Cockroaches are a serious health risk and a difficult infestation to deal with. While domestic treatments are safer they are still dangerous to humans, specifically pyrethrins. They are derived from the chrysanthemum flower and are extremely dangerous to inhale, however, if you spray it and leave the room for a few hours then it is quite safe to use and is not dangerous to spray repeatedly in the house. Other treatments that are domestic like insecticide dust which can be naturally occurring diatomaceous earth or synthetic silica dioxide are entirely harmless to all mammals and can even be eaten as it is used to protect grain storages from insect infestations like cockroaches. The same is true for gel bait. While it’s not recommended, the danger of eating a drop by accident as a pet or child may do is minimal. Most are made with boric acid, an ingredient in soap that is also not harmful to mammals. That being said, domestic treatments do not always work as well as professional treatment. While all the chemicals involved in a professional spray are monitored and controlled by the ministry of the environment of Ontario and must meet the safety levels required to be used in and on structures they are still dangerous and require a vacancy from the house for at least five hours.
There is a very good reason for the vacancy required when you get a cockroach treatment done by a professional. The chemicals involved can be very dangerous when wet. The technician that sprays them is safe because they have a full face covering respirator connected to a canister of oxygen that is sealed off from the outside. This is important because repeated inhalation of these pesticides can cause a long list of illnesses that no one wants to suffer. Going into your house too early after treatment can still hurt you very badly though not as much as if a pest control technician were to spray without a respirator. The symptoms of insecticide poisoning are very serious and if you are getting several treatments and fail to vacate you will experience some nasty side effects including damage to your lungs which can be irreversible and can cause serious and long-term breathing issues, Jaundice which is the yellowing of the skin and very dangerous sickness, Coughing and blood in the lungs as well as a loss of mental acuity called a stupor which a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain. You can experience tremors which are the shaking of the hands, seizures and a very upset stomach in the event you manage to drink the pesticide and even if you inhale it you will still suffer from an upset stomach and likely pain in the bowels and vomiting. This is only the beginning as ongoing inhalation or consumption of the pesticides will lead to a painful death. So always follow the vacancy rules and if you are an independent exterminator make sure to keep your pesticide storage locked like a vault.