What does this warning sign mean to my family and pets?
Have you really ever investigated what it says on those little flags that are put on residents' lawns after chemical applications? Or questioned the lingering smell or residue after bug spray inside your home? The consequences of traps and deadly bait?
How long should those flags be displayed? Just what does the real warning to "stay off" mean to people, pets and our environment? Were you crazed by the ants you found in the house and just started spraying or signed up for a service without digging deep into the potential chemical consequences?
Exposure to lawn chemicals can occur from the winds blowing it around. We even bring those chemicals in our homes because they are on our clothing. You do not have to have a pet to get fleas. You can bring them in on your tennis shoes!
Animals not only breathe in the chemicals, they can also absorb them through their pads and skin. Some dogs like to lick and eat grass. Unfortunately they can't read the warning sign. Nor can they comprehend the deadly consequences of herbicides and fertilizers.
To protect your pets, children and yourself, have a clear understanding of the toxicity of dry and wet or sprayed-on chemical applications. Some mulches and spray-on grasses might have toxic chemicals. Please do your homework.
According to Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, "Some items such as fertilizers may only cause mild stomach upset, while others, such as insecticides, can be deadly."
Take the time to read and investigate label packaging, directions and warnings. Before signing up with a service or doing it yourself, do your homework. Have a conversation with your veterinarian. Be able to recognize the side effects, how to promptly respond and the potential consequences.
Two helpful resources are the National Pesticide Information Center, npic.orst.edu, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline, 1-888-426-4435.
Owner, Hot Diggity Dog, Inc.