As conscientious home or apartment owners, the bane of your evening might be spotting a cockroach crawling up your wall or a train of ants marching towards your perishables. You may sigh in disgust at the weeds taking residence in your yard. Going to the nearest pesticide or herbicide section may give you comfort, knowing that with a few aerosol sprays your living space will be yours once more.
However, as a conscientious member of the urban ecosystem and a health-conscious human, avoid the use of spray chemicals to manage pest animals or plants. Not only are they not efficient at solving the problem, but they can have more serious secret health hazards.
Using an indoor pesticide to treat a pest problem does not treat the problem, only the symptom, since the pests will not make themselves apparent unless their nest is somewhere nearby. And their nest wouldn’t be nearby unless there is something structural that entices them to come. For mice, cockroaches and ants, the cause of their presence is shoddy food or food waste management. Has your garbage been taken out? Do you leave food out on kitchen counters regularly?
Using an indoor pesticide to treat a pest problem does not treat the problem, only the symptom.
Making food harder to get to mitigates the chance that pests will be in your house in the first place, since there’s nothing for them there and the optimal foraging theory makes it so that they won’t waste their energy.
But let’s say you’ve wanted to make the extra preventative measure and make sure that you won’t see any pests for a long time. Do you know the effects that pesticide will have on you, your pets and the surrounding environment? Probably not, because, by law, pesticide companies don’t have to disclose a majority of the ingredients they include in their products.
If you look at the beloved RAID can, you’ll a list of 4 or 5 ingredients and the rest saying “inactive” or “inert” ingredients, followed by a percentage. You don’t know what toxic chemical designed to kill living tissue is in that can that you’re spraying in your house.
And what we do know can be even worse. For example, the popular Roundup weed killer uses glyphosate as its main ingredient. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate is a carcinogen that has a low toxicity in its pure form, but is not found in its pure form in Roundup. It is the other ingredients, active and inert, that allows it to act as a non-selective plant killer. This means that if you apply it in your yard, it has the potential to kill all plants it touches. An ecological nightmare.
Prevent that by forgoing herbicide, pesticide and other -icide usages. Not only will you be saving money by not simply treating symptoms of greater problems, but you’ll protect your health by not using mystery chemicals that aren’t disclosed to you.