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Man spraying his lawn with a pet safe bug spray

The essentials

  • Insecticides kill bugs — Insecticides are a type of pesticide we use to treat our homes and yards. It’s important that we use pet-safe products.
  • People in certain regions should pay extra care to pest control — Make sure to know when and where mosquitos and other bugs are active in your zone.
  • Don’t use products containing DEET — Household and other high intensity products may be effective, but they may have toxic chemicals.
  • Insects are inevitable — But it’s still better to use natural products to ward them off than 100% effective repellent for your dog’s safety.

At a glance: The best pet-safe bug sprays

How we chose our favorites

Not only do insects cause destruction to our homes and gardens, but they bite us and our pups. Insecticides are a type of pesticide specifically designed to kill or ward off bugs. It’s important to protect our living spaces with pet-safe products.

🚨When we say pet-safe insecticides, we mean pet friendly products used to treat the home. Never spray these products directly on your pup. They are not bug repellents for a dog’s body.

Insects vary by season and region

Time of year and different regions call for different measures. Typically there are more pests in places with hot, humid, and damp climates.

🚨 Different regions of the US have different pests. 

Spring and fall are good times to spray

Garden insects multiply in any region when temperatures warm up. Pests and bugs flock inside as winter approaches. If your home is wooden, you may have more problems with these bugs looking to hibernate.

🚨Some bugs can live outside in the cold weather

While spring and fall are better for bug prevention, you can spray your home and garden with insect repellent at any time of year.

What to look for in pet-safe insecticide

There are some must-have ingredients to look for when choosing a pet friendly bug spray for your home. We recommend using minimum risk products as outlined by the EPA. They should all have the following ingredients:

  • Commonly consumed food commodities (this means they are food-grade)
  • Animal feed items
  • Edible fats and oils (essential oils like cinnamon oil, clove oil, and cedar oil)

What to avoid

There are several ingredients to avoid when shopping for a suitable insecticide:

  • Organophosphates (such as malathion and disulfoton)
  • Snail and slug baits containing metaldehyde
  • Pesticide/fertilizer combinations

🚨Never use a product like DEET around pets. Many ingredients used in typical household products are extremely toxic for dogs and are linked to cancer.

Our favorite insecticides

🧪  Active Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cinnamon Oil, Cedar Oil, Clove Oil.

🧪  Active Ingredients: Garlic Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Castor Oil, Cedar Oil.

🧪  Active Ingredients: Peppermint, tyme, rosemary, and clove oil.

🧪  Active Ingredients: Natural geranium and peppermint oils.

🧪  Active Ingredients: BTI, a bacteria toxic only to mosquito larvae.

How to spray your home

It’s important you know how to correctly spray your home and garden. The first thing to do is follow the “directions for use” on the bottle. Different products have different application methods.

👉 Natureshield is applied through an irrigation system. Apply Summit Mosquito Dunks to water throughout the garden. Other products come as a spray bottle.

Before applying products for home defense, cover utensils and countertops. Apply the product to areas where pests hide, like pantries, attics, cracks, and crevices.

In the garden, spray the grass, crevices on the patio, and other plant areas. Aphids tend to hang out on leaves while earwigs hide in mulch. Do not apply too much product on the areas of the garden where your dog hangs out.

Insecticide poisoning prevention

One of the biggest risks of using toxic ingredients is insecticide poisoning. Even safe-to-use products can be unhealthy for your pup when ingested, inhaled, or exposed to the skin in large doses.

⚠️ If you suspect that your dog ingested something toxic, notify Animal Poison Control immediately: (888) 426-4435

The rule of thumb is to keep your dog away from sprayed surfaces for at least three days. The following are some insecticide-poisoning prevention methods:

  1. Put your pup in a different area while you spray
  2. Remove any of your dog’s bowls or toys from the garden
  3. Don’t mix products
  4. Make sure your neighbor is using puppy safe products, too
  5. Wipe down your dog’s paws before they come inside
  6. Store products out of reach from your dog

Look out for these signs of insecticide poisoning:

  • Drooling
  • Gagging
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paranoia or agitation
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Breathing difficulty
  • High heart rate
  • High body temperature

What to do in the case of infestation

In cases of infestation you may want a professional pest-buster to come and spray your home. When looking for an exterminator, read reviews and look for one that uses pet-safe products.

What to do if you already used an unsafe product

It’s not too late. There are some cleaning methods you can use if you’ve applied a potentially toxic product around your home. Vinegar and water can clean the affected areas, but be careful with DIY. Professional exterminators are the best people to consult for chemical reversal.

Healthy home, garden, and pup

Some insects are inevitable. If you notice bug bites on your dog, there are a variety of products you can use. In more severe cases of bites, pet owners should contact their vet.The best way to prevent your dog from getting bit is to treat your living space with pet-safe spray.

Using natural ingredients and non-toxic insecticides for your home benefits you, your plants, and your pup. In fact, toxic products and harsh chemicals can be even more harmful to your pup than most bugs.