- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
- Author: Elaine Lander
The CDC health advisory states “Veterinary formulations intended for use in large animals such as horses, sheep, and cattle (e.g., “sheep drench,” injection formulations, and “pour-on” products for cattle) can be highly concentrated and result in overdoses when used by humans. Animal products may also contain inactive ingredients that have not been evaluated for use in humans. People who take inappropriately high doses of ivermectin above FDA-recommended dosing may experience toxic effects.”
Incorrect use of any pesticide can lead to injury, negative health impacts, or severe illness. Be sure to always read and understand the label when using pesticides and only use them where specified on the label. As a reminder, disinfectants are pesticides too, and should be used properly to minimize health risks.
Visit our website for more information on pesticides in homes and landscapes. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing serious illness due to pesticide exposure, contact the Poison Control hotline at 800-222-1222.
- Author: Belinda J. Messenger-Sikes
- Author: Lisa A. Blecker
[From Pests in the Urban Landscape blog]
Insecticide foggers, also known as total release foggers or “bug bombs” (Figure 1), are popular products widely available in many retail nurseries and garden centers as well as drug stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores. These easy-to-use products may seem to provide an easy way to kill a lot of bugs fast and may be viewed as more convenient and cheaper than hiring a pest management professional. But do they work?
Are Foggers Effective?
Foggers can be used effectively to kill pests that are flying around or resting on surfaces, like flies, but there are better long-term and more effective ways to manage these pests. Unfortunately, foggers are rarely effective for control of crawling insects like cockroaches, fleas, and bed bugs that can easily hide in crevices or beneath household items, escaping direct exposure. For best results, the active ingredients in these products must make contact with the pests. Insects that spend most of their time hiding will not be significantly affected by insect foggers. Even a small piece of fabric may be enough to protect bed bugs from the pesticide fog created by these products.
Since foggers leave a toxic residue on treated surfaces, users might see a few dead roaches after application, but many active ingredients in foggers are known to be repellent and may even drive pests deeper into wall voids and other hard-to-reach locations, sometimes even spreading them to other rooms. Pesticide resistance is another reason that insect foggers may not work. Many insect foggers contain pyrethrin or pyrethroid insecticides and some populations of household pests are known to be resistant to these pesticides.
Improper Use Can Cause Injuries
Foggers can also make people sick if they're exposed. In studies by the CDC, the most commonly reported symptoms after exposure were cough, upper respiratory pain or irritation, difficulty breathing, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain or cramping. Most of the time, the symptoms were mild and didn't require medical treatment, but there are reports of more serious injuries and people have even died from injuries related to foggers. According to these studies, injuries frequently happen when users don't read the instructions on the label. People can be also be exposed to the insecticide if they don't leave the premises after releasing the trigger on the product or return to their homes too early.
The labels of these products also instruct users to clean all exposed surfaces after use since these products leave pesticide residues. Failure to follow these instructions can lead to health hazards. The pesticide residues can be irritating, especially to occupants with asthma or other respiratory ailments.
For Safety, Follow the Label!
If you decide to purchase foggers, it is important to read and strictly following the instructions on the product label. You need to know the size of the room you're treating before going to the store, so you know how many foggers to buy. Otherwise, be sure to measure the size of the area you are treating before you begin fogging. More pesticide is not better; more can be dangerous.
For more information and safety precautions, see the US EPA website.
The National Pesticide Information Center also lists considerations and limitations when using foggers, along with several other resources for more useful information.
There are many effective ways to manage insect pests in the home. You can learn more on the UC IPM website. There you'll find practical, effective methods for controlling common household pests, without exposing yourself or other occupants of your home to pesticides.
- Author: Denise Godbout-Avant
According to UC Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM), aphids are small, soft pear-shaped bodied insects with long legs and antennae, with slender mouthparts used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to suck out plant fluids. The site recommends first attempting to control aphids by washing them off with a gentle stream of water. I did this over several mornings and evenings, with my hose set on fine spray, washing both the top and underside of the leaves. After about a week, I still had quite a few aphids, so I sprayed an insecticidal soap, making sure I covered both the top and bottom of leaves. Aphids produce many offspring, so they required an additional treatment.
Soft scale is a sucking insect, appearing as tiny dots on the leaves or stems of a plant. They can grow up to ¼ inch long and have a smooth, cottony or waxy surface. They feed on the sap of the plant and excrete sticky honeydew, which can attract ants. Mine were brownish-yellow with a waxy color, usually appearing on the underside of the leaves.
I removed badly damaged leaves, checked undersides of the leaves for the scale and scraped off any scale I found using a wet Q-tip. I also checked my other two plants and occasionally found a scale or two on them, scraping them off also. I repotted the infested plant with potting mix. Over time I was able to completely get rid of the soft scale.
My Buggy Summer Summary
It has been an educational summer learning about these insect pests and dealing with their infestations. I'm gratified I've been able to manage them using less toxic pesticides that are less harmful to beneficial insects and the environment. You can learn more about less toxic pesticides such as insecticidal soaps and oils by visiting the UC IPM website or by watching this video.
Denise is a UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardener.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
If you've been startled by insects crawling in a food package or moths flying around your kitchen, you might have a pantry pest infestation. These insects are brought into your home inside food packages such as nuts, grains, cereal products, and even chocolate!
This distinctive looking moth flutters around your kitchen, distracting you from the real culprit, their larvae. These caterpillar-like insects do all the real damage when they feed inside packages of cereal, flour, rice, dried fruit, candy, and nuts. You might also see tiny webs inside packages, this is the silken cocoon of the insect before it changes into a moth. Killing off the moths won't solve your problem.
There are several beetles that infest food, including warehouse beetles, grain beetles, cigarette beetles, and flour beetles. They feed on a variety of products including bird seed, pet food, tobacco products, animal hair (like wool), dried herbs and spices, dried meat and fruit, and even rodent bait.
What Should You Do?
Although it might feel satisfying, spraying a pesticide is not an effective way to get rid of these pests. First, find the source of the problem. Look through all grain products and packages in your kitchen, especially opened packages. When you find the pests, seal the packages and throw them away. Remove everything from your shelves and wipe with soapy water to kill pests. Vacuum any crevices where pests or pest eggs may be hiding.
Watch this short video below from UC IPM for more detailed information on dealing with pantry pests. You can also read in more detail in the UC IPM Pest Notes: Pantry Pests.