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Baits, nonvolatile
Beyond Pesticides Rating: Least Toxic

Baits contain insect or rodent poisons mixed with food or other attractants. The principal behind most baits is that the pest will take some of the food containing the pesticide, and bring it back to the other members of its colony.  

A large concern is the volatility of the chemicals and its ability to vaporize or volatize into the ambient air and therefore expose people to the chemical. A bait containing a non-volatizing pesticide, like boric acid, is just as, if not more, effective in controlling the pest population and doesn’t pose the high risk for exposure. Volatile chemicals, like chlorpyrifos, used as the poison in baits put human health and the environment at risk.

Baits, by their very nature, are a better choice for pest control than sprays or broadcast applications. It is extremely important that baits be made of tamper resistant containers or for crack and crevice treatment, and be out of the reach of children.   

Read the label (or ask your pest control service provider) to determine what the poison, or active ingredient, is in the bait, then find that chemical’s fact sheet on this website.