We get why you might be concerned for your pets when it comes to pest control. After all, your pets are (furry, feathered, or scaled) members of your family! That’s why pet-safe pest control is so important.
The good news is that most pest control practices today (like Heatigation or termite bait stations) are safe for pets. However, there are some pest control treatments that can be harmful, so safeguards must be put in place.
Keep reading to find out how to keep your home and lawn pest-free and your pets safe, at the same time.
When Is Pest Control Dangerous for Pets?
Today, pest control treatments like pesticides and herbicides are used in very low concentrations. The treatment is effective enough to kill the pests, but isn’t at a high enough concentration to cause harm to people or pets.
However, pets can be harmed if they are exposed to hazardous amounts of pesticides—say by breathing them in or ingesting them. This might happen, for example, if:
- Your pet is left in the room when an aerosol is applied.
- Your pet eats a pesticide (like poisonous bait left out for rodents or moth balls left in the closet), or is allowed to lick treated surfaces before the surface dries.
- Pets are allowed to play in the yard before the liquid treatment has dried, dust has settled, or granular treatment has incorporated into the soil.
- The pesticide is applied improperly or too much is used (e.g. using dog flea treatment on a cat).
It’s important to remember that pets are curious creatures and will often explore areas they shouldn’t. They don’t know when it’s not safe to sniff, lick, or eat something—so it’s up to you and your pest control service provider to keep them safe.
Why You Still Need Pest Control
Pest control can seem scary when you’re worried about the health and safety of your pets. However, it can actually be worse to ignore pest control for your pet’s sake.
Many pests—including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes—both annoy your pets and carry diseases that can harm them. Mosquitoes, for example, transmit heart worm and encephalitis, fleas carry parasites and Bartonella bacteria, and ticks can cause anemia.
Done properly, pest control is perfectly safe for your pets. Keep reading to learn how to make pest control pet-safe.
What to Do for Pet-Safe Pest Control
When it comes to making pest control completely safe for your pets, we recommend two things.
First: hire a pest control company that cares about your pets.
Your pest control technician should always ask—before starting any treatment—if you have any pets. A good technician will be able to answer your questions, help you safeguard your pets, and plan the treatment accordingly.
Because your pets are so important, we don’t recommend going the DIY route for pest control. When you DIY, it’s easy to accidentally overdo it on the pesticide application or apply treatments improperly, thereby exposing your pets to hazards. A professional, on the other hand, has the knowledge, tools, and experience to complete the pest control treatment without any risks to your pet.
If you do decide to DIY, make sure to read pesticide labels thoroughly and carefully, follow all instructions to the letter, and safeguard your pets.
Second: safeguard your pets during treatment.
A pest pro will be able to tell you how best to safeguard your pets (including a timetable for doing so) depending on the specific treatments being used. But generally, we recommend taking the following steps to keep your pets out of harm’s way:
- Remove pets from the area(s) of the home being treated. Keep them out until the treatment has dried. (This may take 1-2 hours.) Ventilate the room before bringing them in.
- If the treatment is being done on the exterior of your house, keep your pets inside. (Again, this may take 1-2 hours.)
- Remove pet items (including bedding, toys, food/water bowls, etc.) from the areas being treated to prevent contamination.
- To protect birds and fish, either remove the cage or tank from the area being treated, or cover the cage or tank with a towel to prevent any aerosols from getting inside. Also turn off the fish tank pump if using aerosols.
- If using baits, place them in an area unreachable by your pets. Immediately remove dead rodents so that your pets don’t eat the rodent and experience secondary poisoning.
- If using snap traps, choose the kind that are tamper-proof to prevent injury to your pets.
- When doing flea and tick treatments on pets, follow all instructions and apply carefully. Consider whether spot treatments are better than collars (some cats and dogs chew on their collars, which can expose them to the pesticide).
After a pest control treatment, be sure to monitor your pet’s health for signs of poisoning. Pesticide poisoning symptoms include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, uncoordinated walking, and seizures.
If you observe any of these signs, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for help.
Call ScherZinger for Pet-Safe Pest Control
Here at ScherZinger, we treat your pets like our own. Call us today to talk about pet-safe pest control for your home.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.