Some memories in our lives are seared forever between our ears. Whenever we think of them or it surfaces, those same emotions that stirred oh so many years ago still bubble up and are just as strong. For me this is one of those memories and oh yes, it still boils my blood to this day.
It’s the 2nd Tuesday at 5:00 pm and I pull into a monthly account. It was a clinic for expectant mothers. Most bug guy’s I know including me start early so this was not my favorite account because it was so late in the day. We did this though just so we wouldn’t add any undue concerns to the mothers to be.
As I pulled in and gathered my equipment I could see the last (or so I thought) of the patients leaving the building. As I entered and checked in as normal, I looked into our pest log to see if any pest activity had been reported. About then a young lady came from around the corner heading out. Oh man if her eyes were daggers I would’ve needed a doctor. I quickly thought, “Did I scrape her car when I pulled in, was she a disgruntled customer?”I didn’t know but this woman was visibly mad at me & I just knew she wasn’t going to walk by without a word. As she came down the hall I mustered a half smile and that’s when she went off. ” What the %$@ do you think you’re doing? I’m pregnant and you are poisoning my baby, you don’t dare spray that $%@) till I leave.” She kept on an on till she hit the door.
Well at that point I felt embarrassed, shocked, you name it. I looked at the secretary and she just shrugged. At that moment I doubted myself and my service. I was there to help but right then I felt like I was an evil villain–AND I HAD’NT EVEN BEGUN TO SPRAY! I turned back to catch another look at the tornado that just hit me and: AHHHHHHHHH!!^%#@* I couldn’t believe my eyes. There this woman who had just accosted me for what she thought was endangering her and her unborn child, accused me of poisoning the world and all its inhabitants was lighting up a cigarette. Oh man let me tell you I wanted to jump out of my skin and go out there and give her a what for. She couldn’t even wait till she got out of my site to light up. I bet she didn’t know that nicotine is one of the most powerful insecticides and that she was sharing it with her baby. Other than DDT it was responsible for much of the early success against locust and other grain pests that threatened our food supply in the 40’s and 50’s. My God I was so upset after that and here some 20 years later I’m still mad whenever I think of her. I wonder if she would ever read this. I doubt it, I also doubt if her perception of professional pest control operators polluting this world with their evil pesticides will change. She’s probably too busy trying to get her oxygen tank into her Prius so she can get to her Green Peace meeting.
While it’s true that your local pest control man (or woman) handles many gallons, pounds and containers of pesticides per year. They also use and apply powders, pastes, ULV (fogging), granules, traps, gases, lures and baits to name a few. You would think if the perception of some was right that these fine men and women would be dropping like flies from being exposed and so close to all these dangerous chemicals. The truth is that electrical shock is the # 1 killer of pest control technicians, NOT pesticide poisoning. Why would this be? It can only be attributed to training, training and more training.
Meanwhile your average homeowner who also uses gallons and gallons of pesticides, foggers, baits etc. unfortunately accounts for over 90% of all pesticide poisoning in the United States. Why? No training whatsoever. Most lack respect for powerful pest products and hardly anyone takes the time to read the label. Whenever or at least let’s say when MOST times a pesticide poisoning occurs it is the pesticide itself, the exterminator who applies it or the company that manufactures the product that is so evil and cares only for profit and not the benefit of the consumer.
While the blame game may be fun for some, probably lawyers, it does virtually no good to help prevent the next over application or poisoning possibly keeping you or your loved one safe.