Q: Aren’t pesticides highly toxic to humans and pets?
A: The industry has come a long way since the days of spraying DDT. The products that professional pest management operators use are engineered and regulated to provide low impact control. All pesticides are toxic, but we prefer to use other types of inspection techniques and low-impact products. When that’s not enough, we use pesticides that have low impact, and we only apply pesticides when the particular conditions call for it. We have the most to gain by reducing the toxicity of the products we use.
Q: Are pesticides carcinogenic?
A: If you’re concerned about the toxic effects of any pesticide, ask your pest management operator to give you a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on any product they intend to use before application. The MSDS will tell you exactly what concerns you should have about any particular product.
Q: Other than pesticides, what methods do you use?
A: There are many methods, and the ones we use depend on the species of pest and the local conditions. Sometimes, reducing humidity can eliminate or reduce a pest problem. Sealing a building, or even just door bottoms, can often be effective. Removing firewood or trimming trees and bushes so they don’t come in contact with a building can keep some insects out. Vacuuming using an HEPA filter can also be effective in some cases. That’s why we always do a thorough inspection first—to identify the exact type of pest, where they’re living, and the best means to eliminate the problem.
Q: What’s the best way to take care of an ant problem?
A: It depends on the situation. First, you have to identify the species of ant and where they’re coming from. If you start spraying right away, you may accomplish nothing except breaking one colony into multiple colonies, which can make the situation worse. If the ants are coming from outside, trimming trees and vegetation near the building and sealing cracks, doors and windows can often eliminate the problem. If pesticides are required, there are a number of low-impact products that can be effective. Often, dusting in attics and crawl spaces is enough. Dust products form an envelope that covers a wide area.
Q: Will your sprays remain in my living environment?
A: We don’t just spray into the air and let the pesticide fall over everything. We use products that break down in the environment, and we put them in cracks and crevices, so people and pets aren’t typically exposed. Even if you come in contact with the pesticide, the concentrations are so low that they don’t affect people or pets.
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