Concerns for Pets When Treating Your Lawn or Home
Treating your lawn for weeds, or treating your home for pests can leave you with questions if you have pets. We are pet owners, too, so we understand your concerns. For many, pets are not only a companion, but a member of the family that is deeply loved. It makes sense to be concerned and ask questions if you plan to apply pesticides in or near areas that your pets frequent. Pesticides and fertilizers can be safely applied to lawns if you have a pet. The same is true for general pest treatments inside the home. Keep in mind some of the following:
- Any products our technicians apply have met the stringent safety standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. The products we use are labeled for use inside residences or on home lawns. We take this very seriously.
- Granular fertilizers are generally safe for application around pets. Lawn fertilizers contain natural elements such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. These fertilizers are basically a salt that break down in the soil as your lawn is watered or receives rainfall.
- Fertilizer granules are very small and fall into the thatch layer of the turf. Our technicians take the extra step of blowing any granules off hard surfaces back into the turf.
- When pesticides are applied to your lawn, you should take precautions. We encourage our customers to let us call them in advance of a treatment if they have outside pets. After a pesticide application, it is recommended to stay off the lawn for two hours. This allows the application time to dry.
- Pest treatments inside the home have evolved over the years. Common practice decades ago was to apply pesticides(sometimes with an awful odor) in every room of your home. Today, we apply pesticides inside the home only in areas where needed, and often these pesticides are not in the form that most would think. Insect baits in the form of a gel are often used inside buildings in concealed areas to control common pests such as ants and roaches. Sprays are applied only as needed inside a home.
- Professionals are trained to look for ways to be sure that pests are excluded from homes so that less pesticides are needed over time.
- Our technicians move pet toys, bedding and food bowls out of the treatment area prior to performing a spray application to minimize the chance of accidental exposure.
If You Decide to Treat Yourself*
- If you choose to apply pesticides yourself, be sure to follow the label. For professionals, the label is the law. That means the suggested rate of pesticide to mix on the label is what you mix. If a pesticide label calls for 1 ounce per gallon of water, that is what you apply. Mixing the same product at 2 ounces per gallon of water will not provide twice the results, and it is also very irresponsible and potentially dangerous to apply over the labeled rate.
- Some fertilizers sold at home improvements stores and garden centers contain herbicides or insecticides that may not be necessary for your lawn. Be sure you read the label and know what you are applying. For example, a weed and feed fertilizer usually requires watering prior to your pets entering your lawn again.
- Ironically, some of the organic fertilizers such as blood meal and bone meal can be toxic to animals. Some of these products are applied to gardens and flowering plants by homeowners because they are natural and do work well. Blood meal and bone meal in particular have a strong odor that is attractive to dogs. Be sure to keep any bags of these products out of reach from your pets.
- If you apply a liquid fertilizer to your lawn, follow the same precautions as applying pesticides. Stay off the lawn for two hours to allow the application time to dry.
- Never apply an insecticide for lawn or garden use inside your home. Only use insecticides labeled and intended for use inside your home.
Pesticides and fertilizers can be safely applied to lawns if you have pets, provided that you follow some simple precautions. The importance of safety is paramount to a professional applicator. Be sure that you hire licensed, trained professionals to treat your home or lawn. Should you ever have a concern about a treatment made to your lawn, always consult with the applicator.
*The recommendations for DIY treatments are not inclusive of all possible precautions. Always read and follow all label directions for pesticides and fertilizers.
Note: The above recommendations are made as a general rule for a wide range of our services. Always consult with your technician if you have a question or concern about a specific application.