Safe pest control for dog owners

lma84May 20, 2013


I was hoping to find a pest solution for my fruit trees, roses and vegetable garden in zone 7B. I have 3 dogs and worry about them ingesting parts of these plants, so I need something that is completely safe for them. Recommendations are appreciated!

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What to use depends on what you have, but there is nothing that will kill an insect that is completley safe for your dogs or you. There are products that have a relatively low toxicity, however.
Plain water sprays are effective against some insect pests.
Insecticidal Soaps are effective for some insect pests, but can be harmful to beneficial insects.
Neem Oil products can be effective against some insect pests, but is also harmful to some beneficial insects.
The Bacillus thuringiensis products are somewhat insect pest specific and are of very low toxicty to mammals, but also have very limited application.
Spinosad is another bacterium that is effective against some insect pests but has been shown to have adverse affects on some beneficials.
Pyrethrum products are pretty broad spectrum poisons that have adverse affects on many beneficials but are of low toxicity to mammals.
Sabadilla. Rotenone and some other once acceptable organic pest controls are no longer acceptable because they do great harm to a large number of non target insects, reptiles, mammals, etc.
There is no one product that will solve all insect pest problems that is safe for people and pets.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:45AM
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I have many birds and lovely wild animals as well as lizards in my yard...but I want to kill ants, fleas,etc and bought Sevin dust to spread out. However, I am worried it will hurt those things I want more than get rid of huge ants, etc. I am worried that my lizards might die from eating dead ants. Can you tell me about using Sevin...Boric acid?
Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Carbaryl, Sevin, is a very broad spectrum poison that is known to kill almost every insect there is as well as many of the higher order predators, ie, lizards, of those insects.
Ants, outside, are more beneficial then they are pests and do not need to be, and should not be, controlled.
If you do have fleas in your yard there are some nematodes that can be spread out there that can help control them and often Neem Oil products are recommended if necessary. However, even Neem Oil products must be used with due care since they are also broad spectrum poisons.
As a rule the lizards, toads, etc. that eat insects will not eat dead insects, prefering living foods. But contact with Carbaryl products is known to cause problems with future generations of these wee critters.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 7:24AM
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Even pesticides that qualify to be called organic, or green, can be very broad spectrum poisons, ie. pyrethrins, that will kill any insect it contacts. Even if a "pest control company" is green and organic they are still poisoning our world because that is the business they are in.
Advertising a business here without paying is known as spam and is not supposed to be permitted.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 7:19AM
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First, identify EXACTLY what pests you have and how much of a problem they are. Then you can discuss how to control that pest.

If you are willing to tolerate a small amount of damage, you might not need to apply anything. Remember that insecticides kill off the insect predators that eat what you cal "pests". Don't spray and your predator population will increase and pests decrease.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:59AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It depends on what kind of ants you have. Fire ants should definitely be controlled. I have gotten bit by them so many times it isn't funny! There are several fire ant chemicals. I would not recommend Over and Out. I put some on their mounds in my greenhouse and the mounds tripled in size.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:32PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Safer makes a product made with soybean oil. I worked for them this year. It is safe around pets. The only problem was they were taking it of the shelves in Lowe's in Florida because it didn't sell well. Home Depot might have it. You will need to read the label and see if it will kill what is on the tree. Also horticultural oils might be safe.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 5:25PM
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