Pesticides and Pets
Knowing that bugs and rodents are in your house is not a pleasant feeling. Sometimes it feels as if no matter what you do, whether it’s keeping your house scrubbed from top to bottom, or putting up traps, they just keep showing up. Many businesses can solve your pest problem by spraying different formulas outside and inside your home. However, if you have pets, you may wonder if these formulas are toxic to your precious animals, as many of them require you to keep them away from the spray for 24 hours. Is this waiting period an indicator towards possible toxicity that never fully goes away within the pesticides? These are all worthwhile questions we must ask as a pet owner. The health of our furry friends depends on our due diligence in every matter, including using a pet friendly pest control.
What Can Make a Pesticide Toxic for Pets?
Our pets’ health should be important to us when we make a decision on what form of pest control we will use in our homes. Afterall, it is their home, too, and they have no way of telling us if something is hurting them. There are ingredients known to cause health issues in animals, and here are some of them:
- Organophosphate – any insecticide that is an organophosphate is poisonous to not only those little critters you may be trying to eliminate, but also to mammals(yes, that does also include humans). These can damage nerves, and there are also studies linking them to leukemia 1 and lymphoma 2. They can also cause seizures, colic, vomiting, and many other adverse reactions. These types of pesticides are the most prominent kinds that people use today. Some types of organophosphates include: Chlorpyrifos, dibrom, malathion, temephos, diazinon and terbufos.
- Carbamate – this is another insecticide component that is toxic to animals. This is less toxic than an organophosphate, but still toxic and can lead to death if ingested in large amounts. The symptoms of exposure can be vomiting, tremors, convulsions, excessive salivation, constricted pupils, and more. Some types of carbamates include: Aldicarb, carbaryl, propoxur, oxamyl and terbucarb.
- DEET – this familiar compound is generally found in mosquito sprays, and is toxic to your furry friends, too. Spraying this on or near your pets can cause neurological damage, and may result in death. It’s best to steer clear of mosquito spray that contains DEET.
- Metaldehyde – this chemical is commonly used to control pesky slug and snail damage. However, this is highly toxic and can pose risks for both our pets and ourselves. Ingesting this can cause neurological damage, such as muscle tremors, tachycardia(fast heart rate), vomiting, and more. The sale and use of this chemical was banned in the United Kingdom in early April of 2022.
Not only does using these types of toxic pesticides affect your pets, it can harm wildlife, as well. Oftentimes birds, squirrels, and other wild animals ingest the poison, too. It’s best to search for pet friendly pest control to not disrupt the wildlife.
Natural Pest Repellent
Thankfully there are many options that can be used for safe, non toxic pest repellent, from mosquito spray, to naturally derived scents that deter insects, as well as pesticides that work just as well, just without the toxic chemicals.
- Neem Oil – This is an oil from the neem tree that has a strong smell that deters pests from plants. Many gardeners dilute it with soapy water and spray it on the leaves of their plants. Not only does it work, you can also buy this oil purely organic. This oil gets rid of aphids, and many other soft-bodied insects that devour your plants.
- Don’t Bug Me Spray – this spray is derived from chrysanthemum flowers, and you can spray this around your window sills, doorways, or anywhere the insects may be getting in. This spray can also be utilized in your garden. This spray eliminates a wide variety of pests, including those cockroaches that seem to never leave your home alone.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil – yet another solution that you can purchase completely organic, this oil is great at repelling mosquitoes. Putting this essential oil into a jar with water, lime slices, rosemary sprigs, and a floating candle can be a great way to protect yourself from their bites, while also maintaining a pretty setting for weddings, picnics, and more.
- Orange Guard – this brand, based out of California, is dedicated to providing natural pest control that will not harm you or your pets. Their product will not harm the plants or the pollinators, and is EPA-registered, meaning it is safe for use around food. This solution works against cockroaches, ants, fleas, and more.
The options for non toxic pest control are endless. There are many plants, including rosemary, lemongrass, and chrysanthemums that, when planted, will naturally deter those pesky pests from your garden and home. Purchasing that other pesticide from the store may seem easier, but in the long run, your pet’s health is worth investing in, as you are their caretaker.
Due Diligence for Your Pets
There are many solutions to pest problems around the house and in your garden. It can be difficult to maintain an organic garden when your plants are being eaten before you can harvest, but finding organic and natural pest repellent is safer for you and your pets. Your pets are important to you, and because they are very likely to ingest things around them, it is better to be safe than sorry with these products. Most of the time, when things are toxic to our pets, they are also toxic to us, as we are mammals and are sensitive to these chemicals that are often used in pesticides. Furthermore, when using toxic pesticides, the symptoms of toxicity may not arrive for sometime after being exposed. If you are worried that your pet may have come in contact with pesticides, take your pet to the vet right away, and invest in healthier pet friendly pest control for both you and your furry friend.
If you’re interested in more information about keeping your pets safe and other natural products, you can find them here.