Tips from the Pet Poison HELPLINE — Insect Bait Stations

We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings...

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We all want to keep our furbabies safe and healthy. Dogster Kristy Sweetland, furmom to Seva and Finlay, will be providing weekly tips and warnings from the Pet Poison HELPLINE to make that job easier. As a veterinary technician with the Pet Poison HELPLINE she’s going to help us all stay more on top of what’s dangerous for our furry family members.

Ant Bait Stations

Reading the label warnings on a box of household ant or roach bait stations might cause you to think their toxicity to mammals is high. The truth is that the United States Environmental Protection Agency mandates that all household insecticides carry the same label warnings despite variations in toxicity. Because of this, a consumer unfamiliar with all of the insecticides on the market, may believe that a fairly innocuous material is highly dangerous. In fact, the strong label warning on a box of ant traps does not necessarily indicate a serious poisoning potential.

Regardless of which active ingredient is present, the concentration of insecticide in most household ant or roach traps is so miniscule that it is likely to cause only mild stomach irritation in pets. If allowed to chew on them, vomiting or diarrhea could develop, but this should not last for more than a few hours. The frightening aspect of ant and roach baits generally has more to do with the plastic housing than the materials on the inside. Dogs often become very excited about these products as that they contain a sweet insect attractant. The scent may be overwhelming and pets often shred or even swallow them in an effort to get to the sweet part. If shredded and ingested or even swallowed whole, the sharp plastic can have a destructive effect on the intestinal tract. Complete obstruction or gastrointestinal lacerations could occur. It is important to remember that if sharp plastic pieces have been ingested we dont want to induce vomiting as the powerful force of emesis could cause the plastic to damage the esophagus on the way back up.

A poison control center can certainly clarify risk factors should you have concerns about product ingredients. Consult a poison control center or your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ingested any portion of an insect bait station. We will be happy to advise you. Oftentimes there is very little treatment recommended for these cases. Regardless of the minimal risk, it is best to keep them tucked far away from access as dogs will go out of their way to find these little treasures.

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