Pesticides and the Environment
Pesticides are chemicals that are used to eliminate pests. While they are very effective pest management solutions, there is much concern about their effect on the environment. When they are used to target a specific species, non-targeted species suffer as well. In order to minimize the effect of harm that is posed to the environment, many pesticides have been banned, others are heavily regulated, and the use of eco-friendly pest control solutions are highly recommended.
Pesticides are used in a wide variety of applications and environments such as schools, agriculture, buildings, and roads. They can be found in trace amounts in the foods and beverages that we consume and in the air that we breathe. Even though these chemicals are used to control certain species, these substances leach into the soil, water, food sources, habitats, and bodies of unintended organisms, creating physical and physiological changes that reduce health and longevity that are passed down to future generations.
Effects of Exposure
Living with a pest infestation is unsanitary and unsafe. And the use of toxic pesticides is also unsafe. Children and pets are more likely to suffer from short-term exposure to pesticides than adults are. However, that does not minimize the hazards that these chemical substances create as a whole. In addition to headaches and skin irritations, major health disorders, respiratory conditions, and organ failure can occur from long-term exposure to pesticides regardless of age.
Ways to Limit Exposure
Since pesticides affect both pests and beneficial populations, more awareness needs to be created to help reduce the amount of use, exposure, and contamination. Here are some ways that one can reduce the effects of pesticides to themselves and the environment.
- Store food away from pesticides. Keep all food properly covered when pesticide is being applied.
- Increase the ventilation of the area of the home or property that is being treated for pests.
- Clean all areas and surfaces after pesticide application.
- Avoid using pesticides in areas that children and pets frequent. Consider using a nontoxic and eco-friendly pesticide alternative like orange oil.
- Before using any type of pesticides, make sure you understand their effects on the environment, innocent bystanders, and the targeted species.
- Hire a professional pest management company. Inform the pest control professionals about any environmental concerns you have. They will employ the use of environmentally friendly pest control solutions that are safer for you, your family, pets and your home. Pest control experts are more knowledgeable and better equipped to handle pest infestations than you are.
The more you know about the effects of pesticides on the environment, the better you can tailor your pest management approach to minimize the impact. For additional resources about pesticides and pest control in general, click here.