Summer will be here before we know it. All sorts of pests will be coming out of the woodwork and trying to get into the house. Yes, we want the pests gone, but not at the expense of our pets. What are the best products for pet safe pest control?
Keeping Pests Out of the House
The surest method of pet safe pest control is keeping them out of the house, period. Mice, ants and roaches get inside to look for food.
Store all food in airtight containers. Clean up crumbs and vacuum frequently. Ensure garbage cans are tightly covered. Eliminate clutter from the garage.
Seal access points such as holes in screens. Caulk cracks in walls and fill any holes larger than 1/4 inch with cement, steel wool or metal.
Natural Solutions To Fight Common Household Pests
To effectively combat pests, learn their habits, life cycle, likes and dislikes to determine the best way to get rid of them. Here are some natural solutions to prevent and/or get rid of common household pests:
In summer, ants are one of the worst pests to invade our homes. They hate the harsh smell of white vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and pour into spray bottle. Spray mixture around baseboards and other entry points. Let dry for an hour, then wipe up ants with a damp paper towel and dispose of them. Spray areas once a day until ants are gone.
Clean floors, counters and windowsills with the vinegar mixture to act as a deterrent.
Some areas have serious problems with cockroaches in summer. One natural preventative is bay leaves. Roaches hate the smell of them. Crush the bay leaves into powder, then sprinkle the powder where roaches are entering the house, or where they may have built nests.
They hate the smell of peppermint, so soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil, then placing the cotton balls in cupboards or other entry points works as a deterrent. Peppermint oil can cause digestive problems and possibly liver damage to cats if ingested. With this in mind, use the peppermint oil only in places your cat will not be tempted to ingest it.
Research Pesticides Before Using
Before using any pesticide product, read the directions thoroughly to minimize risks to pets. Even though product labels may state it’s natural, if you have any questions, check with your vet before using the product. Remove all pet food and water bowls, toys and bedding before applying pesticides.
For products used inside, ensure it’s completely dry before allowing your pet into that area. Keep the treated area well ventilated while product is drying. When using outdoor pesticides, avoid the treated area for 24 hours until it dries completely.
Pesticides like boric acid kill a variety of household pests like ants and cockroaches, but are toxic to pets and people if ingested. Apply to cracks and crevices that pets can’t access.
Signs of Poisoning
One of the biggest poisoning dangers to cats is their exposure to flea and tick preventative intended for dogs. These products contain an insecticide that is very dangerous for cats.
Common signs of pest control poisoning include drooling, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. Even if you haven’t treated your home with insecticides, secondary poisoning (pet ingests pest that has been exposed to poison) is possible weeks later.
If your cat has these symptoms and you think he’s ingested insecticide, take him to your vet or emergency clinic immediately. Keep any packaging and take it with you when seeking treatment for your cat.
If you would like more information regarding pet safe pest control, here are some available resources:
- National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
- Beyond Pesticides
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435
Source: Catnip Newsletter (tuftscatnip.com)