Being aware of the issue is a big part of the solution. The author missed signs for months before addressing it. And I don't think she had much choice at that point but to use pesticides.
One problem with the pesticides is that they will, over time, also impact the pet. Another problem is that they are not repellants; the insect (flea, tick, etc) must bite the pet in order to ingest the pesticide, which will kill it. Best to use prevention methods. I use Cedarcide which is natural oils, and so far, so good. It repels so the insects don't want to be on the pet to start with.