All Creatures Great and Small

Hazards of pesticides

This may be long, but if you are interested in the hazards of pesticide use, you may want to read it. I am posting this because warm weather is here and pests will be around. We all know the pharmaceutical industry in this country has outrageous prices and most of the prescription drugs have side effects that may require more medical attention. They are required to list the side effects on their television commercials. The pesticide industry is equally as bad and many people do not know the hazards.

Many pest control companies spray the baseboards in a house and call that pest control. When I started in this industry 45 years I asked my supervisor why we sprayed baseboards. He told me we had to kill time in a customer’s house so they thought they were getting their money’s worth. That was true then and is true now. The pesticide labels explain how to control pests by applying pesticides to cracks and crevices where pests hide and that is the way it should be. However it is not illegal to spray baseboards because it isn’t prohibited on the label. A pest control applicator can do anything with a pesticide unless it is prohibited. The reason it isn’t prohibited is because the pesticide industry wants pest control companies to spray pesticides along baseboards and anywhere else because the more pesticides the applicator uses, the more pesticides they will buy.

Many companies spray pesticides around the outside of homes also. This is another worthless method of pest control. I have seen pesticide applicators spraying in the rain when the rain will wash the pesticides into areas they shouldn’t be. I have seen applicators spraying in the winter when there is no pest activity. I have seen pesticide applicators spraying in very hot weather when the pesticide breaks down very quickly. Spraying pesticides around a home kills many beneficial insects and does not eliminate pests. Pest control should be all about eliminating a particular pest or pests and not generically destroying the ecosystem. Spraying pesticides generically in and around homes is gimmickry and not real pest management.

The pest control industry likes to use synthetic pyrethroid pesticides and occasionally carbamates or organophosphates. These are all potentially dangerous There are pesticides that are EPA Exempt, which means the EPA considers them safe. These are what pest control companies should use, but they don’t like them as they have very limited residual properties.

Many applicators spraying Roundup and other herbicides can’t identify the weeds they are spraying. The Roundup label mentions which plants it kills and which ones it suppresses, so you would think the applicator should know what he is trying to kill or suppress.

There are some companies that do pest control properly, and if you have to use a company, then make sure they are properly qualified. If you hire a pest control company, make sure they use EPA Exempt pesticides only and never allow a company to come out on a regular basis and just generically spray pesticides in or around your home. When I worked for a very large national company about 30 years ago, we used to have meeting where we were told to make sure we convinced customers that the pesticides break down in 30 days and we need to reapply them every month. The reason we had to tell them that is so the company could generate monthly income. It had nothing to do with pest management. I asked the service manager in that company what kind of ants we had in NM. He said we only had inside ants and outside ants. This was the service manager for one of the largest pest control companies in the country.

Generic pesticide spraying is potentially dangerous, will disrupt the ecosystem by killing non-target organisms, is expensive and rarely totally effective. There are lots of safe and effective ways to control pests.

I have helped thousands of people do their own pest management over many years and I have never had a single person say the methods I recommended didn’t work and they were going back to a pest control company. There are incidents when you have to hire a pest company. Certainly, if you have termites, although there are some situations where you can do that yourself. If you have an infestation of dangerous pests like yellowjackets, then you need to hire a professional. If you are physically unable to do it yourself, then you should hire someone, but make sure they are qualified and they use EPA Exempt pesticides.

How do I control cockroaches? Duct tape and beer and maybe pheromone traps. How do I control ants? There are several commercial baits available, such as Terro Bait, and there are other baits you can make at home. How do I control carpet beetles? Dirty socks and cheese will work. How do I control paper wasps on my home? A hose, some Skin-so-Soft and a small brown paper bag. How do I control spiders? Peppermint essential oil and a mixture of soap, water and alcohol. Toxic pesticides are not necessary for any of these pests and most other pests.

As I said I have helped thousands of people in the past and I intend to help thousands more. How much is it? Much cheaper than any pest control company, as it is free. Some people donate to my cause (Public safety and an earth-friendly environment) if they want, but it isn’t necessary. My purpose is to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate the use of pesticides in our society. Email me if you have any pest questions and I will help you to the best of my ability. My email is



About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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