Kudos to the EPA for cracking down on Amazon for distributing pesticide products in February.
Regulation for a reason.
This represents part of the challenges we face as professional pest control operators. Pesticides need to be regulated very strictly so they can be tracked. As professionals, we are required to document our products and possess all necessary information including MSDS/SDS and product labels. Furthermore, we are required, and rightly so, to have accurate application records to show what particular products we use, exactly where we use them, at what percentage of them we use, what the outside temperature was and the direction the wind was blowing during application, etc.
How many products have ended up discontinued because they have been used incorrectly by people who have no real knowledge of how, when, and where to apply them? Or even worse, how many pesticides have ended up contaminating areas they should never have been? Nonrepellent pesticides, such as Termidor, have been proven game changers for our industry. Products such as these actually aid in the overall environmental health of mother earth. However, if mishandled, misapplied, misused, etc, these products are capable of doing harm to entire ecosystems through their “transfer effects”. Mishandling or misapplication of these types of products could result in their demise as well and without them, you might as well get used to having bugs in your house.
The potential risk of losing these pesticide products is a strong argument that licensed professionals should be the sole legal applicators of them.
Pesticide application is a science.
Many people are very capable of reading and following pesticide application mixing and application directions. They are also very capable of applying them when and where they should. However, it’s my opinion that a vast majority of the general public, who know very little about these products and their capabilities, tend to “overuse” and “misapply” them. I have witnessed it on many, many occasions throughout my career. Many have used the logic that “if the directions say to mix 1 ounce of product to 1 gallon of water then 2 ounces are sure to kill the bugs”. I’ve always responded to them with “if you have a medical prescription and it tells you to take 1 pill per day, do you take 2 (or more) because you think it’s going to work better for you?” It makes about the same sense.
DIY pest control is not the best option.
I don’t know how many times potential customers have shown me stuff they have bought online. I have been shocked and amazed that these products are even available to them. Regardless, they have called me because the products they ordered did not work for them. A few things come to my mind when I find this:
1- The product appears to be legit, but it is a knockoff that doesn’t work like our professional products delivered to us via licensed and certified distributors.
2- They did not mix and apply the product correctly.
3- They used the wrong product for the wrong pest.
If you do not have the training or knowledge about pesticides, they can ineffective or dangerous. They can also be counterproductive. There are many categories of pesticide products, and each one is meant for very specific pests, application methods, and locations. Knowing and following these recommended guidelines will assure a successful treatment that neither damages the environment nor presents a health risk to people, pets, fauna, and flora.
I’m glad the EPA cracked down, and equally as glad to see Amazon comply wholeheartedly. It shows me that Amazon takes this very seriously, actually cares enough to admit their ignorance in the matter, and wants to set the record straight.
To the general readers of this blog who have pest problems:
I understand wanting to save a few bucks by doing it yourself. There are OTC products out there that work for very general and easy situations. However, if you have an infestation, you are best served to call a professional before you waste your money. You are more likely to make the situation worse and having to spend more money hiring a pro anyway.
An old wise friend (Big Al) once told me, he said Randy,
“I do what I do for a living and that’s how I make my money. I hire everyone else to do the work that I don’t do. While they are doing the work, that I have hired them to do, it doesn’t take me away from my job, so I continue to make my money”.
Sounds a little like a Yogi Berra comment, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.