Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests

When reality doesn’t matter: PMRA

Alright, don’t yell for my span in betwixt rants, although there’s been more than enough insanity to fry my brains this summer.  But like the rest of you dealing with Covid-19 and all the thrill and ills has been exhausting.

Boredom is really draining you know.

But damn if I wasn’t shaken out of my doldrums by the continued reality check coming out of Ottawa.

Here’s the deal, the PMRA in their continued effort to ban pesticides in residential settings, is requesting a bunch of new data from registrants, especially around pyrthrins, PBO and aerosols.  Besides those going through regular data review.

It really highlights how little they know about the application of pesticides indoors, and what, or actually how, we treat homes for a living.

Let me give you one prime example:  exactly how much product, in total and by active ingredient, are you putting out in a set area?

They have actually published a Guideline for the type of applications, bandwidths, and use patterns we should be using in our business.  There were only a few mistakes, like using a pinpoint type nozzle to do a band spray of 4″ wide.

Who the hell would use a pinpoint nozzle to spray a band?  Why is it call a pin point or pin stream?

Or calculating the area (remember length x width) treated when doing a Crack and Crevice application.  I can tell you how long a crack I treated, but every crack will have a different depth.  No smiling.

I might have 20 feet of crack & crevice in one house that uses 30 mils, but in the house next door the same 20′ crack might take 40 mils.  So what’s the rate?  Which one is right??

It’s like giving 100 people each 200 miles of Grand Canyon to fill up, but each one gets the exact same amount of water.

Don’t you think some would have too much water, and others not enough?

So there may be a few variables?

Like the house itself, the technician themselves, the equipment used, including pressure and nozzles, and the environmental conditions.

Unlike a tractor, we can’t set a technician to walk exactly 3.4 kph, keep the tip of the wand 6 inches above the ground, and don’t allow for any variation in the building itself.

It’s just not reality.  We’re not spraying a plowed and prepped field, just a flat canvas of earth to treat.

But I’m not advocating will nilly indiscriminate use of pesticides, but you can’t turn something into an exact science with as many variables that we face.

It’s our training, knowledge base and experience that allows us to make sound decisions when treating and using chemicals.

And the fact we are not allowed to use lower rates on certain pests without being fined is just ludicrous.

And Health Canada should know better by looking at our friends (Bayer for example) in the pharmaceutical business.

When you buy a bottle of aspirin and read the label it says “Adults: 2 tablets every 4 hours or as needed for pain”

So each and every adult is covered by that statement, but isn’t the 100 pound person really getting twice as much as needed versus someone trim and well, almost svelte, such as myself coming in at 250 pounds?

You would think this would be a bit more of an exact science wouldn’t you?