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National Pesticide Information Center

npic@ace.orst.edu

1.800.858.7378

Pesticide Use Around Pets

People often use pesticides in their homes or yards to control a variety of pests such as insects, weeds and rodents. Pet owners may also apply pesticide products directly to their pets to control ticks and/or fleas. Although these pesticides can be beneficial, they have the potential to hurt your pet if they are not stored and used properly.

Here are some tips to reduce risk when using pesticides around pets:

  • Remove pets from the area before you begin applying pesticides.
  • Remove all pet toys, chew bones, food bowls and bedding from the area as well.
  • Always read and follow the pesticide label directions before using any pesticide.
  • Keep pets away from treated areas until the pesticide is completely dry and the area has been well ventilated. The label may contain more specific instructions.
  • Cover fish tanks to prevent liquid and vapors from entering the tank. If you use foggers (bug bombs), always turn off fish tank pumps during the application.
  • Pesticide baits are often prepared with food ingredients that can be attractive to pets. If you use rat, mouse or gopher baits or baits for slugs and snails, place the baits in locations where your pet cannot reach them. Pets often dig up baits that were buried.
  • Pets can be poisoned by eating poisoned prey. This is known as secondary (or relay) poisoning. Consider selecting a bait product with lower potential for secondary poisoning. Call NPIC to compare products.
  • Granular lawn products may require keeping the pets off the treated area for 24 hours or longer while the granules dissolve and the treated area dries. Check the label for specific instructions.
  • If you hire a pest control company or lawn service, talk to them about the products they are using and the potential risk to your pets.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

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Last updated December 02, 2013