October is National Pet Safety and Protection Month. It can sometimes feel like an uphill battle to keep your pets safe from potentially dangerous things they encounter in their daily lives. When working with a pest control company it can seem even more difficult to protect your family members from harmful chemicals. We put together this guide that includes some important questions to ask prior to working with your chosen pest control company. Knowing the answers to these questions prior to your service can help you keep a handle on your pet’s safety, and could come in handy at any time of year.
Pet Safety Questions to Ask Before Working with a Pest Control Company
1. Does my pet need to be out of the house for treatment?
Depending on what type of treatment is being performed, you may be asked to remove your dogs or cats from the home during treatment, or to keep them in a separate room. For some treatments, you will need to cover fish tanks or turn off the aerators for the duration of treatment. Some chemicals are more harmful than others to birds or aquatic life, so it’s always best to ask your servicing company if you need to make any preparations for your pets prior to treatment. Be sure to check with a technician to find out how long they should stay away from treated areas after the service is completed.
2. What kind of chemical will be used?
It’s always a good idea to ask what types of chemicals or pesticides will be used during your treatment. You should also request copies of the chemical labels so that you have them on hand in case of an emergency. In the rare case that your pet is displaying any unusual symptoms after a pest control treatment, you should contact the ASPCA Poison Control line and let them know what chemicals were used in the home. They will be able to tell you if the symptoms you are noticing could be related to pesticide exposure and what your next steps should be.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.
3. Where will the chemicals be applied?
Prior to any treatment,, find out where it will be applied and how long your pet should stay clear of that area. If you have dogs or outdoor cats, make sure to follow any safety guidelines given to you by your servicing company to prevent contact with any harmful chemicals. Once you know where the chemical will be applied, it’s best to remove any chew toys, food or water bowls, blankets or bedding from those areas to prevent them from exposure to the pesticide.
4. What information do you need from me to ensure the safest treatment for everyone?
It’s a good idea to let your pest control company know what types of pets you have in your home, and how many are there. Different precautions are needed for farm animals such as chickens or goats, than would be necessary for indoor animals likes cats or hamsters.
There are also different types of pesticides with different levels of toxicity, and a good pest control company will be able to design a treatment plan that will take into account any neccesary precautions to keep the pets in your home safe and sound.
5. Should I worry about secondary poisoning from rodenticides?
If you are having treatment for mice or rats, make sure to talk to your technician about placing bait stations that are not accessible to your pets. Secondary poisoning may occur if an animal catches and eats a smaller animal that has ingested poison. Mice are small-bodied creatures and generally will not have enough bait in their system to harm most household pets through secondary poisoning. The average household dog would have to consume a large number of poisoned rodent bodies to be impacted. Always contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about the health of your pet. Provide the label for the rodenticide in use if you contact your veterinarian.
Consider Natural Pest Control Options for Pet Safety
You can apply some basic preventative measures around your home that can minimize the need for chemical pest control methods. Preventative measures can work very well for many people. Still, sometimes pesticides are needed to bring pest activity to an accessible level before you can implement more natural control methods. Some simple things you can do include reducing access to food, water, and shelter through IPM and exclusion practices.
This can mean repairing any leaks around the home, trimming back vegetation on the outside of the house, sealing cracks and crevices around the foundation, storing household food in airtight containers, cleaning up spills promptly, and making sure that garbage bins have tight-fitting lids to prevent easy access for pests. Learn more about natural pest control methods by clicking here. The Richland team is always happy to explain our process, what chemicals are used and any potential risks to your pets. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out.