It's what's inside the products we use that counts

Mindfulness about the ingredients we use in, on, and around the family

5 minute read

It's what's inside the products we use that counts

Wellness is now a $5 trillion industry in 2020. Clean eating, healthy tourism, preventive medicine, workplace wellness, and healthy homes are all gaining momentum. We’re buying Peloton bikes, eating meatless meals, purifying our air with Molekules, and choosing organic foods as well as beauty products. More and more of us understand that what we put on, in, and around us makes a big difference in our well-being. So it doesn’t make sense to use bug sprays or skin care products that aren't plant-powered and safe*.

Check out the ingredients in those commonly-prescribed flea-and-tick solutions or typical pest-control products for the yard. You might be shocked to see things like neonicotinoids, fipronil, permethrin, and organophosphates or OPs as they’re called (Tetrachlorvinphos is one example). It’s well-established that these ingredients are carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins that alter the structure or function of the nervous system (you know, that important system that controls most of our mind and body). Seizures, cancer, and organ failure shouldn’t be the result of trying to stay protected.

Now, the problem isn’t just with the ingredients themselves, but also in how they’re labeled, tested, and approved for use. 

On the label for any pest control product, you’ll see active ingredients and inert. Look at all of the ingredients when you consider whether to use a product on yourself or those you love. Active ingredients are those that are meant to kill or repel the bugs. Inert ingredients play any other role in the solution, like holding all of the ingredients together and preventing settling. The EPA scrutinizes the active ingredients much more than the inert and here’s why that’s not a good thing: according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (part of the United States National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health), “Numerous studies indicate that inert ingredients may enhance the toxicity of pesticide formulations to the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, mitochondria, genetic material, and hormone systems.” Another sobering fact: about 50% of all inert ingredients are at least moderately risky (U.S. EPA 2002).

OK, so the ingredients aren’t sounding great and what’s worse, pest-control products that use harmful ingredients have to undergo EPA testing before they can be sold. EPA testing involves animal testing. It’s commendable that Administrator Adam Wheeler at the EPA issued a directive that calls for the agency to reduce animal testing and funding 30% by 2025 and to eliminate it altogether by 2035 – but there’s still a long way to go. That’s one issue with an EPA-registered product. The other issue is that the way the testing is carried out, many potential long-term effects of pesticide formulations aren’t assessed or discovered as part of the registration process. That means, the people and pets who use the products become the test subjects. 

It’s well known that given enough time, most pesticides eventually cause enough human and animal injuries that they are identified as hazards and are removed from the market. The U.S. trails behind the European Union (EU), which has the most comprehensive and proactive pesticide regulation of any major agricultural producer. The EU prohibits use of pesticides that they recognize as mutagens, carcinogens, reproductive toxicants or endocrine disruptors unless exposure to humans is considered negligible.

Here in the U.S., the government takes a different route, using cost-benefit analysis. The EPA requires that products will not “generally cause unreasonable adverse effects” on the environment or to people and here’s the catch: “taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of the use of any pesticide…”. So some products and ingredients that aren’t good for us continue to be registered and used even though they could be harmful to pets, people, and the environment.

Back to that short list of ingredients to avoid in common flea-and-tick meds, the EU has banned several including neonicotinoids (aka neonics), select OPs (they’re considering them all), and fipronil as well as permethrin for crops. They’re looking at more extensive bans too.

It’s clear the old adage is true: “its what’s inside that counts” and what’s inside the products you use for your Pack matters. Around here at Wondercide, we don’t compromise on ingredients. We know too well what the wrong ingredients can do to a loved one. Back in 2008, our founder’s dog Luna suffered pesticide poisoning from those common flea-and-tick meds and pest control used in her yard. After nursing Luna back to health, Stephanie had the courage to find (well, create!) a better way to protect those she loves. Learn more about that journey here.

So what’s all the goodness inside every bottle of Wondercide? Well, you’re going to love hearing about ingredients that come from trees, seeds, and berries, but first let’s talk a little bit more about the EPA and something called FIFRA 25(b). The EPA has determined that certain pesticides pose little to no risk to human health or the environment, so they exempt them from having to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Section 25(b) in FIFRA details which products or ingredients can be used in exempt products. Wondercide sticks to these better-for-you ingredients. Another benefit: as an exempt product, Wondercide doesn’t have to go through the testing that non-exempt products do. We refuse to have our solutions tested on anything other than the bugs they’re designed to eliminate. 

With Wondercide, you don’t have to compromise safety for effectiveness. Our sprays are proven to work and you can read more about the glowing 3rd-party test results here. But we digress on the goodness in Wondercide. Let’s take a detailed look at what’s inside Flea & Tick Pets + Home, Indoor Pest Control, and Insect Repellent (they’re actually the same formula but named differently to help folks find a solution that meets their needs) and what each ingredient does.




Cedarwood Oil

Texas and Virginiana cedar trees

Kills and repels pests. Aromatherapeutic qualities: Calming, Soothing, Comforting.

Lemongrass Oil (in the Lemongrass scent)


Kills and repels pests. Aromatherapeutic qualities: Revitalizing, Invigorating, Uplifting.

Rosemary Oil

(in the Rosemary scent)


Kills and repels pests. Aromatherapeutic qualities: Relaxing, Restorative, Clarifying.

Peppermint Oil (in the Peppermint scent)

Peppermint Leaves

Kills and repels pests. Aromatherapeutic qualities: Energizing, Uplifting, Invigorating

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Coconut and/or palm kernel oil (never from petroleum!)

Allows oil and water to mix and remain stable. Learn more about why we’re confident in the safety of our plant-powered SLS here.

Sesame Oil

Sesame seeds

Enhances the repellency of essential oils.


Deionized water

The “carrier.” Holds all ingredients together in a solution.

Polyglyceryl Oleate


Allows oils and water to remain combined after shaking (emulsifier).


Vegetable oil

Maintains moisture (humectant).

Sodium Chloride

Table salt

Inhibits bacterial growth.

Ethyl Lactate


Prevents settling (dispersant).

Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate


Modifies the pH of the solution (pH adjuster).

Citric Acid


Modifies the pH of the solution (pH adjuster).

Vitamin E

Vegetable oil

An antioxidant that protects essential oils from reactions with oxygen (oxidation).

A little more about our essential oils: they’re steam-distilled and the purest you can buy. And yes, they’re all safe* for pets and people of all ages because we also properly dilute them. The oils used at the right dilution are key to safety.

What’s not inside Wondercide? You won’t find artificial colors, artificial fragrances, or any of those questionable ingredients we discussed before. No DEET, no clove, and never essential oils with phenols in them, which aren’t good for cats. We wisely choose ingredients that are safe* for the entire family.

So there we have it. Wondercide is chock full of amazing things pets and their people love...and pesky bugs hate! Wondercide is plant-powered, cruelty-free, vegan, and family-safe*. Mom made. Mom approved.

Keep reading those labels, learning about ingredients, and keep using products like Wondercide that help you and your loved ones live long, happy, and healthier lives together. 

*When used as directed

Tracey’s Bio:
Just like my mom, I’ve never met a stranger. One love, y’all! Speaking of love, I love people for sure, and pets, and the planet, plus the simple things like strong, organic coffee in the morning, sunlight that helps me feel hopeful, and a warm summer breeze. Flip flops make my feet their happiest. I’m a vegan Texan. (Yes, we do exist, especially here in Austin.) My guilty pleasures are good tacos, natural wine, inspired architecture, and thought-provoking arts. Let me travel the world and see the wonders.