The coming of spring is an optimal time to hire pest control professionals to come and treat your home. This is because as temperatures warm up, many pests such as spiders, rats, ants, termites, mosquitoes, and other unfriendly species come out of their winter hibernation to wreak havoc into our homes. And at a time when our homes need to be our haven from the outside world, we need to give our houses some tender loving care to ensure that no pests take over.
However, if you have some beloved pets and want to ensure that everything is safe for them when you get rid of pests, here are some safety precautions you can take.
Consult with your exterminator.
The first thing you need to do is to consult with your exterminator. Reputable and reliable pest control companies are trained to ask homeowners if they have pets, so even if you forget, they will be sure to remind you. At the same time, you also need to initiate the conversation about your furry friends—if they have certain medical conditions and if they tend to be scared of new people, or anything else that your exterminator may need to know.
At the same time, whatever concerns or anxieties you may have about the products and tools that they use—if they’re pet friendly, for example—your exterminator will be able to answer. Fortunately, companies take into consideration pet safety when they formulate products and tools to exterminate the pests in your home, but asking your questions to them directly will also give you the answers you need to put your mind at ease during and after the treatment.
Consider leaving the house with your pets.
If you’re still concerned about your pets’ safety even after speaking to your exterminator, then consider leaving your home during and a few days after the extermination. If there is another house you can stay in for a few days, and if there are other people there, make sure both sides were able to quarantine for at least 14 days to ensure that none of you have COVID-19 before you stay with them.
But if a few days seem a bit extreme, even a few hours will be enough. Just don’t go in with your pets as soon as the extermination is done—this is because curious pets tend to sniff and walk over any area that seems and smells different, and they might come into contact with the pesticide while it’s still wet on the surface. Give it at least 3 hours before you come home; in the meantime, take your pet for a walk in the park or a picnic.
Research the ingredients and products.
If you’re doing the exterminating yourself, make sure to read every label, every list of ingredients, and other details about the products you’re going to use. Bug sprays usually have pet-safe labels on the containers, so make sure to choose those when looking for products at the supermarket. Many products also contain instructions on how to use them with children and pets around, so make sure to go over those details before spraying it in your home. Go to their website, call their service hotlines, or email them about any question you may have.
You need to avoid products that have DEET, which is a common ingredient used in bug repellents. This is because according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this ingredient is harmful to cats and dogs in particular, and it may cause seizures, tremors, and even death.
Ventilate your home properly.
When you get home, or after you have sprayed some pest control into your home, make sure to prioritize good airflow by opening a window or turning on your ventilation system. It will dry out the pesticide immediately, and it will also help to purify your home. Some pest control professionals would also encourage you to remove your pet’s food and water bowl, toys, and bedding before they start.
Tips for fish and bird pets
If however, your pets are on the feathery or scaly side, they also need a level of protection. Cover your fish tank or birdcage with a sheet or towel to block airborne particles or spray vapors of the repellent. If you own more exotic pets like iguanas and others, make sure to consult with your veterinarian to know how to best protect them during the extermination.
It’s our job as pet owners to care for our pets as part of our family. If you’re having exterminators over to treat pest infestation in your home, do everything in your power to safeguard your pets during this time.