Expecting mothers are often warned away from so many foods and activities, but pesticides often get left off that list. I am going to address a specific concern in this article concerning expectant mothers and the safe use of insecticides. My normal goal when approaching any situation is eliminating the target pest because this is what the customer expects. However the most important part of my job is to protect the customer from any unnecessary insecticide exposure thus keeping the customer and their family safe. My name is Thomas Budnick I have been in the pest control industry for 20 years. First with Terminix International and then with Central Arkansas Pest Services of which I am a founding member. I have countless hours of experience, professional training, and personal research in structural pest control.
I will begin by saying that using a quality pest control professional to address your pest control needs is highly recommended and preferred. There are many factors that go into a control program that simply cannot and are not taken into consideration by a “do it yourself” approach. Insect Identification, insect life cycles, behaviors, and tendencies will be known and understood by a professional . Control methods that do not involve the use of insecticides will be known and understood by a good professional. Just because a particular pest has been sighted does not mean we immediately grab a can of insecticide and spray it. The risk to benefit must be weighed particularly in the case of expectant mothers. If an ant or two is sighted does not mean we have to “spray” the whole house, there may be no need at all for any insecticide application. There is a common misconception that starts with “I seen one, therefore my home is infested by unseen hundreds of pests” when nothing could be further from the truth. One of the first things a good professional will do is inspect your home and they will make you aware of any issues. They will answer any questions that you may have and certainly address any concerns. A good professional will layout a plan that takes into consideration expectant mothers, children, and pets.
Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides:
- Prevention – Keeping your home clean and free of standing water.
Cockroaches are attracted to food residue on dishes, crumbs on floors, and moisture sources such as water accumulating in the sink. Have someone help out with cleaning to keep up on materials that can attract them to the home. Keeping the kitchen sink dry between uses and using a sink stopper can reduce the number of fruit flies attracted to sink drains.
- Professional help – When hiring a professional be sure to let them know you are expecting.
Mosquitoes can be kept away from the home using commercial traps that use heat, light and carbon dioxide in combination to lure and trap them.
- DIY – Use with caution.
Many people also swear by homemade flea traps made with soapy water. A pan is filled with water to which a drop of dish soap has been added to reduce surface tension. Then, a light is pointed toward the water surface overnight. Fleas are attracted to the light and drown in the water below.
The fact is I could go on and on about insecticide application and all the factors the industry uses to be sure that the application is both the correct one and safe for everyone including expectant mothers. After 20 years in the business I have had the privilege of being welcomed by families and keeping their homes pest free. I have seen children grow up, it is amazing how they love to follow the man with the flashlight walking around their home. Kids always ask the best questions and are genuinely interested in your answers. I get a kick out of the kids because once I have developed a relationship with them, they are now excited about the world of insects and want birthday parties and presents with an insect theme and during the next cycle that I am at their home they now have their own flashlight helping me with my job. The greatest compliment I get is when these kids begin to have families of their own and without hesitation they call me for their pest control needs. So finding a trusted professional is the best advice I can give when the safety of your family is the concern.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS PEST SERVICES
802 THIRD AVENUE
CONWAY AR 72032
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