If you have a problem with pests in your home then it may be necessary to call in the experts, in the shape of professional pest exterminators. If you do this you may be concerned about the effect of any pesticides on the health and well-being of your pets.
The most important thing to note is that licensed professionals know how to handle the pesticides they use so that they are lethal to the pests that require extermination, but do not present any risk to you or your pets. They will also advise you on any precautions you need to take to make sure your pets are safe when hiring a pest exterminator.
What should you do with pets when your home is being treated?
Advice on what should happen to your pets when you have pest exterminators in your home varies. Many exterminators suggest that it is safe to keep pets in your home as long as they are confined to an area away from where the treatment with pesticides is taking place. This prevents them from coming into contact with exposed surfaces which have been treated, and should therefore not be touched by humans or animals until they are completely dry; usually two to three hours after treatment.
Other advice suggests that it’s a good idea to remove all people and animals from your home for a couple of hours after the premises has been treated. The National Pesticide Information Center advises that pets should either be evacuated from the premises, or kept away from the treated area. Advice given often depends on the type of treatment that has taken place so it’s always best to have a discussion with the pest control team to make sure that you get clear and precise instructions.
It’s also important to remember that there some pets, such as fish, that you can’t really remove from your home. It’s just not practical to move a large aquarium every time you get your home treated. In this case you need to make sure your pets are as safe as possible in situ. There are also special rules which can apply to small animals such as bird, lizards and rodents.
How should you take care of your fish?
You mostly don’t have much of an option but to leave fish in your home while pest control work is taking place. That doesn’t mean you should just leave them as they are. You need to protect fish tanks from possible exposure to particles of the pesticides used in the pest control process. Fish tanks should be covered, preferably by a couple of layers.
You also need to make sure that the pump is covered, although the problem with this is that the pump can overheat. If possible it’s a good idea to have the pump switched off during the pest extermination process.
Why is the situation different for pets such as birds?
Birds have a very different respiratory system to mammals. The make-up of their respiratory system means that they breathe in toxins present in the air a lot more easily than you, your cat or your dog. It’s often recommended that you remove birds from your home for twenty four hours after you have had pest control work carried out.
This can also apply to other smaller pets, such as rodents and lizards. Again it’s a good idea to check with the company that is carrying out the work. If they are licensed professionals they should be able to answer your questions. If you have any doubts left in your mind then you should check with your veterinary just to put your mind at rest.
You certainly shouldn’t put off pest control just because of concern for your pets; no-one, including them, benefits from living in a pest ridden home.