Most fur parents know the list of responsibilities on their shoulders the moment a pet becomes a part of their family. It includes providing a safe environment for them to play around. So, many gardeners who have pets are more conscious of selecting the best insect killer for lawns safe for pets since pet care and pest control don’t intertwine at certain levels.
There have been decades of studies in the agriculture industry about the impact of synthetic chemicals on the environment. One of the most controversial across the pesticide industry is RoundUp which uses glyphosate to control weeds and pests.
The Health Risks of Chemical Pesticides To Animal And Human Health
Monsanto, the RoundUp manufacturer, has received multiple lawsuits due to the potential carcinogenic effects of glyphosate that has caused Hodgkin’s lymphoma to a lot of farmers. In 2015, World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated that the pesticide is probably carcinogenic. However, until it is not ruled out to be as such due to an ongoing debate between two conflicting factors, scientific and corporate matters.
If such pesticides can cause health risks when ingested or inhaled, what more would be its impact on the furry pets who run in treated lawns. Sometimes, they even occasionally chew grass out of a biological habit. What’s toxic to humans is also toxic to pets.
According to a pet poisoning rescue organization, Pet Poison Helpline, pesticides may cause dogs and cats to experience the following after being exposed to toxic pesticides:
- Excessive drooling
- Skin rashes
- Respiratory problems
The good thing is there are now environment-conscious organizations that manufacture insect killers for lawns safe for pets, kids, and the environment.
In this post, we listed several insect killers for lawns that have been tried and tested by fur parents to use on their lawns.
(You could use the table of contents below to jump to the sections that are most important to you.)
10 Best Insect Killers For Lawns Safe For Pets [Top Picks]
To help our fellow gardeners maintain a pet-friendly space for their furbabies, we selected several lawn insecticides that do not contain toxic substances to pets.
The products we listed can be used to treat the common insect problems in the yard like mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and soil pests like fungus gnats.
1. Natural Chemistry Natural Botanical Yard & Kennel Spray™
First on our list is an underrated insect killer that can be used for both pets and lawns. Natural Chemistry Natural Botanical Yard & Kennel Spray is a contact insecticide made of natural botanicals that repel common insects in lawns and yards.
It is derived from the following ingredients:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (4.28%)
- Cinnamon oil (1.78%)
- Cedar oil (0.71%)
- Clove oil (0.71%)
Gardeners may also use it to kill fleas and ticks on their furry friends without worrying about its effects on their health. It can be applied directly on their skin to kill fleas and ticks on contact. You can also use it on lawns, trees, and shrubs. Its packaging comes as a hose-end for more convenient spraying on the lawn.
Aside from fleas, this insecticide can also treat the following pests:
- Black flies
Most gardeners that are also fur parents are happy with its ability to repel unwanted insects but does not harm dragonflies and bees. They also no longer worry about their dogs who run on the treated lawn every day. It has the strong smell of cloves and is quite more expensive than chemical insecticides for weekly treatments which discourages some gardeners.
Behind its safe solution for pets, some of its problems are its short-time effect on insects and faulty hose-end packaging.
2. NatureShield® Insect & Pest Repellent
If you’re looking for an insect killer for lawns safe for pets that can handle ants, NatureShield® Insect & Pest Repellent is a good option. It is a low-odor contact lawn insecticide that is derived from the following natural ingredients:
- Cedar oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Propanoic acid
- Ethyl ester
This insecticide can help treat 500 square feet of lawn per gallon. Gardeners can also use it directly on lawn sprinklers with the American Hydro Systems Profeeder. It helps repel the insects common in lawns for 5 days, such as:
- Fire ants
Since this brand is not yet known to most fur parents, you may not find enough reviews about it online. However, it is listed in pet lover forums and has been recommended by fur parents for its non-toxic effects on pets, humans, and the environment.
3. Summit Chemical Co. 30OZ Mosquito Bits
If you’re looking forward to discovering a pet-friendly insecticide that works wonders on lawns, Summit Chemical’s Mosquito Bits must be the one. It is a quick-acting insecticide made of corn cob bits coated with Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis solution.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological insecticide derived from natural soil bacteria that attacks the digestive system of insects. It is safe around kids and pets since the toxins found in Bt are selectively toxic to insects. The manufacturer only claims that it can control mosquitoes and gnats. However, gardeners also found it effective in managing other lawn insects like fruit worms and worms.
The manufacturer is proud that this insecticide is EPA-registered in 50 states. It is among the holy grails of gardeners who want to keep their dogs and cats safe from running across treated lawns. The bits are sprinkled in lawns and swampy areas to help control the mosquito population every two weeks.
Aside from mosquitoes, this insecticide can also deal with the annoying fungus gnats that have been a headache for most gardeners. You pace the bits on top of pots and flower beds to manage the population of gnats. In some cases, gardeners also mix the bits with the potting soil to improve its control on soil-borne pests.
The pattern of pest control using Mosquito Bits is that it is ingested by larvae and insects. After several hours, the Bt will paralyze the digestive system of the insects which will cause them to die out of starvation. As for the larvae of mosquitoes, they will no longer develop into flying blood-sucking insects.
Gardeners love discovering this insecticide since it allows them to enjoy bug-free nights with their pets running outdoors.
It also saved gardeners a ton of money in hiring pest control services to deal with pesky gnats and mosquitoes. They also appreciate how a bag of Mosquito Bits can cover 3 acres of lawn. It may cost more than your usual insecticide but it’s definitely worth the price.
4. EcoSmart Organic Insect Killer for Lawns and Landscapes
Another brand that is breaking through for its safe formulation is EcoSmart Organic Insect Killer for Lawns. It is a contact inside which means it kills insects as soon as the formula gets directly onto the insects. It has a plant-based formula derived from the following ingredients:
- 2-Phenethyl propionate (3.5%)
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (2.0%)
- Eugenol (0.5%)
- Thyme Oil (0.5%)
- Sesame Oil (0.5%)
- Octadecenoic acid potassium
This organic insect killer for lawns is safe for pets. It has a ready-to-spray formula and you only need to attach it to the end of your hose. You may also use it to control insects on fruits, flowers, and ornamentals.
Most gardeners find its strong odor a disadvantage while some love its smell. Since it is a contact insecticide you may need to apply it exactly at the time when the insects are caught in act of feeding on your lawn or plants. Therefore, you may need to apply frequently to achieve a bug-free yard.
5. Summit® Mosquito Dunks
Another Bt product on our list is another version of mosquito killer that is more popular with homeowners. Summit Mosquito Dunks utilizes bacillus thuringiensis to deal with the mosquito larvae in stagnant water puddles in the yard. It releases the Bt solution to the water eaten by mosquito larvae which will eventually kill them out of starvation.
Each mosquito dunk can keep mosquitoes off your yard for 30 days or more. Each dunk can cover 100sq.ft of water no matter how deep it can be.
So, if you have birdbaths or rain barrels exposed to mosquitoes, this is the best option for you. You may also place it on the following breeding ground of mosquitoes:
- Tree holes
- Elevator shafts
- Planter reservoirs
- Rain gutters
For gardeners who want to stop smothering themselves with insect repellant to enjoy a bug-free experience in their yards, Mosquito Dunks is worth the try. You may also pair it with Mosquito Bits for more secure coverage.
6. EcoSmart Natural, Plant-Based Garden Insect Killer with Rosemary and Peppermint Oil
EcoSmart offers another plant-based insect killer for lawn safe for pets using a different plant-based oil. This contact insecticide uses a plant-based formula that uses peppermint and rosemary oil.
Gardeners can use it for:
- Small trees
- Fruit crops
Their organic formulation is proudly mentioned in most pet communities and forums as safe for pets and wildlife and does not contaminate the groundwater. It doesn’t contain any chemical like pyrethrin in managing insects. It helps manage the following insects:
- Cabbageworm larvae
- Cabbage looper
- Spider mites
- Other common garden pests
Of all the insects that it can control, this insecticide is most effective for aphids. You just have to make sure to spray it on all the sides of the plant even under the leaves. For the conscious fur parent, here are the materials used for this insect killer:
- Rosemary Oil ( 0.25%)
- Peppermint Oil (0.25%)
- Thyme Oil (0.25%)
- Clove Oil (0.25%)
- Mineral oil (USP)
- Potassium salt
Most gardeners find its scent strong upon applying it on the lawn. However, it dissipates immediately which makes some of them consider this over its other variant that uses clove oil. However, the scent is something that you should consider if you want to use it on your indoor plants.
Overall, homeowners are all satisfied with its safe solution that can even kill centipedes and ants.
7. Dr. Earth Organic & Natural Final Stop Yard & Garden Insect Killer
Since we’re talking about organic and chemical-free insect killers, we won’t miss the cleanest insect killer for lawns that is safe for pets.
Dr. Earth Organic & Natural Final Stop is an organic insect killer that can treat 5000sq.ft. of lawn. It can control:
This insecticide is in a ready-to-use formulation and packed in a hose-end sprayer. It is easy to use since you only need to attach it to your hose. Due to the high quality of organic materials provided by Dr. Earth, you can safely use them on your lawn and edible plants until the day of harvest. You may also use it on:
- Fruit trees
- Every part of the garden to control bugs
Dr. Earth is proud of its unique combination of organic ingredients to kill unwanted insects while providing several minerals to promote healing in insect-damaged foliage.
It is derived from the following materials:
- Rosemary Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Garlic Extract
This insecticide has almost all of the ingredients used by its top competitors, leading to a more effective insect killer solution for lawns. Gardeners like its formulation since they can use it on almost any plant, even their vegetables, and plants. However, they noticed that it only lasts for a week which requires another re-application of the solution.
The only flaw that most gardeners notice for this lawn insect killer is it is not effective on ants and has a poor bottle design. The elderly, in particular, are having a hard time attaching the bottle to the hose.
8. Safer Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Flea, Ant, Crawling Insect Killer
Most gardeners who made the transition from chemical insecticides to pet-friendly ones go for diatomaceous earth or DE. Safer Diatomaceous earth is a naturally-occurring fossilized algae. It can repel insects present in lawns and even get rid of the fleas and ticks on your pets without causing health issues.
It can control:
Fur parents may use rub DE on their pets to keep the pesky bugs away. It kills the insects by dehydrating them for approximately 48 hours. Its edge among other insect killers is that the insects do not develop any immunity to it. It kills insects by ingestion and contact which causes double kill to your pesky tiny enemies in the lawn.
Aside from being an OMRI-listed insecticide, Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth is also registered with the Environmental Protection Agency which officially states its safety for use around pets and humans. However, due to its fine powder form, children and pets must be kept away from the treatment during application to avoid inhalation of the mineral.
Most gardeners swear by diatomaceous earth and fur parents can’t recommend it enough for being safe to use around dogs. However, like humans, your pets should not inhale the product since any powdery stuff is not good for the lungs. You must also dust the DE onto the fur of the pets and not directly on their skin.
9. Safer 5182-6 Brand Neem Oil Concentrate
Neem oil is another safe option in keeping a healthy lawn without harming your pets. It serves as an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide.
Safer Neem Oil Concentrate is one of the popular brands of neem oil in the market that you can use for your lawn. When diluted with water, it can create 16 gallons of insecticide for your lawn.
It can help control the following insects and fungal diseases on contact:
- Black spot
- Spider mites
- Turf diseases
- Other insect pests
Neem oil kills insects in all of their growth stages starting from eggs, larvae to adult insects. It can also kill overwintering eggs of various insects on your lawn. In one application, you’re simultaneously treating your lawn for mites, insects, and fungal diseases.
Since this insecticide is made of oil make sure to apply it on your lawn when the sun is down or just about to rise. Sun exposure to neem oil-treated lawn will cause the grass to burn due to dehydration and extreme heat. Many animal welfare organizations commend neem oil for its non-toxic impact on pets.
The best thing about neem oil is that dogs hate its smell. Neem oil can also be used for treating skin problems on dogs like allergies and rashes. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that benefit dogs and cats as long as they don’t ingest it.
10. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray is by far one of the most underrated brands of insect killers for lawns. It uses the power of essential oils like peppermint oil and eugenol derived from cloves to control common lawn pests.
It can get rid of:
- Flea larvae
- Flea eggs
This insecticide is easy to use and no longer requires mixing and measuring. It comes with a hose-end spray that you can readily attach to your hose. It is ideal for use on:
- Concrete surfaces
- Other outdoor surfaces
As an organic insecticide, it doesn’t have any chemicals as well as deet. A 32oz bottle can treat up to 4500 to 5,000 square feet of lawn.
The formula is also not toxic to flowers, shrubs, and trees. The manufacturer of this insecticide prides itself on its certified natural essential oils per ISO Standard 9235:2013. It also does not have added fragrances that may irritate the noses of your pets.
The formula is derived from:
- Peppermint oil (0.6%)
- Eugenol 1.40% (Clove)
- Sodium lauryl sulfate 3.45%
- Sodium benzoate
- Citric acid
This insecticide kills insects on contact so make sure to cover all angles in your lawn. Due to its size, it is ideal for medium to large-sized yards. Some gardeners commend this product because of its lasting effect on the lawn that keeps it bug-free for 3 months. It also doesn’t harm the lawn, unlike other insecticides.
Practices & Techniques: Other insect killers for lawns that are safe for pets
Aside from insect killers for lawns that are safe for pets, there are also other ways for pest management in your lawn. These include:
(1) Essential Oils: Though some of the insecticides already use essential oils, some are not yet explored to be added to mainstream insecticides. These include:
- Lavender: An essential oil known for its calming effect on the human body is good pest control for ants. The smell deters the ants and keeps them away without harming them.
- Tea tree: An essential oil known for calming skin issues like acne and pimples is also a common ingredient in pet shampoos. It is an effective solution for fleas and ticks in cats and dogs.
- Pine: An essential oil known for its earthy scent can help repel mosquitoes.
(2) Predatory insects: If you want to allow nature to take over in keeping your lawn bug-free, you may add some insect predators to your lawn. Ladybug, in particular, is fond of eating aphids. Other animals that eat common lawn insects are:
- Praying mantis: mosquitoes
- Lacewings: mites
- Parasitic wasp: caterpillars
What Are The Substances in Pesticides That Can Harm Cats and Dogs?
Before you head on and buy pesticides in the market, it’s best to identify the substances that are toxic to pets. So, some sly manufacturers won’t trick you into buying their products even if they indicate that they are safe for pets.
The toxic substances in pesticides are as follows:
Pyrethrins or Permethrin
Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Though it is organic, cats are sensitive to it more than dogs. Permethrin is the synthetic version of pyrethrin that can cause hyperesthesia, generalized tremors, muscle fasciculations, hyperthermia, and seizures in cats.
Permethrin and pyrethrin, however, are effective in getting rid of ticks and fleas as a spot-on treatment for dogs and insecticide for some plants. Common brands that permethrin are:
- Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Insect Spray Mix, Outdoor Insecticide/Pesticide Concentrate
- Demon Max Insecticide Pint 25.3%
- Southern Ag Permetrol Lawn Insecticide 10% Permethrin
- Cutter 32Oz Rts Bug-Free Spray
- JT Eaton 209-W1G Kills Bedbugs, Ticks, and Mosquitoes Water Based Spray with Sprayer Attachment
- OFF! Outdoor Insect & Mosquito Repellent Fogger
Pyrethroids are the synthetic version of pyrethrin which includes two types. Type 1 pyrethroids include pyrethrin I, allethrin, tetramethrin, kadethrin, resmethrin, phenothrin, and permethrin. Type 2 pyrethroids include cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, fenpropathrin, deltamethrin, cyphenothrin, fenvalerate, and fluvalinate.
Insecticides that contain any of these substances in increased dosage can be harmful to dogs and cats and may cause seizures and neurological problems.
Common insecticides that contain pyrethroids are as follows:
- Sevin Concentrate Bug Killer
- Demon Max Insecticide Pint 25.3% Cypermethrin
- Ortho BugClear Insect Killer for Lawns & Landscapes Ready to Spray
- Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns Granules
- Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter
- Demon WP Insecticide 2 Envelopes Containing 4 Water-Soluble
Organophosphates are substances derived from phosphorus acid. One of the most popular forms of this pesticide is malathion. Another one is disulfoton which is a systemic insecticide that is absorbed by plants and kills pests through ingestion of leaves or sap. Dogs are particularly attracted to disulfoton mixed in fertilizers and other insecticides in plants.
Pesticides under organophosphates are one of the most toxic pesticides for dogs and cats which can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and urination. Too much ingestion of these pesticides can cause pets to vomit, and defecate blood. Have seizures, muscle tremors, and coma.
Lawn insecticides under this category include:
- Ortho MAX Malathion Insect Spray
- Spectracide 60900 Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate
- BioAdvanced 700270 B Science-Based Solutions Grub, Ant & Mosquito Killer for Lawns
Carbamate insecticides can cause the same effects as organophosphates in dogs and cats. Accidental ingestion of carbamate pesticides causes seizures and respiratory problems in your pets.
Insecticides under this category include aldicarb, carbaryl, methomyl, and propoxur. It is the insecticide used by thieves with malicious intent to kill household pets in some countries like Brazil.
Brands with carbamates are as follows:
Deet is a common substance found in natural insect repellants for kids. However, it is not good for your dogs and cats.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, inhalation of deet in pets may cause airway inflammation and dyspnea while accidental contact to the eyes of deet may cause conjunctivitis, scleritis, blepharospasm, epiphora, lethargy/depression, uveitis, and corneal ulceration in pets.
D-Limonene is a substance found in citrus fruits that are used as a herbicide and an insecticide.
In moderation, it can help get rid of fleas and ticks. However, ingestion of the d-limonene and 5 to 10 times increase in its concentration excessive drooling, tremors, lack of coordination, and critical low body temperature in cats while it causes vomiting in dogs.
Insect killers for lawns safe for pests use plant-based materials and do not contain any deet or pyrethrins. Due to the efforts of independent organic companies to provide a safer alternative to chemical insecticides, there are now several brands that offer pet-friendly lawn insect killers.
Based on our list, we selected the best insect killers for lawns that are safe for pets based on the overall safety of pets and benefit to gardeners and homeowners.
We hope that this post helped you find the best lawn insecticides for your pets. We are happy that there are now sprouting pesticide companies that are providing safer alternatives to chemical pesticide giants in the industry.
Considering your pet’s health in choosing your gardening materials also keeps you and your family safe from toxic chemicals that may cause cancer and other illnesses. Let us know in the comments which organic insecticide has worked best for you in the comments below.
Also, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends to keep them aware of the toxic insecticides bad for their pets.