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Tips for Pest Control

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How can you safely solve your pest problems? The key is to be willing to ask questions. Learning about the pest you have and options that are available to control specific pests is the first step. In most cases, there are several things you should do before even thinking about chemical pest control. Pests need food, water, and shelter. Often, the problem may be solved just by removing these key items. Reducing or preventing pest invasions often starts with the following:

In addition, keep pets and children away from areas where pesticides have been applied.

Once these and other preventive steps are completed, traps or bait stations can be used against some pests. These are often effective and can be used with low risk of exposure to the pesticide, as long as they are kept out of the reach of children and pets. Other relatively low-risk pesticides are available for some pests. Consult your local cooperative extension service office for recommendations suitable for your area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site can help you identify your local extension service office.

Antimicrobial Pesticide Products - Antimicrobials are used to destroy organisms such as bacteria or fungi on inanimate objects. Antimicrobials can be found in products such as disinfectants and antiseptics. This page provides a description of the types of antimicrobial products and how to use them.

Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety (PDF) ( 54 pp, 2.3 MB, About PDF) - This publication teaches consumers how to control pests in and around the home, alternatives to chemical pesticides, how to choose pesticides, and how to use, store, and dispose of them safely. It also discusses how to reduce exposure when others use pesticides, how to prevent pesticide poisoning and how to handle an emergency, how to choose a pest control company, and what to do if someone is poisoned by a pesticide.

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