As a technician or service manager with Bulwark Exterminating I would find it very challenging to overcome various stereotypes surrounding the pest control industry while trying to meet a customer’s expectations. I will eventually cover all of these challenges but for this post, I would like to focus on what is myth #1 in my book.
Myth #1: “The best pesticide kills on contact.”
Contact killers are what most people think of when they think of insecticides. As soon as the insect is exposed to the chemical they expect the insect to stop dead in their tracks. The usage of this type of pesticide is very ineffective for various reasons.
Pesticides that kill on contact are very problematic because you are prone to attack symptoms of the problem rather than the root cause of your infestation.
If you kill ants within the home they die right there on the spot. The insecticide quickly dissipates where it has been sprayed and the chemical never makes it back to the ant nest. Secondly, because of ant sensitivity it often times instinctively knows to avoid areas where a pesticide that kills on contact has been used. Studies have shown that at any time; approximately only 10 – 20% of the ant population is away from the nest…and the best way to eradicate a nest is to remove the queen. The ant colony will reproduce more rapidly than what is killed on a day to day basis and thus you will never really eradicate your ant problem.
Similar to the situation regarding ants it may be very hard for you to locate the nest, web, or other harborage for various insects and therefore contact kill insecticides are ineffective. (Understanding that you need to apply contact killers directly onto the pest.)
Insects are very good at finding places within your home that are rarely disturbed; a place where you will not be able to apply your contact kill insecticide. Insects are often nocturnal which adds to the problem of having to locate the insect and applying the pesticide directly onto the little critter.
“Try to find insects in their hard to reach places, and make sure you’re looking in the dark while you are at it…Good Luck.” (Don’t forget the scorpions that can live without food or water for up to 18 months.)
In conclusion we are assuming that a contact kill pesticide is highly toxic and dissipates quickly (as most do); the last thing the EPA would like is a commercial pesticide that is highly toxic and resides over a long period of time within the environment. (Did someone say DDT?) Pesticides that are spread through body contact, that resides on an insect, and allows the insect to make it to nest would be far more effective than a contact kill pesticide in eradicating a pest problem.