Posts Tagged ‘pesticide’

Sugar ants are such a nuisance

Friday, August 10th, 2012

ants1The grandkids have been visiting and we’ve been eating tons of fresh fruit, especially watermelon. It is so sweet and refreshing we eat it everyday. But a couple of days ago we were in a hurry to go off to the beach and didn’t get around to thoroughly washing off the counter. Guess who moved in while we were out?

Sugar ants (that’s what we’ve always called them) are those tiny little ants that show up when something sweet and sticky is around. They’re not even as big as a grain of rice but they can travel in large groups. They’re particularly good at hiding, so when you think you’ve swept them all up, two pop out from behind a coffee cup and three others sneak out from under the mail. Grrrrrrr!

So we swabbed down the counter with one of those bleach sheets which pretty much did the job of getting rid of them. But should you find yourself in a situation where you just can’t get rid of the tiny terrors or you’re wrestling with their large cousins and feel the need to resort to using a pesticide, remember the following:
• Read the label first. Follow the directions exactly. Pay special attention to warnings, cautions and restrictions.
• Whenever you can, use non-chemical pesticides. But remember, even natural ingredients can sometimes be poisonous, always read the label.
• Use only the amount recommended. Don’t think that twice the amount will do twice the job!
• Cover all food before using a pesticide indoors.
• Keep children, their toys and pets away from the area where a pesticide is being used. Wait until the area has dried or until the label says it’s safe for them to come back.
• If you use a pest-control service, ask them for information about the risks and safety precautions for their products.
• Put the phone number of the Poison Control Center near your phone: (800) 222-1222. You really should have it there anyway.
• Store pesticides out of children’s reach. Use a locked cabinet or garden shed. Child-proof safety latches are also a good idea. You can buy them at a hardware or home-supply store.
• Never put a pesticide in a container that children might think is food or drink. For instance, a jar or bottle with a liquid pesticide might look like something to drink.
• Never place ant, roach, mice or rat bait where small children can get to them. Kids are great at pulling chairs up to counters and climbing up.
• Teach your children that pesticides are poison and that they shouldn’t touch them.

The Environmental Protection Agency has more information about how to prevent poisonings in your home at this link.

Pesticides and our kids

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

pesticidesfertilizersPesticides can protect us from bugs and disease, but they can get into our food and water and harm us, too. Here are some tips for protecting your child’s food:
• Wash all fresh fruits and veggies with water before your child eats them.
• Give your child fresh fruits and veggies that are in season. They are less likely to have been heavily sprayed.
• When possible, avoid giving your children foods that have been treated with chemical pesticides. Look for locally and organically grown.

How else can we protect our kids from pests (ants, roaches, mice) and the harmful chemicals in pesticides?
• Remove food and water that might attract pests. Leaky water pipes can attract thirsty pests.
• Destroy places where pests can live and breed. Examples: litter, plant debris.
• If you decide to use a pesticide, read the label first. Follow the directions exactly. Pay special attention to warnings, cautions and restrictions.
• Whenever you can, use non-chemical pesticides. But remember, even natural ingredients can sometimes be poisonous. Always read the label.
• Use only the amount recommended. Don’t think that twice the amount will do twice the job!
• If the label says so, wear plastic gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when using a pesticide. Be careful not to inhale fumes while applying.
• Cover all food before using a pesticide indoors.
• Keep children, their toys and pets away from the area where a pesticide is being used. Wait until the area has dried or until the label says it’s safe for them to come back.
• Don’t spray outside on a windy or rainy day.
• When using a pesticide outside, be sure it doesn’t blow or run into the swimming pool, the vegetable garden, the sandbox, or the neighbor’s yard.
• Don’t buy more than you need. If you have leftover pesticides, check with your local government. Some communities have special programs to collect and dispose of hazardous products.
• If you use a pest-control service, ask them for information about the risks and safety precautions for their products.
• Put the phone number of the Poison Control Center near your phone: (800) 222-1222.
• Store pesticides out of children’s reach. Use a locked cabinet or garden shed. Child-proof safety latches are also a good idea. You can buy them at a hardware or home-supply store.
• Never put a pesticide in a container that children might think is food or drink. For instance, a jar or bottle with a liquid pesticide might look like something to drink.
• Never place ant, roach, mice or rat bait where small children can get to them.
• Teach your children that pesticides are poison and that they shouldn’t touch them.
• Tell baby-sitters and grandparents about the dangers of pesticides.

The Environmental Protection Agency has more information about how to prevent poisonings in your home.

ADHD and pesticides in food

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

strawberriesChildren exposed to certain pesticides are at increased risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This was the finding of a  new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. More research is needed to confirm this finding. But meanwhile, you can take steps to reduce your children’s exposure to pesticides.

Diet is a major source of pesticide exposure for children. For instance, celery, frozen blueberries and strawberries can contain pesticides.

To protect your children, wash all fruits and vegetables with water. Use only produce that is in season. If you can, avoid fruits and vegetables that have been treated with pesticides.

For more, read the March of Dimes article on pesticides.