Keeping IPM Tools Available

Written by: Bobby Kossowicz, mother of two, Branchburg, New Jersey

Having spent 15 years in the pest control industry I am a bit more on guard when it comes to pests than your average mom. I have talked to moms devastated by Lyme disease and homeowners stricken with unrelenting bills due to pest damage, and I understand that pests can cause asthma in children and that rodents can transmit disease through their droppings. I also believe strongly in the availability of pest control products to help reduce our risk from pests and rodents.

Risk-reward analysis
The risk verses reward of pesticide use is a hot topic in the media today. Pest control products, when used properly, protect us from disease, keep our public places clean and provide us with healthy, disease-free fruits and vegetables in great abundance. With proper training, responsible use of pesticides through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach is beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing. Here are some examples of how pest control products can play an important role in protecting you family and community.

Dodge Lyme disease devastation
Lyme disease can be debilitating, particularly when it goes untreated. Living in New Jersey, we have one of the highest reported incidences of Lyme disease in the country. In fact, earlier this year and just miles from my house a new tick-borne disease was discovered in a woman who tested negative for Lyme disease. Additionally, click here to read more about how one mom was devastated by Lyme when her entire family contracted the disease. One of her children is still feeling the effects today, 10 years after her initial diagnosis. As a mom of two I take the risk of Lyme disease very seriously. And I feel very fortunate that I have pest control products available to help me control ticks around my property and lower my family’s risk.

Prevent West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) is another disease of concern. According to WebMD, you are most at risk for being infected if you spend time outdoors and are active. WNV causes flu-like symptoms with the possibility of developing encephalitis or meningitis, which raises your chances of dying from the disease. Controlling mosquitoes can be tricky but not impossible with the products available today. As a second line of defense, I am always sure to apply an insect repellant on my family when we spend time outdoors.

Big impact from small steps
You don’t have to contract a disease from an insect for it to have a major impact on you. It has been estimated that termites cause $5 billion worth of damage each year. These destructive pests can be very difficult to detect as they live inside walls eating away on the wood of your home. Our family witnessed firsthand just how destructive termites can be when a neighbor had to reconstruct the entire front of their home due to termite damage. To protect my largest investment, I installed a termite control system around the perimeter of our home. I feel more secure knowing that I took measures to stop this destructive pest.

Calling for balance
I believe we are in need of balance. This means we should consider not only the risks, but also the rewards when it comes to the use and availability of pest control products. As a mom, I feel strongly about protecting my family, and my home and pest control products play an important role in providing that security for me. I encourage you to find out what you can do at home and in your community to promote responsible use and an integrated pest management approach to controlling pests.

Categories: Pest Management
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