Why do we use Pesticides?
The benefit of pesticides lies in their ability to manage a pest problem that potentially could become out of control and could threaten the health of you and your family, pets and plants, or threaten the quality of your home, school or business. Pesticides also protect roadsides, utilities, rights-of-way, forests and lakes from pest damage. Pesticides help to limit the damage that can be caused by insects. Whether it is an insecticide for controlling termites or fleas in your home, pesticides are analogous to the medicines we use to preserve our own health.
How can an insecticide control insects and not be harmful to people and pets?
It is a well-established medical and scientific principle that the amount of a substance used determines whether it is harmful. With pesticides, the amount of pesticide needed to control insects is many orders of magnitude lower than the amount which would affect mammals, such as humans and pets. Remember, exposure alone does not equal risk.
How do we know that these products aren't harmful to humans or wildlife?
The pesticide industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. Before a product is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, it must be rigorously tested for potential human health and environmental effects. This process can take up to 10 years and involve up to 120 different tests and studies. Today, manufacturers may invest as much as $30 to $50 million or more in product testing before a new pesticide ever comes to the market. These tests are required, designed and reviewed by EPA scientists and are conducted according to EPA standards.
Can pesticide applications harm dogs and cats?
No, not if label instructions are followed. All pesticides are carefully tested before they can be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and before they are sold. Part of this testing includes determining possible effects on non-target organisms such as pets. Pesticides which pose an unacceptable risk to non-target organisms cannot be registered. Of course, you should follow the same re-entry procedures for cats and dogs as is recommended for humans. Wait until the treated area dries before walking on or touching treated areas.