Spraying around fish tanks and exotic pets

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.

Simple preparation

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.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Chris

    DO NOT SPRAY WITH YOUR FISH IN THE HOUSE!! Don’t even put a towel over the tank. Roaches are smarter then you think. If they can get away, they will. Even if it means running into the tank. This is what happened to me. I covered the tank like the instructions said, and the roaches went through the towel and into the tank, exposing my fish to the poison. Sad to say, Rest in Peace for my beloved fish.