Safety Tips: Dogs and Cats in Cold Weather
There Are Safety Concerns That Come Along With Bedbug Treatment. Here’s What You Should Know
What Should I Ask My Pest Control Expert to Know He or She Plays It Safe?
Since insecticides come with a risk of toxicity, many people leave their use to professionals. But how do you know the professionals are using them correctly? Here are some questions to ask before hiring someone to treat your home or office.
- Do you use IPM techniques?IPM stands for “integrated pest management” and involves identifying the bugs, treating them with a multifaceted approach, and then following up if the bugs are still active. (7) It’s important to use a few different methods to treat bedbugs, both chemical and nonchemical, since there’s no one product that can get rid of them all in one fell swoop. For one thing, you'll need a follow-up visit because insecticides don’t kill bedbug eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch at room temperature. ()
- How long have you been in business under this name and address?Armed with this information, you can consult groups such as the Better Business Bureau or the EPA to see if there have been complaints filed against the company for their use of insecticides. (9)
- Do you have a list of references?It’s a good idea to call people who have worked with the company in the past. Ask them about the company’s service and whether or not they were successful in treating the problem, and whether they noticed any side effects post-treatment.
- Are you a certified, licensed pesticide applicator or a licensed technician?You can check the license by calling your state’s department of agriculture.
- What products and concentration levels will you use?This can be helpful information for you to know in case there are extra safety precautions you need to be aware of. Lazarus suggests checking to make sure the product is registered with the EPA. You should also check the labels themselves to make sure bedbugs are specifically listed. (10)
It’s your right to know what insecticides are being applied in your space. In addition to noting the EPA registration number (EPA Reg. No.) on the product’s label, you’ll want to look up the Material Safety Data Sheets associated with the product.
Another precautionary step you can take is to give your doctor or vet a heads up about the products that will be used. He or she should be able to advise if there’s anything you need to be aware of.
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