How fly and flea allergies in her animals prompted one woman to create her own green insect repellent, free of harmful chemicals.
You don’t want your furry friend harassed by fleas, mosquitoes and other biting insects, but neither do you want repellents that are full of harmful chemicals. That was Linda Warkentin’s stance when her horse, who was allergic to flies, also got cancer. She wanted a way to keep the flies away from him without subjecting him to pesticides. So she made her own fly spray from herbs she grew in her backyard.
That was more than ten years ago, and since then, Linda has received a lot of requests for her repellents. “My friends kept asking for it,” she says. So in 2012, Linda launched It Works Green, expanding her offerings to include a repellent for dogs as well. “My dog is highly allergic to fleas and ticks, so I made the product safe for canines so he wouldn’t need steroid shots.”
It Works Green for Dogs is an all-natural repellent for crawling and flying insects that includes lemongrass, citronella and clove oils. “It contains castor oil to help the spray stick,” says Linda. She adds that the product does more than repel insects: “It also kills bacteria, mold and fungi.” The repellent can be used directly on dogs (but not cats), as well as on all washable surfaces around the home, including bedding, car seats, and even some flooring, and outdoors on grass and in gardens. “I have a puppy and use it as a cleaner on my tile (not wood) floors for accidents – and the smell is gone too.” Linda continues that more products are in the works. “I am testing a moisturizer to put a barrier between us and bed bugs, ticks, fleas and flying insects, along with a shampoo for animals. I love thinking outside the box, doing research and developing new things, all with the mission of delivering safe, nontoxic products.” Linda proudly adds that It Works Green is currently being reviewed by the Organic Materials Review Institute, and is confident she will soon be able to say that her products are OMRI approved.
A portion of every sale of It Works Green products goes to Modjeska Ranch Rescue, a non-profit rescue in Orange County, California devoted to finding homes for abandoned and neglected animals. Linda’s compassion extends to children too. Linda’s Free Library is a non-profit that aims to promote the joy of reading to youngsters. “It has a great program where children write for other children,” she says. “Our goal is to reach organizations and schools around the world.”
Linda says she and her company look forward to a world that’s free of pesticide use. “I absolutely love sharing a product that works without pesticides,” she says. “When I started, it was a lonely road, but it’s a road that has grown wider as more people gain knowledge and want a green and safe life.”