5 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe
- Minimize exposure. Rather than routinely use pesticides, opt to use them only if there is a real problem that can't be dealt with through any other means. The less you expose your family to these chemicals, the better.
- Read labels. If you are applying the chemicals yourself be sure to read the labels carefully. Follow the instructions when it comes to application, exposure, and storage of any left over.
- Ask questions. For those who opt to call a pesticide company to do the work, you will need to ask lots of questions. Inquire about what they are using, what the risks are for your children, and if there are safer alternatives they can use. Many pest control companies are beginning to offer natural solutions to their customers.
- There are natural methods of getting rid of pests that are safer and usually cheaper. The NIH also recommends trying a non-chemical method of pest control first, before taking a chemical route. Natural routes to eliminating pests include screening and sealing openings that may be allowing insects to enter the home; keeping things clean inside and out, including disposing of garbage properly; and keeping landscaping de-weeded and cared for. Natural remedy solutions can be found online and natural solutions can be purchased at many health food stores.
- Research. Do your homework on the best way to rid your home of unwanted pests. Doing some searching will yield homemade remedies you can use in place of chemical solutions.
"Although generally less effective, many of these natural forms use less synthetic chemicals or other harmful deterrent," says Dr. Kelly. "Some natural formulations include hot pepper spray, wood ash, natural oils, and even baking soda."