We all are a little more wary about the chemicals that exist around us in the world. As science advances we have learned more and more about how they can affect us and those we love.

Pesticides in the home are no different, yet there is some line where we just have to use something to protect our property from unwanted invaders.

Thankfully, pet safe pesticides do exist, and The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center know all about them.

The Problem with Pesticides

When we have unwanted guests in our home or yard, be it ants, rodents, termites, or slugs, most of us want to get rid of them. Fast. Chemicals are often an easy and very effective way to accomplish this. 

When we introduce chemicals into the environment, though, the target organisms are not the only things exposed. Our furry friends are often at increased risk of exposure compared to us as well. This is due to the fact that they are closer to the ground and tend to explore the world with their noses and mouths.

Pets are inadvertently exposed to pesticides due to accidental ingestion, chemical residue on the fur or paws, or a quick lick or sniff of something strange in their environment. 

Depending on the pesticide being used, the effects of a pet exposure can be quite serious. Effects from more common exposures such as insecticides, rodent baits, and slug bait can include:

  • Drooling 
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Hyperthermia
  • Twitching or other muscle spasms
  • High heart rate
  • Respiratory distress
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Disorientation
  • Potential death

If your pet has had a potential exposure to a pesticide, call us right away. It is very helpful if you have access to the actual product label so that we can determine what potential issues there may be. Never discard the packaging when using a product, you never know when you might need it!

The Options for Pet Safe Pesticides

So you don’t want pests, but you want your pets and family to be safe? Thankfully, pet safe pesticides and other control measures do exist. 

Look specifically for products that have been rated by the EPA as low to minimum risk pesticides. These are sure to be the safest for our families and the planet. Products that meet this criteria include:

Natural Chemistry Natural Yard and Kennel Spray – This insecticide is safe for pets, doesn’t leech into the soil, and is safe for your plants and aquatic life. It will also help control outdoor bugs like mosquitoes.

Natureshield Insect and Pest Repellent – This oil-based pesticide is great for gardening. It will keep slugs, snails, ants, and mosquitoes at bay. 

Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer – If you need to spray your yard, selecting this low risk pesticide option is a good bet. 

Ecosmart Home Pest Control – If more natural alternatives such as removing food sources and cleaning haven’t helped, a low risk home spray like this one is a safer choice.

Bacillus thuringiensis – This bacteria is found in many natural garden products to help keep pests like caterpillars at bay on your plants. 

Prescription flea and tick preventatives – You can rest assured that the products that we recommend to keep fleas and ticks off your pets are generally safe. There are many over the counter treatments that do not fit this criteria. 

Be sure to always do your research before selecting a pesticide for your home or yard. In general it is best to avoid pelleted type pesticides to avoid your pet ingesting it directly. Whenever spraying, keep your pet from the area until it is at least dry, although some recommend avoiding the area for up to three days. 

Pet safe pesticides do exist, and making the extra effort to utilize them as well as other alternative tactics are well worth it. Keeping you pet and family safe is always a good investment!