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Does Sevin Dust Kill Fleas? Vet-Reviewed Safety & Effectiveness Facts

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

cat flea in human skin

Vet approved

Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maja Platisa

In-House Veterinarian, DVM MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Sevin Dust is a well-known insecticide containing the active ingredient carbaryl, often combined with bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin, that many folks use for their garden spaces and home environments.  Sevin Dust has been on the market for quite some time, and it can kill up to hundreds of different insects. Even though fleas are among them, Sevin Dust is not safe for your pets.

You might be able to kill fleas outside your home with Sevin Dust, but you should never use this product directly on your dog or cat. In this article, we are going to discuss the safety of this product, how to use it, and how to keep your pet safe in the process.

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Sevin Dust’s Effectiveness as a Flea Killer

Sevin Dust

To protect your yard and plants in your vegetable garden, products like Sevin Dust are designed to eliminate potentially damaging pests lurking around. Sevin Dust is highly effective for fleas, as it kills them on contact and works for up to 3 months at a time.

For it to work properly, the Sevin Dust has to come in direct contact with the fleas. It does not act as a repellent. Sevin Dust is also effective at killing flea larvae, but it does not work on the actual eggs. However, if the eggs hatch where Sevin Dust is present, the fleas will die immediately upon contact.

Ultimately, this product should only be used in lawns and gardens, controlling the fleas and ticks in your backyard, and not indoors.

How Does Sevin Dust Work?

Sevin Dust’s active ingredient carbaryl is a powerful insecticide that works through contact, inhalation, and ingestion. This particular insecticide works on pests by attacking their central nervous system.

This process is generally fast, but it can take a few weeks to take effect on your lawn and garden space fully. The earliest you can reapply Sevin Dust to a treated area is 7 days after the initial application.

As a precaution, individuals and their pets should stay indoors during treatment, close all windows and doors that open to the outside, and turn off ventilation systems that receive outside air1. Inhalation exposure is expected to be minimal because the material has a very low tendency to evaporate.

Even though this product is highly beneficial for reducing many pests around your outdoor space, it can have detrimental effects on much-needed insects like honeybees and aquatic organisms.

So before you choose to use it on your lawn or garden, you should research the potential fallbacks and complications associated with insecticides.

Why Is Sevin Dust Dangerous to Pets?

Consider that Sevin Dust is a dangerous insecticide. When wet, it contains chemicals that can be very upsetting and toxic to both pets and people. It’s important to follow instructions as directed to avoid any potential dangers associated with use.

If you suspect your pet might have come in contact with carbaryl, please contact your veterinarian immediately. The signs of carbaryl poisoning may include behavioral changes, excessive tearing and drooling, uncontrolled muscle shaking and twitching, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe intoxications can result in paralysis and death and cats are typically more sensitive to the effects of carbaryl than dogs.

Sevin Dust is not dangerous to pets as long as it is used as directed on the label and not used directly on your pets to kill fleas. Sevin Dust is only activated once you pour water on it. Once it is activated, the Sevin Dust needs to dry fully. Normally a safe time frame to wait after watering is 1-2 hours, but if you want to be extra careful, wait at least 24 hours after treatment before entering the treated area. Afterward, it’s perfectly safe for children, pets, and people. However, when it’s wet, it can be dangerous for both you and your pet.

vet examining Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Image Credit by: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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Sevin Dust can be a terrific product when used correctly. However, it does have its downsides, especially when it comes to our beloved pets. Make sure Sevin Dust never comes in direct contact with their skin to avoid irritation or toxicity.

Permitting you use Sevin Dust correctly, it is safe for pets and is highly effective at getting rid of outdoor fleas. However, this product is not suitable for indoor use.

See also: Does Pine-Sol Kill Fleas? Vet-Approved Facts & Safety

Featured Image Credit: David Jara Bogunya, Shutterstock

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