Whether natural or chemical, most households have pesticides on hand, especially in the months more prone to bugs and critters swarming around your home.
While pesticides can be crucial to safeguarding your home from unwanted visitors, you need to handle pesticides properly and safely. Knowing how to use pesticides and warning children about the hazards of pest control sprays or other chemicals are of utmost importance.
If you’re considering applying pest control inside your home or on your yard where your children and pets play, you need to think about safety first. Even if you are using natural or non-toxic pest control solutions, you still to follow the guidelines and use precaution.
At Environmental Pest Management, we know how stressful it can be to think about any chemicals or pesticides in your home. Our experienced staff is available to answer questions and get your home protected from any rodents or insects trying to make their home in your home.
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Why Pesticide Safety is Important
You can get sick from touching or ingesting many pesticides, and some can also cause illness or distress from breathing in the dust or fumes. Always read the labels on pesticides and follow the directions carefully.
Pesticide use requires your care and attention. While many pesticides are marketed as safe to use, there are still hazards from overexposure or other risks.
The two central tenets of pesticide safety are: minimize your exposure and follow all directions correctly.
Minimizing Exposure and Following Directions
The most frequent exposure that humans have to pesticides is through the skin. Therefore when you are using pesticides, follow these guidelines:
- Always cover your limbs. That means long pants, long socks, and long-sleeved shirts.
- Never wear open-toed shoes while using pesticides.
- Do not use pesticides without gloves. If possible, use chemical-resistant gloves.
- Wear a mask if applying a powdered chemical.
Never assume you already know what to do with any pesticide. Always read the entirety of the instructions, not merely mixing directions. Follow them to the letter, even if some seem like overkill. They were written that way for a reason.
Most pesticide labels contain the following information: EPA registration number, ingredients, signal words like “CAUTION” or “DANGER,” precautionary statements, directions for use, first aid instructions, and storage and disposal information. Yes, that is a lot of information to digest but thoroughly reading the label can prevent disasters.
Pesticide instructions will tell you how much to use for the size of your treatment area. Do not assume that more is better. Only use as much pesticide as stated in the instructions.
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Teaching children how to be safe around pesticides is extremely important. In some cases, exposure to chemical pesticides is a literal life or death situation, especially for a small child. Use these tips to help keep your kids safe around pesticides.
- Have conversations with your children and teach them that pesticides are poison. Remind them that it is not something they should eat, drink, or touch.
- Always store any pesticides in their original container with specific labels for their contents. If you transfer a pesticide to a different container, you run the risk of someone mistaking it for something safe. Labels such as “Poison,” “Adults Only,” or “Not for Kids” are a good start, but reminding yourself which chemical the container holds by writing it on the label will help you in the future as well.
- Keep all pesticide containers in a locked cabinet or area that is inaccessible to children. Keep them far away from areas where children or pets play as well.
- Show your kids how to wash or scrub their fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Teach your kids to take off their shoes when coming into the home or scrubbing their shoes on mats before entering. Pesticides can be trekked in from the outside and be harmful to pets.
Remind your kids regularly about the dangers of pesticides, and ensure any regular babysitters are aware of any pesticides in your home. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has activity books and worksheets on their website to help you navigate pesticide safety with your kids.
To keep your home pest-free without the use of harsh chemicals, you can always take an all-natural approach. There are many ingredients and materials you can use that are safer than chemicals, inexpensive, and effective.
Spraying a mixture of water and eucalyptus oil in areas infested with flies or bees will cause them to move on. Combining citrus oil, your choice of liquid soap, and water creates a spray to prevent ants, roaches, and slugs from entering your home. These are just some examples of natural pest control methods.
While these natural pesticides are safer than chemical pesticides, you may need to use them more often to gain optimal results. If you need fast results but are worried about how to keep your family safe, Environmental Pest Management can help.
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Call Environmental Pest Management Today!
Are you trying to figure out what to do with pest problems and pesticides in your home? We know how vital pest management is. Trying to find the right pest-control method while keeping your family safe can be a difficult task.
With over 30 years in the field, our qualified and experienced staff will help you find the methods that work best for your family and your home. Whether you are vexed by rodents or struggling with bed bugs, we serve the greater five-county metro area. Call us today at (952) 432-2221 for your free quote!