No matter the season, pests can cause problems for your household. Whether they are inside or outside, pests can be simply an annoyance, or pose a serious health concerns. The importance of controlling a pest varies with the situation.
While you may be willing to tolerate some weeds in your lawn or some spiders in your basement, certain pests present serious threats. Before applying any pesticide, consider alternatives for managing home and garden pests. Through your choice and care of plants, general housekeeping and home maintenance practices, and care of pets, pests can frequently be controlled.
Often the need for pesticides can be reduced or even eliminated using methods that are less expensive and produce longer lasting results.
Here are some home improvement tips for preventing pest problems:
Maintenance your lawn, keep it thick and healthy by regular mowing and using fertilizer will help guard against weeds
Choose pest-resistant plants for your landscaping
Regularly clean dishes and counter tops, remove garbage and open food containers
Seal cracks in the walls, along baseboards, behind sinks and around windows
Eliminate standing water
Put screens over vents and pipes that open to the outside
Seal spaces around corners and pipes
For more tips regarding the prevention of mosquitoes visit our page about the West Nile Virus
At times the use of pesticides seems unavoidable. If your situation requires the use of chemical treatments, safe handling is crucial to the safety of not only yourself, but also your loved ones. Pesticides differ in how poisonous they are to humans. Certain pesticides are very toxic to animals, some plants are very sensitive to certain chemicals.
The following are some guidelines from the EPA when using a pesticide:
Read the label and follow the directions for use and disposal carefully
Use only EPA-registered pesticides (look for “EPA Reg. #” on the label)
Before applying a pesticide, remove children, toys, food and pets from the area
Always store pesticides out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet or shed
Never put pesticides in or around food containers
Never place rodent or insect baits within the reach of children
Teach children that “pesticides are poisons”-something they should not touch
Never use outdoor chemicals inside the home
If you have any questions, you can contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). The NPIC is a toll-free telephone service that provides pesticide information to anyone calling in the United States, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
The NPIC can direct callers to resources when inquiring about:
Pesticide incident investigation
Emergency treatment for humans or animals
Clean-up and disposal
Phone: 1-800-858-7378 (PEST)
Operating hours: 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, 7 days a week, not including holidays
Visit NPIC on-line at http://npic.orst.edu.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Pesticides Section (SP-14J)
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Department of Public Health
Division of Environmental Health
525 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761