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Pesticides Can Be Poisonous

January 11, 2017

moyer pest control technician

As we start 2017, there is no shortage of tragedy in the news. It is heart-wrenching to read about the death of children, knowing that those lives could have been saved if the family had known that what they were doing was deadly. That is why we're putting out this pesticide warning. Like the rest of the country, we are moved by the death of four children in Amarillo, Texas, who were killed recently by phosphine poisoning. This is not something new. It has happened many times. But this is a tragedy that could have been avoided. It was the result of a purchase of restricted-use pesticide and a lack of education in the proper administering of that agent. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself and your family.

  • Phosphine is a gas that only takes a few parts per million to cause death in humans.

  • Phosphine is a gas used by pesticide companies in fumigation treatments and must be tented to keep humans from inhaling it.

  • Phosphine gas is odorless. A warning agent, such as chloropicrin (used in tear gas) is often released with phosphine gas to prevent inhalation.

  • Some pesticides use aluminum phosphides that, when mixed with water, can create phosphide gas, which is deadly to humans.

  • In the case of the tragedy in Amarillo, it is believed that pesticide sprayed under a mobile home released dangerous phosphine gas when someone attempted to spray water on it to wash it away. These gases poisoned and killed four children, and endangered the lives of other family members, as well as several first responders who came to help.

Pests are frustrating and dangerous. They damage structures, spread harmful bacteria, carry diseases, and poison food supplies. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to use toxic materials to control them. When administered by an educated and certified professional, there is no threat to the occupants of a home or, in this case, a mobile home. There are many EPA regulations and detailed protocols that pest control technicians follow to ensure safe use. When these restricted-use pesticides are purchased by consumers, and improperly applied, the results can be deadly.

If you're dealing with a pest problem, and you are in our Pennsylvania service area, we would like you to know two things. At Moyer, we only use chemicals as a last resort. And, when chemicals are required, those chemicals are always applied in a way that is focused, limited, and 100% safe.

Don't take chances with pesticides. If you have a pest problem, call an experienced and certified professional like Moyer Pest Control. There is nothing more important than the safety of your family.

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