Pesticides In and Around the Home

There are many ways to get and keep pests out of the home without using chemicals. This is called Integrated Pest Management or IPM. Pests want food, water and shelter, so make sure they can't find that in the home.


  • Put all food away and don't leave it out on counters
  • Wipe crumbs from counters and off of the floor, keep both surfaces clean
  • Water attracts pests. Wipe up spills right away, fix leaks and don't leave glasses of water out
  • Take out the trash
  • Get rid of fleas on cats and dogs by brushing and bathing your pet, vacuuming the home and washing anything the pet sleeps in and plays with
  • Keep mosquitoes away by getting rid of water, like puddles or leaks, near windows and doors
  • Put screens on the windows and fix any holes in screens with household cement, clear nail polish or patch screen material.
  • Keep the grass cut short and shrubs trimmed also helps keep bugs away
  • If you are outside, wear a hat and clothes in light colors that fit loosely
  • Don't use scented soaps and shampoos, lotions, oils or perfumes, including tanning products
  • If you need to use a bug spray read the label slowly and carefully. If you need help get someone else to read it and explain the directions, or ask a promotora for help if there is one in your neighborhood.

When you have no choice, how do you safely use pesticides? Start with the least dangerous way

  • Always read the label and follow the directions.
  • Never use a product for a different pest than it says on the label
  • Try traps or bait first, use sprays only as a last resort
  • Avoid using household "bombs" or products that spray an entire house or room
  • Keep pesticides, traps and bait out of the reach of children
  • Make sure food, dishes and utensils are put away or covered before using a spray
  • If using a professional pest-controller for more serious problems, like termites, be sure to they are a licensed exterminator. All businesses and even individuals who do home pest treatments must have a license from the California State Structural Pest Control Board. You can check to see if a business has a license online at or by calling 1-800-737-8188.
  • If you rent, your landlord must make sure your home doesn't have pests and must hire a professional exterminator. If you see mice or rats in your home, tell the landlord right away.


Don't let pests have a party in your house

Get pests out of your house without using chemicals


Mopping the floor

Keep floors clean

Storing food in a conainer

Put all food away and don't leave it out on counters

Taking out the trash

Take out the trash

Sponging the counter

Wipe crumbs from counters and keep them clean

Play acting pest removal

Keep pests out by making sure they can't get to food or water in your home

Wiping the coutner

Fix leaky faucets and wipe up water spills