While watching television the other night, I caught a glimpse of a movie about a certain kind of pest: rodents. I know that horror films clearly over exaggerate and are intended to scare people but it did bring back some memories for me. Last year I lived in a new apartment with two of my best friends back at school. One night as we were having a movie night, one of my roommates yelped that she saw a mouse run across our kitchen floor. My other roommate and I went to check it out and as we stood there anxiously awaiting the arrival of our four legged visitor, it suddenly ran across the edge of the floor disappearing into a wall. We all immediately jumped on our kitchen table and screamed. It was a scene straight out of a movie. Girly, I know. I’m sure the mouse was just as scared we were. Needless to say, we discovered later that we had more than just one mouse and a pest problem. Our ordeal with mice lasted a month or so until we had carefully and safely eliminated all rodents and sealed up any possible nook and cranny that they could get in. I will be forever grateful to the roommate that was brave enough to ‘take out the trash’. Moral of the story, though, is that we handled our situation safely. It should be noted that as young adults we were able to take care of the situations ourselves and young children should definitely not. This brings up a few good tips to keep in mind when handling pest infestations of your own, especially when children are around.
- Always keep pesticides and other household chemicals out of children’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink.
- Never place rodent or insect baits where small children can easily get to them.
- If you are interrupted while using a pesticide or household chemical, make sure to properly reclose the container and put it out of children’s reach.
Remember that pesticides aren’t just limited to those used for rodents but apply to many other products that may be in your house. You can visit a virtual house where you can learn about various chemicals and pesticides, health and safety tips, and what to do if an accident occurs. Take a stand against those pests but do so in a safe way!
About the author: Emily Bruckmann is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a senior attending Indiana University who will graduate with a degree in public health this spring.