There are many effective types of pesticides used for ant infestation. Precautionary steps must be taken in order to prevent an occurrence of accidental toxicity effects and create a possible health hazard. While some ant poisons may have minor toxicity impact internally or externally on the body, some pesticides may possess cancer causing ingredients which are harmful if the poison comes into direct contact with the skin or if it is ingested.
Safety Rating vs. Toxicity Effects
Toxicity level and effect of ant pesticides on humans can't necessarily be determined based on the product’s EPA safety rating. Instead, the toxicity hazardous impact is largely dependent on whether the product will have an acute toxicity or a chronic toxicity effect. Acute toxicity effects can occur if the product is inhaled, comes in contact with your skin or is taken orally. Chronic toxicity can occur by the mere presence and location of the product ingredients to humans, “which may cause cancer, reproductive or developmental effects, or other long-term toxicity,” according to the website Austin City Grow Green.
Heptachlor Side Effects
One popular ant poison product is Heptachlor which is typically used to control fire ant infestation. Heptachlor is classified as a Category II toxicity level by the EPA, which can cause skin irritation with direct contact. Yet, the EPA also lists it as a probable carcinogen. In addition, according to the EPA RED Facts, Heptachor, “produces liver tumors in mice and female rats and Mutagenicity studies show that heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide affect DNA synthesis in certain human cells.”
Fipronil Side Effects
Another popular pesticide used to control ant infestation is Fipronil. This particular pesticide is used to control other types of insect infestation such as fleas, ticks, beetles and cockroaches. Due to its multiple uses, it is especially crucial that you exercise caution in its handling as well as how infestation treatment is applied. The appearance of toxicity signs from Fipronil, if accidentally ingested, can be dizziness, weakness, headaches and vomiting.
First Aid Measures
When using ant pesticides it is critical that you understand what first aid measures will need to be undertaken in case of accidental poisoning. Before beginning, make certain that a neighbor or a family member is aware of your pesticide use. If accidentally contaminated, remove the clothing immediately, seek fresh air and call 911. Keep the pesticide package nearby so that the EMS technicians will be aware of the product contents. If the pesticide has been ingested do not attempt to vomit. Instead, take a sip of water and remain alert.
- Austin City Grow Green: Earth-Wise Guide To Products Toxicity Ratings:
- BASF: Safety Data Sheet Advance Carpenter Ant Bait:
- Michigan State University Extension: Fire Ant Control: The Two-Step Method and Other Approaches:
- EPA: RED Facts: Heptachlor Fact Sheet:
- National Pesticide Information Center: Fipronil Technical Fact Sheet:
- Photo Credit ant image by jeancliclac from Fotolia.com
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