Pesticides Then and Now
When I first started in the Pest Management industry over 40 years ago we had many fewer pesticides available than we do today. In the old days, pesticides were more hazardous and were considerably more toxic than today’s pesticide materials.
Changes to pesticide formulations and the introduction of new active ingredients have changed much for the better. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s formulation changes included encapsulating pesticides in microscopic sized capsules. This contained the pesticide inside the capsule that released the pesticide over a greater period of time than the older formulations. Since it lasted longer, we had to apply it less frequently, and consequently we also applied less material overall. It also had the effect of making it more “bio-available” to the insect. These capsules are easily picked up by insects and will kill the insects through direct contact or by ingestion when the insect grooms itself (just like a cat grooms itself). Other formulations have become popular such as wettable powder pesticides. This product is stirred into water and is applied. This type of formulation also has advantages in being “bio-available” for insects as well.
The older products also were what are known as an emusilfiable concentrates also had volatile materials such as xylene and an emulsifier in them to make the pesticide dissolve in water. These solvents and emulsifiers have also been eliminated or changed to much less toxic ingredients than what was available many years ago.
All of these changes have caused pesticides to become much less toxic then the early materials and in many cases, pesticides used today are less toxic then table salt or household bleach.
Pesticide application is still best left to the professionals in the pest management industry. Remember, knowing which product to use is important, but it is even more important is to know how to apply the material for each pest and application site. Most of the “safety” in pesticide use is the knowledge and professionalism used by licensed and insured pest management professionals who know how to minimize pesticide usage for each individual circumstance.
At Pest Control Technicians Inc., we offer a variety of services to help protect your home from pests and wildlife damage. To learn more about the various services we offer, please click through the list below.
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