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Can You Use Frontline on Humans?

By Ticara Gailliard ; Updated July 27, 2017

Frontline is a product used to control fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. Through an application, the medication keeps fleas and ticks off of your pet for a full month before needing to be reapplied. This kind of protection from being bitten may tempt some people into trying to use Frontline on themselves or other family members. At this point, it becomes an issue of safety for the humans involved.

Use on Humans

Frontline is a pesticide with an active ingredient called fipronil. Fipronil has been studied in rats to monitor possible side effects due to prolonged use of it. According to Ask-the-Vet.com, fipronil was found to be possibly neurotoxic to dogs as well as the rats involved in the study, conducted by K.A. Jennings and others at Murray State University in Kentucky. The study was published in the Veterinary and Human Toxicology journal in 2002. The rats were exposed to a much higher amount of fipronil than the average Frontline dose, however. In addition to finding that the chemical is potentially neurotoxic, the study also lead to the chemical being classified as a possible human carcinogen. A carcinogen is any substance that can cause cancer. There is also the risk of skin irritation at the site of exposure to fipronil. Vets and groomers received a warning in 1996 in regards to possible contamination from increased exposure to Frontline. For these reasons, the use of Frontline on humans is ill-advised.

Alternatives for Humans

Controlling fleas for humans is still a possibility without the use of pet medicines such as Frontline. Starting with getting rid of fleas around your home can help. You can make use of flea bombs to get rid of fleas in your carpet or furniture. Keep your pets well-protected from fleas by treating them with medicine, flea combs or flea baths. Look into using insect-growth regulators to get rid of fleas. These compounds come as sprays, pills or food additives. Vacuum thoroughly, including any pet bedding you may have. This will remove a large number of potential eggs in their bedding. Once you’ve treated your home once with flea treatment, you may need to do a second treatment to make sure any eggs there may have been haven’t hatched and reinfested.

Around your home or outside, try using citronella candles to deter fleas from coming around. Citrus is a natural flea repellent. Cedar is also a flea repellent that you can use. Try putting cedar chips around your home or burning cedar candles. To trap fleas, fill a shallow container with warm, soapy water; then shine a lamp on it. The fleas will be attracted to the warmth, but the soap will prevent them from being able to jump out.

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