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What Kind of Pesticide is Your Exterminator Using?

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What Kind of Pesticide is Your Exterminator Using?

by Steve Graham, Networx

A reputable exterminator should list the active ingredients in their pesticides. The exterminator also should tell you the potential health threats associated with the pesticide, symptoms of poisoning and any additional instructions for minimizing exposure and health impacts.

While each company likely has a unique formula, the most common ingredients in professional-grade pesticides are pyrethroids and pyrethrins, according to a June 2010 study in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Piperonyl butoxide and hydramethylnon are the next most common ingredients. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon and other organophosphates were once very common, but have become nearly obsolete since the Environmental Protection Agency restricted the use of these toxic ingredients starting in 2001.

Here is some more information about each of the four most commonly used pesticide chemicals, as well as a couple of other pesticides that are growing in popularity.

Pyrethroids and Pyrenthrins

Permethrin is the most common active ingredient in insecticides applied by licensed exterminators. It is one of a large class of chemical insecticides known as pyrethroids. They mimic pyrethrins, which are botanical insecticides typically derived from Australian and African chrysanthemum flower varieties. Both pyrethrins and pyrethroids work to paralyze and eventually kill a wide variety of insects.

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6:03AM PDT on May 30, 2011


10:01AM PDT on May 28, 2011


9:47PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I do not want to use any pesticides, but our community is infested with non-native stink bugs that have no natural predators. Over the summer it was difficult to open the front door without a swarm of these things getting in the house. The bugs made it unpleasant to leave the house, or be outside for any time. I would love a non-pesticide way to get rid of them, but it is being estimated that they will be triple the number we saw last year. I am hoping someone can figure some planet friendly was to deal with them.

9:45PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

I don't understand why we need to kill any living animal or insect. As an avid supporter of PETA, I believe in treating all animals with respect in life; even as small as an insect, ant and "pest".

8:08AM PDT on Mar 27, 2011

Mother nature's natural pesticides are the only ones I use.

10:07PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

interesting, thanks.

5:26PM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

I do not use pesticide. Try to keep the house as clean as possible. Thanks.

12:28PM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

Pesticides? Why would I use pesticides?

9:58AM PST on Mar 9, 2011

Thank you

10:57AM PST on Mar 5, 2011

Thanks for the's the natural, organic, harmless to human pesticides that I'll stick to.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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