Marc Morrone Newsday columnist Marc Morrone

Marc Morrone was born in 1960 in the Bronx and, when he was 2, his family moved to Long Beach, where he quickly became enchanted with the natural world of the seahore. This is when he started to keep any pet that he could get his hands on: It mattered not if it was an insect, fish, amphibian, bird or mammal.

When he was 7, the Morrones relocated to Cold Spring Harbor, where Marc was introduced to the natural world of Long Island's North Shore. The larger house his family had there allowed him to keep more and more pets, and this passion has continued to this day.

The experience and knowledge that he gained by keeping any kind of pet in all lifestyle situations has opened many doors for him, and he currently shares his knowledge with other petkeepers in many media formats. In addition to his weekly column in Newsday, he hosts a weekly TV show on Cablevision’s News 12 Long Island called Animal Island that airs on Saturday and Sunday. He also hosts a TV show called Petkeeping with Marc Morrone that airs Monday through Friday at noon on The HallMark Channel.

He is the petkeeping expert that appears on Martha Stewart's daily TV show as well as writer for the pet columns in the magazine Martha Stewart Living. In addition, he also hosts a live call-in radio show every Friday night at 8 p.m. on the Martha Stewart channel on Sirus/XM radio channel 112/157.

Morrone has written 5 books: Ask the Dogkeeper, Ask the Catkeeper, Ask the Birdkeeper and Ask the Fishkeeper, all published by Bowtie Press. He also has a memoir book, "A Man For All Species," published by Random House.

Marc Morrone lives in Oceanside with his wife and son and a houseful of pets.
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Fleas and ticks are always thought of as summertime parasites that bother pets, but there are a few others in that category, and those that really bother me are flies. It drives me crazy when I see flies biting the ears of my dogs, horses and rabbits, even the featherless wattles of my chickens.

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In the past, when I used commercial sprays for these pests on my pets, the application would only work as long as it was wet. As soon as it dried, the flies came right back. So what I ended up doing was to get some fly spray or flea spray that has pyrethrum as the active ingredient. This is harmless to pets. Then I would spray some of it onto a wad of petroleum jelly and mix it all up and spread the jelly on my pets' ears. The petroleum jelly kept the insecticide from drying off; it lasts for hours on my pets' ears.

Whenever I watch nature shows on TV and see those poor lions in Africa bothered by those wretched flies, I just feel like reaching into the TV and spreading some of my mixture all over their pathetic, fly-bitten ears.