To most pet owners, our furry friends are members of the family. They depend on us for food, shelter, and care, and in return, they give us unconditional love and endless face licks. While most pet owners would do anything to protect their pets, this can get tricky when receiving pest control treatment in the home.

Depending on the level of infestation and the specific chemicals being used, your pets could potentially be in danger if they are present in the home during a pest control treatment session.

Learn about the best ways to keep your pets safe during pest control, as well as a few natural options that are generally pet-friendly.

Is Pest Control Safe for Pets?

While exposing your pets to harsh pest control chemicals should be avoided as much as possible, pest control is typically only considered harmful if your pet ingests or inhales the solution. Many pet owners receive regular pest control treatment in their homes without putting their fur babies in harm’s way, and keeping them away from the area being treated is the best way to keep them safe.

find a safe location to move your pets to

Tips for Keeping Pets Safe During Pest Control

Keep Them Contained

Before your home is treated for pests, be sure to find a safe location to move your pets to. If only certain areas of your home are being treated, move your pets to a secure location on the opposite side of the house.

If you crate your pets, it can also be a good idea to cover their cage to prevent any toxins from seeping into their area. If your entire home is going to be treated, it may be a good idea to drop them off at a friend’s house or a local animal daycare until it is safe to bring them back into the house.

Alert the Exterminator

Prior to having your home treated for pests, be sure to alert your exterminator that you have pets. They will be able to let you know if the chemicals they are using will be harmful to your furry friends and what precautions you should take to keep them safe.

Wash All Soft Surfaces After Treatment

Once your home becomes safe to re-enter, wash all soft surfaces to remove any remaining pest control residue that may have clung on. Surfaces like couches, armchairs, blankets, pet beds, and any other items your pet may sit on should be properly washed to prevent them from contacting chemicals.

Monitor Your Pet’s Health Following Treatment

Following pest control treatment, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on your pet’s mood and behavior for a few days to ensure they are acting as they normally do. If you observe your pet getting sick or behaving differently, contact your veterinarian to have them checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially since our pets can’t tell us if they’re feeling unwell.

Pest Control Methods Safe for Pets

One way to help keep your pets safe is to use safe chemicals that are not toxic to pets. Some examples of safe treatments include:

Diatomaceous Earth

This powder-like substance is a commonly used form of pest control that can be sprinkled where pests are found in the home. You can use diatomaceous earth to treat bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and spiders in Maryland.

In fact, diatomaceous earth is so safe some people even feed trace amounts to their pets as a dewormer.

Neem Oil

Neem oil can be used for soft-bodied pests such as caterpillars, beetle larvae, leafhoppers, and spider mites and will not harm your pets. Neem oil is also effective for getting rid of subterranean termites.

Neem oil is also safe for bees, beetles, and caterpillars, which makes for great use in the garden.

Fly Paper

Fly paper features a sticky surface that prevents flying insects from escaping once they land on the surface. These papers are generally considered safe, though we recommend you purchase a non-chemical paper to get rid of flies.

Also, be sure to keep fly papers out of pets’ reach, as the paper may stick to their fur.

Pet-Safe Plants

Plants like lavender and lemon balm can effectively deter insects like mosquitoes from swarming around you and your loved ones. They are also safe for pets, so be sure to plant these near your home for pest protection.

There is a certain level of risk involved any time you expose your loved ones to harsh pest control chemicals, but there are ways to safely treat your home for pests without harming your family and pets.


How long after pest control services is it safe for pets?

The amount of time you keep your pets away from the treated area depends on the type of pest control you receive. For outdoor pesticide treatment, it can take around 48 hours to completely dry and become safe for your pets to roam around. However, indoor treatments can vary and can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to dry and become safe again, so speak to your pest control professional for a definite answer.

Is pest control toxic to humans?

The health effects of pest control chemicals depend on the type being used in your home. A good rule of thumb is to keep any store-bought bug sprays and pesticides locked in a secure cabinet to prevent your pets or children from accessing them. If your home is being treated by a pest control company, speak to your pest control specialist to find out any precautions you or your loved ones should take.

Are there any safe pesticides for pets?

While many pest control chemicals and pesticides can be toxic to pets, a few more natural remedies are generally considered safe. Diatomaceous earth is a commonly used powder that can be sprinkled anywhere pests are found in the home and will not harm your pets. Certain essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, may also be effective in warding off bugs without harming your furry friends.