Why Aren’t Pest Control Techs Leading The Lists In Deaths?

dead bones hand on B&G http://pestcemetery.com/Did you know there is a top 15 list of the leading causes of death? (2010)- Ugh, morbid I know, but it is enlightening in the sense that what you may think should be at the top of the list really isn’t and vice versa. Heart disease is #1 which to many is no surprise but pneumonia came in at #9 which I would have never guessed.

The top 15 list I found wasn’t as specific as I’m sure some lists are. For instance #5’s cause was accidents but it doesn’t specifically mention cars or other type of accident, it simply lumped them all together. (I guess)

What was especially intriguing to me however was the break down of deaths by poisoning and what was NOT on the list or mentioned in the break down. Namely, that professional pest control applications nor it’s applicators made the list. (note the word professionals) Also that pesticides were not ‘specifically’ in that list – they (according to what I found were #16 and no where in the abstract was the hint mention or inference of a person who practices structural pest control for a living.

Now I find that amazing because if you listen to the voiced fears of some, you’d think that the average life span of a pest control applicator couldn’t be more than a couple of years. Just the mere sight of a pest tech walking into a home or office causes some folks to pull their lapel’s up over their mouths or even head for the exits. This is almost always accompanied with the question from their trembling lips. “Is it ok if I breathe this stuff? Should I be here while you spray? Will this kill me?”

Well let me tell you I’ve been doing this 30 years and I know many many guys and gals who have been applying chemicals for a living for quite a few years and even longer than I. Out of all those I know, I can honestly say, not one has died or gotten sick with the end result of death, by being a professional exterminator. This although somewhat anecdotal, flies in the face of what is commonly thought about the acute toxicity, risk and or hazards that most people associate with the application of chemicals for the purpose of pest control. Just some food thought.

The following is a portion of this list and that which that concerns pesticide deaths only. This is not my information & I’d love to hear your thoughts or if you have a different link to another study. (my link blocker will prevent your comment from immediately posting. But I’ll ‘ok’ it once I’m alerted so please feel free to include it)

My main point, is with so many doing DIY pest control or having pesticides in the home. Why not think about just hiring a pro to get your job done in the safest manner possible. I’d love to tell you we’re just dying to get your call – but the truth is – we’re not.

The 15 leading causes of death in 2010 were:
1. Diseases of heart (heart disease)
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
8. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
9. Influenza and pneumonia
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
11. Septicemia
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids
16. Poisoning—In 2010, 42,917 deaths occurred as the result of poisonings, 23.7 percent of all injury deaths
(Table 18). The majority of poisoning deaths were either unintentional (77.0 percent) or suicides (15.4
percent). However, 7.4 percent of poisoning deaths were of undetermined intent. The age-adjusted
death rate for poisoning increased 2.2 percent from 13.4 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population in
2009 to 13.7 in 2010.The age-adjusted death rate for unintentional poisoning increased 2.9 percent
from 10.3 in 2009 to 10.6 in 2010. Unintentional poisoning death rates in the United States have
increased each year since 1999 although the change from 2008 to 2009 was not significant (data prior to
2010 are not shown but are available through CDC Wonder.

Self-poisoning with agricultural pesticides represents a major hidden public health problem accounting for approximately one-third of all suicides worldwide.[3] It is one of the most common forms of self-injury in the Global South. The World Health Organization estimates that 300,000 people die from self-harm each year in the Asia-Pacific region alone.[4] Most cases of intentional pesticide poisoning appear to be impulsive acts undertaken during stressful events, and the availability of pesticides strongly influences the incidence of self poisoning.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Nitor pest control

    I agree. My bloodpressure is more likely to do me in before any of the products I use to service my customers on a daily basis.

  • Better get that checked 😉

  • Stuto1

    Years ago when I was signing up for life insurance the agent pointed out that I didn’t have to pay any extra for being in the pest control business. The most dangerous thing about pest control is probably driving. That’s why I drive a tank! Ford f150 and am so happy 1/2 tons are really getting a lot better gas milage these days!

  • Yea, my agent was more worried if I smoked or had too much bacon and eggs everyday– lol–Oh & I have a few of those tanks too….love em.

  • Bobby

    been in this game for well over 30yrs and never known any serviceman to be effected with any of their rodenticides or insecticides or having to quit the job due to being alergic to their preps

  • It’s not as common as most would think yet I still get that nagging question from people quite a few times per year.

  • LifeDontWasteIt

    I think people are really more worried about cancers from it than ‘poisonings’.

  • Bobby

    over the years in pest control ive seen certain preps taken off the market due to the risk of cancer from lindane to formaldahyde that was an ingredient in insecticide and was also used and still is used in embalming way back from the egyptians, i suppose if your dead then it really dose’nt matter…. lol

  • ;0 True… They make a lot of mobile homes here (trailers) and apparently use quite a bit of formaldehyde in the process. Not sure why or what the purpose is for. Sometimes a new home can smell for weeks.

  • I think you’re correct. That’s what makes the study so relevant.