Entomology and Pest Management

 Keep Pets Safe Around Pesticides

Last Updated: October 03, 2022

Pesticides that kill or repel ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are essential for the health of the whole family. Pets can be sensitive to certain pesticides (e.g., cats with permethrin, and fish with pyrethroids, etc.). Even a small amount may harm them. Be sure to follow these tips when using pesticides around pets.  ​​

​How are pets exposed to pesticides?

- Dogs and cats are often exposed by flea, tick, and mosquito repellents that are directly applied or ingested.

- Pets can be exposed by licking their paws after walking on surfaces treated with pesticides. 

- Most poisons used to control rodents are toxic to pets. Pets can be poisoned by ingesting rodent bait and sometimes by consuming a poisoned rodent.

- Pets can also get into and possibly chew on or swallow improperly stored pesticide products.

How should I use pesticides on pets?

- Talk with your veterinarian first about flea, tick, and mosquito repellents available for your pet. They will be up-to-date on best practices and product recalls.

- Always read all directions on the product label before use; the label is the law.

- Use products labeled for your animal species according to their size and weight. 

- Know the signs of toxicity, (e.g., excessive salivation, drooling, tremors, uncoordinated walking, vomiting and/or diarrhea). Cats may exhibit toxicity to products, even when applied properly. 

- Be aware of breed-specific sensitivities to some treatments. 

- Always wash your hands after administering these products to your pet.

How can I safely use pesticides around the home?

- Read the label for full instructions and pay close attention to any precautionary statements about usage in areas where pets frequent. Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure about the product.

- Remove all pet toys, food, and water dishes before treatment. 

- Do not allow people or pets in treated areas until the treatment has dried.  

- Avoid use in windy locations; areas such as indoor aquariums and outdoor ponds may be affected by pesticide drift, even if they are not in the immediate spray area. 

- Place enclosed ant and cockroach bait stations out of reach of pets. 

- Consider using nontoxic snap traps for controlling rodents. 

- Store unused pesticide products out of reach of pets, in a cool, dry, locked cabinet.

What should I do if I think my pet has been poisoned?

- Have the product label nearby or take a picture of the container for reference, especially if you know what the pet came in contact with.

- Call your veterinarian or local poison control center (888) 426-4435 immediately and follow their instructions.

- Be sure to act quickly, early diagnosis and veterinary intervention may save your pet's life! 


https://www.epa.gov/pets​  External Link