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Common Pesticide Questions

If it's made of the same stuff... isn't the cheaper one good enough?

Mildred was given a mattress and discovered it was infested with bed bugs. She decided to treat the mattress, and possibly her home, with a pesticide. Mildred headed to the local store to find a product that would get rid of bed bugs on bedding and mattresses. However, the product she found was too expensive for her budget. Mildred noticed another product containing the same active ingredient for significantly less money. Although the inexpensive product contained a higher percentage of the active ingredient, Mildred considered diluting it to the same concentration listed on the first product. Mildred wondered if her money-saving idea would work.

Mildred noticed the telephone number for the National Pesticide Information Center on the label (1-800-858-7378) and decided to give them a call. Click here to find out what Mildred learned.


Take Home Message

The NPIC specialist explained to Mildred that the less expensive product was not registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for use on mattresses and could NOT be used indoors. In addition, the product was intended to control termites and carpenter ants, not bed bugs. Mildred learned the label is the law. The NPIC specialist explained what type of information can be found on product labels to minimize potential risks to human health. The section labeled "Directions for Use" provides important information regarding proper use, including where the product can be used (i.e., site of application) and what pests the product will control.

Mildred learned two products may contain the same active ingredient, but may not be registered for the same uses. For example, the percent active ingredient(s), the formulation, labeled uses, and application instructions can be unique to each pesticide product. Protect your home and save money by reading the ENTIRE product label FIRST.

Related Topics:

What are pests?

Learn about a pest

Identify a pest

Control a pest

Integrated Pest Management

What are pesticides?

Herbicides

Disinfectants

Fungicides

Insecticides

Natural and Biological Pesticides

Repellents

Rodenticides

Other types of pesticides

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