Chances are, you’ve been using pyrethroids for years, even if you have no idea what they are.
They are a group of chemicals that are used in the most popular consumer bug killers.
Pyrethroids are used to kill everything from bed bugs, roaches, and ticks to a wide variety of garden pests. They are the second most widely used pesticides in the world. If you buy a can of ant or roach spray, it likely contains pyrethroids or its chemical cousin pyrethin.
They do a good job killing bugs…and they may be doing the same thing to us, just more slowly.
An alarming new study shows that pyrethroids may have lethal effects on humans.
Researchers from the University of Iowa College of Public Health looked at data from 2,116 adults. The subjects underwent health examinations and lab tests from 1999 to 2002.
Since then, 246 subjects have died. The researchers found that people with the highest levels of exposure to pyrethroids were three times more likely to have died from heart disease.
They were 11.5 times more likely to have died from any cause.
The hazards of pyrethroids don’t stop there.
Previous research has found they cause inflammation and DNA damage. They are linked to diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and impaired brain development.
5 Natural Pest Control Solutions
Potentially deadly pyrethroids are not your only pest control option. Here are five natural ways to keep bugs away:
- Hot pepper spray is good for vanquishing insects from your yard or garden. Mix a gallon of water with 10 hot peppers chopped finely. Or use three tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Wait 24 hours, then strain the mixture. Add to a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap.
- Borax might sound like a chemical, but it’s a natural mineral, sodium tetraborate. To stop an ant infestation, mix ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of borax and one cup of hot water. Spray wherever you see ants congregating. The sugar attracts the ants. The borax kills them.
- Diatomaceous earth is a great way to get rid of bedbugs, which are otherwise very difficult to kill. It’s a gritty white powder that is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It’s harmless for humans to touch, but when bedbugs walk on it they are sliced to ribbons. Spoon out a thin layer around your bed and along floorboards. Wear goggles and a respirator mask while you do it to avoid eye or lung irritation. This works well for fleas, too.
Diatomaceous earth is available from home improvement stores and online retailers.
- Baking soda and sugar together are good cockroach killers. Mix equal parts of the two together. Sprinkle it in areas where you think roaches may be hiding. Add a little more on a daily basis. Tempted by the sugar, roaches eat the mixture. The baking soda kills them.
- Vinegar and chopped up apples placed in a bottle with a shaker or funnel-shaped top makes a great trap for fruit flies. They get in, but they won’t get out.
Chemical and pest control companies would like you to think that they have the only solution to bug problems. Do your health a favor. When you see bugs, use a natural solution before reaching for commercial insecticides.
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