Which Bug Sprays are Safe for Pets?

2019-11-04

When buying a pest repellant, it’s safe to assume it’s can be used in the home or on human skin without causing any irritation. However, humans and animals can have significantly different reactions to the same chemicals. Bug sprays that contain DEET are especially harmful to animals. DEET is a chemical commonly found in popular pest repellants and, while effective for repelling bugs from human skin, this chemical can cause painful symptoms in dogs and cats.

When a pet ingests toxic bug sprays with DEET, their eyesight, respiratory system, and balance can all be impacted. If they’re exposed to higher amounts of these toxins, they could even be at risk for tremors, seizures, and ataxia. Before assuming a pest repellant is okay to use on your dog, or even near them, make sure you check the ingredients for a high concentration of DEET.

Types of Pest Friendly Bug Sprays

For Your Skin

Spray-on pest repellants make it easy to protect kids from mosquitoes when they go outside to play. However, the spray from these repellants can easily come in contact with a nearby pet, effectively causing inflammation of the eyes and airways. To keep your kids protected while they’re outdoors and your pets irritation-free, consider using Herbal Armor from the All Terrain Company. Herbal Armor is specifically designed to be non-toxic for both humans and animals while fighting against biting pests. Other alternatives include lavender, catnip, and basil, which are organic pest repellants that are perfect to keep around popular areas of the home, like the kitchen, living room, and patio.

For Your Home

Bug spray for your body isn’t the only important type of pest repellant to invest in. Pest repellant for your home can help prevent cockroaches from contaminating your food and mice from destroying your furniture. When used properly, peppermint oil is an effective deterrent against most types of in-home pests, because the smell of the peppermint oil irritates pests’ senses and drives them away from targeted areas. To use properly, mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water and vegetable glycerin and spray around your home, primarily targeting corners, cracks in the wall, and cluttered areas. Cat owners should note that not all cats respond positively to essential oils. Test out a few areas in your home with a light spray of the peppermint oil mixture and see how your cat reacts. While some may not be irritated at all by the oil, it’s better to save this spray for areas like the windowsills and exterior doors.

For Your Yard

If your dog spends most of its time outdoors, a pet-safe bug repellant can help keep your lawn and flower beds free from damaging pests. If you’re an avid gardener, committing to a natural pest repellant can also protect your harvest from bugs looking to snack, like slugs, beetles, and aphids. Make sure you keep your lawn cut short and eliminate any areas with pools of standing water. Then, spray your lawn with a DIY mixture made from garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, and water. It won’t smell great, but it will deter pesky insects from settling into your flower beds and garden. Neem oil is another organic alternative for outdoor pest control. Because it disrupts the natural lifecycle of garden insects, neem oil both repels bugs and prevents them from reproducing. This organic insecticide is pet-safe and repels bugs like aphids, whiteflies, scales, and spider mites.

For Your Pets

For a non-toxic repellant to rub into your pet’s fur, K-9 Advantix can protect against fleas and ticks, although this product should not be used around cats. During the summer, bug sprays like Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent is a safe option to prevent mosquitoes from attacking your pet during their morning nap. Badger Anti-Bug Repellent Shake & Spray uses citronella, rosemary, and wintergreen to keep insects away from your kids and pets. For homeowners living in deeply wooded areas, repellants like Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray and Wondercide Lemongrass Natural Flea & Tick Spray combine a number of essential oils and natural ingredients to deter ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes from biting your furry animals.

While natural products tend to be safer for your furry friends, it’s not always a guarantee that they’re 100% non-toxic. If you have any questions about a potential organic pest control solution, it’s always best to consult your pet’s veterinarian to learn what bug sprays are best to use around the yard and in the home.

Using these organic, non-toxic pest repellants can keep your dogs and cats safe throughout the year, but the best way to protect against unwanted pests is with a pest control treatment from Aptive Environmental. Our Four Seasons Protection Program ensures that no matter the time of year, your pets, family, and home will be protected from pesky bugs. To learn more, contact your local Aptive Environmental branch today.