Pesticide & Safety

Pesticides and their use have become a hot topic.  It's difficult to write an unbiased article being that our company sells such products, but it is possible to try to put pesticide use into its proper prospective.

We get many questions about pesticides and safety.  There is no such thing as a non-toxic pesticide - that would be illogical.  A pesticide, by nature, is toxic.  While there are food quality pesticides that can be utilized for some pest species, these are not always available for a wide variety of pests and they may present problems such as staining or objectionable odor.  We sell some repellents that are composed of non toxic food ingredients.  You will not find us misrepresenting pesticides as non toxic.  We think it's important to be honest.

Keep in mind that organic pesticide products may be toxic as well as synthetic products.  Even naturally derived products can be deadly.  Boric Acid is derived from a mineral, boron, but a teaspoon of boric acid will kill an infant.  Rotenone, a botanical insecticide, is toxic to fish and is suspected of being involved in human disease.

Handling and Application of Products

Any pesticide, whether it is very toxic, moderately toxic or only slightly toxic, requires attention to its potential for harm as well as its ability to perform its intended function.  Any pesticide including Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc., needs to be applied according to label recommendations.  If it is a concentrate,  use 1/2 oz if that is what's called for.  We still find people that believe if 1/2 oz is good, then 1 oz is better.  Logically, you can't make something more dead by doubling the dosage, but you do double the risk of harm to someone or their loved ones including pets.  

Pesticides need to be stored carefully, especially where there are children or pets in a household.  However, in many respects, they are not much different than other household products such as ammonia, bleach, salt, cleaning solvent, etc.  Too much salt, even too much water, can kill someone.  If ammonia and bleach are mixed, the combination can be deadly.   Pesticide are perceived as being more dangerous because their intended purpose is to cause harm to another organism and because they are toxic to humans and their pets.

A question that comes up frequently is: how one can spray insecticides into areas that hold food?  It's actually quite simple.  First, the spray is allowed to dry before food is returned to that area. Next, food products are always in containers and the bottom of dishes (that may contact pesticide residues) don't contact food.  Finally, sprays are typically applied to corners which minimizes contact with items stored there. 

Pesticides should be applied as efficiently as possible.  Use the correct dosage, direct the spray only to the areas that need it and don't drench a surface: if it's wet, it's been treated.  Pesticide liquids applied to lawn areas need to be allowed to dry before children or pets are permitted to contact the treated areas.  Some granular insecticides need to be watered into the ground so that they are not hazardous to non target organisms.

Our Emphasis is on Safety, Too

We want you to live.  If you live, you can continue to visit our web site and perhaps buy products from us.  It's in our interest to keep you alive and well.  We don't fully understand why some people believe that pesticides can't fit into our lives when used in a safe manner.  Yes, pesticides can harm us, but pesticides are necessary to control pests which harbor serious disease, which can harm us or which can do millions of dollars of damage to our food supply.

The Bug Clinic is not selling pesticides for use on such a grand scale, but to everyone that contacts us for help, our solutions are very important.  We will always try to point our customers to the most conservative and least toxic solutions where possible.  We even tell people not to use pesticides in some cases.  In other cases, we offer truly non toxic solutions for some pests.  It's really in our best interest (and yours) to do this. 

If you have any questions or concerns about anything that we sell or wish to comment on anything you've found (or have not found) here, please feel free to write, call or fax to us.  E-Mail to, call us toll free between 8 am and 4 pm EST, Monday through Friday at 800-433-1128 or send a fax to us at 845-746-9018.  It's been said by many companies, but we mean it: your call (or letter) is important to us.  We try to answer every communication that comes to us.  There is a living, breathing person running this company and that person is at your service.


Barry Eldridge, President & CEO