Before You Use That Pesticide, Read the Label

If you decide to use a pesticide in the home, be sure to read the label before using it, not only to make sure you know how to safely use the product, but to also make sure that the product is EPA-approved.

Why is it important to only buy pesticide products that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Because, if a pesticide has not been approved by the government agency that is tasked to “protect human health and the environment,” that means the pesticide product has not been tested for safety, and that means the product is illegal to use.

The EPA strictly evaluates all pesticides for safety. Once a product is tested, it is given a registration number. EPA-approved products must list this unique number on the packaging, as well as a list of active ingredients and warnings about keeping kids and pets away. If you don’t see this basic information on the label, it’s an imposter and should not be used.

Believe it or not, there are many illegal pesticides on the market made to look like EPA-approved products. Some common and highly toxic ones to watch out for are products that claim to kill rodents or roaches. Also EPA says to watch out for “flea and tick repellents for pets, antibacterial cleansers, mothballs and other products that claim to get rid of household pests.”

Since ultrasonic pest repellers are not toxic, or harmful to the environment or to humans and pets, these products do not require EPA approval.

Whether illegal or not, using pesticides in the home is dangerous. Follow the label directions carefully. Your intention may be to protect your family from unwanted pests, but protecting them from potential side effects is far more important.

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