PESTICIDES
IN YOUR

HOME
 SOME TIPS ABOUT

PESTICIDES AND THEIR

  ALTERNATIVES


   JUNE 2001
   $EPA
   New England

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        DO  YOU NEED A  PESTICIDE?
 Many homeowners treat pest problems with pesticide products
 bought during weekly shopping. However, these products are a
 potential hazard to people and the environment Your home and
 homes you and your family visit may hold more pesticides
 than you expect. Pesticides pose a potential hazard to people
 and the environment, particularly when applied, stored or
 disposed of improperly

 There are several activities that you can do before you decide
 to use a pesticide. If you are  practicing good sanitation, doing
 routine home maintenance and addressing moisture problems.
 whether you realize it or not, you are preventing pests and
 taking part in the cultural  control portion of: Integrated Pest
 Management (IPM).
           INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)

           A process of balanced use of cultural, biological
           and chemical procedures that are environmentally
           compatible. It is a philosophy of pest control that
           uses the best combination of these methods. IPM
           promotes a healthy environment, is cost effective
           and may offer longer-lasting results using fewer
           pesticides.

           Interior or structural pest management, using IPM,
           is made up of several steps: noticing the damage,
           identifying the pest, controlling the pest, and
           preventing the pest from returning to your home.
IPM  promotes a healthy

environment, is cost eftective

and may offer longer-lasting
results using fewer pesticides.

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                               DO YOU HAVE PESTS
Know that pests need: air, moisture, food and shelter to
survive. Eliminating these elements is the key to eliminating
the pest.

Pest damage comes in many forms, or sometimes, you may
actually see the pest itself. Signs that pests may be in your
home include: mold or moisture, mouse droppings, sawdust
from carpenter ants, termites (known as "swarmers" seen
during spring and fall months), and unwanted birds taking
daily shelter in the eaves of your home.

Sometimes damage may not be easily seen. Mud tunnels on
outside walls and wood damage indicate presence of termites.
You can identify what's causing the problem through research
at your local library or bookstore. There are also pest identifi-
cation websites that you can search and explore.
         PESTS CAN...

           ^seriously damage human and animal health
             by introducing allergens and disease
             pathogens.
           > contaminate human and animal foodstuffs.
           * damage the structural integrity of your home.
           ^-compromise the safety of your home by
             chewing on wires or furnishings.
                             Pests need air, moisture, food

                                   and shelter to survive
                              eliminating these elements is

                             the key to eliminating the pest

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IN YOUR HOME?
      Pests may enter your home in a number of ways. Mice can
      enter through small cracks in the foundation (as small as 1/
      4") or under doors. Cockroaches can flatten their bodies and
      crawl through a crack thinner than a dime. Your family pet
      may  bring fleas into your home. Vegetation  planted directly
      against buildings may provide shelter and runways for
      rodents.

      Environmental  conditions such as moisture or decaying wood
      may  also attract pests.


                INTERIOR PREVENTION

                  * Exclusionary work: fill-in cracks and holes,
                    areas where utility lines enter and exit, and
                    pipe chases near your washer and sinks.
                  > Use tight fitting lids and can liners for trash
                    and garbage.  Periodically wash containers
                    with detergent and hot water.
                  * Store cereals, grains, rice and pet foods in
                    containers with tight fitting lids.
                  * Sweep up crumbs and food  debris daily.
                  * Remove pet food when pets  are finished
                    eating.
                  *Do not leave food or food dishes uncovered
                    or exposed overnight.
                  * Maintain your pet's fur and skin health.
                  * Repair holes in window screens.
                  ^-Repair leaks, such as in sinks, pipes and
                    washing machines.
     Use tight fitting lids and can

     liners for trash and garbage

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        PREVENTION
EXTERIOR PREVENTION

  > Slack woodpiles away from your house and
    off the ground.
  * Keep vegetation away from your house. If you
    like climbing vines, use a trellis, not the side
    ol the house, as an anchor.
  * Keep tree branches from over-hanging your
    house. Pests (including squirrels) can use
    branches to gain access to your home.
  * Clean gutters and drain spouts of debris,
    such as leaves and twigs.
  > Install a chimney cap to prevent larger
    animals from entering your home via the
    chimney.
  * Remove outdoor "bug zappers".They are not
    effective, and may attract more insects than
    they kill.
  *> Eliminate standing water traps: empty pails
    and old tires, sweep off puddles- standing
    water offers breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
                            vegetation away from

                   your house. If you like climbing

                   vines, use a trellis, not thu

                       ol the house as an anchor.

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                     CONTROL
  Non-chemical means such as traps, snap traps and glue
  boards can be used for mice and rats. Mechanical controls
  such as tly swatters and sticky Iraps may be effective on insect
  pests. Some pests are not easy to evict from your home, and a
  chemical pesticide may be required to eliminate them from
  your home.

  If pesticide use is one of your options, here are some things to
  consider before you buy:
           WHAT TYPE OF PESTICIDE DO YOU NEED1?

             >Insecticides control insects such as:
               carpenter ants, silver fish, and cockroaches.
             *Rodenticides control rodents such as Norway
               rats, and mice.
Non-chemical methods such

as traps, snap traps and glue

boards, can be used for mice
and rats

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                                     USING PE
SHOPPING TIPS:

  > Know the size of the area to be treated, take
    careful measurements.
  > Purchase only the amount of product needed
    for the application.
  HI possible, purchase ready-to-use formula-
    tions to avoid mixing, and some storage and
    disposal problems.
  ^-Calculate the correct amount, especially if the
    pesticide is a concentrate which must be
    diluted. Using too much  of the active
    ingredient may damage your plants, cause
    harm to yourself, pets and the environment,
    however too little product may not correct
    your pest problem. More  is not better.
  ^Check for application equipment you need
    (such as a hand held sprayer). If you have it
    already, does it work properly9 Do you need
    new hoses, nozzles?
  ^Pick up any personal protection equipment
    required such as gloves or goggles.
                        When applying a pesticide,

                        remove items that may be
                        stored in the area, such as
                                 pet food bowls.


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STICIDES
               WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE APPLYING A
               PESTICIDE?
                      back rugs if possible.
                 *-Open or close doors and windows for
                  ventilation as the label directs you .
                 > Remove items that may be stored in the area,
                  pet food bowls, toys from the floor, or food
                  and dishes stored in cabinets.
                 *Check the area for other people, including
                  children or pets.

    Outdoor "bug zappers" are not      /
                                           _ /
                                                   \
    insects than they kill                                  x
                                           >.
                                             -       i
effective, and may attract more       \

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                                    USING PE:
HOW DO YOU APPLY AND HANDLE THE
PESTICIDE SAFELY?
       common sense and realize the label may
    not tell what to do in all situations.
  ^Choose the correct form: dusts, sprays,
    liquids, granules.
  *Have the correct measuring tools available-
    measuring cups or spoons. Use these only for
    measuring pesticides.
  > Pay attention to additional label instructions
    such as ventilation- can windows be open?
  > Never leave the pesticide unattended when
    using, especially near children and pets.
  *Don"t eat,  drink or smoke while handling
    pesticides. Wash your face and hands after
    using the pesticide and before you smoke,
    eat, or use the toilet.
  > Never use pesticides that are not in the
    original container, do not have the label
    firmly attached or do not specify HOME or
    INDOOR use on the label.
                      Choose the correct form of
                      pesticide for the job dusts.
                       sprays, liquids or granules.


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STICIDES
               AFTER YOU'VE APPLIED THE PESTICIDE,
               WHAT'S NEXT?

                 *Be patient! Depending on the type of
                   pesticide product, it may take some time
                   before control is seen. For certain herbicides,
                   it may take several days before seeing the
                   leaves of treated weeds yellow and curl,
                 * Watch for your results; create a diary to record
                   your successes and failures.
                          IJfu/   Knni

                   Almost half of all house-
                   holds with children under the
                   age of five have at least one
                   pesticide stored in an
                   unlocked cabinet less than
                   four feet off the ground, often
                   within reach of children.
     Never leave the pesticide
     unattended when using,
     especially near children and

     pets.


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                                           WHAT'S  ON
TARGET PEST
Listing of pest(s) controlled. Frequently more than one pest will
be listed on the label.

FORM OF PESTICIDE
Products are sold as liquids, aerosols, granules, dusts, and
wettable powders. Note: Many pesticides are sold as "ready to
use". These products require no mixing or measuring, and may be
easier to use.

INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE
The label will tell you if the product must be used indoors or
outdoors. Do not use a garden pesticide indoors.

EPA REGISTRATION NUMBER
EPA has reviewed the product, and it can be used according to
label directions.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
The ingredient(s) that will control the target pest.

SIGNAL WORDS
Communicate the potential for making the user sick. Pesticides
vary in their toxicity to humans. Most of the products  for use in
and around the home will have "caution" or "warning" as the
signal word.
             CAUTION
             least harmful, but must be handled
             with care

             WARNING
             moderately hazardous

             DANGER
             very poisonous/irritating may have
             skull and crossbones signal
                          10

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THE LABEL?
    PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS
    Tells if protective clothing, such as, gloves or goggles, are
    required. Can also instruct you to keep children and pets away
    from the pesticide when in use, and the treated area once the
    application is complete.

    ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
    Listing of possible sites of damage: water, birds, fish, plants.
    animals.

    DIRECTIONS FOR USE
    How to apply the product, where the product can be applied, how
    much to use.

    FIRST AID INSTRUCTIONS
    Actions to take an in emergency situation.  If you need to contact
    poison control or require medical assistance, have the label
    handy to help emergency personnel.

    STORAGE AND DISPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS
    How to store and dispose of the pesticide.
              USE PESTICIDES SAFELY!
              READ THE  LABEL!
              IT'S THE  LAW!
                            11

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STORAGE AND  DISPOSAL
 STORAGE

   *> Pesticides should be stored in the original
     labeled container, covered tightly.
   * Never store pesticides in the application
     equipment or in containers that held food or
     beverage,
   *Do not store the product near feed, seed, heat
     sources or near flammable materials, such as
     gasoline or oily rags.
   ^-Temperature and humidity may affect
     pesticides. The label will  give you specifics.
   ^Keep pesticides out of the reach of children
     and pets, preferably in a locket cabinet.

DISPOSAL

  *The label offers general disposal instructions.
  ^Containers should be rinsed three times.
  * Potentially reusable containers should be
    punctured to prevent reuse.
  *0ld pesticides should be disposed of, they
    may no longer be effective or safe to use.
  * Improper disposal can lead to health issues for
    humans and pets, and environmental
    contamination.
  *-NEVER pour pesticides down a drain, toilet or
    curbstde catch basin.
  *-NEVER re-use pesticide containers for any
    purpose.
  > NEVER put pesticides in containers used for
    food purposes.
  * Disposal problems can be  prevented by buying
    only the amount needed to do the job.
  ^Contact your local government, or state
    agriculture or environmental agency about
    household hazardous waste collection
    programs.
                 12

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           HIRING A  SPECIALIST
Some pest problems go beyond the abilities of the home-
owner. Structural damage or infestations may require the
services of a pest management specialist. Call several
companies to arrange for an inspection and cost estimate.

Once you have narrowed your list of specialists, you may
contact your state pesticide regulatory agency for information
regarding licensing of pest management technicians,
complaints or violations they may have investigated and have
on file.

If you have performed any of your own pest management
activities, tell the pest management specialist, especially if
pesticides were used. Let them know what pesticide was used,
where, and how much. They will also need to know if you
have children or pets and if there are people in your home
with special health concerns.
         QUESTIONS TO ASK

           *What is the pest diagnosis?
           > What may have caused the pest problem?
           > What are the non-chemical alternatives?
            What pesticide(s) does the specialist
            proposes to use, information about the
            product(s)?
           *How many visits will be required?
           > When can results be expected?
           *What exactly does the job entail-drilling
            foundation holes, baiting in wall voids?
           * What is the estimated cost of the work, and
            any additional fees that may apply?
           Do you need to leave the house for any period
            of time after the application?
           ^How can future problems be prevented?
                         13

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     KEEP THEM AWAY
INSIDE

  *Keep all food in rodent/insect proof glass or
    plastic resealable containers.
  > Keep counter and surfaces free of food scraps
    and crumbs.
  ^Garbage should be in tightly covered
    containers.
  > Don't leave pet foods out uncovered for long
    periods of time.
  * Fix leaking plumbing.
  * Caulk cracks and crevices to  control roaches
    and other pests.
  ^Keep out flying insects using screens. Patch
    any holes or damage in screens.
  > Attach door sweeps to prevent pests and save
    energy.


OUTSIDE

  ^Remove wood piles;  they can shelter rodents
   and termites.
  *Keep bark mulch away from the foundation of
    your house; don't place new  mulch on top of
    old.
  * Remove old wooden posts and tree stumps.
  ^Do not put meat scraps in your compost pile.
  *Trim vegetation away from your house.
  ^-Resist the temptation to install bird feeders
   near your house. Locate the feeding station
   away from your house. Bird feed is also feed
   for nuisance animals.
                14

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        FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
              home and garden center, library, and bookstore
     are resources lor information on indoor pesl management
     or assistance in problem diagnosis.
    Surf the web! Type in key words, and explore'
    * National Pesticide Telecommunications Network (NPTN):
     1 -800-858-PEST(7378) This is a 24 hour hotline lor
     assistance in emergencies and inlormation about safety,
     health and environmental effects, spill clean-up and
     disposal procedures and referrals.
          POISON CONTROL CENTERS FOR NEW
          ENGLAND

          Provide help in pesticide poisonings. Have the
          pesticide label with you if you call.

          Connecticut: 800-343-2722
          Massachusetts: 800-682-9211
          Maine: 800-442-6305
          Rhode Island: 800-682-9211
          New Hampshire: 800-562-8236
          Vermont: 877-658-3456
U. S  Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA) New England


1-888-3727341
                          1 5

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      FOR  FURTHER  INFORMATION
State pesticide regulatory agencies in New England provide
information about pesticide regulations, investigate consumer
complaints and possible pesticide violations, spill clean-up
and disposal.
         STATE REGULATORY AGENCIES IN NEW
         ENGLAND

         Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection:
         860-424-3369

         Maine Board of Pesticides Control: 207-287-2731

         Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau: 617-626-1700

         New Hampshire Dept. of Ag. Markets and Food:
         603-271-3550

         Rhode Island Dept. of Env. Management:
         401-222-2781

         Vermont Plant Industry, Lab and Consumer
         Assurance: 802-828-2431
         U, S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
         (EPA) NEW ENGLAND OFFICE CUSTOMER CALL
         CENTER: 1-888-372-7341-

         EPA is the federal agency responsible for pesticide
         regulation. No pesticide can be legally sold or
         used in the U.S. unless its label has an EPA
         registration number. EPA publications on
         pesticide related issues can be ordered by calling
         our Customer Call Center. More information is also
         available on the Internet at: www.epa.gov/region1.
                        16

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      SHOPPING TIPS

        *Know the size of the area to be treated, take
          careful  measurements.
        * Purchase only the amount of product needed
          for the application.
        *lf possible, purchase ready-to-use formulations
          to avoid mixing, and some storage and
          disposal problems.
        > Calculate the correct amount, especially if the
          pesticide is a concentrate which must be
          diluted. Using too much of the active ingredi-
          ent may damage your house, cause harm to
          yourself, pets and the environment, however too
          little product may not correct your pest
          problem. More is not better.
        ^Check for application equipment you need
          (such as a hand held sprayer). If you have it
          already, does it work properly? Do you need new
          hoses,  nozzles?
              up any personal protection equipment
          required such as gloves or goggles.
If pesticide use is one of

your options, here are
some things to consider

before you buy.

-------