Pesticides And Pets

Extra caution should be exercised when handling toxic pesticides around pets. Take extra steps to minimize poisonings and ensure pet safety.

The responsibility over pesticide safety doesn't end by carefully following the safety regulations printed on the package. Extra caution must be exercised to protect those who may accidentally come into contact with the chemicals""your pets.

Pesticides can be absorbed into your pet's bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. Even if the chemicals have dried, toxic amounts of pesticides can be absorbed by your pet if he eats or chews the treated plants. Typical symptoms of pesticide poisoning are lethargy, increased salivation, muscle tremors and convulsions. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with pesticides, call your veterinarian immediately. Have the pesticide packaging readily available so your pet can be accurately treated.

The best way to protect pets is to use as much caution as possible. When using pesticides, remove all pets, bedding, and chew toys from the areas being treated and keep the area clear until the pesticides have dried. If using pesticides indoors, keep the area well-ventilated. Always make sure to read the product instructions carefully for specific safety instructions. Some chemicals require that the area remain clear for a certain amount of time before human or pet contact. Don't forget about small pets, such as birds, fish, or rodents, who can be equally affected.

After application, store the products in a secure location in the original containers. Never repackage pesticides.

Exercising good judgment doesn't guarantee pesticide safety. When possible, use non-chemical options to control pests.

Encourage the habitation of predatory animals and insects that eat household pests. Bats, ladybugs, spiders, and purple martin birds are a few of the species that will aid in pest control. If these species aren't common in your garden, predatory insects can be bought and released into the problem areas.

Try non-toxic pesticides, such as hot pepper wax and neem. Bought commercially, hot pepper wax kills insects and even repels squirrels and rabbits. Ready to use sprays with a lower concentration can also be bought. It doesn't kill insects, but deters them from the treated area. Hot pepper wax needs to be reapplied every three weeks.

Neem is made from the seeds of the tropical neem tree, Azadirachta indica. Rather than killing insects, neem interferes with their ability to mature and lay eggs. Neem oil is effective in protecting against many leaf diseases, such as powdery mildew and rust disease. Neem needs to be reapplied weekly.

Keeping weed growth to a minimum with discourage the habitation of pests in your yard or garden. Keep soil fertile, mow often and pull out weeds by the roots as they arise. By staying on top of lawn maintenance, you will be discouraging unfriendly insects from taking over your lawn and garden.

It is important to remember that even some botanical pesticides can be harmful to humans and pets. Read the labels carefully and look for options that are the least toxic. If non-chemical alternatives aren't cutting it, take excessive safety precautions to protect your pets:

1. Keep important phone numbers, including your local poison control center and your veterinarian, by the telephone in case of an emergency.

2. Read all labels and follow the directions carefully.

3. Keep products in their original containers. By repackaging pesticides, you are risking that someone will mishandle or ingest the pesticides unknowingly.

4. Store pesticides away from pets, preferably in a locked storage area.

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