LA county text County Directory of Information & Services | Public Alerts | Public Information | County Contact Information

County of Los Angeles Public Health Logo



Environmental Health
Public Health EH Building

   

Tell Us How We're Doing
How to Find Us
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(888) 700-9995
ehmail@ph.lacounty.gov



PESTICIDES

» LINKS

When it comes to ridding your home of unwanted pests, it's a case of "pick your poison." While some people fear common pests like ants, cockroaches and rodents, others worry more about the chemical pesticides used to kill or repel these creatures.

Those worries not withstanding, itís estimated that more than three-quarters of U.S. households use pesticides of some type, whether itís to rid the kitchen of ants, the garden of bothersome weeds, or their pets of fleas and ticks.

Despite their common household use, surprisingly little is known about the hazards associated with this type of exposure. Most medical research has focused on people, such as agricultural workers, who are regularly exposed to very large amounts of pesticides. In these individuals, pesticides have a wide range of health effects-from nervous system damage to an increased risk of some cancers.

Until pesticides are developed that are conclusively demonstrated to be safe, your best protection is to minimize your exposure by using them only when absolutely necessary. While that approach may sound obvious, many people use pesticides even when there is no significant problem with pests.

The best approach is to prevent pest problems from developing. Install screens on all the doors and windows and seal any openings in the floors or walls to keep pests (like bees, flies and rodents) from entering your home. Eliminate access to food and water, without which pests cannot survive. Storing food in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers, for example, will go a long way in the battle against ants.

In the garden, select plants known to resist disease and insects, and mulch regularly. If pests do become a problem in your home, use alternative means of controlling them whenever possible. Mouse traps can be set; a 'swatter' can be used to kill flies, bees and wasps; and weeds in the garden can be hand-picked. In some cases, insects can even be used for pest control purposes. Releasing ladybugs in the garden, for example, helps keep aphids under control.

If you opt to use a pesticide, select the least dangerous product possible. Read the label carefully for clues to the product's toxicity. The words "danger-poison" signify that the product contains chemicals that can be highly poisonous (these products are typically only available to certified pesticide applicators). The word "danger" is used to identify products that are poisonous or corrosive. "Warning" means that the product is considered moderately hazardous. And "caution" indicates that the product is considered least hazardous.

Once you select a pesticide, use it only as directed on the product label. The label is the law: It is a federal violation to use any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Never apply more pesticide than recommended by the product manufacturer.

Also, some pesticide labels will recommend wearing protective clothing, such as nonabsorbent gloves, rubber footwear or goggles, while applying the product. When using pesticides indoors, proper ventilation is important. Keep windows open unless the product only works in a sealed area. Everyone except the person applying the pesticide should leave the rooms being treated. Afterward, everyone, including the person who applied the pesticide, should leave the treated area for at least the length of time recommended on the product label.

If you use pesticides outdoors, avoid tracking them inside. While theyíre being applied, windows and doors should be closed to prevent the chemicals from blowing indoors. Take off shoes before going inside, and remove and wash contaminated clothing immediately.


LINKS

California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA Environmental Protection Agency)
Pesticide Information Profiles (EXTOXNET)
MedlinePlus for Pesticides (U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health)
National Pesticide Information Center, (800) 858-7378
Pesticides (National Safety Council)
Pesticides (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

 

 email icon   Email Us
Pay for your Public Health
Permit or License by credit card

To pay for your Public Health Permit and/or License with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card, please click
here.

A 2.25% convenience fee per transaction will apply. Please have your Account ID and your Facility ID numbers from your billing statement ready. Payment will only be accepted online for the total amount owed on an account. Terms and
Conditions apply. For more information about Permit and License Billing, please click here.

Areas of Interest
Popular Links
arrow2013-2014 License/Permit Fees

arrowBeware: Health Inspector Imposters

arrowBody Art

arrowBooklets/Guides:
arrowCertified Food Handler & Manager:
arrowCommunity Events

arrowCottage Food Operation

arrowDrinking Water Report

arrowFood Facility (Restaurant/Market) Ratings

arrowFood Facility Closures

arrowFood Recalls  

All Recalls for 2014:


arrowGuidelines for Safe Food Donation

arrowInspect Your Home Kitchen

arrowMobile Food Facility Route Sheet

arrowMotion Picture Catering Operation Permit
arrowPet Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas

arrowPlan Check Guides:
arrowRadiation:
arrowSwimming Pool Inspection Details

arrowSwimming Pool Closure List

arrowWhat to Expect as a Food Operator
Director of Environmental Health
Angelo J. Bellomo
Director's Biography
 
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services