Pest control applications sometimes require more skin protection than just gloves, You may need disposable coveralls to shield your body, booties to cover your shoes, or protective sleeves for your arms.

For some pest control tasks, regular work clothing provides adequate personal protection, but for others, it’s simply not enough. Furthermore, clothing may hold or absorb a toxicant, physical irritant, pathogen, or allergen, resulting in (1) a longer exposure to the hazard for the wearer, and (2) the risk of carrying the hazard to other locations, even home. Those are two things you want to avoid.

Here are some cases where you’ll need extra skin (dermal) protection:

  • When the insecticide label requires it.
  • When you’re applying insecticides in enclosed spaces, or directly over your head.
  • When there’s a risk of pesticide splash-back, either during mixing or during the application.
  • If airborne pesticide residues might be hazardous.
  • When you’re exposed to dermal irritants or allergens; for example, when crawling over fiberglass insulation in an attic.
  • When working in a crawlspace.
  • In locations with potential exposure to infectious disease, pathogens, or parasites; for example, when working in bird or bat roosts or sites with significant mold.
  • When working in accounts where onsite safety rules require it.
  • When doing bed bug or flea control in heavily infested sites.


Disposable Coveralls

Maximum body protection comes from disposable coveralls, made of Tyvek®, Keyguard®, or another proprietary material. These are available in many styles, and often have hoods, boots, and elastic bands at the wrists and ankles.

Hooded coveralls are sometimes called “bunny suits.” The level of protection you’ll get from a bunny suit depends on the material and how the seams are constructed.

When choosing disposal coveralls, it’s critical to consider your potential exposure to hazardous liquids. Most disposable coveralls protect against hazardous dry particles and aerosols, but only against nonhazardous, light liquid splashes. This kind of bunny suit is most commonly used for pest control work. For most applications, it may be fine. But if you anticipate exposure to hazardous liquid splashes, then use a full bunny suit that has chemical resistance against heavy liquid splashes. Such suits have an extra layer of polyethylene material and special strong, tight seams. They do cost more and they aren’t “breathable,” so they are less comfortable to wear.


Shoe and Boot Covers (Booties)

Usually worn with disposable coveralls, shoe or boot covers (booties) keep contaminants from contacting your shoes, feet, and in some cases, lower legs. As with coveralls, the level of protection you’ll get depends on the base material, coatings, and seams. The types most commonly used in pest control are coated with polyethylene to protect against hazardous particles, aerosols, water-based liquids, plus certain pests (bed bugs and fleas).

Booties can also be a way of “classing up” your company’s image — clean or new booties can be worn to protect a customer’s sensitive areas from dirt or contaminants you might track in with your regular footwear.


Protective Sleeves

These aren’t used often in pest control, but protective sleeves can be worn in addition to gloves when mixing insecticide concentrates in larger tanks. The sleeves protect the skin of the lower and middle arms against dermal exposure from splashback.


The Bottom Line

When it comes to protective gear, the bottom line is personal safety, for you and for your technicians. Always take the time to assess whether a situation requires additional protective gear.

Pest control has some risks, but being smart and proactive can reduce or eliminate many of them. In the end, it’s worth remembering the advice our parents gave us… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

written by for us:

Rob Brown Gloves by Web


Rob Brown, President of Gloves By Web


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