Is TruGreen Safe For Pets? (Explained)


One of the most popular lawn care service providers in the entire United States is TruGreen. What TruGreen basically does is use different chemicals that are capable of treating your lawn so that your grass will stay green, healthy, and free of any pests.

But the problem is that most lawn owners also have pets that love to run around the lawn or even eat grass. So, is TruGreen safe for pets?

TruGreen wet chemical applications are not safe for pets for 4 hours up to two days after application. The company often uses pesticides that are full of dangerous substances that are not even safe for children until dry. Yet, the company dilutes all chemicals substantially in attempts to follow safe guidelines.

Some customers even complain that they dilute their mixes too much in search of safety and profit. The answer will be different depending on who you ask. But the chemicals used by TruGreen can even be poisonous to water supplies as well as to different insects that are not targeted by its formulation.

Let’s find out more, so that you can make your informed decision.

Is TruGreen Harmful To Pets?

Most in the country want to have amazing lawns that have been taken care of properly. That’s because greener lawns with no bald spots and free from of pests can instantly make an entire property look better and raise values. But is using TruGreen harmful to pets or even children playing you your yard?

TruGreen uses many types of chemicals that if ingested by pets or kids can cause symptoms such as vomiting and seizures. Some chemicals like metaldehyde used to control snails can be toxic even beyond most others. Kids and pets should stay off wet or dry applications from 4 hours to 2 days.

Plenty of lawn owners prefer to hire expert lawn services that are capable of taking care of the grass in ways they are not willing or able to do themselves. The most popular provider of lawn care services in the United States is TruGreen, which caters to nearly 3.5 million households and commercial customers all over the country.

There is also a good reason why TruGreen is the leading lawn care service provider in the entire country, as it is effective at keeping a lawn looking fresh, green, healthy, and free of any pests. Though it is not without its problems and individual abuses.

Not only does TruGreen dilute the chemicals that are placed on most any lawn, there are cases of crews failing to apply the required amount or any product at all. Though this may save your pet some discomfort, it will hurt your wallet significantly.

Chemicals TruGreen Uses That Could Harm Pets

Some of the substances that TruGreen Uses range from pesticides to fertilizers to herbicides. These all are normally effective in doing what they are used for, but some have unintended side effects. Most are mild, but some can be serious if the right precautions aren’t maintained.

TruGreen uses fertilizers that can include bone meal or blood meal. These can cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as other gastrointestinal issues. There are even toxic chemicals like snail bait (Metaldehyde) that homeowners use that may cause seizures. TruGreen uses only approved chemicals.

Metaldehyde is a chemical known to be toxic that some can ask to be put on their lawns to control snails and slugs. This chemical can also be used by homeowners themselves. Using it and other controlled chemicals in many states require certifications and licenses when used by companies.

Because of how dangerous TruGreen can be to your pets if ingested, it is important that you make sure that you keep your pets away from a TruGreen-treated lawn for about two days or until you are sure that the chemicals have been absorbed by the lawn or are fully dispersed in the atmosphere.

While there are advantages to using TruGreen like convenience and some expertise, you still need to make sure that you make use of its services with caution.

Can We Know What Chemicals TruGreen Uses?

There are community organizing activist groups that claim that there are hidden substances or unknown toxic substances in the chemicals companies like TruGreen uses. Some of these groups admit that we can know what chemicals are being used, but these companies should stop using them. Is there any truth to their claims?

TrueGreen gives invoices, information, and warnings about the chemicals it employs and follows federal, state, and local laws as a policy. Some individual employees may be more or less honest in their sales pitch or application, but these are variants from company policies.

TruGreen uses different chemicals and solutions that will keep your lawn looking green and healthy. On top of the fertilizers that TruGreen uses, it also uses pesticides and herbicides. They by law must disclose most of what they apply. There are some proprietary blends, but these usually consist of differing concentrations of known substances.

Some community activist groups claim that the company should either self regulate the amount of customers they accept each year or be regulated by government entities. Some of their claims sound like this…

Given the fact that TruGreen uses different kinds of chemicals and solutions and that we don’t really know what kind of chemicals TruGreen uses to treat your lawn, TruGreen is actually harmful to your pets.

There are some grass roots activist groups that attempt to convince individuals not to employ TruGreen for popularizing the chemicals that homeowners can themselves use on their own lawns. They will even put out ‘studies’ that give marginally accurate facts.

I received this from a ‘concerned reader’ just the other day. He obviously was duped by the propaganda one such group has put out.

There was a study conducted more than a decade back that indicated that TruGreen contains different chemicals and substances that are not only harmful to pets but also to humans as well. The same report indicated that some of the substances found in TruGreen are either harmful carcinogens or are banned in other countries.

The problem with this type of reaction is twofold. First, these are not studies, but cherry picked facts that are taken out of context and added to propaganda. To be clear, TruGreen does use chemicals that should be avoided until disspated into the soil. Yet, these ‘studies’ are simply meant to sway opinions based on the writer’s preferences.

While there is no clear answer to how toxic some chemicals will be when in popular use for many decades until that time has passed, the general consensus is that TruGreen is indeed unsafe for pets.

Some of these activists believe that the company is not somehow regulated by governmental agencies even though some propretary blends are not publicized. Another statement I have heard about the company is…

TruGreen is yet to disclose most of the chemicals that it uses to treat your lawn, especially when using pesticides to keep insects and other pests at bay.

The problem here is that government agencies do regulate what they are using. They don’t disclose some of their specifics because competitors would immediately spring up next to their businesses using the same techniques. It is not done in a conspiratorial manner.

It is understandable why plenty of people are wondering if TruGreen is safe for pets. The fact is, many homeowners have pets that they love to let loose and play around on the lawn. Of course, different types of pets tend to do all sorts of things on a lawn, such as smelling, licking, or eating things that they find on the ground.

So, if TruGreen is unsafe for your pets, you might not want to have your lawn treated. Yet, the governmental oversight bodies have said that is not the case.

We can be sure that reports like the ‘study’ above is telling the full truth. These types of things deal in half truths. What we can be sure of is that TruGreen itself says that you need to keep your family and pets away from your lawn when it has just been treated.

So, in other words, the logical conclusion that anyone can come up with is that TruGreen does contain substances that can be harmful to humans and pets alike.

If you are overly concerned and don’t want to run the risk of causing health problems to your family and pets, you might want to skip out on hiring TruGreen to take care of your lawn. It might be tough work, but you probably should treat your lawn yourself.

But, since TruGreen has gone through a constant oversight and guidance that allowed it to improve its products and services, it is relatively safe if you follow the safety precautions and make sure you keep your family and pets away from the lawn for a while.

How Long After TruGreen Treatment Can I Let My Dog Out?

As mentioned, TruGreen itself admits that you shouldn’t go anywhere near your lawn right after it has been treated. The reason is to give time for any soil additives or plant supplements to dissipate into the soil or air. It is in order for them to be diluted, and rendered safe for contact.

Again, those not a fan of the company have written me and stated that…

TruGreen never said the true reason why, but what we can assume is that going anywhere near the lawn after it had just been treated can be dangerous to your health.

This is simply an overstatement of something that can be true if warnings are not adhered to. It is definitely important to stay off of a lawn for the companies companies recommended amount of time.

If that is the case, how long after TruGreen treatment can you let your dog out or even let your family near the lawn?

On TruGreen’s website, they stated the following:

“After a service, TruGreen advises customers to allow the application to dry before their families and pets can resume enjoying their lawns. Depending on weather conditions, the drying process usually takes from 1-2 hours.”

TruGreen.com

If we go by TruGreen’s words, you would only have to wait for up to 2 hours before you can come close to the lawn. However, it still is always better to be safe than sorry.

That’s why we recommend that you and your pets should stay away from the lawn for up to 2 days after the TruGreen treatment. This will ensure that the chemicals have not only been fully absorbed by the lawn but have also dispersed into the atmosphere.

Granular treatments must have wet conditions to dissolve. This could even take longer than liquid treatments to fully dissipate. That is the reason for the precaution.

In the meantime, make sure that you keep your pets indoors. You should only let your pets out once you are sure that the residual chemicals are no longer concentrated enough to harm your pets.

The Final Touches On TruGreen And Pet Safety…

We as a landscaping company have over the years referred customers to TruGreen when we were covered up and behind schedule. They are a quality company offering services that could be done be homeowners themselves if they wanted to spend the time learning about all of the codes, applications, and precautions of the fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

Many choose them for their general expertise and corporate recourse if individual crews do not live up to expectations.

Pets and children alike depending on the product will have no problem safely playing on a lawn after TruGreen applications as long as safety guidelines are followed.

Resources:

https://www.trugreen.com/lawn-care-101/blog/lawn-care-tips/pet-safe-gardening

https://pesticidewatch.org/sites/default/files/pets_guide_draft_final.pdf

Mathew Booe

Mathew has worked in landscaping professionally for over 10 years. He is a grandpa and frequently interviews other experienced landscapers and lawn care experts who are also grandpas for these articles.

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