Exotics Poison Control?

The ASPCA runs an Exotics Poison Control phone line, but it’s a total rip off. They charge $95 to talk to a representative when you call. Otherwise you have to search their website for advice. But the ‘advice’ they have available on that website is vague, lackluster, and only touches on the most basic exposures.

I don’t want to give these people my money, because they suck as an organization, but i need this resource to help me protect my collection as my house undergoes pest control treatment.

Does anyone have any alternatives? I’m based in usa, but I’m not against calling abroad if there’s another better organization literally anywhere else that can give me sound advice.


I don’t know what kind of pest control you need? Entire house gased, sprayed for ants, chemical substances? I would suggest calling a actual pest control company. I do know a lot have kid and pet safe alternatives. If it is something serious and you have to do a whole house thing with strong chemicals, you may want to move your collection temporarily to a friends/family house or even a storage facility with power. That may be costly and very time consuming, but if it’s only for a few days it may be the safest option?


For a quick rundown of what I did with mine when living on a college frat row apartment that needed treatments…
If it’s going to be treated in EVERY room, you will need to move the animals out for at least the day if not a few days depending on the strength of the fumes, how often it’s done and such. Any dishes and open air surfaces should be wiped down as well just in case. You can try taping down trash bags over habitats to keep the particulates from settling on them. Sometimes it’s just be easier to ask a local friend to babysit your reptiles and not have to wipe down everything multiple times.

If it’s only certain rooms like the bathroom and kitchens, you can keep the cages in a room with a towel wedged under the door and air it out well when you get home. But I still recommend keeping the animals elsewhere and never risk them around active fumes.


I’m in agreement with @banereptiles.

I’m not sure I’d want to risk the health of any of my animals if I had to do some type of pest control. I’d consider finding somewhere else they can stay temporarily. Better to be safe than sorry, IMO.

Even if you only treat one area, depending on how the air circulates through your system, it could get pulled in and blown through vents in other areas of the home as well.

What type of chemical treatment are we talking about? That would be the first thing to look into as well.


So context is it’s a sugar ant issue in an apartment. It’s been going on for about 3 months now and I’ve been working closely with the landlord’s pest control to fight and monitor the situation. Long story short, we’ve done consumer as well as commercial grade ant bait on multiple occasions, pest control has failed to exterminate twice now, and my animals and ALL ( and i mean all ) of the snakes/snake related paraphernalia meant to be in contact with them, or in contact with the stuff that will then be in contact with them, has been removed and has now been out of my home for about a month. It’s been a very tedious, aggravating, and costly process and yet we are not done yet, apparently. I have discussed many things with my landlord, including but not limited to, relocating us to a new apartment while they deal with their ant house. Simply put, they have already done a house wide ant bombing that proved to be unsuccessful. They wish to come into my home and do it again. I have recorded the chemicals they used in the last bombing, as well at the date of treatment (which is a bit over two weeks ago now) this will be the third time they have tried to exterminate, and if they fail this time i may be breaking my lease to move to another living situation.
Currently, i would like an Exotics Poison Control expert to speak to so as to know how much longer my animals will need to be evacuated, or if i will need to deep clean my whole room in order to protect their health.
I don’t want to do it, mind you.
But i will. Oh, i will. I will scrub the ceiling if i have to.
For now, my reptiles are stuck in tragically sub par temporary enclosures, and i am not able to visit them daily or even every other day due to scheduling, my friend is not a snake person so they are not receiving daily care, and i just want it to be over. Not to mention they are moving in a couple of weeks so i need this to be over.
I have spoken to both of my vets. They are not capable of offering me advice in this matter. The chemicals involved are not in their specialty. They won’t help me. The only resource i have is the stinking ASPCA and their crisis predating 95$ phone call.


I am sorry, that is a crapy situation that is not on you to take care of! It is affecting you and your lifestyle, as well as the health of your pets! If this is going to be the third time and it hasn’t worked so far, if you are able I would move. I know that isn’t always feasible so I would try a couple other things. I would ask what chemicals exactly are being used so you can research them yourself or try to. I would still call actual pest control places and see if they can offer any advice over the phone, doesn’t seem like the one your landlord is using is doing a good job to me. At least get a second opinion and if it is completely different tell your landlord, maybe he will go with a different company/method. If you can’t move I would wait at least 48 hours after this third time of spraying, and then clean and air out your reptile room the best you can. Good luck, let us know if you do find out exactly what chemicals or any other info. I bet someone on here knows more about this stuff then me.


The ASPCA is a total rip off. They run their smarmy ads all over the country, when in fact, they only service NYC. Truth. They SAY American…, but it’s just Manhattan. When you send them money from ANY other location, you might think you are supporting your local SPCA. You would be wrong.

My poor wife has to put up w me every time I rage on those commercials… Getting off my soap box now.


No no i totally get it man! That’s the whole point behind me not wanting to give them my money. I know their close minded views on my animals. I don’t see why i should give them a cent. And to charge 95$ for a phone call… Literal insanity. Just think about that, your pet ingests or gets exposed to something bad and starts having a reaction. That’s a life or death crisis situation. At best you are looking at a hefty vet bill. Emergency visit, possible intensive care, potential overnight stay, so on and so forth. At worst you go through all of that and you still get a dead animal. I’ll bet the aspca knows there’s no readily available alternative, and of course in the heat of crisis you’d do anything for your babies. They can milk that 'till the cows come home. Despicable.

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No i would love to move out of here. I think we have enough money to break the lease. The issue is always finding a place nearby that will accept my snakes. It’s a real problem unfortunately. But simultaneously, in this economy buying property is out of the question for even middle class individuals. Or at least a good portion of them. Nowadays it feels like the best way to get a house is to take over for a retired family member.

I gotta look in my lease and see if they are one of those places that have to comp you for external services like that if the in house company has failed. Otherwise i might just have to figure it out, lol. I’ve already wasted enough money on this situation in missed work alone.

I wonder if calling just normal government funded poison control will be of any use…

The chemical they sprayed last time is called Gentrol IGR Concentrate. I have the SDS on it, but it doesn’t tell me anything about reptiles. It says it can negatively impact fish though… I could post the screenshots of the SDS if y’all wanna see that and make your own opinions.

And thank you so much for the support. It’s been a trial for sure. I feel like my rent should be deducted for every month that my reptile room has been legally uninhabitable. But this place would definitely rather have me go **** myself before recognizing any of my dues. And they lied to me on the lease regarding the reptiles i have when i signed. So i technically am breaking the lease by having them here so they can tell me off all they want in the end.


I understand, i can’t afford a home myself! I can’t find anything about Gentrol IGR Concentrate and reptiles. I did find out the main ingredient:
Hydroprene is classified “Very Low in Toxicity” by the EPA.

While it is excellently effective against insect pests, Hydroprene has a very low toxic level to humans and pets .

This was from the web, it seams gentrol is a low toxic slow acting insecticide. Interestingly the web says it is used usually for long term control usually in combination with a quicker acting insecticide! So I don’t know if that’s the only one being used. Classified as safe for humans and pets, but I couldn’t find anything directly relating to reptiles so I would be hesitant. It says it can last up to 4 months so I would definitely clean the reptile room real good and wait a couple days before putting them back in it. That’s all I could find out, sorry I couldn’t be of more help to you. Good luck with everything!


I would contact the center for disease and poison control. I would think you would be able to find the information that you need there. Forget the ASPCA.

Secondly I would create some publicity regarding your “living conditions”, especially if you were lied to on your lease regarding your reptiles. If you signed a lease in good faith and if you are making your rent payments, your landlord has a good faith obligation to provide you with an inhabitable place to live, either on that property or elsewhere until said property is inhabitable. I believe this would stand up in in court of law……


And here I just paid 300$ for a telemed call that lasted 10 minutes. And spent 200$ and 2 hours at a doctors office for 5 sentences from my doctor before being told to go back in two weeks. LOL, it sucks but that’s just the state of things. I’m so tired of it, but what can you do when you need surgery? XD;

While I’m happy we finally have a service like this, there didn’t used to really be an option. But even with that option, I would hope in a life or death crisis situation you would just shell out for the emergency vet, not waffle on a phone call though. I’ve seen animals who ate tylenol or warfarin and it is not good when the owner waits.

I don’t see why you can’t just call the exterminator and find out what they use? Also, the exterminators should be aware of the fact animals or children are living in the household because there are other options to use in those cases. Or like @caron caron said, call the CDPC and tell a little while lie of children and pets? Typically anything childsafe is also petsafe after it dries…there may be some exceptions though. @banereptiles also has some good advice.

Ants just happen where I am in So-Cal…so honestly it’s just kinda hope they go away when the weather cools down. The only time I ever really had a problem with them is getting into my leopard gecko enclosures. It still is frustrating though and I hope it gets figured out soon. We left our last apartment because they couldn’t get rid of the American roach infestation we had and that was after multiple treatments and tenting. And a bunch of other crazy issues we finally got tired of…=/


I would pay for a consultation with your reptile vet where you can review your concerns. Part of the reason there is so little info available for toxicology in exotics is because the studies simply haven’t been done.

If it was a (very experienced or preferably boarded) reptile vet that you discussed it with, then they are going to be able to give you the best info available.

I’ve never heard of anything like this existing.

There just isn’t species-specific info available. Not enough exotics owners bring their animals to the vet regularly with a willingness to spend anywhere near the money they’d spend on a dog, cat, or horse.

Edit: For context, I am a retired dog/cat veterinarian.


I have no advice to offer, but I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, @auriea, it sounds like an absolute nightmare! I’ve had to deal with ants a few times over the years, and it’s never any fun…although I’ve never had such a hard time getting rid of them. I can only imagine how frustrating the whole situation is.

If I were in your situation, I’d probably just try to move if possible, though I realise that’s often easier said than done. Finding an understanding landlord can be difficult when you have reptiles (and I feel like snakes in particular tend to put a lot of people off, moreso than lizards).

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you’re able to get everything sorted out and are able to get your snakes set back up in a healthy, happy environment for them. Hang in there! :heart: