Pest Control Chemicals – What Do the Pros Use?
Choosing the Right Pest Control Chemicals
If you’re dealing with an annoying pest problem, you’re probably wondering what the best pest control chemicals are to get rid of them safely and effectively.
Pests can be incredibly frustrating and you just want them gone.
Eco Pest Control Adelaide is here to walk you through the most common pesticides, how to use them properly, and some safer alternatives.
Identifying Your Pest Problem
The first step is identifying what type of critter you’re dealing with. This will determine the best chemical approach. Here are some of the most common household pests:
- Ants – These tiny insects love sweet stuff and come marching in trails. They can squeeze into the tiniest cracks and crevices.
- Cockroaches – These nocturnal bugs are masters of hiding in small spaces. They’re known for spreading germs and bacteria around your home.
- Mice & Rats – Rodents like mice and rats chew food through everything and poop everywhere. They reproduce rapidly, too.
- Termites – These wood-munching insects feast on cellulose material and can cause major structural damage.
- Bed Bugs – These blood-sucking parasites come out at night and leave itchy bites on their victims. They hide in beds, couches, and other furniture.
- Fleas – These tiny jumping insects infest carpets and pet bedding and bite pets and humans.
- Ticks – Similar to fleas, ticks latch on to pets and humans to feed on blood. Some transmit nasty diseases.
- Mosquitoes – Female mosquitoes need blood to develop their eggs. Their bites spread diseases like malaria, Zika, and West Nile virus.
Once you know what kind of pest you’re dealing with, you can narrow down the most effective chemicals and treatment methods.
Common Pest Control Chemicals
There are many different chemicals out there, but these are some of the most common and effective for home use:
- Permethrin – It is used against pests, including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Often applied for treating clothing, mosquito nets, and outdoor spaces.
- Cyfluthrin – Effective against roaches, ants, spiders, fleas, flies, and other crawling pests. Commonly found in household sprays and foggers.
- Tetramethrin – Another synthetic pyrethroid used for flying and crawling pest. Frequently used in indoor foggers and aerosols.
- Propoxur – Kills roaches, ants, and spiders. Used in traps and sprays.
- Bendiocarb – Controls flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and other nuisance pests. Used in sprays and foggers.
- Malathion – Absorbed through the exoskeleton, it eliminates pests. Often employed for outdoor mosquito control.
- Diazinon – Applied as a spray or granules to control ants, silverfish, and flies. Being phased out due to environmental and well-being concerns.
Growth Regulators for Insects
- Hydroprene – Disrupts the growth cycle to eliminate cockroaches and fleas. Considered minimally toxic for humans.
- Pyriproxyfen – Stops immature stages from reaching adulthood. Commonly used against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
- Bacillus thuringiensis – This bacteria disrupts the stomach lining of caterpillars and mosquito larvae when ingested. Considered non-toxic.
- Spinosad – Made from naturally occurring soil bacteria. Used against caterpillars, thrips, leafminers, mosquitoes and other flying pests.
- Lufenuron – Prevents cockroach and flea larvae from developing an exoskeleton. Often formulated into pills.
Other Helpful Active Ingredients
- Fipronil – Used in spot treatments to kill roaches, ants, termites, and ticks. Very effective but can be toxic to pets.
- Hydramethylnon – A metabolic inhibitor that kills ants and roaches. Used in baits and granules.
- Imidacloprid – Systemic insecticide taken up by plant roots and leaves. Effective on aphids and whiteflies. Also used for flea control on pets.
- Abamectin – Derived from soil bacteria. Used for mites, leafminers, thrips, and other sucking pests.
- Boric acid –Stomach poison that effectively eliminates roaches, ants, and termites when ingested. Poses minimal risk to mammals.
Safety First – Reading the Label
Homeowners want a quick solution to their pest problems as soon as possible. But please take the time to carefully read the product label before use! This will explain:
- Safety measures
- Personal protective equipment needed
- Hazard warnings
- Proper handling, storage, and disposal
- Where and how to apply the chemical
- How long to wait before re-entering a treated area
Following all directions is crucial to get the desired results while avoiding harm to yourself, others, and pets. Don’t spray haphazardly!
Protect Yourself – Use PPE
Some basic personal protective equipment to use includes:
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Long sleeves and pants
- Closed toe shoes
- Safety goggles
- An appropriate respiratory mask (For spraying or fogging)
Take all safety measures on the label seriously to avoid accidental exposure. And be sure to store chemicals securely away from children and pets.
Proper PPE and care are a small price to pay for an effective and safe method.
Seeking Safer Alternatives
Many homeowners are concerned about exposing their families to harmful chemicals. Thankfully, there are some effective alternatives with lower environmental impact:
- Diatomaceous earth – Made from crushed seashells, it is deadly to pests when they crawl through it. Harmful to mammals.
- Borax – Disrupts the digestive system of roaches and ants. Poses minimal risk to pets, but ensure they stay away from treated areas.
- Essential oils – Oils derived from plants can deter or kill some pests. They break down quickly without lingering chemical residues.
- Insecticidal soaps – Made from natural fatty acids that dissolve aphids. Generally low-risk for humans.
- Gel baits – Contained in child-resistant stations. There is less risk of exposure to pets and kids.
While these usually require more effort and diligent monitoring, they can be effective for some pest problems. Always weigh the pros and cons for your specific situation.
Banned Chemicals and Restricted Use
Certain highly toxic chemicals are banned or heavily restricted:
- DDT – Famously banned after the book Silent Spring exposed its environmental impacts. Still controversially used for mosquito control in some countries.
- Chlordane – Banned in the US and Australia in the 80’s due to cancer risks and environmental persistence. Still detected in soils from historic use.
- Lindane – Banned agricultural use but still allowed in head lice shampoos. Has a notorious history of overuse.
There are also “restricted use” chemicals available only to licensed professionals:
- Fumigants – gases like sulfuryl fluoride, methyl bromide, and Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride) used for whole structure fumigation. Require specialized training, equipment, and licensing to purchase and apply.
- Rodenticides – Anticoagulant rat and mouse traps require strict guidelines so kids and pets don’t get exposed. Should only be applied by professionals.
While powerful, these high strength chemicals come with serious risks if misused by untrained homeowners. Let the pros handle it!
Tips for Homeowners
If you’re a homeowner trying to get rid of pests, start by using traps and natural stuff like diatomaceous earth.
Only use a little bit of chemical spray or trap if the pests are really bad. Carefully read the label and follow all the safety rules and application. Wear gloves and a mask when you use chemicals in your house. Open windows and keep kids and pets away until it dries.
Consider calling a professional if you can’t get rid of the pests after trying these things.
Tips for Professionals
If you’re a licensed exterminator, you can use stronger chemicals that homeowners can’t buy.
But you still need to be very careful! Wear protective gear like respirators and chemical suits when you spray. Follow all the company’s rules and laws about using chemicals. Use traps and gels instead of sprays when you can.
Tell customers how long to stay away after you treat their home. Getting rid of pests is your job, but safety should always be your top concern.
Using chemicals for pest control can really help get rid of bugs and rodents in your house.
But you have to be very careful and always follow the directions. Use gloves and a mask so you don’t breathe in the chemicals. Keep kids and pets away when you spray. Only use a little bit, don’t go crazy spraying everywhere.
Try some natural stuff first if you can. And make sure to lock up chemicals in a high cabinet away from children. Be safe and you’ll get rid of those pests for good!