Pest control is an integral part of lawn care. But you should carefully choose the product and method to use. Some effectively eliminate or prevent pest infestation but can endanger your pets and children.
This article will discuss different ways to control pests and identify kid- and pet-safe pest control products.
Common Ways to Control Lawn Pests
From chinch bugs and grubs to cicada killers, lawn pests can damage and even kill your turf grass. If you’re searching for tips on “pest control in the Toronto area,” you’re in luck, as we will discuss a few common ways to maintain a healthy and lush lawn.
Biological control involves the use of living organisms to suppress lawn pest populations. Every species of pest in your lawn has a natural predator. For example, ants are natural enemies of chinch bugs.
With the biological method, a natural predator is introduced to your lawn. If the natural enemies of pests are already present in the lawn, you can conserve them by reducing the use of pesticides and giving them a habitat and resources.
Pesticide use is probably the most popular way of dealing with pests. “Pesticide” is a term that refers to many types of pest control products, such as:
Insecticides – These products kill insects like grubs and chinch bugs. However, they can also harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, so they should be used sparingly and only when necessary. Insecticides come in various forms, including sprays, granules, and liquids.
Fungicides – These products are used to control fungal diseases like powdery mildew and brown patch. They also come in granules, liquids, and more.
Herbicides – If you want an instant method of getting rid of weeds in your lawn, herbicide is one of your options. This product can prevent weeds, like dandelions and crabgrass, from spreading in your yard.
Pesticides contain chemicals that affect the body’s nervous and endocrine systems. They are harmful to pets as well. Pets who ingest chemical pest control products may start vomiting, have seizures, and show many other symptoms of toxicity. It can also result in death.
Integrated Pest Management Control
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a holistic approach to managing lawn pests. The goal is to keep insects in your yard below damaging levels rather than eliminate all insects. To achieve it, you must keep the lawn healthy so it becomes less inviting to pests. You may need to use a combination of different pest control methods, including physical, biological, and chemical options.
IPM generally takes more time and consistent effort. This method can involve constant monitoring of the lawn for pests, identifying the type and level of infestation, and choosing the appropriate combination of pest control methods to manage the problem. Additionally, you may have to mow regularly and properly, water the lawn correctly, and test the soil consistently.
The goal of IPM in lawn care is to maintain a healthy, pest-free lawn while minimizing the impact on the environment and ensuring the safety of pets and people. It is a sustainable and practical approach to pest management that considers the ecology of the lawn and garden ecosystem.
If you are wondering, “Is pest control safe for kids?” ask about the products being used.
What Pest Control Products Are Dangerous for Pets and Kids?
Generally, only chemical pesticides pose harm to pets and kids. So, if you are asking, “Are pest control chemicals harmful to pets?” the answer would be, unfortunately, yes. Chemical pest control products can be dangerous to your kids and pets, especially if they contain the following ingredients:
Glyphosate is one of the chemicals found in pest control products. While effective in killing weeds, exposure to this ingredient can negatively affect your health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the compound can be carcinogenic to humans. This means exposure may lead to the development of cancer.
Other health risks associated with glyphosate exposure include birth defects, nervous system toxicity, antibiotic resistance, and hormone disruption. Children are most vulnerable to glyphosate exposure because their bodies are still developing. Even pets are not safe. Glyphosate exposure in pets can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Chlorpyrifos can effectively kill grubs and other insects in your lawn. But it’s highly toxic to humans and can affect the nervous system in various ways. If exposed to this chemical, you may experience headaches, excess salivation, and blurred vision. Long exposure may even lead to coma and death. In children, chlorpyrifos exposure can cause lower IQ, attention disorders, and movement disorders.
Chlorpyrifos is also toxic to animals. Exposure to this chemical may lead to muscle tremors, convulsions, hypersalivation, and shaking.
Carbaryl is a man-made insecticide commonly used to control lawn pests, such as chinch bugs and white grubs. It’s also highly toxic to humans and can cause a range of health problems, from headaches, muscle weakness, and sweating to more serious problems like convulsions and comas.
On the other hand, pets exposed to this insecticide may suffer from excessive tearing and salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching, and even behavioral changes. Cats are usually more sensitive to this chemical than dogs.
Malathion is another insecticide that can effectively kill lawn insects by preventing their nervous system from functioning properly. However, this effect can also extend to humans and pets. Short exposure to high concentrations of this product can affect the nervous system, resulting in many symptoms like diarrhea, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and rapid heart rate.
The effect of malathion exposure is even more severe in pets. Depending on the amount a pet ingests or comes in contact with, liver cancer development becomes highly likely.
Any parent wants the best for their children and pets. So, any product that can pose health risks is definitely a no-go. But this does not mean there’s nothing you can do to get rid of pests in your yard. There are still pesticides that don’t pose any harm to humans and animals.
Choosing a Pest Control Product in Canada
If you’re not aware, the government of Canada has a law regulating the sale, use, and importation of pest control products to ensure the safety of humans and the environment. The Pest Control Products Act makes searching for kid- and pet-friendly pest control products easier.
The PCPA requires all pest control products to undergo rigorous testing and evaluation before vendors can sell them in Canada. The assessment considers the product’s effectiveness, potential risks to human health and the environment, and whether it meets Canadian regulatory requirements. Only products that meet these standards are authorized for use in the country.
Pesticides authorized by the department will have Pest Control Products (PCP) numbers on their label. So, if you’re searching for safe pesticides, consider using only registered products.
If you’re planning to treat your lawn without the help of professionals, make sure to read the label of registered pesticides and follow the instructions properly.
LawnMart’s Approach to Lawn Care
LawnMart makes the safety of clients, pets, the environment, and the team a top priority. In searching for the “best pest control services in Toronto,” you’ll find that the LawnMart team carries out only pet- and kid-safe pest control methods. So, when you call the team to control pests in your lawn, you can be sure the yard remains safe for your pets and children.
Since 1996, LawnMart has been providing organic lawn care services to commercial and residential clients in the Greater Toronto Area. If you need help taking care of your lawn in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and safe way, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call.
For more on pest control, talk to the LawnMart team today.