Safety First

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The following are general safety procedures that should be used for most types of structural pesticide applications:

  • Applicators must understand how the building ventilation systems work and know how air moves in and out of a building
  • For many dwellings, windows are the only source of ventilation so they should be closed if cross drafts will cause pesticide drift during application.
  • In buildings with sealed ventilation systems, building management staff must be available to shut off exhaust or ventilation fans to prevent pesticides moving through the ventilation system to untreated areas.
  • Spraying ULD fogging or dusting treatments applied in areas where heating systems are located may create a fire hazard. Applicators should ensure that all heating systems that use open flames and/or non grounded fans are shut off to eliminate the fire hazard.
  • Before a pesticide is used, notification should be provided to people who may be exposed to the pesticide, Some provinces or municipalities have specific notification requirements including content of notices, the size of signs and when they are to be posted.
  • In general, a written notice should be given to residents who live in or workers who use areas to be treated. Notices should be posted at entrances to areas that may be entered by people who do not receive a written notice. It should remain posted until the appropriate re-entry time has been reached.
  • Notices should include the treatment date, start time and completion time, re-entry information, a contact person’s telephone number for additional information and other appropriate product specific precautions.
  • Know how ventilation systems affect applications and how to adequately vent a building following treatments
  • Know that heating systems may cause a fire hazard and what should be done to prevent the hazard.
  • Determine and use required and safe re-entry times. The re-entry time is the amount of time that people must stay out of treated areas. The concern over re-entry is the exposure of people to pesticides through
  • Exhaust fans must be turned off, and windows and doors closed before treatment
  • Applicator exposure should be minimized by starting the treatment at furthest point from planned exit. A full face canister respirator should be worn if it is necessary to enter the spray cloud.
  • Exhaust fans must be turned on and or windows and doors opened to ensure adequate ventilation before re-entry.
  • Baits must be placed according to label directions in areas inaccessible to humans and other non-target animals, or in tamper-resistant bait stations. They should also be placed in locations where they can be retrieved after the treatment/program is completed.
  • Bait stations should be labeled with words such as “Rodent Bait Station-Do Not Touch” with a contact name and phone number on the container.
  • Baits should be placed so that food and food contacting surfaces will not be contaminated .
  • The number and location of bait points should be recorded for retrieval of baits.
  • . Baits should be removed before they become stale (e.g., after 3 – 6 months or when mouldy) or when the baiting program is completed .
  • Dead animals must be removed to prevent risk of secondary poisoning .
Hand sprayer use may, without care, expose an applicator to repeated sub-lethal doses of pesticide. The valve trigger may have a tiny leak and if gloves are not also checked for leaks, an applicator’s hands may be exposed to spray. Such exposure is of particular concern with organophosphate pesticides. Check the trigger valve and gloves at regular intervals. Routine cholinesterase testing should be done to check whether an applicator has had exposure, if using organophosphates.