STEVE TVEDTEN: Why I Stopped using Pesticide Poisons

I had been a pest-control operator for over fifty years, licensed at various times to apply economic (pesticide) poisons in twenty-one states in the United States. I, along with my firm, Get Set, Inc., routinely made many thousands of pesticide poison applications every year to homes, yards, farms, orchards, groves, commercial buildings, offices, stores, bars, and restau­rants, none of which were ever inspected by government agencies to see if the poisons had been correctly applied. The only time a state “regulator” ever came, it was to see if “enough” poison had been applied. I was sched­uled to go to court for refusing to use the maximum amount of chlordane the label allowed, just before all applications of this cancer-causing chemical was banned in the United States.

No animal, plant, or insect is automatically or naturally a pest. Only the way we feel about it in a particular location determines whether we welcome, or are repelled by, its life and consider it to be a pest, so the terminology pest is really only an issue if one considers its damage or annoyance intolerable. The economic injury level is the level of pests at which the cost to manage the pest is equal to the losses that pest causes. The action threshold is the pest density at which action must be taken to prevent the pest from reaching the economic injury level and/or tolerance level in any specific area.

The first step in controlling unwanted pests is to . . . .

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