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Avoiding Pesticide Emergencies

Pesticide emergencies are typically uncommon when dealing with a licensed pest control applicator; however, it is important to know how to handle an emergency should one arise. Licensed pest control applicators are regulated by local, state and/or federal agencies in order to increase safety and minimize the likelihood of encountering incidence in which pesticide emergencies occur.  Residents who attempt to take on their own pest control practices are more likely to run into pesticide emergencies due to lack of knowledge and training in application techniques, labeling restrictions, and safety precautions.

Pesticides are not limited to insecticides or rodenticides and can be defined as any chemical or combination of chemicals whose intended use are to destroy, repel, mitigate or prevent any pest.  As with all chemicals, pesticide safety typically comes from responsible application as well as precautionary measures in order to reduce risks of adverse reactions.

Knowing how to handle a pesticide emergency is important and many people are not aware of the steps that should be taken during these types of situations.  Here are a few things to remember when dealing with pesticides:

Keep service records for your home handy.  Pesticide applicators should provide you with a detailed service ticket showing what products have been applied in your home and where the application occurred.  This information will be extremely important in an emergency situation, especially during hours when your pest control office is closed. (Mug-A-Bug makes every attempt to keep an up-to-date list of all product labels and safety data sheets available under the “About Our Services” section on our web-site for the products that we utilize on a regular basis.)

  1. ALWAYS follow precautionary instructions provided by your service technician.  These are often found on the service ticket provided for your home.
  2. Post emergency numbers in an easily accessible area of your home AND program them into cellular phones.  Important numbers to have readily accessible aside from your local emergency or 911 are:
  • NPIC (NationalPesticideInformationCenter) – 1-800-888-7378 (M-F 10am-12pm MST)
  • Rocky Mountain Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
  • Animal Poison Control (Credit Card Fees Apply – $65) – 1-888-426-4435
  • Pet Poison Hotline (Credit Card Fees Apply – $39) – 1-800-213-6680
  1. Know where to locate first-aide information on a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) formerly known as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).  First-aide information is clearly labeled on the sheet and is found near the beginning of the first page.  This provides information for immediate first-aide.  If you know the product resulting in the exposure, the above agencies can provide this information or you can find the information on the manufacture’s web-site.
  2. In a life-threatening emergency (examples may include: loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, respiratory or cardiac arrest) ALWAYS call 911 or your local emergency number first; however, in non-life-threatening situations, contact one of the agencies above for additional information and instructions.