Friday, November 6, 2009

Good housekeeping beats insecticides...and rids allergens

Research shows good housekeeping is more effective than insecticides. When a building supervisor notified tenants in Brooklyn that one of the apartments had a bedbug infestation, Eddie Rosenthal feared that it was only a matter of time until they spread to his home. But it wasn't just the bugs that gave Rosenthal the creeps. So did the prospect of using pesticides. So Rosenthal decided to try a few tricks that might keep his home bug-free without spraying chemicals. He raised his bed off the ground, filled some cracks and applied some nontoxic powder to spaces between walls.

Now new research shows that such good housekeeping techniques not only minimize chemical use, but they are even more effective at controlling pests than hiring an exterminator to spray powerful, toxic pesticides. A single use of such techniques in 13 New York City apartment buildings eliminated substantially more cockroaches and mice than repeated professional applications of pesticides. Another plus: asthma-triggering allergens related to bugs were up to 70 percent lower in residences using preventive techniques than those using insecticides. Details here.