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close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)
close this folderPesticides
View the documentPesticide management in the home (In case you need to use these chemicals)
View the documentAlternatives to pesticides
View the documentKeeping chemicals out of your food
View the documentFood safety practices

Pesticide management in the home (In case you need to use these chemicals)

Pesticides are dangerous. Use them rationally and appropriately. Do not use the Dirty Dozen (Parathion, 2, 4, 5-T, Paraquat, DDT, Aldrin/Dieldrin/Endrin, Chlordimeform, Dibromochloropropane (DBCP), Chlordane/Heptachlor, HCH/Lindane, Ethylene dibromide, Camphechlor and Pentachlorophenyl (PCP).

Endosulfan (Thiodan) and Organotins (Brestan and Aquatin) were also banned from the market recently.

On selecting a pesticide

· Learn about the pesticide before use.

· Always read the label carefully and understand it before buying the pesticide.

· Do not buy pesticides in aerosol cans for they also contain CFCs.

· Do not just listen to the advise of others. Read the label.

· In case there's a need to use pesticide, use only pesticide marked with FPA approval

Select a pesticide

On transporting pesticides

· Do not buy cracked, ripped or leaky pesticide containers.

· Do not put pesticides in the bag or box where groceries or food are placed.

Transport a pesticide

Before opening the pesticide container

· Wear rubber or neoprene gloves. (Do not reuse these gloves for washing dishes.)

· Remove or cover food and dishes before spraying so they would not be contaminated.

· Clear all family and pets from areas that will be sprayed.

· Do not smoke, eat or drink anything while handling pesticides.

Before opening the pesticide container

Mixing the pesticide

· Follow the directions exactly as stated.

· Mix the pesticide outside the house in a well lighted and well-ventilated area.

· Do not use your bare hands to mix a pesticide. Use a stick.

· Never eat, drink or smoke while mixing pesticides.

· Do not mix several kinds of pesticides together.

Mixing the pesticide

Pesticide application

· Before application, re-read the label.

· Be sure members of the family and pets will not reenter until it is safe to do so. (At least two hours after the application with windows open.)

· Apply exactly as stated in the label (as aerosol, spray, poison bait etc.).

· Do not eat, drink or smoke while applying pesticides.

· Do not apply pesticides on windy or exceptionally hot days.

· Avoid exposing beneficial insects, desirable plants and animals.

· Be careful not to contaminate food.

· Clean up any spills.

Pesticide application

After pesticide application

· Clean equipment used to apply pesticides. Rinse the application equipment at least three times with clean water.

· Dispose any unwanted pesticides and empty containers properly for they will contaminate the environment and can cause seepage in the water table.

· Never reuse pesticide containers for any purpose.

· Do not burn containers or puncture aerosol cans.

· Store leftover pesticides in a dry, cool., locked and labelled cabinet out of reach of children, pets and livestock. Do not store near food, medicines, animal feed, beverages and clothings.

· Decontaminate clothings used with five percent calcium carbonate. Use alkaline soap. Wash twice and rinse well each time.

· Take a shower and wash thoroughly with lots of soap and water.

After pesticide application

In case of accidental or suicidal poisoning

· First Aid Measures

- Ensure adequate airway.

- Take off contaminated clothings.

- Wash skin with lots of soap and water.

- Do not touch the pesticide again or handle contaminated clothing.

- Induce vomiting by tickling with finger the patient's throat in case the patient is conscious.

- Place the patient into Iying position-turned towards the left, neck extended.

- If unconscious, pull chin forward to avoid tongue dropping back of throat; give artificial respiration and call for medical assistance.

Wash skin with lots of soap and water

· Be sure to know the name of the pesticides for appropriate application of antidote and general management.

The place of the patient

· If convulsion occurs, insert padded gag between the teeth to prevent the patient from biting his/her tongue.

Medical aid


Pesticides Terminologies and Classifications. Paper presented by Dr. Nelia Cortes-Maramba at the Updates on Pesticide Safety, IIRR, Silang, Cavite. 1990.

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992

Alternatives to pesticides

Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides end rodenticides are commonly used in Filipino households. Most of these are commercial brands which are highly toxic, especially when released in enclosed space. They pose a great hazard to health during application and from continued inhalation of residues. There are a lot of ways and means in eliminating the use of these hazardous pesticides.

The following are practices to prevent breeding of household pests:

· Put up a self-closing door and window screens and patch them if holes develop. Cover any holes through which insects may enter.

· Store food properly in safe and appropriate containers. For example, grains and cereals should be kept in air-tight containers. Separate storage of food from pesticides.

· Wash dishes thoroughly as soon as possible and do not leave crumbs lying around.

· Provide two garbage cans with covers at home -- one, for dry garbage, like paper and paper products, plastics which can be reused; the other for wet garbage, like fruit, vegetable peelings, soiled paper wrappers, etc. Clean these garbage cans every day.

· Keep moisture from building up inside the house by patching cracks, fixing leaking pipes and maintaining proper ventillation.

· Remove any standing water around your home. Empty tires, tin cans, bottles and even puddles in the gutter. These can serve as breeding places for mosquitoes.

· Keep your garbage and compost piles covered to avoid attracting rats and other pests.

· Locate and block the pests' points of entry. Remove clutter to eliminate nesting areas.

· Plug any holes through which roaches may enter.

· Keep a cat. This is one of the most effective nontoxic safeguards for rats and mice. Stutf up their entry holes with steel wool.

· To trap flying ants, the kind that come out during rainy days and fly around light bulbs, use 2 x 4 inches of plastic bags. Hang them near light bulbs to traps these flying ants.

· Maintain general cleanliness at home at all times to eliminate the pests' food supplies.

Covered garbage

Keep out

Keep a cat

Solutions to pests control

Avoid chemical pesticides for they are dangerous to you and your environment. Do not overreact; one or two insects are not an invasion. The presence of spiders helps keep other insects under control.

The following are lists of solutions to pest control and a chart of the good guys vs. bad guys in identifying insects and pests in keeping your environment pesticide-free.

For ants

Mint around the house

· Plant mint around the house.

· Sprinkle talcum powder, chalk or boric acid across the ants' trails.

· Sprinkle red chili powder, borax or dried peppermint where you see the ants coming in.

· Pulverize seeds of atis (Anona squamosa), mix with water and soak.

For flies

Leave orange or other citrus peelings

· Leave out some orange, lemon or other citrus fruits peelings in strategic places.

· Hang clusters of cloves around the room.

· Make your own flypaper: Boil sugar and corn syrup in water and paint the mixture on thick paper.

For cockroaches

· A light dusting of borax powder around the refrigerator, stove and in any of their haunts will also keep the roaches away.

· You can make an organic cockroach trap by doing the following:

- Put some stale beer or raw potato inside a bottle, lightly greasing the inside of the neck and then letting it stand. Roaches will enter the bottle but will not be able to come out.

- Prepare 3/4 measure of beer and 1/4 Seven Up or Sprite. Place in a can or bottle with wide mouth and use as a roach trap. Left-over ice cream or left-over pineapple juice with sugar can also be used to trap roaches

· Make cockroach balls as pesticide.

A Recipe for Cockroach Balls

Ingredients for cockroaches


1 pound boric acid powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour one large onion, grated
1 can evaporated milk

Procedure: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until a pasty mixture is formed. (Lessen or increase quantity of milk to achieve desired mixture.) Roll into balls and place in areas frequented by cockroaches. You may also smear the paste on shelf bottoms. The mixture is pinkish and smells of onions. It is effective up to one year.

· Mix equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar and spread the mixture around the infested area.

· Sprinkle boric acid powder around baseboards, under sinks and in other rinfested areas. Do not use in places accessible to children and pets.

For rats and mice

Mixture of sugar and plaster of Paris for rats

Try a mixture of sugar and plaster of parts. Also provide a container filled with water and place these in areas frequented by them.

For mosquitoes

· Burn dried twigs of kamarya (Artemisia vulgaris) and use like a mosquito coil.

· Burn dried lanzones (Lansium domesticum) peelings to produce smoke to drive away mosquitoes.

· Gather dried coconut fiber, place in a deep can and burn. This produces smoke to drive away mosquitoes in picnic areas.

· Burn citronella rings to produce smoke.

· For a nontoxic mosquito repellent, rub some white vinegar on your skin with a cotton ball.

Dried Lanzones peeling for mosquitoes

For fleas and ticks

· Routinely rub your pet's coat with brewer's yeast. Feed your pet brewer's yeast, 25 ma. per 10 pounds of the animal's weight or mix it with the pet's food.

· Spray repellents made from a mixture of water, cedar wood shavings, eucalyptus and bay leaves.

· Sprinkle two ounces of lavender oil extract over two or three quarts of rock salt. Let sit until oil is absorbed. Sprinkle salt under dressers, chairs or rugs.

· Extract juice from the leaves and stems of linga (Sesamum orientale) plant, mix with water and apply on pet's skin.

For moths

· Make sachets of crushed peppercorns, dried tobacco leaves or strong-smelling spices and hang inside closets or place inside drawers. Be sure to hang clothes outside the closets before using them.

· Make sachets of cotton cloth, fill them with cedar shavings, dried lavender or equal parts of dried rosemary and mint.

For silverfish

Make a trap using an empty lid-less cold cream jar. Put 1/2 cup flour inside for bait. Make a little bridge for the insects with an adhesive tape running from the floor of the shelf to the lip of the jar.

Other insect repellents

· Put bay leaves (laurel) in infested areas. Use this also to protect cereals or grains inside bins.

· Soak the midribs and stems of tobacco/tabako (Nicotina tabacum) in water for hours or days and use liquid extract as an all-purpose insecticide spray.

· Mix flakes of laundry or bath soap in water and spray against aphids, mealy bugs and thrips.

· Pulverize seeds of atis (Anona squamosa), mix with water and soak. Spray on plants affected by aphids or other insects.

· Blend two or three very hot peppers, 1/20nion and garlic clove in water. Boil. Steep for two days end drain through a cloth. Can be frozen for future use. Thaw and put in a spray bottle. Spray on affected plants.

· Mix two tablespoons of liquid soap with one quart of water. Use as insect repellent spray.

· Wash plant leaves with lukewarm soapy water to control spider mites, white flies, scale and mealy bugs or wipe the pests off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

For an environment-friendly method of controlling pests in fields and gardens, try using helpful insects and spiders. The list below provides examples of nature's pesticides.

The good guys

The bad guys

black wasps


eggs of stem borers

blue-green wasps


eggs of leafhoppers and planthoppers, eggs of yellow and white stem borers



Ieafhoppers, eggs of stripped and dark-headed stem borers, leaf-folders, army worms and whorl maggots



Ieafhopper nymphs, flying insects

dwarf spiders


young leafhoppers/plan/hoppers

fire ants


wide variety of insects and small animals

ground beetle


Ieaf-folder larvae, planthoppers

jumping spiders


green leafhoppers

lady beetle


small planthoppers

lady bugs and praying mantis


aphids, mites, white flies, worm and caterpillars

long-jawed spiders


Ieafhoppers and moths

lynx spiders



meadow grasshoppers


eggs of rice bugs and stem borers, nymph planthopper and leafhopper

orb spiders


flies, leafhoppers and planthoppers

water bugs


leafhoppers, stem borer larvae

wolf spiders


stem borer moths, planthoppers and leafhoppers


Adapted from the Study of Dr. Jose Zerrudo of the University of the Philippines, Los Ba(UPLB).

How Green is Your Home? A Filipino Primer on Home Ecology.

Recipe for Cockroach Balls. Courtesy of MARIA F. MANGAHAS, EARTH STATION Writers and Artists Collective, Inc.

Design for a Liveable Plant. John Naar, 1990.

Friends of the Rice Farmer (Helpful Insects, Spiders and Pathogens). International Rice Research Institute pamphlet.

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992

Keeping chemicals out of your food

Some of the country's agricultural products (i.e., vegetables, fruits) that are being sold in the market have been found to have detectable level of pesticide residues. There is a lack of consensus on what safe levels are. Thus, concerned consumers must start taking matters into their own hands. As with all consumer actions, this has the double benefit of protecting individual health and creating broad-based-pressure for institutional change.

The goal is to purchase food that has been treated with as few dangerous artificial chemicals as possible. The first place to look into is the local grocery store or supermarket. Unfortunately, few of them disclose the origin or chemical history of the produce they sell. This situation must change if consumers are to make informed choices.

Tips on how to keep chemicals out of your food:

· Be smart in buying fruits and vegetables. Avoid those that are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Fruits and vegetables without any mark of even small insect infestation mean that artificial chemicals have been used on it.

Be smart in buying fruits and vegetables

· Buy fresh produce. You are more likely to find them in farmers' markets, food coops or natural food stores. Beware: The word organic, used by itself is not controlled and can be misused by farmers who apply dangerous pesticides.

Fresh produce

· Wash all produce. Thoroughly wash fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. For vegetables, the best way is to use 1/2 baking soda with I liter of water. Soak the vegetables for 10-20 minutes in the mixture and wash with water afterwards.


· Rice sold in big supermarkets, especially rice sold by NFA, should tee washed thoroughly to remove pesticide residues and chemical preservatives.

· Look for agricultural products which useless chemicals, like traditional vegetables which command alower price in the market.

· Look for suppliers who are producing organically grown vegetables.

· Limit meat consumption. When you eat meat, be aware that most animals are raised on factory farms where they are fed large doses of growth hormones and antibiotics.

Limit meat consumption

· Grow your own food organically. Grow your own produce without using pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Make your own fertilizer by composting your organic garbage.


· Do not buy unregistered, dented and corroded canned goods. Check withthe Bureau of Food and Drugs for a list of canned products which were found to contain high lead content, such as Maxam dental cream, Lychees (Narcissus) and Sesame Oil (Pearl River Bridge).

Dented and corroded canned goods

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992

Food safety practices

Food is a basic human need. However, through carelessness and ignorance, food can also be a source of contamination which can cause diseases or, sometimes, death.

Advancements in science have improved the levels of food safety. Food preservation, causes of spoilage and reasons why food can cause illness were learned from studies.

The objectives of food safety practices are:

· to insure primarily the consumption of safe and wholesome food;
· to protect humans from illness and to promote their health and well-being;
· to prevent consumers from buying inferior and low-quality food; and,
· to cut down spoilage and wastage of food.

Buying food safety

Food sources

· Procure food and food materials only from approved sources to prevent food infection or food intoxication (e.g., markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeries and stores; meat, poultry, grain, egg, fish and shellfish shops; and, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and rootcrop stalls.)

· Avoid buying food that show signs of deterioration, adulteration or damages, even when sold at bargain prices. Canned goods with leaks, swells and bulges can be poisonous.

· Buying junk food is discouraged. Junk food may have less nutritional value and may be inferior in quality.

· Never buy shellfish when your area is affected by Red Tide. Get the latest news updates from your local radio station, newspaper or other reliable sources of information.

· Avoid buying food from ambulant food vendors, particularly those that are not wearing their Health Certificate IDs. Food from these vendors are not guaranteed safe.

· Patronize only food establishments bearing the SSRS (Sanitation Standard Rating Stickers). You can be sure that food establishments bearing the SSRS are operating legally, are frequently inspected by health authorities and have complied to minimum sanitary requirements on health and sanitation. With SSRS, the potential risk of transmitting communicable disease is minimized. The SSRS are usually posted at the doors of food establishments with the following color codes: green for an excellent rating (90% - 100%), yellow for very satisfactory (70% -89%) and red for satisfactory (50% - 69%).

Junk food

· Use your senses when buying food. Consult and/or report to the proper authorities when you are in doubt of the food quality. Remember, it is your money and health that is at stake.


Food containers and transport

· Make sure that the food containers you are using are clean and can easily be cleaned and disinfected.

· Packed lunches or snacks for school children and other members of the family should be placed in clean, sanitized and covered containers (e.g., lunch boxes and juice/water jugs). These should be consumed within the day. Use only clean paper wrapper for sandwiches, bread, cookies, etc.

· It is highly recommended that containers be solely for the carriage or delivery of one class of food.

· Prevent food deterioration during transportation. It should be stored at proper temperature (below 7°C or 60°C) to prevent microbial growth.

· Consult the Department of Health (DOH) for further information on the approved design and construction of containers and transport vehicles.

Food containers and transport

Food Handling and Preparation

· Use only safe and wholesome food materials.

Use only safe and wholesome food materials

· Thoroughly wash food materials with safe water.

· Equipment and utensils should always be cleaned and sanitized before using. Consult the DOH Sanitary Inspectors in the sanitization activities.

· Prepare, process and cook food in a sanitary manner. Food contact surfaces (e.g., tables, cutting/chopping boards) should be free from cracks and crevices and should be cleaned before and after preparing food.

· Avoid eating food with bare hands. Where eating utensils are not available, wash hands with soap and water before eating. If soap is unavailable, use ash.

· Avoid eating raw food. Adequate cooking of food (beef, pork, shellfish, fish, shrimps, squids, poultry, vegetables, etc.) will prevent bacterial infection and intoxication, viral infection and parasitic infestation. Pasteurization of milk and milk products is required before consumption.

Adequate cooking

· Re-heating, warmed-over food and serving leftover food are discouraged. Prepare food enough for your consumption.

· Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and, if possible, with a nail brush before preparing food, after each visit to the toilet and after handling soiled or contaminated equipment and utensils.

Wash your hands

· Always observe personal hygiene and personal habits while handling food. Do not scratch your head, pick your nose or wipe your mouth with your fingers while preparing food. Sneezing or coughing is not only a bad manner but also unsanitary.

· Do not be involved in food preparation if you have diarrhea, dripping nose, sore throats, colds, skin diseases, infected wounds, boils, cuts or pimples. Human discharge can contaminate food and can produce toxins.

Food storage

· Always separate storage for wet and dry food and for non-food items, particularly detergents, chemicals and pesticides.

· Separate storage by the type and kind of food.

· Apply the principle of FIFO (First In - First Out) in storing food.

· Food should be stored away from floors and walls. Place them in pallets, platforms, shelves or food cabinets.

· Protect food from insect and rodent infestation and from other contaminants.

· Store food in refrigerators, if available.

· All food should be stored at proper temperatures.

Separate food and non-food items

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992