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Pesticide use is an important part of the pest management process ever since, centuries ago, chrysanthemum flowers were crushed to create a pesticide known today as pyrethrum. The 20th century has led to a development of a large mix of different types of pesticides. The stories of pesticide poisonings abound throughout the past century; the 21st century is leading us in a new direction of safer pesticides used much more responsibly. The reason for these pages on pesticides is to give a realistic view of how pesticides can be used in the home and business with relative safety.
Before pesticides can be used, all other options should be pursued in order to eliminate or prevent pesticides from actually being used. Then, if pesticides are used, lesser amounts can be used with greater effectiveness. This process of pursuing other pest management options is known as Integrated Pest Management. For a detailed description, SEE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT .
The legal definition of pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pests, as well as any substance, or mixture of substances, intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant. This covers a lot of ground. First, we are not concerned with the use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant. We are only concerned with the first part of the definition as it relates to pests that enter the home or business.
The pesticide business in the United States is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Their job is to make sure all pesticides are checked, tested, categorized, and approved for use in order to help protect the people and environment of the country. SEE EPA for further information and publications on this. State agencies further refine the approval process of the pesticides as well as regulate the use of them with respect to certified commercial applicators (pest management professionals).
The two general categories of pesticides today are Restricted and Unrestricted pesticides. Restricted pesticides are only available for use by certified pest management professionals. Unrestricted pesticides are available to the general public for use around their own homes and businesses. It is important to remember that if you purchase even unrestricted pesticides and use them at someone else's house in exchange for monetary or non-monetary gain, it is usually in violation of the law and may result in hefty fines and even jail time. Therefore, the rule of thumb is to only use pesticides at your own house. In fact, use in a business environment, although may be legal, may result in litigation problems. Pest management professionals have liability insurance as well as the training and experience to prevent those types of problems. It is usually better if you hire a professional for pesticide applications at the work place.
Chemical formulations and types of pesticides vary and a brief discussion of these can be found at PESTICIDE FORMULATIONS.
Another area of discussion that is important to look at, whether you are hiring someone or doing it yourself, can be found on the pages about PESTICIDE SAFETY AND POISONING.
If you have any questions, please ask Pestdude!

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