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NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR DIY PEST CONTROL

By Zachary Ciras on September 28, 2020.

Many of us are stuck at home and learning how to fend for ourselves, taking on tasks and gamely attempting home projects beyond our realm of experience. Humorous tales are circulating about Harry Homeowner trying to install a skylight or tile a shower stall. Even if these jobs don’t quite work out as expected though, failures shouldn’t affect a family’s health.

There is one Do-It-Yourself trend that could be very harmful and is alarming the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulators: the sale and use of unregistered pesticides. Illegal pesticide products are being sold to and being used by primarily low-income and immigrant apartment tenants who don’t understand the language, don’t realize that pesticides must be EPA-registered, or don’t have the money to buy legal products anyway.

BE WARY OF INDIVIDUALS PEDDLING CHEAP PESTICIDES

In Indiana, Kevin Yang recently pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the federal pesticide act by distributing unregistered pesticides to the tenants and managers of an apartment building that he owned, as well as applying the products himself. Allegedly, during trips to China, Yang purchased multiple boxes of unregistered pesticides labeled “cockroach killer bait” and “cockroach gum bait,” as well as several small, unlabeled bottles of liquid dichlorvos pesticide.

Yang transported these pesticides to the U.S. in his checked luggage with the intent to use them in his apartment building to exterminate cockroaches and bed bugs. None of the pesticide products in question was registered with the EPA. Yang failed to submit the forms required for importation, and did not declare the merchandise to Customs upon his return to the U.S.

THERE ARE REASONS WHY EPA REGULATES PESTICIDES

The Environmental Protection Agency governs the sale and safe use of pesticides through a federal law known as the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Insecticides and other types of pesticides may not be legally sold or used in the U.S. unless the front of the package has a legitimate EPA Registration Number or an exemption. Any product without an EPA designation is illegal and potentially dangerous.

Because we’re all together in our homes for the duration, you definitely don’t want to “poison” the air in your home with an illegal “bug bomb” containing who-knows-what, or contaminate surfaces by misapplication of an illegal cockroach spray. Look for pesticide products sold in legitimate stores with the required label information including active ingredients, safety precautions, application directions, and that all-important EPA Registration Number.

DON’T TRY DIY PEST CONTROL — CALL A PRO

Do-it-yourself pest control always carries an element of risk because the product you’re applying is toxic, at least to some degree. Even if you’re sure that the pesticides you have on hand are registered and legal for use in the U.S., do you really know how to use them safely and effectively? Quiz Yourself on Your Personal Pesticide Use.

Of course you should always carefully read the product label before use, but not everyone can understand label directions. See Why You Should Read the Product Label. Working with a professional pest control company instead can put your mind at ease and save you money in the long run. 

COLONIAL PEST CONTROL IS STILL YOUR SAFEST OPTION 

Colonial has been operating during the pandemic, offering pest control as a state-recognized essential service. We’re still here, continuing to operate under COVID-19 guidelines to keep customers and technicians safe.

If you’re worried about a technician entering your home to provide pest control services, there are safe ways to do this, as well as other options. Give us a call to discuss your concerns. One of our most popular programs provides exterior perimeter treatment twice a year. The idea is to eliminate pests on the outside before they can find their way inside. And, it limits customer-technician interactions; you don’t even have to be home for service. Ask about our Preventative Maintenance Program. 

For more, see: DIY or Professional Exterminator?

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