Pet Friendly Pest Control
Is Pest Control Safe for Birds, Cats and Dogs?
This week at The Shalom Center we delve into some pest control techniques that are safe for your pets.
It is often said that no home is complete without animals. Pets are a wonderful addition to any family. They are our best friends, our exercise partners, entertainment, and closest companions.
It is easy to fall in love and want to bring home these cute friends. However, what do we do when our home is invaded by less lovable animals? Rodents, insects, and arachnids often find their way indoors, and not as our companions.
How do we get rid of these uninvited guests while keeping our more desirable animals safe? Before using any pest control you should read this article and be aware of how you will impact your pets.
There are many different types of home invaders, and as such, even more types of preventative methods. For the most part it is best to use natural measures in keeping your home safe.
That sounds well enough, but pests are pests for a reason and they tend to always find a way. Before bringing any pest control into a home shared with pets you should explore the most pet-friendly methods possible.
Let’s explore what some of these methods are, and just how “pet-friendly” they are.
Pesticides and Pets
It is commonly believed that the most affective method for eliminating insects around the home is chemical warfare. The problem with bringing these insecticides in the home is that they are full of poisonous ingredients like dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, atrazine and dicamba.
While these ingredients can be very useful in killing unwanted insects, they are also very harmful to humans and animals.
Dogs and cats are even more at risk when using chemical pesticides. Animals are naturally less aware of what is harmful to them and will consume anything that smells good enough.
Pesticides are commonly used on the floor, where animals spend most of their time. Cats and dogs tend to lick their paws and fur commonly and could be indirectly consuming these poisonous products.
Inside of the Home
A publication from the University of Nebraska (extensionpublications.unl.edu > pdf) recommends a coupe tips for when pesticides are necessary in the home.
It is best to use gels or powders that are not so easily transferable. When applying these products place them in cracks and crevices that are common for insects, but not reachable by humans or pets.
The article goes on to state that it is very important to clean your hands well after handling poisonous products. The moments after handling are a major risk of transferring the pesticides to your pets.
Outside the Home
While your home may be safe, many gardeners and landscapers face the problem of pests outside the home. Caterpillars and other insects can be detrimental to the lawn. Unfortunately, using poisons in your backyard would still put pets, and other animals at risk.
This article from Scientific American offers a couple options. There are some organic pesticides that can be effective in killing insects, while being less harmful to pets.
The best option is to use plants in your yard that are native to your area. These plants have survived whatever nature throws at them for thousands of years. And, some can be effective at repelling some insects.
Besides your home, your pets are also at risk from pests. Some common pests that can harm your animals are:
- Kissing Bugs
Some of these pests can cause major harm to your animals. Including detrimental illnesses like Lyme disease, mange, or spotted fever.
The common method to prevent these insects from attaching to your pets are flea collars. Unfortunately, most of these collars also carry toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals.
Safer preventative measures include regularly checking your pet (especially after being outside), keeping your pet well groomed, and baths with shampoos that will kill insects.
Some natural pest control methods have proven effective at keeping pests away from your pets and home. Here are some tips:
- Cinnamon powder will repel ants.
- Soak paper in sugars to attract and stick flys.
- Mint oil can be useful at repelling rodents.
- Walnuts and chestnuts will repel spiders.
- Other aromatic oils will keep bugs away like: cedar oil, citronella oil, peppermint or lavender.
- House plants that repel bugs include: dill, fennel, catnip, Venus fly trap.
Signs of Pet Poisoning
Your pets will be unable to tell you when they are developing symptoms of poisoning. It is important to watch for signs through their behaviors.
Major signs would include: excessive drooling, vomiting, uncoordinated movements, diarrhea, or seizures. If you think that your pet has been exposed to poisons, do not wait.
Make it to an emergency vet as soon as possible. Or, contact your regional poison control center. Make sure to have your pets information ready as well as what poisons you believe they were exposed to.