Everything you ever wanted to know about do it yourself pest control but couldn’t get anyone to tell you.
The information contained in this guide is part of professional pest control training and it is taught almost every year to new and veteran pest control technicians as part of continuing education units or CEU’s. this is what most pest control professionals know that keep them safe and what most do it yourself pest control people need to know before you perform your own pest control.
Every statistic for the last fifty years shows that eighty percent of home owners perform A diy pest control while only twenty percent ever use a professional pest control service.
90% of all households in the US a pesticide, this is estimated at 74 million pounds of pesticides are applied by homeowners to homes accounting for 1.2 billion dollars per year in the US this according to the EPA in a study published The US National Library of Medicine The National Institute of Health in the titled “Use of point-of-sale data to track usage patterns of residential pesticides: methodology development”
Do it yourself pest control over the counter products.
Most have used over the counter pesticides or do it yourself pest control products like boric acid tablets, boric acid dusts, gel baits and stations and ready to use aerosol sprays, foggers and pump sprays, and now with the availability of professional grade concentrates available online most every one has access to the same products that where available exclusively at distributors to professionals only.
What most people fail to understand is that even with over the counter pesticide improperly applied they can have an acute toxic reaction that could cause serious injury, death and irreversible damage to lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain.
Do it yourself pest control types of toxicity
Acute toxicity and its harmful effect occurs when a toxic agent has been inhaled, ingested or has come in contact with skin, thus usually manifests itself in seconds, minutes, hours, or days after the exposure.
Chronic Toxicity of a pesticide happens when one is subject to long-term exposure of a chemical pesticide the harmful effects that occur from exposure to small doses repeated over a period of time. Effects of chronic exposure include birth defects, toxicity to a fetus, production of benign or malignant tumors, nerve disorders, genetic changes, blood disorders, endocrine disruption, and reproduction effects.
The problem with chronic toxicity of a pesticide or pesticides is that it is more difficult than acute toxicity to determine through laboratory analysis. Most people continue for years suffering from chronic toxicity without knowing the couse continuing to expose themselves to pesticides.
Do it yourself pest contract and exposure to children and the elderly.
This is especially true in children and the elderly, chemicals are chemical, it does not matter if they are over the counter or professional grade and you need to apply them according to label directions to avoid contamination of food, air, and surfaces.
Children are more susceptible to low-level exposures according to American Academy of Pediatrics. “Children’s nervous, immune, digestive and other systems are still developing. Developing systems are less able to detoxify and excrete these pollutants compared to adults.
Latino and inner city children are at higher risk of pesticide exposure according to a study ” target=”_blank”>“Pesticides and inner-city children: exposures, risks, and prevention.”
And “The Environmental Health of Latino Children” Recent research suggests that even low levels of pesticide exposure can affect young children’s neurological and behavioral development. Pesticide Exposure and Child Neurodevelopment
The elderly are the second group also at high risk of pesticide toxicity because unlike children who have undeveloped endocrine, respiratory, digestive, renal and brain in the elderly they are deteriorating and may not function to excrete and remove toxins from the body. According to the American Journal of epidemiology study “Neurodegenerative Diseases and Exposure to Pesticides in the Elderly”
As people age there endocrine system is compromised as such they suffer from diabetes pesticides that are considered endocrine disrupter pose a potential risk “There is substantial evidence indicating that endocrine disruptors contribute to the risk of cancer, developmental problems, diabetes, and possibly also obesity and the metabolic syndrome.” From the study Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Associated Disorders and Mechanisms of Action
Do it yourself pest control understanding “SIGNAL WORDS”
3 Levels or categories or degrees of the toxicity of a pesticide
Exempt products are the lowest toxic products available and can be used by anyone, however they should not be considered safe, most of the ingredient are not required to be registered by the EPA, these products may cause slight eye or skin irritation.
Category 1 CAUTION this is the only category a do it yourself pest control person should apply without any certified pest control training. The Caution label means that the pesticide product is slightly toxic if eaten,
You should avoid using any pesticide with a WARNING label without proper training, the Warning title on the label indicates that the pesticide is moderately toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or it causes moderate eye or skin irritation.
You should not only not use any product with a label warning of DANGER nor should you store, handle, transport or mix any pesticide or chemical with a signal word Danger. Danger means that the pesticide, insecticide, herbicide or solvent is highly toxic by at least one route of exposure meaning via mouth, inhalation, or contact with skin and cause acute toxicity when exposed to it. It may be corrosive, causing irreversible damage to the skin or eyes. As with the signal word “POISON”
Do it yourself Pest Control active ingredients
Do you know which one to select and which are least toxic, moderately toxic and most toxic or which one will work best to control the pest problem you are experiencing?
Products like “Scotts”’, “Ortho” or “Raid” are not active ingredients they are brand names and they could have one or more products with the same name and a different active ingredient.
Do it yourself pest control Insecticides
Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis
Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki
codling moth granulosis virus
Heterorhabditis spp. nematodes
Steinernema spp. nematodes
Do it yourself pest control Herbicides
calcium acid methanearsonate
Do it yourself pest control Fungicides
copper ammonium complex
copper oxychloride sulfate
tribasic copper sulfate
Do it yourself pest control Molluscicides
Do it yourself Pest Control Pesticide Modes of Action.
A mode of action is how the insecticide works to kill the insect usually though a channel.
There are 29 known modes of actions and some unknown the insecticide may attack nerve & Muscle, Growth, Respiration, Midgut.
In order to select the right chemical with the right mode of action to control the pest you need to know what specific pest your are dealing with.
Ants isn’t an exact pest it belongs to an order but you need to identify it and know if it’s a Florida Carpenter ant or a Ghost ant these two are ants but the products, protocols and procedures are completely different and you will never control both with a single product or spray as a matter of fact if you use the wrong products you can cause them to move, migrate or split the nest into multiple nests.
This is why most people fail to control the pest problem and blame the product saying “this product say it controls ants I’ve sprayed it three times and nothing, this is false advertising”
The importance of knowing the mode of action is in preventing the use of different active ingredients with the same mode of action to prevent pesticide resistance, simply changing brands does not change the mode action.
Do it yourself Pest Control Pesticide Type of Application
The type of placation made will be determined by the pesticide selected and the type of application permitted by the label and reducing the amount of chemical used reducing your exposure.
Spot Treatment least exposure
Crack & Crevice least exposure
Broadcast Application high exposure
Surface Application high exposure
A spot is a 2 square foot area and no more than 20% of the total surface area.
Knowing how to apply each type of product is vital to control and reducing exposure, a product that says on the label “may only be applied as a crack and crevice” and you apply it as a broadcast baseboard spray could not only not control the pest but it can injure you or someone else, and in a commercial environment like a store or restaurant can get you sued, fined or imprisoned where you put the public at risk. You need to read and understand the label before applying any product.
Do it yourself Pest Control Formulation Dusts
Amorphous Diatamateosue earth dusts is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms the dust is effective at preventing and controlling insect pest and considered a low toxicity product but precautions should be taken when applying DE. See Health hazards due to the inhalation of amorphous silica.
Amorphous Silica Gel Dust
From the chemical formula silica SiO2 or silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide or the common component in sand. Silica gel is made by a controlled mixture of sodium silicate a substance made from quartz and acid which produced a gel substance. The gel is then purified in a washing process, dried and milled.
Contrary to diatomaceous earth which kills the insect by cutting it. Silica gel has very strong absorption of water and oil, but it does not absorb ambient humidity; it kills the insect by drying out the waxy cuticle.
Boric acid or borax is also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate is considered low risk or less toxic than synthetic chemical pesticides however boric acid no matter where it comes from if inhaled or ingested it can lead to toxicity so applying them correctly is vital to health and safety.
I see hundreds of homes per year where boric acid is applied to the inside of cabinets, refrigerators and in corners where they come in contact with food and where children and pets crawl around on the floor touching it.
There are no known resistance issues to either DE, Silica Gel or Borate dusts.
Pyrethrum, Pyrethroid and neonicotonoid dusts are more toxic than boric acid dusts and should be applied with the same care.
The proper place for dusts is in voids, cracks and crevices where no one except the pest comes in contact with them. Never apply a dust in open areas. Like most synthetic insecticide resistance is well documented. Always where dust mask or respirators when applying any dust product.
Do it yourself pest control aerosols
Just because a pesticide comes in an aerosol can does not mean you can spray your kitchen surfaces down with it, if you do every part of your counter top is contaminated with this chemical and all the food that comes in contact with it is contaminated and ingested.
Over the counter does not mean watered down or less toxic, this is a common misconception when it comes to do it yourself pest control ready to use pesticides. All of these insecticides are premixed at the correct application rates that a professional applicator would dilute to and will kill pests on contact, the active ingredient may break down or degragate but the degraded product may by just as toxic or even more toxic in the environment.
Just because it’s no longer killing the pest does not mean it’s not contaminating!
Using a fogger means you will contaminate every surface, utensil, cup, plate, piece of clothing including undergarments and least likely to control an infestation. Most people think this will kill everything when in fact they make the problem worse by causing the pest to hide and retreat for a while and in some cases cause the pest to divide the nest and multiply by a process known as budding.
Foggers do not really fog or fumigate they are just a very fine mist that goes up in the air and comes down, do not believe for one minute that a fogger will penetrated deep into a wall and kill the pest there.
Do it yourself pest control tablets
Tablets and granular products are extremely dangerous around children and pets because the child or the pet could put it in their mouths or mistake it for food and treats. These should be placed in areas that are not accessible to them.
Tablets, baits and dusts are not compatible with most prays, if you do not understand chemistry and biology you are could be making each product extremely toxic or neutralizing them.
A knowledge of the modes of action of each type of product and active ingredient will determine if you get control of the target pest or you simply contaminate your environment more and more together is not better. Knowing which product to apply where and for what pest will determine if you get control.
If you apply a gel bait that has a non repellent insecticide and apply a pyrethroid repellent spray in the vicinity you just made the bait non appetizing to the pest and thus useless.
This is true for stomach poisons like boric acid whether in tablets or dusts if you sprayed around around with a repellant pyrethroid the roaches won’t even go near it. You waisted your time and money and contaminated your home unnecessarily.
Do it yourself pest control products where to apply them
Do you the the difference between a pyrethroid, carbamate, organophosphate, borate, if you can’t answer that question don’t feel bad most so called professional pest control people can’t either and if you can’t answer that question how do you know if it will control the pest, most importantly how, where and when can you apply them and what are the health risks associated with using them.
Most if not all organophosphates have been banned for use indoors because of the long term toxic effects they are primarily used outside in lawns and gardens. Carbamates are limited to exterior use only because they are Cholinesterase Inhibitors and workers exposed to them must be tested on an annual basis.
Cholinesterase is one of many important enzymes needed for the proper functioning of the nervous systems of humans when inhibited these can cause serious problem in people and pets.
Most of the over the counter pesticides used for lawn are organophosphates and carbamates, why do they sell these products over the counter, because they are very cheap to make they are 50 year old chemicals made around the same time as DDT.
Real professional pest control people have a vast understanding of pest biology and chemistry and what products to use when, where, for what and how often, a pest control professional is not one that comes in with a can once a month and sprays something, heck anyone can do that.
Do it yourself rodenticides
86% of all child poisoning resulting in a trip to the emergency room are the result of pesticide poisoning particularly rodenticide poising by ingesting a anticoagulant or neurotoxin rodent bait placed in the open rather than in a tamper resistant station.
Not only does this violate federal law but places children, pets and wild life at risk killing thousands of animals annually.
Never place a rodenticide indoors if the rat dies in your wall or attic you will live with smell and flies for weeks. Only use rodenticides outdoors and in approved tamper resistant stations.
Before you perform your own pest control service you should.
Identify the pest correctly a German cockroach does not have the same biology as an American cockroach and in the case of an infestation you cannot control them with the same products and procedures.
Select the appropriate protocol and procedures that include exclusion, products and monitoring to ensure you get control. Applying chemicals does equal to pest control.
Read the entire label not just how many ounces to add to a gallon, but where and how you should apply it. What are the restrictions and personal protection equipment required to apply the product.
Is the product only allowed to be applied outdoors
All chemical should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
We believe in helping people perform their own pest control in safe and responsible manner while producing a professional result.