No one wanted pests in their homes or workspace. Some pests such as rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes spread disease. Other pests like ants, wasps and spiders can bite or sting and are unpleasant to have in a living space. The most destructive of all are termites, which can severely damage a building’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, some treatments to eradicate these unwanted critters can be harmful to humans and pets. There are ways to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe during a pest removal and control program.
Integrated pest management uses a logical, step-by-step process to control pests. Techniques range from eliminating food sources and breeding grounds to chemical treatments. The goal is to implement pest control practices that minimize harm to the environment. Preventing entry, removing food sources and eliminating breeding grounds greatly reduce the need for chemical treatment. Although a clean, well-maintained building is less likely to be attractive to rodents and insects, it is difficult to keep a residence or office pest-free without professional help.
The first step in getting rid of insects, rodents and other pests is to identify the type of pest present in your home or workspace. A professional pest control service can identify which pests are present and recommend ways to remove them and keep them at bay. There are more than 1,000 different types of ants in the U.S. Identifying the species ensures that treatment will eradicate the breeding and nesting habits of that particular species.
After identifying the types of animals or insects causing a problem, eliminating sources of food and breeding grounds keeps them from nesting in your living space. A professional trained in IPM will look for places of entry such as cracks in the foundation or holes around pipes and electrical wiring so that they can be sealed up. Other non-chemical treatments include:
• Check under sinks and around taps and drains for leaks or standing water.
• Repair any leaks to eliminate damp places.
• Make sure that food is stored in well-sealed containers and trash is in covered bins.
• Keep food trash in a single location and isolated from other waste.
• Discourage office workers from eating at their workstations. Crumbs and food stored in desk drawers are attractive to insects and rodents.
Safe Practices for Chemical Applications:
After implementing control strategies, pesticides may be required to prevent a new infestation. Baits, topical applications, sprays and atomizers of particular chemicals are ways that pest control professionals may treat your home, lawn or business.
Each pesticide has specific actions. A treatment plan includes selecting the most appropriate agent to prevent infestation with minimal harm to people, pets and the environment. For example, baits may be used to attract and trap insects or rodents. Some insecticides interfere with the reproduction cycle of insects. Wood preservatives keep fungus from growing and make the wood unattractive to insects.
Discuss the treatment plan with the technician to make sure that you understand the strategies recommended and can take appropriate action to keep inhabitants safe during treatment. If your residence or office requires application of pesticides, there are important steps to take to keep inhabitants safe.
• Always follow label directions.
• Don’t transfer pesticides from the original container to another.
• Store unused products in a place inaccessible to children and pets.
• Seal the area to be treated, and keep people and animals away during treatment.
• Remove or tightly seal all food to prevent contamination.
• When planning a treatment, be aware of the weather. Wind can blow airborne pesticides into nearby areas or water sources.
• Some liquid applications take time to dry. Make sure you allow enough time for the product to dry or settle before resuming activities in a living space.
• Dispose of unused products according to label directions. Never pour pesticides down a drain, into a toilet or an outdoor wastewater runoff drain.
To protect pets from harm, remove pet food and water dishes before application. Keep the animal away from the area during treatment and after treatment for the amount of time stated on the label. Make sure that baits are not accessible to the pet.
Eradicating unwanted pests does not have to be harmful to those you love. Common sense and following label instructions will minimize exposure to pesticide treatment. If someone appears to be affected by a pesticide, call the poison control center or a local emergency service immediately for help.