Despite the obvious problems and annoyances of household pests, some homeowners still hesitate to hire professional pest control services for safety concerns.
In this blog on the safety of pest control, we’ll answer the following questions:
- Is pest control toxic to humans?
- What chemicals do pest control companies use?
- How long after pest control is it safe for humans?
- Is pest control safe for pets?
Is Pest Control Toxic to Humans?
Certain pesticides can harm humans, but not all pest control companies use such chemicals or methods. Likewise, chemical-based pesticides vary in toxicity and can be a safe treatment option when appropriately used correctly. Other methods exist, including screens and traps and placing natural predators in the environment.
Insectek offers pest control that is absolutely safe for your family, pets, and plants. We also offer green pest control options, which are chemical-free and harmless to you, your children, and your pets. That said, combining organic and chemical-based methods is typically recommended.
Consult with a pest control professional before using DIY or store-bought pest control to ensure you use the most effective and safe practices for your home. Always read the label, look at the active ingredients before applying pesticides, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
What Chemicals Do Pest Control Companies Use?
Pest control companies use a variety of chemicals to target specific types of pests and the severity of a client’s infestation. Most companies will offer pesticides called pyrethrins and pyrethroids like Permethrin. These pesticides imitate natural ingredients found in chrysanthemums.
Along with pyrethrins and pyrethroids, pest control companies may use other categories of chemicals like organophosphates, neonicotinoids, and carbamates.
- Pyrethroids are the most common pesticides used by pest control companies. They’re man-made and produced by chrysanthemum flowers. The U.S. only approves a few types of pyrethroids, including permethrin, resmethrin, and sumithrin.
- Organophosphates are man-made insecticides typically used in agricultural settings, as well as gardens and veterinary practice. They target insects’ nervous systems to cause paralysis and death.
- Neonicotinoids are used in agriculture and urban landscapes. Neonicotinoids contain a chemical makeup similar to nicotine. They’ve been banned in several states due to how they absorb into plants, potentially harming pollinators.
- Carbamates are derived from carbamic acid, found in salts, esters, and amides. They’re used as sprays or baits to kill pests by targeting the brain and nervous system. Carbamates can also control pests found in stored grain and the general public, like mosquitoes who carry the risk of malaria and dengue fever.
How Long After Pest Control Is it Safe for Humans?
The method and amount of pest control used by pest control companies are based on the existing pests and the severity of infestation. Pest control operators will let you know how long you need to stay out of the house following a treatment. Generally, a pest control company will tell you to wait two to four hours before re-entering the building.
Certain pesticides can absorb into your skin and affect your respiratory system, so it’s always essential to consult with your exterminator before treatment and have a place to stay or be set up.
Is Pest Control Safe for Pets?
Make sure you choose a company focusing on green pest control to minimize the need for pesticides. Pets, especially dogs, like to explore with their nose, putting them at risk of breathing in odors.
While pets shouldn’t be significantly affected by pesticides, keeping them out of the home during pest control treatment and adhering to your exterminator’s directions on how long to stay out is important.
For outdoor pest control, it’s recommended that pets stay indoors for at least 48 hours. This gives the pesticides time to dry in your yard, lawn, or garden completely.