Getting rid of pests becomes more challenging when you’re a pet owner. Exposure to certain pest control products can be hazardous to cats and dogs. It can trigger symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to internal bleeding and even death.
This guide explores pet-friendly pest control solutions that keep your home or commercial space clean and disease-free.
How Can Pest Control Methods Harm Pets?
Primary poisoning through pesticide baits is common. Animals, by nature, are naturally curious and often tempted to investigate and taste various substances.
Pesticide baits often come with added flavorings, ranging from fish oil and molasses to peanut butter and ground meat, making them enticing to pets. They also include anticoagulants, which can trigger internal bleeding and other serious health issues.
Symptoms of pesticide poisoning can appear shortly up to a few days after ingestion. Common signs include:
- Weakness or lethargy
- Uncontrolled urination or defecation
- Trouble breathing
- Tremors or seizures
- Stumbling or trouble walking
- Irritation to the skin, eyes or mucous membranes
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
If you suspect your pet has consumed pesticide bait, consult a veterinarian immediately. Early intervention is crucial for minimizing potential dangers.
Take note of the product’s active ingredients. This will help your veterinarian determine the best treatment for your furry friend.
Secondary poisoning can occur when pets ingest toxins through contaminated prey. Cats and dogs, being natural hunters, are at risk of catching bugs or rodents that have been exposed to pesticides. This indirect exposure can be as hazardous as direct contact with pesticides and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Flea and Tick Treatments
Many tick or flea-repellent products contain potential carcinogens and toxins harmful to the nervous system, such as fipronil, permethrin, pyrethrins or pyrethroids.
Pyrethrins are substances extracted from the chrysanthemum plant, while pyrethroids are synthetic variations derived from natural pyrethrins.
Pyrethroid-based topical flea and tick preventives can trigger symptoms that may appear from 15 minutes to several hours once applied to your pet’s skin. Clinical signs include:
- Intense itchiness
- Agitation or restlessness
- Crying or whimpering
- Rolling around on the back or trying to bite the back
If your pet ingested pyrethrin or pyrethroid, signs of toxicity usually appear within an hour. Look out for symptoms like:
- Gagging or hacking
- Lack of appetite
Pet-Friendly Pest Control Solutions
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional pest control measures, allowing you to create a safer environment for pets and humans.
Install Sticky Fly Traps
Sticky fly traps are designed to capture insects like gnats and houseflies. Unlike traditional methods employing poisons or killing agents, these traps use food and feed-grade ingredients to attract and capture insects.
To ensure the safety of your pets, it is crucial to place these traps in inaccessible areas, such as windows or other elevated surfaces.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is derived from fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. These remains are mostly made of silica, a common component of sand, rocks and clay.
Diatomaceous earth functions as a pet-friendly pest control solution. It absorbs oils and fats from insects’ exoskeleton cuticles, causing them to perish. Its sharp edges are abrasive, expediting the process.
Diatomaceous earth stands out for its versatility and absence of harmful chemicals. It can be safely applied in indoor and outdoor spaces, such as gardens, kitchens, garages or living rooms.
Apply a thin layer of diatomaceous earth in areas frequented by insects but not your pets, such as under appliances, behind furniture, kitchen cabinets, and under the sink. While it’s non-toxic, it’s best to avoid applying it in places where your pet might stir up dust and inhale it.
Resist the urge to cover your entire garden or indoor space. A fine, thorough dusting is sufficient for effective pet-friendly pest control.
Apply diatomaceous earth when pets are away. Waiting 30 minutes to an hour is generally recommended to ensure the dust settles properly.
Use Live Nematodes
Beneficial nematodes are colorless, unsegmented roundworms. They locate and eliminate harmful soil-dwelling insects like grubs, fleas, gnats, flies, cutworms, billbugs, beetles and ants. They enter the insects through natural openings or the exoskeleton, releasing a bacterium that kills the insect within 24 to 48 hours.
About 14 days after the initial infection, a new generation of nematodes emerges from the deceased insect, actively seeking new hosts. If there are no other hosts, the nematodes eventually perish.
These tiny roundworms target particular pests. They can be applied in various environments without causing harm to mammals, aquatic life, birds, reptiles or amphibians.
Keep Your Space Tidy and Dry
The easiest way to ensure a pest-free space is to keep your surroundings dry and clutter-free.
Follow these tips to prevent unwanted visitors from entering your property:
- After cooking or eating, promptly store any leftover food in airtight containers.
- Use a secure trash can with a lock on the lid.
- Identify and repair leaking pipes, faucets or appliances promptly, as pests are attracted to water sources.
Maintain A Critter-Free Environment
Eliminating unwanted visitors while protecting your pets’ well-being demands a thoughtful approach. Pest Control Unlimited LLC offers quarterly visits so your home or commercial building stays pest-free all year. Our team specializes in ticks, fleas, bed bugs, rodents and mosquitoes. We try out new products at our homes and facility before using them on your property.
Check out our complete list of service areas here. Book a consultation now and benefit from hygienic and effective pest control methods.