After a flood – animal and insect related hazards When returning to a flood-affected area, remember that wild animals, including rats, mice, snakes or spiders, may be trapped in your home, shed or garden. Pesticides can take the form of a solid, liquid, powder or spray. The form will influence the way in which the pesticide can enter your body and potentially affect your health. Flies don’t like pyrethrum, which is a common ingredient in fly spray.
Commercial pesticides – safety in the home, 2012, Department of Health, Victoria. Sometimes, you might have a pest problem that is difficult to manage yourself. For these jobs, you should hire a professional licensed pest control operator. Look for a pest control operator who holds a Pest Control Licence. In Victoria, this photo ID licence is issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. Household pesticides can be purchased from supermarkets or hardware stores, and are designed for householders to use around their home or garden.
The adult females lay batches of eggs on natural fibres, including wool, silk, and fur, as well as cotton and linen in blends. The developing larvae spin protective webbing and chew into the fabric, creating holes and specks of excrement. Damage is often concentrated in concealed locations, under collars and near seams of clothing, in folds and crevices in upholstery and round the edges of carpets as well as under furniture. Crop rotation can help to control pests by depriving them of their host plants. It is a major tactic in the control of corn rootworm, and has reduced early season incidence of Colorado potato beetle by as much as 95%.
While insecticides and acaricides are most likely to be toxic to insect and mite natural enemies, herbicides and fungicides are sometimes toxic as well. A database has been compiled on the effects of pesticides on beneficial insects, spiders and mites . This database compares the toxicity of different pesticides and the “selectivity ratio” — the dose required to kill 50% of the target pest divided by the dose that kills 50% of the affected natural enemy species.
Some pesticides may cause cancer and other health problems in humans, as well as being harmful to wildlife. There can be acute effects immediately after exposure or chronic effects after continuous low-level, or occasional exposure. Maximum residue limits for pesticides in foodstuffs and animal feed are set by many nations. Biological control is first recorded around 300 AD in China, when colonies of weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, were intentionally placed in citrus plantations to control beetles and caterpillars. Also around 4000 BC in China, ducks were used in paddy fields to consume pests, as illustrated in ancient cave art. In 1762, an Indian mynah was brought to Mauritius to control locusts, and about the same time, citrus trees in Burma were connected by bamboos to allow ants to pass between them and help control caterpillars.
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Chemicals in the host repel the pest or prevent the pest from completing its life cycle. Eradication is a rare goal in outdoor pest situations, because it is difficult to achieve. Eradication is occasionally attempted when a foreign pest has been accidentally introduced but is not yet established in an area. Such eradication strategies often are supported by the Government. It could cost more to control the pest than would be lost because of the pest’s damage.
Lutz H, Lutz-Ostertag Y. The action of different pesticides on the development of bird embryos. Locke D, Landivar JA, Moseley D. The effects of rate and timing of glyphosate applications of defoliation efficiency, regrowth inhibition, lint yield, fiber quality and seed quality; Proc. Beltwide Cotton Conf., National Cotton Council of America; 1995. Kole RK, Banerjee H, Bhattacharyya A, Chowdhury A, AdityaChaudhury N. Photo transformation of some pesticides. Kole RK, Banerjee H, Bhattacharyya A. Monitoring of market fish samples for Endosulfan and Hexachlorocyclohexane residues in and around Calcutta. Kannan K, Tanabe S, Tatsukawa R, Sinha RK. Biodegradation capacity and residue pattern of organochlorines in Ganges river dolphins from India.
Evaluate the benefits and risks of each tactic or combination of tactics. Cause as little harm as possible to everything except the pest. Control a pest only when it is causing or is expected to cause more harm than is reasonable to accept. If you need help in identifying a pest, contact your commodity or industry organization, Cooperative Extension agent, or State land grant university.
But, you need to monitor the situation to make sure your approaches worked. If you notice that the pest has come back over time, think about adjusting your control methods. Maybe you’re the type to dive in, research your pest, explore the most effective control options, and are feeling well prepared to take things on by yourself. Or maybe you feel like you are in over your head, don’t have time to learn about your pest, or can’t get access to the tools you need to do the job well. Whether you’ve “got this” or need a pro, there are resources available to you.