Home without bugs. Tips and advice on both pests and pesticides.

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1 Home without bugs Tips and advice on both pests and pesticides

2 Pests and vermin are on the increase Pests and vermin are becoming an increasing problem in Sweden. This may lead to increased use of pesticides which in the long run could harm our health and the environment. The reason for the increase in pest infestations is believed to be our frequent travelling and the fact that we return with pests in our luggage. Vermin could come with you from five-star-hotels in New York, in food from the store or in articles bought at the vintage market; it has nothing to do with hygienic or housing standards. Avoid both vermin and toxic substances/poisons To avoid returning with bed bugs and other pests from your holidays keep your clothes in a closed suitcase away from the bed and do not bring your own pillows or other bedding. If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your luggage, it is a good idea to put the clothes in the freezer for a few days when you get home to try to kill them. Contact a professional pest control company in severe cases If you encounter vermin in your home, you should first identify what kind of vermin it is. Bed bugs, cockroaches and rats are very hard to get rid of and we strongly recommend that you contact a professional pest control company as soon as possible through your householder s comprehensive insurance. Alternatively contact your property owner, who often has pest control agreements through their insurance. German cockroach Blatella germanica Dark flour beetle Tribolium destructor Carpet beetle Attagenus pellio (adult and larvae)

3 Bed bug The bed bug has made a comeback in Sweden. It reproduces quickly and spreads easily from room to room on clothing or objects because it is so small that it is barely visible in the early stage. An adult bed bug is brown and about the size of a small apple core, with an oval, broad and flat body. In its early nymph stages it is smaller and yellow-white in colour. The eggs are white and about 1 mm long and almost impossible to spot. However, bed bugs leave droppings as tiny black dots that can be detected, for example on the mattress, bed frame or wall. They are not known to transmit diseases between people, but when they suck blood during the night, their bites can cause allergic reactions including itching and some swelling on the skin. They are very difficult to get rid of and we recommend that you contact an experienced pest control company if you have or encounter bed bugs. Cockroach Cockroaches come into our homes with groceries and imported goods and look for warm and humid places where there are also food such as the kitchen or bathroom. They can spread further in a property via drains. They do not like the light and hide during the day. Cockroaches multiply effectively, their eggs lie together in a hard, protective capsule that can even withstand chemical pesticides. From the eggs, nymphs are hacked that develop in a number of stages and eventually become fully formed cockroaches. There are many different species of cockroaches, but most common in Sweden is the German cockroach. A German cockroach is mm in the adult stage. The cockroach is one of the oldest insects in the world and difficult to control. An experienced pest control company should therefore be contacted if you have cockroaches. Rat The brown rat thrives mainly in moist environments such as basements and sewers. Brown rats are omnivorous, gnaw and destroy for large sums, and can also spread infections. Overfull bins and collection centers have become the rat s favorite restaurants. It is therefore very important not to place packages to be recycled or picnic remains on the soil next to the containers, readily available to the rat! Rats can climb inside drains and get into buildings through small holes and they are hard to get rid of. We recommend that you consult an experienced pest control company if you suspect that you have an unwelcomed visit of rats.

4 Try alternatives to poisons Chemical pesticides are poisons that can cause damage to humans and animals if they are not used properly. Try alternative methods to control pests and vermin in the first place to reduce unnecessary use of poison. Search for the reason for the vermin: Has the building cracks and holes? Is there any moisture or are there any food particles around? Is it untidy? These are conditions that rodents and other vermin flourish in and that must be addressed in order for any means of eradication to have a lasting effect. Tips on some simple methods are to use mechanical mousetraps and to seal the entrances used by mice. Other pests can be controlled without the use of poison, such as by repeatedly clearing out and cleaning up after infested food, cleaning and airing clothes several times if you have had carpet beetle in clothing cabinets and the like. This may need to be done several times as there may still be eggs present that give rise to renewed infestation. Only after having tried to use preventive and alternative methods, you can determine whether chemical pesticides are really needed. Bed bug Cimex lectularius Black garden ant Lasius niger Brown rat Rattus norvegicus

5 Responsible managemant of pesticides If you want to try to control pests such as black ants, carpet beetles or mice on your own, you should be aware of the risks connected with using pesticides. If you have to use pesticides, use authorised pesticide products intended for the particular type of pest you want to control. Read the text on the label and follow the instructions. An authorised product has a registration number issued by the Swedish Chemicals Agency. Do not use too much of the product even if it takes a while before you see any result. To get rid of insects, it is sometimes necessary to use pesticides on several occasions repeatedly. Reflect on where the pesticide is placed and stored. Children and pets should not come into contact with the product. Many pesticides are very toxic to aquatic animals. Therefore avoid spreading these products near watercourses. Wash hands after handling pesticides to avoid spreading to food and drinks. Materials and containers must be disposed of in accordance with the instructions provided on the packaging. Residues are often treated as hazardous waste; contact your local authority for information. If you suspect a case of poisoning, contact the Swedish Poisons Information Centre and seek medical advice immediately. Follow the instructions on first aid available on the package label and bring it with you to the emergency ward. Luggage may carry pests. Approved products are registered at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.

6 A Non-Toxic Everyday Environment requires everyone s participation The Swedish Chemicals Agency is responsible for the national environmental quality objective A Non-Toxic Environment. This means that we check that companies manufacturing, importing or selling chemicals have the knowledge necessary to assess whether the products could harm people or the environment. Ordinary consumers should have enough information so they can make good choices in everyday life. The Swedish Chemicals Agency has developed an action plan for a non-toxic everyday environment. The plan shows how we can reach the objective through better regulation, better knowledge and better dissemination of knowledge. In the consumer area, for instance, electronic products, clothing, or our children s toys should not contain chemicals that are hazardous. This folder will give some tips on how to avoid using pesticides unnecessarily, because the products that are used to control unwanted attacks of, for example, insects are often highly toxic. Swedish Chemicals Agency, Box 2, SE Sundbyberg, Sweden Phone: , fax: ,

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