I thought I was keeping my family safe by using common products to protect us from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Then, my beloved dog, Luna, started suffering devastating side effects from vet-prescribed flea-and-tick meds, including hot spots and skin irritations, seizures, and liver and kidney failure.
Vets told me she had lived a long life and recommended I put her down, but that was not an option for me. While nursing her back to health, I was shocked to learn about the chemicals in the products we put on and in our loved ones. Many common products we use in our home and on our pets are neurotoxic poisons that are linked to cancer, seizures, skin issues, and organ failure. We buy more and more organic food products to avoid exposure to harmful pesticides, but we are still putting these chemicals directly on and in our dogs and cats and spraying our homes and yards without even realizing what we’re doing.
I was sad to learn that many animals and humans suffer from pesticide exposure and I knew I had to change this. First, I eliminated all of the products that were harming Luna and my family and moved to a low-impact organic lifestyle. As Luna recovered, I was determined to find a better way to protect her and keep her safe. I tried everything “natural” on the market and nothing worked like I needed it to. I set out to find a solution to a nationwide problem.
I started a blog and shared stories with others. People all over the country started reaching out to me asking what we could do. I discovered that illness and death resulting from pet pharmaceuticals didn’t carry the same requirements as human products. Vets are able to prescribe neurotoxins and manufacturers didn’t have to report risks and side effects. We started working with a group to lobby through grassroots advocacy and support to get that changed and ultimately were successful!
At the same time that everything was going on with Luna, and I was researching solutions, my grandmother gave me her old cedar chest. I was literally sitting on the cedar chest watching Luna and I had this “ah-ha!” moment. I realized that cedar had been used for centuries to protect us from bugs, so why couldn’t we create a safe product with cedar that would protect against harmful insect pests?
I reached out to an extraction facility to look into how to get cedar oil and we were excited to find that our solution could also be sustainable. That was important to me. I started working on formulations that we took to efficacy labs and officially founded Wondercide in 2009 with pest protection for dogs, cats, people, and homes.
In the early days, my partner and I mixed batches of our spray, bottled it by hand, and sold it online. We also sold it at farmers’ markets and handed out samples to everyone we met. We grew the business selling direct-to-consumer online and started selling to pet specialty retailers after customers were asking their favorite pet stores to carry our products.
Luna and I had 2,190 more wonderful days together – enough time for her to witness the birth and rise of her legacy, Wondercide. She was 16 when we finally said goodbye and the day of her passing, I received a call from Shark Tank to appear on their show. I was grieving and unsure, but I knew I had to do it for Luna and for all the families out there who I knew we could help.
I appeared on Shark Tank, which aired in March 2016. Lori Greiner’s offer made Wondercide the largest valuation of any female-founded and owned company in the history of Shark Tank to date. We didn’t end up taking the deal but instead chose to remain self-funded. Shark Tank helped us introduce Wondercide to millions of families though, and for that I’m ever grateful.
Since Shark Tank, we’ve grown exponentially and continue to help families everywhere. Wondercide products are formulated with the highest-quality ingredients that are powered by nature, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and made without artificial colors, or fragrances. Wondercide is a plant-based solution that actually works. Our efficacy studies prove it delivers the results you expect from conventional flea-and-tick meds and pest control services without the toxic ingredients.
I’ve always believed that “when you know better, you do better.” I set out to advocate for change that would keep families safe and today, we’re proud to share that over 800,000 families (and counting!) have been protected by Wondericide. You can purchase Wondercide online at Wondercide.com, on Amazon.com, on Chewy.com, and at select pet-specialty retailers nationwide.