Got a pest problem at home or in the yard? The major caveat of using any kind of pest control around our furry friends is of course the possibility that they may be harmed by any toxins that may be present in the treatments we use. So, it goes without saying that if you’re having any kind of bug problem in your home or in your yard, it’s imperative that you use a treatment that is 100% safe for your dog. Some treatments that are “organic”, still may contain toxins that are risky to use around a pet. Let’s go over some of the options that are available to pet owners, so that if you ever have to face off with a nasty pest situation at home or in your garden you have the proper knowledge to mitigate the problem, while keeping everyone safe.

Pest Control That Is Save For Your Dog

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)

Diatomaceous Earth or “D.E.” is a fossilized compound that looks much like the flour in your kitchen and has a powdery consistency. This compound is actually the sedimentary reduction of a fossilized aquatic plant. D.E. does not kill insects chemically, but rather physically by piercing through the exoskeletons of anthropods and inducing hydration. To the human eye, it just looks like a fine powder, but under a microscope this crushed particles have razor sharp edges to insects. These sharp edges pierce the bodies of the insects and eventually cause death a short while later (up to a week or so). The great thing about D.E. is that insects can never develop a resistance to it since there is no chemical affect, only physical.

Be sure to get the FOOD GRADE D.E. when shopping, as that is the one that is recommended for use at home around children and pets. It can use used for cockroaches, bed bugs, ticks, fleas and generally any pest that has a hard outer body.

Herbs

Some herbs work well in repelling pests as well. Herbs will not necessarily kill pests, but rather repel them away. Keep this in mind if you already have a pest problem as it may make them scatter instead of providing any real benefit. Herbs work great when you’re traveling as well. A simple herb pouch can be kept in a purse or suitcase to prevent the transport of bed bugs or any pests that like to hitchhike.

Some helpful herbs are peppermint & lavender. In dry form you can keep these in areas around your home or in use when traveling. It should be noted that while these are generally safe, use with caution around your dog in case they are sensitive to the herbs.

Homemade Concoctions

There are endless concoctions that can be found online for various pest situations. Some may work better than others. One concoction that can be helpful for soft bodied pests is a mixture of canola oil with a mild dish soap. This can be used as a spray or thrown down for residual effect.

Got fruit flies? Try leaving out a wine glass with a small amount of wine in it over night. In the morning you’ll surely see that a bunch of them decided to get drunk and then accidentally drown afterwards.

Sealing

It goes without saying, but if you have bugs in your home how do you think they got there? You’d be surprised how many people are so focused on getting rid of the pests, that they don’t even stop to consider how they’re getting in in the first place. Sealing is an important part of consistent pest prevention and understanding how pests are entering your home will help you prevent getting them in the first place, which is a headache you won’t need to have.

Sealing to-do list:

  • Caulking/sealing baseboards
  • Sealing any entry points around windows & doors
  • Adding weather stripping where needed
  • Removing clutter buildup
  • Using steel wool in holes that can’t be filled (great to block mice)
  • Eliminating any standing water

Ask yourself “If I were a bug, how would I get into my home?”. Do your due diligence and it will surely save you tons of time and money down the line.

Biological Control in the Garden

If you have a garden, then ladybugs are immensely helpful in controlling any ‘bad bugs’ that might be attacking your plants and causing damage to your garden as a whole. Green lacewings are also helpful in providing biological control in the yard and garden. These powerful bug allies will help control aphids, mites and scales. In addition to having the ‘right’ kind of bugs to control the wrong kind of bugs, it’s also important to keep your grass mowed as tall grass encourages breeding grounds for all sorts of pests that you may not want near your garden and your pet.

Do Your Homework

This is just scratching the surface of the kinds of treatments you can use around your best friend in the home, but hopefully will shed some light on what can work if you get stuck into a sticky pest situation at home or in your garden. Start with safe treatments first and if you still haven’t been able to rectify the problem then consider chemical options with low toxic amounts. Of course be sure to read all labels and consider taking your pet elsewhere if you need to use any chemicals. Doing your homework will surely keep you from having to deal with pest situations in the future and keep your loving dog safe and happy, while removing any unwanted guests.

Mike Bonds is the green technology advisor for an NYC based pest control company that focuses on eco-friendly treatments. He is a big dog lover and especially loves huskies.

Filed under: All About Dogs

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