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Eliminating Pests Without Poisons

2009 February 12

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

As I was getting ready to go to work, I was listening to the gardening segment
on the local news radio station. The announcer was giving advice on how to eliminate those unwanted critters that might invade the home to escape from the winter cold without having to use toxic substances. He recommended using mouse traps, for example, instead of fumigating or using rat poison.

As I listened to his useful tips, I realized that he was basically advocating for Integrated Pest Management,
a practice that here at EPA we highly recommend,

Without having to use toxic chemicals, you can prevent pests from seeking refuge in your home if you create an environment that is not pleasing to them. How, you may ask? Well, basically, be a very inhospitable host. What do I mean by that? Well, don’t give them any food to eat, nothing to drink, and no shelter! I know we wouldn’t welcome these pests knowingly, but frankly, when we leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, or leave water for our pets overnight, or even let water accumulate under our plant pots or around the home, or we have a cluttered home, we are extending an open invitation to the unwanted critters!!! Why do I mention clutter like newspapers, bags, boxes, etc., because you don’t want to create the perfect hiding place for them nor their relatives….

So, even if you follow these steps and you get a visit from an unwanted guest like these pests, consider using baits and traps so you can keep toxics out of your home. Keep a healthy home for you, your family, as well as your pets.


Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Lina-EPA permalink*
    February 12, 2009

    By the way, here’s the news report that inspired this blog.
    Indoor Pests, Be Gone! []
    Check it out.

  2. Heather permalink
    February 13, 2009

    Judicious pesticide use can and is part of many safe and successful IPM regimens. It’s unfortunate that the Agency promoting this practice is so ill-informed and assumes IPM to be “chemical free”.

  3. Ken Chadwick permalink
    February 20, 2010

    I am a working pest controller and yes, you could control any pest without the use of pesticides but unfortunately you have to work within your customer’s budget and that means pesticides, end of story!


  4. May 11, 2012

    If it were so easy to keep away all those unwanted pests just by not feeding them. I think the best option nowadays is in fact organic/natural pesticides. You know that they will find food where you don’t even think.

  5. kill rats permalink
    February 17, 2013

    great article somewhat interesting. more articles more interesting stories you have keep it up!

  6. Brisbane Pest Control permalink
    July 31, 2013

    This is the best idea that to eliminate pest without poison and defect to humans. I really love this because you can’t used toxic chemicals to prevent or eliminate pest.

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