Many private pest control companies have recently seen a substantial increase in business. A milder winter and spring around much of the country has brought out bugs in record numbers. Widespread fear of West Nile, Lyme and other diseases carried by those insects is prompting homeowners to search for professional services that use chemical sprays to control ticks, wasps, mosquitos, spiders, and other bugs. Numerous pest control companies have popped up that will come out to your home and spray the exterior perimeter with a chemical substance designed to kill these pests.
While many homeowners are subscribing to these services to protect their families from the dangers associated with bug bites, there are numerous environmental experts and government officials who oppose the widespread use of pesticides. These opponents cite numerous health risks for kids, from asthma attacks to long-term learning and reproductive problems as their main concern. The products used in mosquito and insect control contain numerous harmful chemicals that have been linked to numerous health problems.
Many of the sprays used to control outdoor bugs contain chemicals such as: malathion, naled and resmethrin. Malathion, an organophosphate, is neurotoxic and it can disrupt nervous system function. Besides causing headaches, nausea and diarrhea, it has been linked to gene damage causing attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Naled is another organophosphate which disrupts nervous system function, also causing headaches, nausea and diarrhea and it can also interfere with prenatal brain development. Resmethrin is classified by the World Health Organization as a neuropoison. Lab studies on rats showed that resmethrin interfered with reproduction, increasing numbers of stillborn deliveries even at the lowest exposure tested.
There are “inactive” chemicals used in these pesticides to help the killing (active) chemicals stick to foliage. These additional chemicals could also be harmful to people’s nervous and respiratory systems. Furthermore, each chemical doesn’t necessarily act alone; the pair of pesticides could interact to cause additional harm.
Not only do these chemicals pose a threat outdoors, they can also wreak havoc on your home air quality. People and pets track these chemicals indoors, and they can also be introduced into your indoor air through your ventilation system.
Protect the health of your family by forgoing dangerous chemical sprays to control outdoor pests and opt for natural remedies and healthier pest control measures. Make sure your home’s exterior is free from any type of receptacles or debris that collect standing water where mosquito larvae thrive. Keep grass cut short and avoid planting any large bushes or shrubbery. Use citronella plants in pots on patios and porches as a natural repellant and wear loose fitted clothing that covers your body when outdoors during dusk and dawn when mosquitos and other insects are most active.