Pet Friendly Weed Killers (Glyphosate free weed killers)
It is true that spraying chemical weed killers in your outdoor space, say your drive, patio, and lawn will reduce weed problems. The safety of pets and other wildlife who frequent the outside must, however, be taken into consideration. It is possible for your pet to pick up harmful chemicals on its paws or fur after walking over treated ground or brushing past sprayed foliage that is then ingested when it grooms itself. Similarly, chemical residues can be washed off plants and the ground by rain or hose water, and collect in puddles that can be consumed by pets and wildlife.
The chemical glyphosate is commonly used as a weed killer and manufactures of glyphosate based weed killers claim that it’s safe for pet use once the area is completely dry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) believes glyphosate may cause cancer in humans, and glyphosate has been the subject of several international court cases related to cancer in humans. Therefore, even though glyphosate is currently considered safe for pets, that may change in the future.
You need to apply glyphosate every four months to a year to keep weeds from growing again. Several formulations of the product are available, including gel, spray or concentrate that can be diluted and applied using a sprayer. Glyphosate is most effective when applied from mid-summer to autumn when plants are actively growing. Make sure not to get the chemical on your plants since it will kill everything it touches.
Looking for a truly pet safe weed killer is harder than it sounds as you need to know the what the main active ingredient is within each weed killer.
How To Control Weeds Without Chemicals
There are multiple ways that you can choose to combat and tackle weeds that are pet friendly.
- Surfaces can be pressure washed effectively to remove small weeds, moss, dirt, and organic material that could serve as seed beds for new weed growth
- Pour boiling water on weeds to destroy the growth (although it won’t kill the roots) you will need to redo this on a regular basis to actually kill off the weeds completely.
- Burners for weeds. An electric or gas-powered weed burner functions by burning off weed growth and are good for tackling weeds in driveways, patios and paving cracks. Only practical for small areas due to its slow speed. From April 2022 the cost of using an electric weed burner will rise due to increased energy prices.
- Hand Weeding is an option, there’s various tools available to help you with this such as weeding knives or garden hoes.
Remember to eliminate those weeds before they go to seed as this will save you countless amounts of time in the future, keeping weeds at bay.
We have a detailed guide on creating your own animal friendly homemade weed killers
Best Pet Friendly Weed Killers that you can buy
When it comes to glyphosate free pet safe weed killer, they are based around 3 main active ingredients.
- Acetic acid which is the the main ingredient in white vinegar which can be found in RHS Glyphosate Free Weed killer. (Which won’t kill the roots and will need to be reapplied, this is basically a vinegar weed killer)
- Pelargonic acid appears in geraniums (pelargoniums), and is a fatty acid responsible for destroying the leaves’ cell walls. Pelargonic acid is a natural ingredient found in many plants and animals, it’s even found in goats milk. (Can be considered as an organic weed killer)
- Maleic acid hydrazide, this synthetic compound has growth-regulating properties for plants. It’s widely used to prevent sprouting on potatoes and onions during storage, and has been used since 1952 in the food industry.
Animal friendly weed killers will all use either one or a combination of the above mentioned chemicals as the main active ingredient.
Main active ingredient in Neudorff WeedFree is Pelargonic acid and Maleic acid hydrazide, this product is considered as a environmentally friendly weed killer. Will even deal with English Ivy.
Main active ingredients in Roundup Naturals is Pelargonic acid which makes it 100% natural and totally a pet safe weed killer, whilst also being environmentally friendly
As you can guess the main active ingredient in Directchems is Acetic acid, again it’s environmentally friendly and will not pollute water supplies. Bear in mind that this product is 20% whilst RHS Glyphosate Free Weed killer is 6%.