Pesticides are chemical products used to kill bugs or other organisms which can harm people, plants, and animals. Various pesticides fall into different categories and are usually designed to target a specific living problem, such as algae, bed bugs, or ants. Home and business owners usually have easy access to pesticides and can buy them at many general and hardware stores. However, people should do research before picking one which is right for them, and should know they cannot buy the strong products used by professional pest control companies. In the United States, the most common pesticides are plant protection products, insecticide, and rodenticide.
Plant protection products account for 80% of the pesticides used in the United States. Farmers and corporations spray these products on or near their crops to prevent a wide range of problems, including creatures who would steal food, plants which could take vital soil nutrients, and bugs who could destroy entire crops. This type of pesticide is bound by strict regulations by the EPA and continues to undergo scientific testing to limit toxicity and prevent mass poisoning of humans and animals who eat the crops. Most home and business owners have no use for these pesticides unless they have substantial crops. Instead, people are more likely to encounter general insecticides during their regular schedules.
An insecticide is a pesticide specifically designed to kill insects and other pests that people call bugs. Home and business owners use insecticides to combat invaders like ants, bed bugs, stinging insects, cockroaches, and many others. These products can be bought by the general population and come in three types: natural insecticides, inorganic insecticides, and organic insecticides. They are also classified by whether they have long term or short term efficiency. Scientists derived natural insecticides from other organic products like nicotine or neem. Inorganic pesticides tend to be made from metals like copper, while organic insecticides are actually organic chemical compounds. Home and business users commonly use this type of pesticide and have for millennia. People should be careful when purchasing this type of pesticide because many of them have residual environmental effects and are also toxic for humans and animals who ingest the product or come into contact with it.
The final significant pesticide category is that of the rodenticides. Rodenticides are pesticides designed to combat rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, and gophers. Many rodenticides are specially made to avoid rodents’ poison shyness. Many rodents will sample a food first and then wait to see if it makes them sick. If one rodent becomes sick after eating it, the others will avoid it. To get around this problem, rodenticides often will not kill their target pest until the rodent has ingested multiple doses. Like many other pesticides, rodenticides are toxic to humans and animals and have residual effects. Any animal which ingests a poisoned rodent is liable to become poisoned themselves.
Overall, pesticides are a useful tool of pest management and control. Home and business owners have many options at their disposal and can trust that each one has been approved by the EPA. People should be careful to read the instructions carefully and obey the warnings on the products. If someone does not feel comfortable working with pesticides on their own, professional pest control companies are great resources who can handle the products safely and effectively.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!