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Before You Pull The Trigger
At the first site of a home invasion of bugs, don't run for the spray gun. First, learn a little about the insect and how much of an invasion has really occurred. There just may be an easy way for you to get rid of the pest without putting yourself, your family, or your pets at risk. However, if a showdown is what it takes, there are some steps you should take to keep your home environment safe and healthy for your family.
The behavior of certain pests can help you eliminate them. For example, if your problem is cockroaches in your kitchen, you can set out baits in the corners of cabinets or hide them behind appliances against the wall. This is because cockroaches tend to follow along walls when they scout for food and water. No matter what insect has invaded your home, knowing your opponent will help you choose an effective and economical way to eliminate your infestation.
The pest may decide to avoid a showdown. Run them out of town by removing sources of food, water, and shelter. Most insects come into your home for these reasons. If the necessities for life are not there, they will go elsewhere. You may need to have a leaky faucet repaired and store food in sealed containers. You may also need to seal cracks under doors, next to windows, and around drainpipes to keep the insects from entering your home. Throwing out unnecessary paper boxes and paper bags can also eliminate places for insects to hide.
Use baits first because they are usually clean and have little or no odor. However, you must place them away from kids and pets. A child or pet may be attracted to bright colors or mistake the bait for a toy or treat.
You may also want to try an organic solution that is less harmful to the environment and often has fewer odors. However, organic does not mean it will be completely harmless to you, your family, or pets. You still need to follow the manufactures safety precautions when using organic pesticides.
To get ready for the showdown, read the label first. And read all of it, so you will know how to apply the pesticide, how much pesticide you need, where and where not to apply it, and most importantly, what to do in case of an emergency. The special warnings not only tell you to keep it out of your eyes, for example, but what to do if you spray and it's carried to your eyes.
If sprays are necessary, only use what is approved for home or indoor use and use only the recommended amount. Inside your home a chemical can be toxic, especially those designed for the outdoors. Chemicals designed for the outdoors often remain toxic longer inside than they would outdoors, because outdoors the chemical will breakup and disperse to some degree, but inside the wind and elements are not there to help this happen. When spraying indoors, you may want to air out the house before you close it up for the night.
Don't over do it. More is not better when it comes to chemicals in and around your home. Use the amount recommended on the label. The manufacturer of the product makes recommendations with the expectation that you will use it properly for the right insect, in the right volume, and in the right environment.
Don't forget to dispose of unused pesticides properly. You will find the disposal instructions on the label. And don't transfer the pesticide to another container or use the pesticide container for something else. Of course, keep stored pesticides away from children and pets. In the United States, every 15 seconds a poison control center takes a call. Most of the calls are concerning a child and a substance the child found in the home.
If your home has been invaded with pests, don't be fast on the trigger. Take a little time to learn about your opponents and then run them out of town. But if a showdown is the only way to rid your home of the pest, be the quickest on the draw by selecting a product designed for the pest and one that is suited for use in your home. For more information on products or pest, please go to www.pestproductsonline.com. For our organic selection, visit http://www.pestproductsonline.com/st_organic_category.htm.
About the Author: Dennise Brogdon is the managing editor of the Hughston Health Alert, a quarterly, patient-information newsletter, and she is an editorial assistant for the National Athletic Trainers' Association's scientific journal, the Journal of Athletic Training. Dennise is a Web site copywriter and editor. She has experience writing and editing SEO copy and META tags, brochures, advertorials, video scripts, and other technical and promotional material, as well. Dennise earned a BA in English with professional writing as an emphasis at Columbus State University. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Georgia Writers Association.