If you have a pet, you know that keeping them safe is always a top priority. But what about your lawn?
Most weed killers contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to your furry friend if they ingest them. Fortunately, there are now pet-friendly weed killers available that are just as effective as the traditional kind. That’s why it’s important to choose pet-friendly weed killers that you can trust.
There are a number of products on the market that claim to be safe for pets, but not all of them live up to their promises.
The need to choose the right pet-friendly weed killers
It’s tempting to reach for a weedkiller spray to reduce weeds surrounding your outside space, such as driveways, patios, and lawns. It is, nevertheless, critical to consider the safety of everyone who uses the outdoors, including dogs and wildlife.
When your pet walks over treated ground or brushes past sprayed foliage, harmful chemicals can be taken up on their paws or fur, and then consumed when they groom themselves. Rain or hose water can also wash chemicals off plants or the ground, resulting in puddles that pets and wildlife may drink from.
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How to control weeds without chemicals?
There are several pet-friendly methods for dealing with weeds:
Hand weeding: weeding by hand Long and short-handled hoes, as well as weeding knives, are among the weeding equipment available. Hoe off weeds by slicing them off at the soil’s surface on a dry, breezy day, and they’ll die rapidly.
Weed burners: either electric or gas-powered, are portable heat guns that burn out weed growth and are especially useful for weeds in paving cracks, driveways, and patios. Slow to use, hence only suitable for limited areas.
Pressure washing: used for hard surfaces where it can remove small weeds and moss, as well as soil and organic matter leftovers that could serve as weed seed banks.
Boiling water: pour over to kill leaf growth (but not the roots of perennial weeds such as dandelions). Boiling water can also be effective, but it should only be used in small areas as it can scorch the soil.
Hand-picking: cutting weeds before they have a chance to germinate is another method.
Ground covers: the quickest technique to kill all weeds and prepare the ground for planting is to cover the soil with a light-blocking material for at least 12 months. Weed control fabric, black polythene, thick cardboard, or old carpet can be used to keep light out by weighing down the sides.
Other per friendly weed killers you can buy
Pet-friendly weedkillers contain numerous natural components that can be used to destroy annual weeds as well as the top growth of perennial weeds. Keep pets away from treated areas until the spray has dried, even though these are “natural” products.
Is vinegar a great alternative weed killer?
If you’re looking for a pet-friendly weed killer, vinegar may be a great option. Vinegar is a natural weed killer that is safe for pets and children. It’s also non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
Vinegar works by killing the plants’ roots, so it’s important to direct the spray onto the plants’ leaves. You should also avoid using it on windy days, as the vinegar can drift and damage other plants. In addition, vinegar is most effective on young weeds that have not yet flowered. If you’re dealing with mature weeds, you may need to reapply the vinegar several times before they die off.
Vinegar is most effective on young weeds that have not yet fully developed their root system. Older, established weeds are more likely to recover from being sprayed with vinegar. For best results, use a vinegar solution with a concentration of at least 20%. Note that vinegar purchased for culinary purposes is not strong enough to be used as a weedkiller.
Are there any chemical weedkillers that are pet-safe?
Glyphosate is a common chemical weed killer that is marketed as safe for pets to consume once the chemical has dried completely. It’s worth noting, however, that the World Health Organization (WHO) deems glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic” to people, and that glyphosate has been the subject of multiple international court proceedings involving human cancer. While glyphosate is now thought to be safe for pets, this could alter in the future.
Hence the market has changed and more Glyphosate weed killers are becoming readily available.
Glyphosate kills both annual and perennial weeds, although reapplication is required every four months to a year to keep up with weed development. It’s available in a variety of forms, including gel, ready-to-use spray, and concentrate for diluting and applying with your own sprayer. When plants are actively growing, the best period to apply glyphosate is from mid-summer through autumn. Avoid getting the chemical on garden plants as it kills everything it comes into contact with.
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Other methods to apply a weed killer and get a result
Putting canes in the ground for the bindweed to twine up is a pet and wildlife-safe method of applying glyphosate to manage bindweed, a common garden weed. Simply remove the growth off the cane and bundle the leaves into a clear plastic bag with the roots still attached, spray on the glyphosate, fasten the bag with a clothes peg, and leave in situ until the bindweed is entirely dead.
This process can take a few weeks.
Cutting the stems of bindweed near ground level and then pouring boiling water over them is also an effective method of weed control. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing when handling hot water. This method will need to be repeated several times, as new growth will occur from the roots.
Bindweed and other tough weeds can also be controlled by smothering them with black plastic. Cut the weed growth down to ground level, then lay a sheet of black plastic over the area and secure it with pegs or bricks. The heat and lack of light will eventually kill the weed. This method can take several months to work.
Always adhere to all safety precautions. To reduce the chance of injury, apply any sprays late in the day when insects are less active.
When choosing a pet-friendly weed killer, be sure to read the label carefully to make sure it is safe for the animal you have. With a little research, you can find a product that will keep your pet safe and your lawn looking great.
Want to know more about pet-friendly weed killers
Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help, and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.
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