Homeowners use pesticides to prevent the invasion of pesky bugs, roaches, and other insects seeking to make themselves at home. These tiny critters are not only a nuisance; they can also be a threat to your family’s health, since they can carry bacterial and viral diseases. Additionally, pests such as ticks and fleas can also make the lives of our furry companions miserable. It is understandable, then, that we would want to eliminate these pests to prevent them from entering our homes.
Ortho Home Defense is a safe, non-toxic pest control product that can help you keep those nasty critters away from your family and pets. It can kill around 30 different kinds of pests, including red ants, spiders, bugs, and many others. Ortho is also an amazing repellant spray, so your pets can enjoy a life free of fleas and ticks.
But is this product truly safe for our furry companions? Let us unveil some facts about Ortho and its safety in this article.
Some facts about Ortho Home Defense
Ortho Home Defense is a potent pesticide brand designed to defend the inside and outside of your home from bugs, roaches, and insects. Not only does it kill the creepy crawlies; it also prevents them from coming back.
Some of the popular features of Ortho are summarized below:
- Protection against pests for up to 12 months
- Harsh on pests but safe on pets
- Does not leave strong odors or stains
- Dries quickly
- Easy to apply – no bending or hand fatigue
The active ingredient in Ortho Home Defense is bifenthrin, a type of insecticide that belongs to the pyrethroid family. It is actually a synthetic version of the chrysanthemum flower extract that is highly toxic to aquatic organisms.
Although Ortho is generally safe and non-toxic to animals, it can induce toxic effects if large concentrations of other chemical ingredients used to potentiate bifenthrin are also present. For this reason, caution must be exercised when using this product at home. Ortho must be applied carefully and kept in a secure place away from curious children and pets.
Is Ortho Home Defense toxic to pets?
Ortho Home Defense is not toxic to animals. However, this does not mean the pesticide is completely safe, especially if accidentally inhaled or ingested in significant amounts.
You can keep your four-legged companions safe while declaring war on pest infestations by avoiding the following scenarios:
1. Spraying the pet directly
Of course, no fur parent in their right mind would do this to their beloved pets. But if, for example, your cat were to escape and follow you to where you are applying the pesticide, it is still possible to accidentally spray it on your furry friend. When sprayed directly on your pets, Ortho can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and airways.
To avoid such accidents, make sure at all costs that your pets are safely confined in a safe area while you are doing your pest control.
2. Licking the sprayed areas
Another possible cause of poisoning is if your pet accidentally licks the sprayed surface right after an application of Ortho Home Defense. This means they will have ingested some of the chemicals, and you might start seeing some symptoms such as drooling or nausea. Call your vet right away to find out the applicable first aid treatment and prevent further complications.
3. Ingesting a significant amount
As long as you keep this chemical spray safe and out of anyone’s reach, including children and pets, it is not very likely that accidental ingestion and poisoning will ever occur.
However, in the event that your cat finds his way into your cabinet and curiously licks a large amount of leftover chemicals, it will prove toxic and compromise your pet’s health. Signs of poisoning might manifest as vomiting, nausea, and stomach pains. This is an emergency – you must take your pet to the nearest veterinary clinic immediately.
How long after spraying Ortho is it safe for pets?
According to the manufacturers of Ortho Home Defense, it generally takes about six to eight hours for the chemical spray to dry completely. However, if you are applying the product outside, wait two to three hours for it to dry.
To be safe, you can also check the treated areas yourself before allowing pets and young children to go near them. After a couple of hours, feel the surface with your hand. If it is completely dry, then it should be safe to allow your furry pals and children to return. Never forget to wash your hands after touching the treated surfaces.
How to keep your pets safe while using Ortho
Although Ortho is generally safe and non-toxic to pets, it is still essential to be extra vigilant when applying the chemical in your home. Precautions must be taken, especially with regard to our feline companions. Unlike dogs, cats constantly lick their fur which makes them more vulnerable to potential poisoning. And, since their bodies are smaller, they will not be able to handle most toxins very well.
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some tips to keep your furry companions safe while using the Ortho Home Defense Spray:
1. Let the spray dry
It is generally safe to let your pets come into the treated rooms once the spray has completely dried.
Although cats are naturally cautious, they might catch some of the chemicals on their fur and paws, which they might lick later on. Ortho should not be dangerous even when ingested in smaller quantities, but the active chemicals might irritate the pet’s airways. It is best to wait at least six hours for the chemicals to completely dry (or three hours if sprayed outdoors) before letting your pets play on or near the sprayed areas.
2. Spray your house in two parts
Treating the entire house at once is almost never a good idea. To avoid disrupting your pets too much, it is best to have a safe place in the house where they can play or do their business while the other areas are treated. Otherwise, keeping them confined in a small area for hours while waiting for the chemicals to dry can be stressful and unbearable for both cats and dogs.
You can plan to spray the inside first while your family and pets enjoy the backyard for a couple of hours. Then, treat the outside of your home once it is safe for your pets to go back indoors.
3. Keep your pets away
Cats and dogs have very sensitive noses, which they use to explore absolutely everything. This makes it easier for them to inhale, absorb, or even ingest any hazardous chemicals in the environment. Although Ortho Home Defense is considered non-toxic to animals, it can still have some adverse side effects, especially if ingested in large quantities.
Rather be safe than sorry, and keep your pets away while applying chemicals on certain areas. To avoid curious pets from coming into contact with the chemicals, make sure to confine them in the untreated areas of the house. Remove all their beddings, toys, and food bowls while the treatment is going on.
Is Ortho safe to breathe?
Ortho Home Defense Spray is a non-toxic chemical and will not cause dangerous side effects to the internal organs. However, it is known to cause irritation to the respiratory tract when inhaled in large quantities.
Thus, it is best to wear a protective mask when spraying this chemical in your home, and keep your cats and dogs away from the areas to be treated. Be mindful at all times when spraying Ortho on the floor, walls, furniture, and other areas in the house, and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines before using the product.
How long do the effects of Ortho last?
The manufacturers of Ortho claim that their home defense spray can protect your home from bugs, roaches, ants, spiders, fleas, and other pests for up to 12 months when applied at maximum dosage.
Note that Ortho Home Defense can be sprayed both indoors and outdoors, and it is recommended to re-apply the treatment once every three months to ensure that no pests can enter your home or backyard.
Common Ortho poisoning symptoms
Nothing is scarier than seeing your furry friend feeling unwell. If your pet is showing any significant behavioral changes after the pest control treatment, you need to keep him indoors and monitor him very closely. If he has licked or ingested a large amount of Ortho Home Defense, you might start to notice any of the following signs of poisoning:
- Coughing and vomiting
- Tremors and seizures
- Breathing problems
- Stomach pain and nausea
- Elevated heart rate
- Excessive drooling
Poisoning is always an emergency situation for a pet. Do not delay taking your cat or dog to the nearest veterinary clinic for immediate assessment and treatment, and never give your pets any home remedy unless instructed by your vet.
The bottom line
Overall, Ortho Home Defense is completely safe for cats and dogs, as long as proper precautions are taken. However, if accidentally ingested in large amounts, it can prove toxic and might harm the health of your pet. So, make sure to follow the guidelines of the product as well as the tips mentioned in this post to ensure your pet’s safety while using Ortho!
Image: istockphoto.com / adogslifephoto