Updated December 21, 2021
We built a list of low-risk pesticides — We started our search at the National Pesticide Information Center and narrowed our list down to products identified as low-risk by the Washington Toxics Coalition (now Toxic-Free Future) and Our Water Our World.
Then we focused on the absolute safest products possible — We evaluated those low-risk products against the EPA’s conditions for Minimum Risk Pesticides to find the products with the least toxic active ingredients.
Pesticides are a bigger health concern than you think. In a world with GMOs and big agriculture, it’s really hard to avoid exposure. The chemicals are everywhere. And the residue is really hard to get rid of.
Certain lawn chemicals last on grass, plants, and outdoor surfaces for up to 48 hours after application. What’s even scarier is that those chemicals usually make it all over the inside of your house. Ever sprayed weed killer in your yard? It’s likely those chemicals are all over your kitchen floor.
When your dog goes out to poo in an area treated with pesticides, some of those chemicals hitch a ride into your house. It’s impossible to prevent residue from latching onto your dog’s feet, legs, and back. And if your doggo eats the grass or licks themselves — again, this is going to happen — those chemicals collect in the gut too, which is even worse.
The good news is that it usually takes years of exposure before chemical residue builds up enough to cause health problems. The bad news is that these chemicals aren’t going anywhere. Case in point: In 2019, the EPA refused to ban a pesticide linked to neurological damage in children because of its importance to U.S. agriculture. That’s why it’s so important to use low-risk pesticides whenever possible.
Here are just a few important findings to consider. It’s not a pretty picture.
It’s not enough that toxic pesticides are everywhere. But it’s even harder to know what’s safe and what’s not. Product labels and marketing can be pretty misleading, if not downright deceptive.
A great example of this is the presence of permethrin in sprays labeled ‘all-natural’ and ‘organic.’ First, permethrin is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring pesticide. All-natural? Meh. Secondly, the EPA classified it as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” if ingested.
Look, we get it. Sometimes the bugs are so bad that it takes professional-grade treatment. Just ask Andy Bowen, one of our co-founders.
“My son Beckett has a highly elevated histamine response. When he gets a few bites, it takes a round of steroids to deal with the swelling. We live in South Carolina. It’s humid. Our yard is essentially the origin of all mosquitos. Our options were never playing in the yard again, or hiring a mosquito company.”
Pesticide poisoning is a serious problem for both pets and people, but thankfully it can take years of exposure to before things get serious. The best thing you can do is to protect yourself, your pets, and your family is to use minimum-risk pesticides as much as possible.
👉 We recommend keeping off treated areas for at least three days after treatment.
Most product labels advise that you and your pets should keep off sprayed lawns or surfaces for six to 24 hours. Studies, on the other hand, say that chemical residue can be found on surfaces up to 48 hours after application — even if it rains.