Is there such thing as “Pet-Safe” Pest control?
Pest control is a broad term that can refer to anything done to control a pest. If a shoe is used to smash a spider to smithereens, that is effectively pest control and would be considered entirely “pet-safe.” As science progresses, the options available outside of chemical control are constantly growing. The pet-safety consideration of many of these adjustments to environment will depend largely on the means chosen to enact it. For example, a barrier being created at the edge of a property is much more safe for a pet if a post-hole digger is used than if heavy machinery is used.
Typically when examining the safety considerations of pest control, the intended focus is regarding chemical usage. If a pest control provider is following the label directions of the products being used, there is little threat to people or pets. Generally speaking, pest control products for household insects are applied at low concentrations. These concentrations are effective for the treatment of smaller insects but not for pets.
It is recommended that pets are kept off of the treated areas until the products dry. Dry times vary but are typically around 30 – 60 minutes. For aquatic pets, homeowners would be wise to cover tanks and bowls of these animals to avoid airborne products.
When treating for rodents, baits pose a greater threat to animals and should be encased in a protective bait station to ensure no tampering from pets. If your pet happens to ingest rodent baits or you suspect your animal has eaten a rodent that has died from rodent baits, it would be suggested to seek the advice of a veterinarian.
For more information on specific products and treatments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a website which can be found at: www.epa.gov/pesticides
A pest control professional might be your best source for asking questions regarding the use of pest control products around your pets. Even store-bought products that are used incorrectly have the capability of harming pets and people.
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What should I consider as I am choosing a pest control company?
There are 3 primary factors when choosing a pest control provider:
- Scope of Service
- Company Reputation
- Friendliness & Knowledge of Employees
Let’s tackle scope of service first. It’s important to note that not all pest control companies are created equally. Think about restaurants…sure they all serve food, but that doesn’t mean the quality and/or variety of foods being offered are the same.
Pest control companies can offer a lot of services on their menu. For example: general pest control (ants, spiders, wasps, etc.), termites, wildlife, bed bug, tree and shrub, commercial services, and many more options. Each service typically requires state licensing to treat for certain pests. That’s an important question to ask as you are seeking the right pest control company for your specific needs because being licensed to treat for a pest is much different than being willing to treat for a pest.
Second is company reputation. The internet is a great tool to use to research a pest control company you are considering to hire. The first place to start is the company’s website. Does it look professional? Does it service the pests you are most concerned about? These are just a couple of items to look for while perusing the website. You will also want to scan the internet to look for customer reviews of the company. It’s worth noting that there are no such things as 5-star service companies. It’s impossible to please everybody all the time. However, you should observe the companies that are getting above average reviews on a consistent basis. You will also want to see if a company representative has responded to any negative reviews.
Last but not least is the friendliness of employees. When you hire a company that will be treating around your home and possibly coming inside, you will certainly want to feel as though your service technician is friendly and cares about you as a customer. Is the company representative in a good mood? Does he/she communicate what will be done to service your home? Does he/she ask you questions about your pest situation? An employee who enjoys their job is typically working for a company that treats its people well.
Sure there are several other factors that could be considered when hiring a pest control company, but these 3 are a great start as you begin the process. Good luck!
A lot of us have pets and the last thing we want is to put them in danger when we try and get rid of pest issues, so in today’s post we are going through some pet-safe pest control and what to look for before you hire a pest control service.
Pet Safe Pest Control: What You Need To Know
Pet safe pest control flea treatments
One form of flea prevention has really stood the test of time, and those are flea collars for your pets. They work by emitting drugs that kill off fleas around the neck and head area, work with your pets natural hair follicles, and the drugs then slowly work their way down your pets body. This causes the fleas to become trapped on the end of your pets tail, where they either fall off or quickly die out.
Another option that’s safe for ridding your pets of fleas that a professional pest control company can use is called an insect growth regulator. This is a device that interferes with insects growth processes. Normally when insects grow they go through multiple molting stages. Theses IGR devices prevent the insects from completing their molting process and keeps insects in their earlier stages.
This effect from the IGR means that they cannot reproduce, therefore slowly killing off the infestations without causing any harm to your pets.
Another factor for pet safe pest control is where the pest control company puts their products
If a pest control company simply puts products all over and doesn’t take time to specifically target pests, this could be harmful to your pets. For example, when a pest control service directly targets cracks and crevices where pests like to hang out, there is little to no chance of your pets getting into tiny cracks in your walls and accessing the pest control products.
Some botanical products can also be applied to highly frequented areas, but they just need some time to dry out before they are safe for your pets. One such ingredient and insecticide that comes from flowers and is called pyrethrins. This form of pest control has a relatively low toxicity level to humans and pets and is also biodegradable.
This form of insecticide has actually been used for thousands of years. During wars soldiers used to use this compound from crushed flowers to keep fleas and lice away.
Similar to where you place pest control products using pest baits is another option for pet safe pest control
When you use specifically targeted baits there shouldn’t be any need to worry about your pets getting to them. For example, let’s say you had a rodent problem. In this instance you might put baited traps under your refrigerator, under your stove, behind a dresser, on a shelf, etc.
When a pest control company specifically places out of reach and in areas only pests can get to, it is another way to keep your pets safe.
Another option for pet safe pest control is simply changing part of the environment in your home. There are many cases where a slight change in environment will make your home unsuitable for pests but will remain just fine for you and your pets. It may be something as simple as humidity levels, a few degrees change in temperature, change in storage habits, or loads of other simple changes identifiable by a pest expert.
Other pest control options don’t use chemicals or pesticides at all to remove pests to keep you and your pets safe
At Rove Pest Control for example, we use an advanced treatment for bed bugs called heat treatment. Instead of using harmful chemicals and pesticides this method simply used excess heat to kill off bed bugs.
In addition to being safe for your pets and your family, there are some added bonus features to using this method. Bed bugs are extremely hardy creatures, and they have been steadily building up resistance to pesticides and insecticides typically used on them.
This means that some pest control companies that use the chemical options are putting you and your pets at risk and might not even be effectively treating your bed bug issue. This can also lead to ruining furniture, clothing, and other things in your home from dousing them in chemical treatments.
The heat treatment simply raises the temperature to levels that bed bugs cannot survive. Of course you wouldn’t want to leave your pets locked in the room where this treatment is going on, but they could certainly hang out in another section of the house not being treated. Your rooms will be safe to enter again after only a few hours after the treatment without any lingering negative effects.
A great pest control service to choose for pet safe pest control should be able to do some of these methods or all of them. If you are concerned about pet safe pest control, be sure to determine if the pest control company has options like these before you hire them.