Many of us have pets in our homes – whether it be dogs, cats, gerbils, fish, or all of the above. When we discover a pest problem such as ants, roaches, or even squirrels, it’s important to first consider the implications of pest treatment for our beloved pets. Before you run out to a local hardware store for pest control products – keep your pet(s) in mind and learn what would be safe to use around them. If the pest problem is small, then there are safe ways to take care of the issue yourself. For those nasty pest problems though, consult your local pest control company since they have trained technicians to take care of the problem safely.

If you decided to call your local pest control based on your specific pest issue, make sure that you let them know exactly what type and how many pet(s) you have. A small dachshund could easily crawl its’ way through a hole made by a squirrel, but a rottweiler won’t have the same such luck. So based on your information, your technician will be able to advise you on what to do with your pet during the treatment, and possibly provide alternative treatments that are pet-friendly.

Cleggs’s article about pet-friendly solutions explained, “In some cases, exterminators can apply pest control substances that are not toxic, or at least not toxic to any species but the pests they target. In other cases, pest removal pros may be able to use preventive techniques, such as sealing holes, cleaning gutters or drying damp areas to reduce the risk of future infestations, and therefore limit the need for pest control chemicals to be applied.”

When a treatment plan has been decided on, ask your technician what you should do with your pet(s) when treatment is being done, and then for aftercare. Typically, hamsters, gerbils, fish, or other small pets that live in smaller containers can simply be moved to a different room, thus being closed off from the treated area. For dogs and cats, it can depend on the type of treatment. Sometimes, they can simply be closed off from the area during treatment and whenever the product has dried, other times it’s safer to place your pet at a friend’s house.

If you have a small pest problem that you want to take care of yourself, you can search for pet-friendly pest control products. Researching online and checking different products can show brands that are child, environmental, and pet-safe, such as this pesticide product. Whatever product you chose, ensure you read the instructions and warnings clearly to ensure you’re using the product correctly.

If you notice a lot of mosquitoes when you go outside and receive those itchy bites, then they’re probably irritating your pet as well. Since we protect ourselves against mosquitoes, we should also protect our pets. PetMD wrote an article on pest repellent mistakes to avoid, one of which noted, “Don’t treat your pet with human pest repellent.” Though mosquito repellent seems safe for your pets because it’s safe on humans – it can be the harmful if it includes the ingredient, “DEET.” This ingredient can cause neurological damage and potentially poison your pet if sprayed on them. Citronella candles are another substance to be weary of if you have household pets. Though it’s used to deter mosquitoes, this can cause respiratory and irritation if your pet breathes in the fumes from the candle. If citronella is wiped on their skin, if can cause similar side effects. To be safe, pet websites such as Petco offer products that not only repel fleas and ticks, but also mosquitoes.

If pests haven’t managed to get inside your house, you can still take precautions to keep them outside. According to RaidKillsBugs, you check prime hiding places that pests love to come in through and hide in. In your kitchen, check behind appliances and underneath the sink for trouble areas. Check your baseboards for any cracks or crevices, since this could be an easy entrance for outside ants or roaches. If your furniture is against the wall, check behind it often, and then underneath furniture such as sofas. If you have child-proofed your cabinets and have a pantry to store food, these dark, cool places are pest favorites as well. (For an extra tip, making sure any pet or human food is sealed, since pests enjoy sharing any of your open food!)

Lastly, you can consult the National Pesticide information center’s website if you have additional concerns for your pets. Included on their website are tips to keep your pets safe before, during, and after pest treatment. For instance, before treatment is started, make sure you pick up and store any dog/cat toys, beds, and bowls. These items need to be kept away from the treatment area(s), since they could accidentally be coated in the treatment product. For fish, make sure their tanks are covered to prevent any liquid or vapors getting into the tank. If a fogger is being used, turn off the fish tank pump during use.

Taking these precautions is top priority to ensure your beloved pets are kept happy and healthy. If you have a pest problem, you or your local pest control company will be able to take care of it quickly and pet-friendly!

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