Question: We’re afraid to use flea & tick poisons on our pets because we have small children, but bites are terrible too. Are there any control solutions that aren’t potentially harmful to our family? Anything less toxic than DEET that works for people? Reply: The only effective repellant product that I know of that is not a harsh chemical is Skin So Soft by Avon. In fact, the US Army has used this as an alternative to DEET in the Gulf War. It comes as a cream or a spray, which possibly could be used for your pets. The only other alternative for your pets is to bath them daily with a good pet shampoo. It doesn’t kill ticks and fleas, but it is often enough to remove them. We have used anti-tick shampoo for our pets on a routine basis with no adverse effects. If you have a problem with a medicinal shampoo leaving residues behind, quickly repeat with a shampoo that does not contain harsh chemicals.