There are times when you need to treat for pest control around some out of the ordinary pets. Snakes, birds, lizards, ferrets and fish tanks all need a little special care before you spray but it can be done in a safe manner while still being effective.
With cats and dogs the usual precaution is to remove them from the home or area being treated but with a 8 foot Boa constrictor you may have trouble keeping him in the back yard even on a leash. Exotic pets are most often confined to cages or tanks that are not always easy to move. Their environment may only be a few square feet and great care should be taken to keep the balance. Wayward pesticides can disrupt this and with the limited space it’s highly likely for the pet to come in prolonged contact with the spray and that’s when bad things can happen.
What not to do
To treat areas with exotic pets let’s rule out one thing you should never do unless you first remove the pets and that is fog. I’m not a huge fan of fogging for the most part but it does have its place. Since it fills the air with almost microscopic particles and is at the mercy of the air currents in the room, it indiscriminately goes anywhere and everywhere which means it could seep into your pets cage or tank. Aerosols such as Raid in these areas should only be used in voids of walls which means they have to have treatment straws so it can be injected. If your spray can does not have the straw it is essentially a fogger so refer to the warning above. If we must spray in these areas let’s at least do it with something can control.
Before treating take a few minutes to prepare your pets home. A damp towel over your pets cage or fish tank will help ensure that insecticides stay out. The damp towel will grab any airborne spray but a dripping wet one might actually grab the bug spray which then can be dripped in with the water so don’t use a soaking wet towel. Unplug any fish filters as they pump outside air into the water the fish live in and turn heat lamps or lights off as well because of possible electric hazards. (don’t forget to turn them back on after your treatment) An open window is good for fresh air and fans on low and pointed away from cages or tanks can help as well.
Things you can use
Liquid sprays can be used efficiently and we can direct the insecticide to only cracks and crevices but be careful not to pump up your sprayer too much. Low pressure will keep the misting to a minimum.
Baits are an excellent choice but outside the cage only. Gels, tablets, bait stations and even liquid baits can target specific insects and even draw them out and away from the living space of your pets and lessen any chance of contamination.
Sticky traps with pheromones or attractants can give you some of the same results as baits but I wouldn’t rely on them solely.
If you do spray go lightly at first and monitor your pets reactions. Never treat inside the tank or cage even with baits or sticky traps. Use common sense and don’t be afraid to seek a professionals help if you are ever unsure of the insect you are after or how to treat. Your local bug man has been doing this for years and is most capable to rid you of your bug problem while keeping your exotic pets safe.