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DIY Pest Control Fails #7

In Riverside County, late at night a woman walked in the yard of a home she shared with her children. She found a soft drink bottle in a shed and drank from it. It tasted bad, so she assumed it had “gone bad” and threw it out. Two days later, she told her daughter she had experienced symptoms, which she blamed on the spoiled soft drink. The daughter knew the bottle contained herbicide supplied by a gardener friend. It was labeled “grass killer,” but that would not have been obvious at night when her mother picked it up.

None of these “blunders” — compiled from DPR’s Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program — resulted in death, although most victims required medical treatment. Don’t be a statistic. If you must use pesticides yourself, READ THE LABEL and stay safe. Better yet, call Thrasher Termite & Pest Control.

In Los Angeles County, a woman diluted bleach in a cup to clean it, then forgot about it and went to bed. The next morning, she warmed the cup of liquid and took a sip before remembering the cup contained bleach. In a similar incident, a Sonoma homeowner left a cup of bleach solution that she had used for cleaning on her bathroom counter. She got up at midnight and drank from the cup. Her throat began to burn and she vomited.

An 18-year-old Lassen County resident sprayed half a can of outdoor-use insecticide in his bedroom, then went to sleep. He awoke with nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and other symptoms. He denied his sister’s allegation that he was sniffing the insecticide.

A Riverside County woman set off four foggers in her 1,000-square-foot apartment (about three cans more than the recommended application) and left the residence (as the label instructed), only to reenter several times to pick up things she had forgotten. She began to experience dizziness, nausea, and cramps, so she called 911. Upon arrival, a paramedic attempted to retrieve the fogger without wearing a respiratory protection device, and he too became ill.

In San Joaquin County, a resident did not read the instructions on an insecticide aerosol before standing on a stool to spray it up into the air toward some ants over a doorway three or four feet away. He got sick a few hours later. The product label directs users to hold the can about a foot from the surface to be sprayed, and not to spray into the air.

Haven’t we said this before: READ THE LABEL!!!