Chemical Pest Control
A sure-fire solution to pest problems
If you've got a particularly pesky pest problem, it might be time to bring out the big guns and opt for a chemical solution. Chemicals can be very effective in controlling pests but must be used with caution. Always wear gloves and goggles when working with pesticides and keep them away from areas frequented by children and pets. Check with your local health bylaws to determine if the product you intend to use is approved for your area. In the case of especially stubborn pests, such as termites or ants, you may need to call a professional exterminator.
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Each form of chemical pest control is specially formulated for its specific purpose. Never use chemicals meant for one pest on another and always read the label very carefully for instructions and warnings. Some of the more popular forms of chemical pest control include:
- Insecticides - Also known as pesticides, insecticides usually contain a toxic chemical that can be sprayed or placed into the nests of certain pests or along paths they usually follow to enter your home. Pests may take the chemical back to their nests to destroy the entire colony.
- Aerosol repellents - Often containing insecticides or other chemicals and oils that deter bugs, aerosols help disperse the product evenly and in a wider path. Some aerosol repellents are safe for contact with human skin, such as bugs sprays that can be worn outdoors but should be kept away from your eyes and should never be swallowed.
- Foggers and sprays - If you're dealing with an infestation, a fogger or spray may be the solution but must be used with utmost care. Be sure to cover or remove any food or dishes or anything else that may be put in your mouth. Keep the area clear of people and wear protective goggles, a ventilation mask and gloves while using the product. This should be a last resort before calling an exterminator.
- Roach kits - A particularly effective method of killing off a colony of cockroaches, roach kits attract the bugs with a slow-acting poison. The roach returns to the colony and dies, where it is then eaten by the others. The poison in the first cockroach is enough to kill the others who consume it. Other roach traps have a sticky surface that attracts and then traps the insects.
- Poisons - Another chemical that needs to be used with extreme caution, poisons can be used to eliminate mice and other rodents. Because the poisons are quite potent, they can be deadly to humans and pets.
- Insect inhibitors - Using chemicals that are harmless to humans but confusing to mosquitoes, insect inhibitors emit scents that block the sensory receptors of mosquitoes. With blocked receptors, mosquitoes are unable to detect the carbon dioxide that attracts them to humans. If they can't smell you, they'll go in search of another place to dine.
- Mosquito dunks - These chemical tablets float on top of the still water where mosquitoes breed and kill off their larvae before they can grow into adults
- Insecticide coils - A popular choice for patios and other areas where people gather, insecticide coils are lit and produce a scented smoke that deters mosquitoes.
Chemical forms of pest control should be used with extreme caution. Keep them away from kids, pets and food and use them in a well-ventilated area whenever possible.