When it comes to pesticide application, safety should be your most significant priority. This is especially important if you are planning to apply pesticide chemicals indoors. There are two common types of pesticides for indoor use, including insecticides and rodenticides. The former is used to kill insects while the latter is used to eliminate rodents or mammals.
Both of these come with accidental poisoning dangers. While rodenticide poisoning usually occurs when pets or children eat a solid bait formulation, most insecticide poisoning occurs when someone absorbs the product through the skin or breathes in particles of the chemical. To help you use pesticides inside your house safely, here is everything that you must keep in mind:
Safety in this context can be defined as the combination of the toxicity of a particular compound and the amount of exposure a non-target creature has to it. The chemists who produce the pesticides try their best to create products that have the lowest levels of toxicity, carcinogenic (cancer-causing) threat, and mutagenic (congenital disabilities) profile. Even so, numerous products have been on the market for years, yet they are found to be associated with cancer and other diseases.
In order to ensure your safety, at least as much as possible, the best thing that you can do is to control exposure. Regardless of how much toxicity a certain product has, you would not be affected as long as you are not exposed to it.
Do whatever you can to prevent the pesticide from entering your body, whether through your skin, eyes, or inhalation. As skin exposure is the most common form of accidental poisoning, it is imperative that your skin is well-covered. Wear long sleeves, long pants, chemical-resistant gloves, socks, shoes, and even a dust mask every time you use any types of pesticides.
Make sure that you read everything on the label on the product you plan on using. The label should tell you not to have anyone or pets in the area. More importantly, it should come with a specific term that indicates how toxic a product is. For example, “caution” is the mildest, “warning” is moderately hazardous, and “danger” is the most harmful.
When it comes to pesticides, a gel or solid product is often safer than a fog or spray. If you want to use sprays, opt for non-aerosol products that have fewer chemicals, easier to control, and produce fewer airborne particles. Keep in mind that there are no safe pesticides, just ones that are more hazardous than others. There are also organic and “non-toxic” pesticides available on the market, such as pyrethrin, but they usually need to be reapplied and take longer to take effect. On the other hand, organophosphates are some of the more toxic insecticides for indoors. If you want to avoid products with toxicity as much as possible, make sure that you stay away from these ingredients: phosmet, diazinon, malathion, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, chlorpyrifos, and dichlorvos.
Assessing the Area
Before you start applying, you should evaluate the area that you are about to treat. Make sure that there are no plants or pets that could be exposed by the treatment. Even fish is prone to insecticide toxicity. Also, birds and reptiles tend to be more susceptible to insecticide poisoning, so make sure that they are not in the area.
Pesticide toxicity can be extremely hazardous to you, your family, and pets. It is crucial that you only apply pesticides to areas that are most likely to be contacted by your target pests to minimize exposure. This cannot be stressed enough, but you should always read every little detail on the label and strictly follow all the instructions.
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