Is Pest Management Safe for My Family and Pets

One of the big reasons people tend to shy away from hiring a pest control service is that the pesticides and chemicals are hazardous to their pets or small children. While somewhat true, there are a lot of misconceptions about pest control and extermination services that you should know about.

First of all, not all pest treatments are the same. People tend to picture big clouds of toxic fumes or chemical sprays, which are only two of the potential options for exterminators. And even those aren’t as bad as people think.

An effective technique for getting rid of many kinds of crawling pests is the bait trap. Tempting bait materials are left in areas with insect activity, with the expectation that the bait is taken back to the main nest where it slowly but eventually poisons the rest of the colony. Yes, the baits are toxic to any other animals or children who happen to eat them but they are often placed in small plastic containers or stations to keep that from happening. Keeping the bait stations in unseen areas, like under sinks or a basement help too.

Pest Control

What about the chemical sprays? Again, they are toxic but only for a very short period of time and only if you are in the immediate vicinity when they are laid down. They are usually a very targeted spray of liquid that is applied directly to surfaces. It’s not sprayed at random in the air like a fog (that’s another treatment altogether). After you’ve left enough time for the pesticide to dry, it’s perfectly safe unless you have kids or pets who are likely to lick the baseboards or the back corners of your cupboards.

To avoid toxins completely, you can also give sticky traps a try. They are very safe unless a pet or child gets themselves stuck in one. Like with the other options, a good pest control specialist knows where to place these traps where they are effective but also out of the way.

One treatment that is more of a risk to your health than others is a full-house fumigation. This is usually done for a serious termite infestation rather than for minor problems with other insects. Considering the damage that termites do to the wood in a house, drastic steps are just necessary to get rid of them. Your house is tented and completely filled with a pesticide vapor to kill the termites. After a few days, it is vented away and you can return to a (hopefully) pest-free home.

The fog doesn’t leave a residue because it stays in vapor form, which is why the tenting is necessary. It’s recommended that you wash your dishes after a fumigation and that you remove open food during the treatment, but otherwise the house is safe once the process is done.

Overall, a standard and professionally done pest control treatment is quite safe as long as you follow any instructions that your exterminator leaves, in terms of staying out of certain rooms or avoiding areas while they are there. Avoid chemicals is a great idea as long as you don’t let insects overrun the house as an alternative.

Erin Emanuel