Pest Control Insecticide Exposure

In response to Lancaster, PA’s ever-increasing “chemical-consciousness,” I wanted to provide more and more of my services from outside homes and businesses. “Is that justified?” might one ask. Before I answer that question, I would like to address something that even more concerns me: the extermination of homeowners.You may find more details about this at All Pest Solutions

I ‘d like to cut to the chase here, if you don’t mind. Most folks are aware that the EPA regulates which products within an occupied structure can be “sprayed,” “fogged” or “dusted.” And as one might expect, that doesn’t mean that the products are used according to label specifications, so user error can create unnecessary exposure issues. As a professional, I’ve witnessed a lot more toxicity issues with people who are having pest problems before I ever get on stage. Now, I want to award them for their bravery as they wield empty bug spray cans, “homeopathic techniques” like red pepper, moth balls, chewing gum, you name it (and I saw it!). But I’m very worried when I see that they’ve exposed their family in their excitement to needless amounts of insecticides or other household items that aren’t even labeled for bugs (or rodents).

Okay, now that I got that out of my mind, let’s think about competent management of pests. In the past 15 years, there has been a tremendous turn around in professional pest control, which has enabled us to be more vigilant and more aggressive in our treatments. An example we call IPM (Integrated Pest Management) would be this. “What’s that?” you ask. Don’t feel bad, there are some guys who don’t even know about pest control. IPM is the art of using a combination of pest elimination techniques, without exclusively using pesticides. An example would be this: Say we have a rat infestation at our favorite restaurant next to a dumpster. Instead of tossing traps all around the outside of the dumpster, IPM will tell us to move the dumpster away from the building and expose the rats to natural predators. Then ask the restaurant owner to have the doors locked on the dumpster by his / her employees except when used (sanitation). Then, and only then should a secure rat bait station next to the dumpster be used, and regularly monitored.

Aside from IPM, most of our pesticides are formulated to have virtually no odor and create lower exposure risks. One example would be micro-encapsulation, a method by which the active insecticide has a silicone “bubble” around it to reduce light and moisture breakdowns. There have also been some over-the-counter products available for pets which are known to be used in professional pest control products. I know it doesn’t make sense, but the public may use a concentrate on their dog, but can’t purchase the same active ingredient to use on their termites 100 times weaker (homeowners don’t have the equipment to use the drug anyway, so don’t get excited). I mention this only to prove that the products we use for pest control are usually safer than most of the stuff you have under the sink. So then, what makes us so special? Exercise. Additionally, we are not able to risk our license over mis-application in the pest control industry.

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