In my state professional pest control companies are not allowed to use the word safe in their advertising but many of them still do. partly because the state who regulates the industry never seems to crack down on any of these outfits but mostly because everybody want to feel SAFE when it comes to chemical usage. The ending of words like pesticide, rodenticide or herbicide all have one common link, the ending ‘cide.’ Cide means ‘to kill’ and for that reason the word safe has been deemed not appropriate for consumers to hear when looking at pest control companies advertising literature.
Is there such thing as safe usage of pest chemicals? Of course for me to say yes would be technically in violation of what I have just written but in practical terms, pesticides can be applied in such a manner to greatly reduce risks associated with harmful effects of these products. Todays training of the pest control technician is far superior to that of even 20 years ago. On top of that the new classes of insecticides are inherently safer because of their mode of action. Specialized product might only attack a certain part of an insects biology such as it’s shedding of the skin and that has little or no effect on people even if exposed by more than normal.
Knowledgeable technicians are the glue that holds this theory together and without them I’m sure there would be misapplications that would result in harm. Operators who run routes are very busy people but classes and seminars are always part of their schedules to ensure maximum safety for you the consumer but even more importantly them because they handle these substances everyday. Any company who treats for pest control is actually mandated by law to hold or attend such classes and must document attendance by every employee who engages in the application of any pesticidal products.
The final say on any treatment is always the product label and if it says to apply a certain amount or in a specific place that is what technicians consider the law. Straying from it may put undue risk on both the client and the employee and little recourse is available because they did not follow the directions. having said this, some labels are very ambiguous and it is often unclear what is meant by the directions.
Gray areas are not good for the untrained and the mixed signals you can get reading these directions often lend itself to misapplications and possible hazards. Having a trained applicator helps ensure that this problem does not occur. Principles learned in the classroom setting go a long way out in the field and help keep everybody including you the customer, safer around pesticides.