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Are Pesticides Safe for Kids and Pets?

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Are Pesticides Safe for Kids and Pets?

Are pesticides safe for kids and pets?

One of the most common questions that we receive when customers are evaluating our pest control services is whether or not our products are kid and pet-friendly. This makes total sense…we all want to protect our children and pets from the dangers that pesticides may introduce and want to be aware of the trade-offs we’re making to keep our homes relatively free from insects.

Although many of our clients have young children, the stats related to pet ownership are staggering… more than 70% of US households own pets, and the pet owners that we know aren’t cutting corners when it comes to the well-being of their dogs and cats, much less their kids. So we’ve pulled together a list of the products that Remedy uses most often and will discuss in more detail how the products work and what if any, risks they pose to those we love and care for.

Safety is a Huge Homeowner Priority

The majority of homeowners who choose Remedy actively seek a company that can offer safer products. If this is one of your concerns – don’t worry, you’re not alone (and you’ve found the right place to learn more)!

Thankfully, over the many years that pest control services have been around, the products used by pest management professionals have rapidly evolved. The days of spraying the strongest available product in the highest quantities are mostly a part of the past (although there are a few old dogs left that refuse to learn new tricks). In fact, most modern pest control companies have become focused on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods and best practices for pest treatment and prevention.

IPM encourages a different approach than the old-school pesticide companies employed a generation ago. The whole philosophy behind IPM is to use pesticides as a last resort (after pursuing monitoring and exclusion options), and even then, to use them in minimal effective quantities.

OK, So What Products Does Remedy Use?

Remedy’s two primary general pest control products are Alpine WSG and Fendona CS, both manufactured by BASF. As a best practice, we apply Alpine in the interior of the home using a B & G Tank Sprayer, and Fendona (using a Milwaukee Backpack Sprayer) on the exterior. Fendona’s chemical structure allows it to last longer and resist breakdown due to the outside elements through a manufacturing process called “micro-encapsulation”. On the other hand, the “WSG” in Alpine WSG means “water soluble granule,” which means that it mixes well with water and would therefore perform better in areas where it won’t be affected by rain, like the inside of most homes.

Are These Family-Friendly Products?

In a word, yes. Remedy chose Alpine for use in the interior of your home because it poses a reduced-risk to your children and pets. The active ingredient in Alpine is Dinotefuran, which has a low toxicity as well as low pest resistance. This is because Dinotefuran targets a specific sodium channel that is present in a whole host of insects but is not present in humans or pets!

Dinotefuran is a contact poison to pests only. It works by binding to receptors in the pest and mimicking acetylcholine, ultimately attacking the nervous system and causing the insects to die. In mammals (like you, your children, and your dogs and cats), Dinotefuran isn’t able to bind to the receptors because mammalian acetylcholine receptors are different from those in insects. Because it can’t bind to receptors, it’s considered a very low toxicity.

The active ingredient in Fendona (our go-to outside product) is alpha-cypermethrin. This ingredient works by binding to the pest’s nerve cells. This causes a paralysis that prohibits insects from doing normal, required functions, such as eating and grooming. When an insect can’t feed itself, it will end up dying from starvation.

Alpha-cypermethrin is actively used to treat pests in areas such as food granaries, greenhouses, and pet kennels. Once the Fendona is applied and completely dried, it’s safe for children and pests.

Another added bonus to Fendona is that the alpha-cypermethrin is encapsulated, meaning that this active ingredient is held within a capsule. This feature gives the product an overall reduced risk of exposure.

Science Aside, What Does This Mean?

All this is to say, there is a reduced risk to humans and pets! These products are considered “pet-friendly and kid-friendly.” We use Alpine on the interior of your house because we understand that this is super low risk. The great part about Alpine (besides killing bugs, of course) is that it doesn’t leave any visual residue! Anything that water can be applied to, Alpine can too, without the worries of staining.

Safety is always the main priority, so to be extra cautious, let the product dry in your home (about 15 minutes) before letting dogs investigate and little ones crawl through it! The products we use outside are slightly stronger, so before letting anyone roam unsupervised, wait about 30-45 minutes to let Fendona settle in.

What Happens if Pesticides are Ingested?

If Alpine or Fendona are ingested, always follow the label directions. As we said earlier, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Luckily, our products are made to have a low impact, and there should be little to no issues. The worst we’ve ever heard of was an upset stomach. As a matter of fact, Alpine is recommended for newer technicians to use because of its low toxicity!

The poison control center should be contacted if you are ever concerned! They can be reached at 800-222-1222.

What Can I Do to Reduce Exposure?

As I mentioned before, we highly recommend letting the products completely dry before touching those surfaces. Typically, it takes about 30 minutes for them to dry, but this can vary depending on the environment. Keep your pets supervised while the exterior treatment is being applied since the products cover more surfaces. Once dry, your pets will be okay to be outside unsupervised.

The biggest tip we can give you is to not overspray! Once your home is on a maintenance schedule and you aren’t seeing any pests, try to limit your treatments to the exterior only. If an interior treatment is desired, focus only on high-traffic areas, entry points, and kitchens/bathrooms. By reducing the amount of pesticides applied to your property, you can reduce the amount of exposure!

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