ARE OUR PRODUCTS SAFE TO USE IN AND AROUND THE HOME??
Yes. This is probably the most common question we get. Many people are concerned about using some of our products around children, pets or wildlife. Rest assured that you can use them confidently and with little hazard when used properly. The products we sell have undergone rigorous testing from numerous agencies which are designed to determine if there are inherent risks or hazards when such compounds are used around people and pets. In order for them to get labeling, they must be safe when used properly. Todays products have progressed chemically to such a degree that they are generally less concentrated, pose little or no hazard to mammals once diluted and have short residuals. Very few materials currently available have persistent residuals or pose unnecessary hazard to people, pets or our environment. This means they can be used as we describe without posing any hazard to people or animals. That being said, having some understanding of the inherent risks any one type of product may have can be very helpful when trying to make a decision about what to use. The following will help explain some of the different hazards associated with different forms of the products we sell. Remember that the word “hazard” means “potential to harm” and not actual harm itself. For example, both a firecracker and a stick of dynamite are hazardous when used carelessly. Furthermore, the stick of dynamite poses a far greater “hazard” than the firecracker because it can do more harm if it gets used the wrong way. Pesticides are much the same; most formulations today have little or no hazard associated with their use and virtually nothing to worry about after the application. However, the greatest hazard lies with where and how they are stored. Clearly there are many household products which must be stored away from children and pets and concentrated pesticides are no different. If there is one area where concern is warranted, this is it. Be sure to keep them out of young peoples hands and where pets won’t have access. This will help to minimize any hazard and keep accidents from happening. Understanding the details of these differences may have an impact on the decision you make regarding what to use but again, when any of them are used properly they pose little or no hazard to the immediate environment where applied.
The following videos will discuss most safety concerns when dealing with Concentrates, Aerosols, Dusts and Granule formulations of our products. Storage, handling and use concerns are detailed along with safety equipment suggestions.
Concentrate Safety Video
Aerosol Safety Video
Dust Safety Video
Granule Safety Video
Pesticides fall into one of three general groups: Baits, RTU (Ready To Use materials like aerosols, dusts or granules) and liquid or dry concentrates. Todays insect baits have active ingredients that work on insects but are basically digested and processed as food when mammals accidentally eat them. Even the Rat and Mouse poison of today is much less toxic to non-target animals. Earlier formulations posed a much greater hazard which meant that smaller doses could impact a small dog or cat. However, most of todays rodenticides would require a lot more to do harm and when used properly, such quantities should not be available. Furthermore, insect baits don’t really have impact on mammals which accidentally eat them. For this reason, insect baits are clearly the safest material to use in virtually all situations. They will take longer to work compared to liquids, dusts or aerosols but they have proven to be very effective for both elimination and preventive treatments of many types of insects. For this reason they should be a part of the overall integrated pest management plan but probably not the only course of action if you have an active infestation which needs to be eliminated.
Ready to use materials, like dust, aerosols or granules, have low amounts of active ingredient. This means they, too, have little hazard associated with their use. The biggest hazard lies with the applicator since they might accidentally spray some in their eyes or get some on their hands. If this was to happen, their eyes would sting and need to be rinsed – much like that which should be done if you were to accidentally spray some WD-40 or hair spray in these areas. Once applications dry, there is little hazard to people or pets that walk in treated rooms. The rule to follow is to keep children and pets out during the application and for a long enough time period following the treatment to insure the application dries. This will usually be in 10-15 minutes so an hour would be plenty of time. If you treated with a dust, it is best to remove any product which is left out in the open following the treatment and this can be done with warm water and a rag. Granular applications done outside or in carpeting don’t have a dry time; once applied they should be dispersed over such a large area that even walking on them will not put anyone at risk. Don’t worry about runoff affecting waterways either; the amount of active ingredient needed to be applied on the average 1/4-1/2 acre could not have significant impact on a stream or river let alone some small amount in the form of runoff. This is due to the fact that it is both very weak when applied and that the dirt would act as a filter of sorts preventing it from relocating well. We are fully aware of runoff issues regarding agriculture where other materials are being used in such great quantities that impact is achieved. Most of the products we carry and the small amounts needed for the average yard helps to keep them from this category. However, if you have a small man made pond with some type of special fish as a pet, it is in your interest to make applications only where runoff will not feed to it. This should be done to eliminate the hazard of possibly hurting any fish which are more vulnerable to toxins that wash into a small body of water. Compared to baits, Aerosols, Granules and Dusts are slightly more hazardous but still pose little or no hazard to people and the environment when used properly. Clearly the person doing the application – especially with aerosols – are the main individuals who have the biggest chance for an accidental exposure. Just be careful of where you are spraying and be sure to do so where it is well ventilated and the hazard will be minimized. Furthermore, keeping children and pets out of treated rooms until the material dries will further help to reduce and/or eliminate any hazard. Since Aerosols, Dusts and Granules tend to work longer and faster, they are are fairly common and should be part of any complete integrated pest management program. Liquid concentrates are the one form which does pose a legitimate hazard. This is because it is concentrated. Once diluted, its hazard is greatly reduced if not eliminated. However, the concentrate needs to be handled much like bleach or ammonia. Be sure to store it where children and pets won’t have access to it. It is also a good idea to keep children and pets off treated surfaces and out of rooms getting treated until such applications are able to dry. This will generally take no more then 1 hour but if it is humid and damp, waiting a few hours is suggested. Turf applications require dry time as well and it is best to keep children and pets off one full day to insure all areas are dry. Liquid treatments will offer the fastest control possible and will generally get a broader range of control for more insects. Probably the most common type of application being done today, liquid treatments are still what most people think of when needing to do some type of pest control. Though they still have their place, spraying should only be a part of a well integrated pest management plan and not used exclusively.
In summary, you can rest assured that we have made a special effort to control that which we sell. The products we now have represent the cream of the crop. Bait formulations available today will actually work on a large range of insects and are quite effective. However, they do take longer to have an impact so if you want immediate results, use the aerosols, dusts or liquid concentrates. In many cases a combination of all three is as good as it gets and should be implemented if you want both immediate and long term control. As for the warning statements which many of them carry on their packages, you must understand that these are standard guidelines which must be printed on most anything we sell which is concentrated. These statements can be found on many household concentrates and cleaners and they are present for good reason: concentrates should be kept out of the reach of children and pets and should only be handled by adults which know how to use them.