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What Pesticides are Pet and Child Friendly?

"As the technical director for a major pest control company for over three decades I hear this and read this term “child and pet friendly” referring to certain pesticide products from almost every company even on almost every bag of pesticide I see at most of the local hardware stores and online. The fact, “pesticide” and “friendly” when used in a sentence together to any trained professional is an oxymoron. Words ending in the word "cide" which comes from the Latin word cidium, act of killing, could never be considered "friendly". It is like the phrase used by agencies when horrific accidents occur where soldiers of the same force fire on each other by mistake, "friendly fire". I can assure you the bullet or missile that caused the injury had no friendly intentions regardless of who fired it or why it was fired so how can the term "friendly" be used in that context? As if using the term "friendly" softens the damage or changes the outcome.

Marketing today disguises risk and abuses terms like "green", "natural" , "friendly" to seduce the consumer into buying their product or service with a false sense of security based on a word that has no business being used in the context of what the product or service does.

All pest control companies today use or have access to basically the same products and any company that claims their “pesticides” are “friendly” should deserve a cautions look as it is a marketing phrase designed to sell product and treatment not based on the full truth. Pesticides need to be understood, mixed and applied only by trained and registered technicians that know the risk involved. Yes, if applied correctly and mixed correctly and the product label strictly followed the treatments can pose little risk to pets and humans but to say they are “friendly” clearly demonstrates a lack of awareness on the professionals you hire to apply the product.

As a parent and pet owner myself I fully realize how much those loved ones means to the family. To imply the product is "friendly" gives a false sense of security to any parent or pet owner. Can it be used around pets and children, yes, but none of it is “friendly” and it must be handled as such….that goes for all companies and all products that apply pesticides.

Keep the pets and the family off the treated areas until the area(s) are dry (or other label instructions on re-entry) and any risk is pretty much reduced. Research and hire companies that are candid and honest about the products, know that if handled properly it will provide more benefit than potential harm, make sure the company and the employees understand the value of the people and pets that are in the area and the risk that could develop if misapplied or misused.

As a responsible member of the pesticide industry we owe it to all that use our services to be transparent, to understand and know the products and the potential risk, we do not need to hide behind marketing words that seduce and provide false sense of security. That is the anatomy of business in the world today.

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