It is a type of technology used for the control of termites. These liquids are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requires the product's manufacturer to produce data that demonstrates that the product provides continuous protection of the structure for five or more years.
Household pests. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest of ants to the largest of rats and spiders and snakes. And no matter where you live, north, south, east, or west, in the city or the country, in a house or in an apartment, the chances are pretty good that you've come across pests and wondered how best to eliminate them.
There are some very good reasons for wanting to rid your home of pests. Not only are pests an annoyance, they can also pose a health threat to your family and serious damage to your home.
For example, studies by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Johns Hopkins Medical Institute have shown that cockroach and mouse allergens are a significant contributing factor in the childhood asthma epidemic.
Pests such as cockroaches, mosquitoes, rodents, and ticks can transmit a host of diseases to humans and animals with effects ranging from minor discomfort to death. Other diseases spread by pests include Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, bubonic plague, and encephalitis.
Pests can also cause serious damage to your personal property. Termites annually cause billions of dollars in damage to structures across the country. To put into perspective the potential threat from termites, consider that more than 365,000 homes will need the fire department this year, but over 2 million homes will require termite treatment.
Ultimately, the best way to manage pest problems is to prevent them before they occur. There are a number of things a homeowner can do to minimize the risk of potential pest infestations in the home:
- Keep all kitchen areas (including floors) clean and free of useless clutter. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs. Clean shelves regularly and store foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food in resealable containers.
- Periodically sweep and vacuum floor areas in the kitchen, under furniture, and around dining areas.
- Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be store in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
- Seal cracks, crevices, and other gaps around doors and windows. Doors and windows should always be kept closed or well screened.
- Check pipes and pipe areas around the house foundation for leaks, cracks, and gaps. Seal and patch any problems if necessary. Leaky faucets should also be fixed since they can create moisture problems in wood, which, in turn, attracts pests.
- Basements, attics, and crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated and dry.
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly. Insects have been known to enter a house in potted plants and luggage. Inspect these items closely before bringing them inside or putting them into storage.
Outside the home it's important for homeowners to do the following:
- Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of your home including those around utilities and pipes. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
- Regularly inspect and keep gutters and vents free of debris.
- Trim tree branches, shrubbery, and ornamentals so they do not touch the house.
- Keep wood debris, tree stumps, and leaf litter away from the house. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
For help in choosing a pest management professional, simply log onto www.pestworld.org. Selecting a licensed pest management company is an important part of protecting your home and health. The National Pest Management Association suggests the following guidelines for choosing a pest management professional.
- Ask for a copy of the pest management professional’s state license or certification. Consumers may contact their state pesticide regulatory agency - usually state's department of agriculture - to confirm the license's authenticity or inquire if complaints have been filed against the company.
- Pest management professionals use products that are registered and approved by the EPA. Feel free to ask your pest management professional for copies of their products' labels.
- Membership in the National Pest Management Association and a state or local association is a good indicator that the pest management company has access to up-to-date technical information and is committed to further education on all aspects of pest management practices and techniques.
- Buy value, not price. Be wary - what appears to be a real bargain may require a second look.