In response to the growing “chemical awareness” in Lancaster, PA, I decided to carry out more and more of my services from outside of homes and businesses. “Is this justified?”, You might ask. Before answering that question, I would like to address something that concerns me even more: extermination of landlords.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to get straight to the point. Most people know that the EPA regulates what products can be “sprayed,” “fogged,” or “dusted” within an occupied structure. And unsurprisingly, that doesn’t mean the products are being used according to label specifications, so user error can create unnecessary exposure problems. As a professional, I have witnessed many more toxicity problems with people who have pest problems before I even arrived on the scene. Now, I want to reward you for your bravery as you wield empty bug spray cans, “homeopathic techniques” like red pepper, mothballs, gum, whatever (and I’ve seen it!). But I really worry when I see that in their heat they have exposed their family to unnecessary levels of insecticides or other household products that are not even labeled for insects (or rodents).
Okay, now that I’ve got it out of my system, let’s talk about professional pest control. There has been a real change in the last 15 years in professional pest control that has made us increasingly responsible and more acute with our treatments. An example would be what we call IPM (Integrated Pest Management). “What is that?” You ask. Don’t feel bad, there are some types of pest control that don’t know it either. IPM is the art of using a combination of techniques to eliminate pests without using pesticides exclusively. An example would be this: let’s say we have an infestation of rats in a garbage container next to our favorite restaurant. Rather than throwing bait all over the outside of the dumpster, IPM would tell us to move the dumpster away from the building, exposing the rats to natural predators. Then ask the restaurant owner to have his employees lock the garbage container doors, except when in use (sanitation). Then, and only then, should a secure rat bait station be used next to the dumpster, and it should be monitored regularly.
In addition to IPM, most of our pesticides are formulated to be virtually odorless and pose less risk of exposure. An example would be microencapsulation, a method by which the active insecticide has a silicone “bubble” around it to reduce degradation from light and moisture. Additionally, there have been some products available over the punaise de lit 91 counter for pets that are known to be used in professional pest control products. I know it doesn’t make sense, but the public can use a concentrate on their dog, but they can’t buy the same active ingredient to use it 100 times weaker on their termites (owners don’t have the equipment to use the product anyway as well not to get excited). I mention this just to show that the pest control products we use are generally safer than most of the things you have under your kitchen sink. What makes us so special then? Training. Also, in the pest control industry we are not willing to lose our license due to improper application.
Let me use an example of a problem with public access to professional pest products: Before the EPA removed chlordane from the market in the 1980s, it was available over the counter, in concentrate. That means that anyone had access to a chemical that was active in the soil for 25 years at a dilute rate! I have known people who proudly boasted that they had killed a carpenter ant nest on a tree stump in their backyard by pouring chlordane concentrate directly onto the colony. While this probably doesn’t mean anything to the average person, someone familiar with the pest control industry is shrinking right now – this means years of potential soil contamination, killing anything from beneficial insects to fish in the fields! nearby streams! The EPA probably did the right thing, believing that restricting it from use (commercial use only) would create a black market, as no one could imagine life without chlordane, especially for termite problems. What I am pointing out here is that the toxicity has always been much higher with public use, even when the products were much more dangerous.
If you are concerned about pesticide exposure, remember that you will most likely need pest control at some point, and if you are considering tackling a pest problem yourself, remember that the dangers of toxin exposure are much greater when you do it. does. -yourself. Pest control operators rarely fall prey to the concept “If a little works well, then a lot will work well!” In fact, we know better. Also, we need to factor in the costs of chemicals and keep customers!
I began by asking the question, “Am I justified in treating the perimeter of a house more often than treating the interior?” I think it is more for a conscientious good, since pest control technicians suffer from two