made in the USA also represents an important component for
natural flea and tick products, according to industry insiders, as well
as an emphasis on botanicals and other natural ingredients.
“Essential oils are also becoming more popular as a tried-and-true holistic remedy,” said Stephanie Boone, founder and CEO of
Wondercide Natural Products in Austin, Texas.
Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, founder and owner of Earth Heart Inc., based in Dundee, Ill., agreed.
“I’ve been formulating aromatherapy remedies since 1992, and
I’ve seen a huge increase in both interest and use of botanicals including herbs and essential oils as well as pressed oils such as neem
seed,” she said.
At Dragonfly Healing House in Hummelstown, Pa., store owner Josette Neubaum said that ease of application and how long a
product stays effective are important features to customers, as are
product availability and price point.
LATEST NATURAL REPELLENTS
The newest products in the natural flea and tick category incorporate the aromathera-peutic benefits pet owners seek. As more customers desire essential oils in the products
they use for themselves, they want them in their pet products, too.
“The trend I’m seeing is essential oils, [and it’s] being driven by consumers looking
for natural alternatives,” said Laura Whitman, owner of Pet Headquarters in Palmyra, Pa.
“We’re more conscious of what we are doing for ourselves, and it has trickled down to
In late 2016, Wondercide Natural Products launched a reformulation of its Flea & Tick
Control for Pets + Home in three scents: Cedar, Lemongrass and Rosemary. Developed to
kill and repel fleas and ticks without harsh chemicals, the spray also offers aromathera-
peutic benefits with therapeutic-grade essential oils, the company stated.
“We modified the formulation in response to feedback on the fragrances’ strong
cedar aroma,” said Stephanie Boone, founder and CEO of the Austin, Texas-based
manufacturer. “While therapeutic-grade cedar oil is an active ingredient that repels fleas
and ticks, we softened the scents in our reformulation. Now, they’re more appealing to
people—and less powerful to pets’ powerful sense of smell—while still keeping those
icky bugs at bay.”
Available in 16-ounce, 32-ounce and 1-gallon sizes, the spray is clove free to make it
safe for dogs and cats.
This summer, fans of Earth Heart Inc.’s Buzz Guard topical spray for clothing and
bedding can look forward to Buzz Guard in a wipe form, designed to complement the
company’s spray. The product contains citronella and neem, is made of 100 percent pure
essential oils and features a light, fresh scent, the company stated.
“Our beta testing has shown that Buzz Guard wipes are fantastic as a quick direct
topical for dogs as well as their human and equine friends,” said Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, founder and owner of the Dundee, Ill.-based company.
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