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More Is Definitely Not Better

2013 March 18

Several links below exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer

By Lina Younes

Recently, I was looking for something in my garage and I noticed that there was evidence of rodents.  While I didn’t actually see or hear any mice scurrying around at the time, it was evident that they had been chewing on some objects and had left their feces as well. Although I have always insisted in practicing integrated pest management techniques at home (provide no food, water or shelter to pests), I noticed that in my garage I was violating one of the basic tenants of IPM: there was too much clutter!

So when I came back in house, I told my family about the rodent problem. My youngest immediately said: “Mom, that’s easy. Take one of those cans. Spray it all over the place because more is better!” I was horrified that she even thought that “more is better.” While I took the opportunity to tell her about the proper use of products to eliminate rodents and other pests, I recognized the fact that many of us make the same mistake when we see a pest in the house. How many times haven’t we emptied a whole can of bug spray when we see a cockroach venture into our home? Have we even made sure that we are using the right type of pesticide to eliminate the right type of pest?

Did you know that the misuse of pesticides can lead to accidental poisonings? Did you know that the majority of these accidental poisonings occur in the home and are 100 percent preventable? That’s why EPA and its federal partners are joining forces to increase awareness of the dangers of poisoning during National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23. Furthermore, EPA has taken regulatory steps to further prevent poisonings from rodent control products by moving to ban those products that don’t comply with the Agency’s stricter safety measures. EPA encourages residential consumers to use only mouse and rat products that meet EPA’s safety standards. These products are effective, affordable and widely available at retail stores. For a complete list of these products, visit:

Here are some simple tips to prevent accidental poisonings:

  • Keep pest control products and household cleaners out of children’s reach.
  • Read the label before using a pest control or household cleaning product.
  • Don’t use illegal pesticides no matter how cheap they are. They are extremely toxic and dangerous.
  • To protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison, use products with a tamper-resistant bait station.
  • In the event of an accidental poisoning, call the toll free Poison Help line 1-800-222-1222 which is staffed around the clock. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

For additional information on the safe use of pest control products, visit our new Website. Together we may prevent accidental poisonings in the home.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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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4 Responses leave one →
  1. wade permalink
    March 19, 2013

    A cat will do. last week i noticed that a rodent had chewed a hole in my bird feed sack located in the well house. (yes i feed birds and get my water from a well). Sunday afternoon i left the well house door opened so the cat could get in. When i started to work Monday morning the cat was playing “tag” with a little mouse. If you want to see an interesting sight this is it. I was almost late for work. But now my problem is now gone.

  2. Lina-EPA permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Thanks for sharing. I’m glad your cat did his job. That reminds me of an amusing situation several years ago when a little mouse ventured into our home and the cats were no where in sight to do their job. I even wrote two blogs about the situation. Fortunately for the mouse, we were able to catch him and set him free outside.

  3. Ray Webber permalink
    July 3, 2013

    My cat was quite disinterested in mice. Luckily my little blue heeler was up to the job. I use sonic repellents on rodents (they also work to keep cats out of the garden)

  4. Brisbane Pest Control permalink
    August 1, 2013

    Nice sharing this blog. This integrated pest management techniques at home. More interesting about preventing pests.

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