Many chemicals used to kill pests – insects and rodents – can also be harmful to people. According to the National Safety Council, 75 percent of homes in the United States use at least one pesticide product indoors every year. Whenever possible use non-chemical methods for pest control. Basic housekeeping and maintenance can help prevent pests.
prevent pests and report problems
safe pest removal
harmful products handling tips
helpful links about pesticides
products and services
chemical constituents of pesticides
Prevent Pests and Report Problems
Don’t leave food sitting out on counters or shelves. Store groceries in sealed containers or the refrigerator. Regularly sweep floors to remove crumbs, and wash stove tops to get rid of food and grease drippings.
Eliminate sources of water and moisture. Pests need water to survive. Clean up spills quickly and completely. Repair drips or leaks, and remove sources of standing water.
Prevent pests from entering. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk. Plug wall holes with wire mesh, and use spackle or sealant that hardens. Install a door sweep or weatherstripping to block the space between the floor and the door.
Store trash properly. Keep garbage off the floor in a sealed trash container. Regularly wash containers used for garbage and recycling, as well as the area around them.
Check for bugs when buying or renting used products, while traveling, or before you think you may have problem. It’s much easier to get rid of a few pests before you have an infestation. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to look for bed bugs around the areas where you sleep or sit. Visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's bedbugs website to learn more about bed bug identification and prevention.
Report a rodent problem by calling 311 or using the Rodent Complaint Form on the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website.
Safe Pest Removal
If you see a rat or bed bug in your home or building, contact your landlord, management company, or an exterminator immediately. The exterminator should be reputable (a bad exterminator can actually make the problem worse). Visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's bedbugs website to learn more about bed bug removal.
Use less- or non-toxic pest control products, such as cockroach baits, gels, snaps, or boxes. Avoid foggers, bombs, and sprays. When emptying or throwing away a trap, pick it up with a broom and dust pan — not your hands.
Use only the amount of product directed, under the conditions specified, and for the purpose listed. Pay particular attention to directions on adequate ventilation and personal protection, and avoid physical contact with pesticide products.
Never use products called “Tres Pasitos” or “Roach Chalk.” They are dangerous pesticides from other countries that are sold illegally in the U.S. Don’t buy or use “Tempo.” It is not intended for use in homes by residents.
Keep children and pets away from areas where pesticide is being used or stored.
Place mattresses and box springs in a plastic bag prior to disposal or recycling, in compliance with Sanitation regulations.
Bring all unwanted pesticides to any of the upcoming NYC Department of Sanitation SAFE disposal events.
Alternatively, double-bag unwanted pesticides and empty pesticide containers, and place them in the trash. Do not throw them down a trash chute, or reuse or recycle empty pesticide containers.
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