Moving to new house, backyard has been treated by lawn company, help!

Tortoisechickenlady

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Greenville SC
I'm moving to a new house in a few weeks and my plan was to have my adult leopard tortoise free range in the backyard. I just found out from the previous owner that they have been using a quarterly lawn company that treats the yard for weeds and fertilizes it. :( How long are these chemicals in the ground? Anyone know how to make it "safe" or how long I need to wait before he can eat the grass? Very worried..
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,289
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I'm moving to a new house in a few weeks and my plan was to have my adult leopard tortoise free range in the backyard. I just found out from the previous owner that they have been using a quarterly lawn company that treats the yard for weeds and fertilizes it. :( How long are these chemicals in the ground? Anyone know how to make it "safe" or how long I need to wait before he can eat the grass? Very worried..
There are many variebles, so no one can give you a solid answer here. We will all be guessing. You'd need to know what chemicals were applied, when, and in what amount. Then it depends on rain, drainage, season, temperature, etc... Personally, I wouldn't let the tortoise out there, or use any food from the area for at least one year.

BTW, fertilizers are fine as long as the tortoise doesn't have direct access to the product. Liquids that have been watered in and absorbed, or granules that have dissolved and been absorbed, don't hurt anything. Its the pesticides and weed killers that you have to worry about.
 

Tortoisechickenlady

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Greenville SC
There are many variebles, so no one can give you a solid answer here. We will all be guessing. You'd need to know what chemicals were applied, when, and in what amount. Then it depends on rain, drainage, season, temperature, etc... Personally, I wouldn't let the tortoise out there, or use any food from the area for at least one year.

BTW, fertilizers are fine as long as the tortoise doesn't have direct access to the product. Liquids that have been watered in and absorbed, or granules that have dissolved and been absorbed, don't hurt anything. Its the pesticides and weed killers that you have to worry about.
Hi again. After more research, I found out in addition to the lawn company, a pesticide company also treated the yard with insecticides. :( I am worried sick. I plan to water the yard excessively but am wondering if tilling the yard to get rid of the existing grass, putting down more soil (organic) and then starting over with new grass would still make it dangerous since the existing soil had been contaminated. Last treatment for both pesticides was in April. Thoughts?
 

TammyJ

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
3,806
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
Once you move in, can you dictate how you treat or do not treat your own yard? If so, then you should be OK after a time has passed and you continue with de-contamination on your own.
In the meantime, if you have already moved in, you can make your own temporary safe outdoor enclosure for him by using a large tarpaulin on the ground, covered with safe substrate like orchid bark, coir, and put down your pool, hides, plants etc. Then use cinder blocks to wall it around, wooden frame and mesh wire on top. Make sure it is shaded half way on top. My idea...hope it helps if it's necessary. Good luck!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,289
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi again. After more research, I found out in addition to the lawn company, a pesticide company also treated the yard with insecticides. :( I am worried sick. I plan to water the yard excessively but am wondering if tilling the yard to get rid of the existing grass, putting down more soil (organic) and then starting over with new grass would still make it dangerous since the existing soil had been contaminated. Last treatment for both pesticides was in April. Thoughts?
I really can't offer any advice since I don't know what chemicals were used or how long they are designed to last. I can only offer condolences that someone decided to poison your land.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
42,257
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I think its up to what you want to do. Wait the year like Tom said and then it should be safe or do as TammyJ said and set up a temp safe area. You can also do what you mentioned which will be the most expensive. If it were me, I would set up TammyJ suggestion and wait the year.
 

Tortoisechickenlady

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Greenville SC
Once you move in, can you dictate how you treat or do not treat your own yard? If so, then you should be OK after a time has passed and you continue with de-contamination on your own.
In the meantime, if you have already moved in, you can make your own temporary safe outdoor enclosure for him by using a large tarpaulin on the ground, covered with safe substrate like orchid bark, coir, and put down your pool, hides, plants etc. Then use cinder blocks to wall it around, wooden frame and mesh wire on top. Make sure it is shaded half way on top. My idea...hope it helps if it's necessary. Good luck!
YES! I will be pesticide-free moving forward! Thank you for the idea :)
 

New Posts

Top