Frontline/Advantix/Seresto for humans?

The snow will soon be melted here in Boston. This means we will soon be able to start pulling ticks out of our skin. Mindy the Crippler is doubly armored against these pests. She has been vaccinated against Lyme disease (the human equivalent of this vaccine was pulled off the market about 10 years ago). She wears a Seresto collar that drips poison into her body.

The various systemic anti-tick chemicals that we have been applying to dogs for 20+ years seem not to have done them any harm. Why can’t we Frontline ourselves? I would happily pay for a human version.

[Separately, whenever anyone in Cambridge asks about Mindy the Crippler’s behavior I say “All of her bad habits started after she was vaccinated.”]

7 thoughts on “Frontline/Advantix/Seresto for humans?

  1. There is nothing that stops you from self medicating. However, I’m not sure how well it would work in humans, given that we don’t have fur and that we bathe a lot more frequently than dogs.

    Permethrin (which is found in some of the dog products though the better ones use fipronil) is also approved for human use.

    The recommended use is to spray on your clothing, not your skin. A small bottle is only enough to treat 4 outfits and you would have to repeat if you wash the clothes. A much cheaper way would be to buy Permethrin concentrate and dilute with water and spray using your own spray bottle:

    A 20 to 1 dilution would get you a 1/2% solution. So one bottle would get you the equivalent of a dozen bottles of the Sawyers. This is approved for use on livestock and you are a livestock too. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a clothing spray instead of the Sawyers product.

    This might also help:

    Or else once you have the Martin’s permethrin, soak some cotton balls in it and leave them inside toilet paper tubes in your yard. The mice will steal the cotton balls to use in their nests.

  2. A single dose of one of those medications took my “little sister”, Megan from “very healthy 4-year old Cocker Spaniel” to near death in a matter of hours. When my mother called the CDC to report it, they said that such near-fatal reactions happen frequently and that the manufacturers just slightly alter the order of the ingredients every few years, call it a new product, and kill more dogs.

    The risks may outweigh the benefits in over a large population, but I think they’re only still sold in the veterinary world because the standards for safety are far lower: the fact that you can legally drive a puppy around town unbelted doesn’t mean it’s safe to do so with a baby.

    I haven’t researched them thoroughly, but have you considered a guineafowl? If they work for you, maybe you could breed them and rent them out like modern beekeepers. “Ticked Off? Call Greenspun’s Guineafowl!”

  3. More details about the effectiveness of treating your clothing:

    My informal study thinks we’ve been seeing more ticks over time in the five years of living in the South Shore. After reading the recent New Yorker article (a year or so ago?), I think part of the reason is we need to cut down some trees and cut back bushes where the dogs and small animals live.

  4. I thought that the Lyme vaccine was taken off the market because it was causing disease symptoms. That is, immunity to Lyme disease may be worse than the disease. The drug company may not have admitted how bad the vaccine was.

  5. Izzie L: I have 10% permethrin from Martin’s. To make tick tubes, do you know if I should dilute it down to a certain percentage or apply directly to the cotton balls as is?

  6. Chris: dilute it!

    I think the official ones from Damminix are 0.6% permethrin. Check that number!

    Permethrin is on the OK side of insecticides, probably, but don’t mess with the stuff. Be careful. There are good tutorials on the net.

    I have been collecting toilet paper rolls since fall and will be making a very large batch this weekend. 48 per acre, they say. On the plus side, I’ve been amazed at how quickly toilet paper rolls accumulate in a household with the proper mix of inhabitants.

  7. Chris: It looks like Damminix uses 7.4% permethrin, so you should be fine not diluting the 10% product. Though of course it’ll last longer if you do.

    I bought the 36.8% stuff a few months back, and remembered that I was planning to dilute it considerably.

    For comparison, the spray that people use on clothes is 0.5%. Pet dip is 3.5%. Advantix is 44%.

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