Using Pesticides to Prevent Pest Infestations in Your Home

There are pesticides that are used in agriculture to control weeds, insect infestations and diseases. There are also pesticides that are used for home to deal with harmful pests such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats and mice, and more.

There are both natural and synthetic pesticides available in the market. Both natural and synthetic pesticides should be used correctly and safely to get the best results.

What are natural Pesticides?

Natural pesticides are the result from consumers’ demand for more environmentally-friendly and sustainable pest control products.

The materials used to make natural pesticides come from nature, such as minerals, plants and microorganisms. They don’t remain in the environment for long compared to synthetic pesticides. Natural pesticides are also less toxic and “greener” than synthetic ones.

There are many types of natural pesticides: Botanical Pesticides, Biochemical Pesticides and Microbial Pesticides.

Botanical Pesticides. These pesticides are made from plants or minerals. One example is neem, which is derived from the neem tree and is effective against termites, caterpillars and aphids. Another is pyrethrins, a compound found in some chrysanthemum flowers. It can treat pests like mosquitoes, flies, moths and fleas.

Biochemical Pesticides. The substances in biochemical pesticides, like plant hormones, interfere with mating and reproductive behaviours to prevent pests from breeding.

Microbial Pesticides. These pesticides have microorganisms, like fungus, viruses and bacteria, as active ingredients. Strafzins of Bacillus thuringiensis (bt), the most common microbial pesticides, kills the larvae of specific pests such as mosquitoes and flies.

What are the benefits of natural pesticides?

There are many benefits in using natural or organic pesticides. Going natural is kinder to the environment as you are not contributing to pollution and are not introducing new chemicals into the soil and plants.

Second is the health benefit. Because they are made from natural ingredients, you are not exposed to chemicals that may be harmful to your health or your pets.

What are synthetic pesticides?

Synthetic pesticides are manufactured from chemical alteration. They have received a bad rep over the years because of the supposedly toxic substances in them that harm people and the environment. However, the pesticides of today are formulated to target to specific pests. Thus, they pose little to no risk to non-target pests.

There are concerns that synthetic pesticides have active ingredients that are carcinogens, teratogen or mutagens. It is important to let people know that this is not true for all synthetic products.

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Natural vs Synthetic Pesticides

You may find it hard to choose between natural pesticides and synthetic pesticides for use in your home. Which is safer and more effective?

Before making the decision, make sure you have identified the problem pest correctly. You may be hearing noises in your roof at night and assumed that they are rodents. But the animals making the racket could be possums. Misidentifying the pest can result in the purchase of the wrong pesticide.

Remember that all pesticides, both natural and synthetic, are toxic. They differ only in the level of toxicity. The most effective pesticide for your home is the one that is formulated for the pest that you are trying to eliminate.

Whether you choose a natural or synthetic product, the key is using it responsibly, in smaller quantities, in targeted areas and according to the instructions set by the manufacturer.

Preventing Pest Infestation

Most pests thrive in environments that are unhygienic and where food and water are easily accessible. Pest infestation can be avoided by eliminating the conditions that are ideal for pests or creating barriers around these environments.

Physical barriers can be installing fly or mosquito screens, eliminating stagnant water or blocking gaps around pipes or the property.

Leftover foods should be stored properly in containers with tight lids. In addition, food scraps should be cleaned after every meal or after eating snacks.

Rubbish is like a magnet to pests because it is a good source of food for them. Make sure rubbish are disposed properly and rubbish bins are always closed and cleaned regularly.




Safety Tips for Using Synthetic Pesticides at Home

Before using a pesticide, or even before opening the container, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Strictly follow the instructions, including how much to use and what safety precautions must be observed. This can include the correct protective clothing to wear while applying the pesticide.

Mixing pesticides is a bad idea. It is not going to make the product more effective. In fact, you could be setting off a potentially dangerous chemical reaction.

Don’t apply the pesticide or place the baits or traps in places that children and pets can easily reach.

Lastly, wash your hands after using the pesticide.

After using, store the pesticide in its original containers and close the lid tightly. Put it in a storage space that is out of the reach of children. Preferably, lock the pesticide in a high cupboard in your garage.

When to Call for Pest Control Specialists

If you are not confident in using pesticides by yourself, ask for professional assistance from experienced pest control experts.

Their services include identifying the pest that is causing havoc in your home and recommending the effective treatment for them. When chemicals are involved in pest control, it is best to leave the job to licensed and trained pest control specialists.

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