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Is Fly Spray Toxic To Humans?

Rowan Burgess |

When used safely and after following all the precautionary measures, fly spray is safe for humans to use. While the chemicals in fly sprays are toxic to flies, hence their efficiency, if you inhale or ingest them or your skin comes into contact with them, the side effects can be severe. 

Certain chemicals in fly sprays can be fatal to humans, but should you use the product as instructed, you can avoid overexposure. 

Are Fly Sprays Safe?

If you follow all the precautions, fly spray is safe (as instructed). However, some qualities of fly spray pose a danger to humans.

Pyrethrum contains two natural insecticides, known as pyrethrin I and pyrethrin II. The chrysanthemum flower produces the extract pyrethrum, and its insecticides are used on crops, flea/tick products for dogs, home insecticides, and livestock, such as horses or cattle. 

Some fly sprays also contain pyrethroids, which could cause itching, redness, and skin irritation should you come into contact with it. In some rarer cases, pyrethroids can also increase in symptom severity with difficulty breathing, vomiting, and coughing. With chemicals like pyrethroids being commonly used, it’s not uncommon for agricultural workers to be near this potentially harmful pesticide. 

To avoid hazardous exposure to any potentially harmful insecticide substance, take protective measures and follow the instructions on the bottle or spray. Wear gloves or a mask when using products to avoid inhaling the insecticide. And remember, it’s paramount that you keep flying spray out of reach of pets and children. 

What Happens if You Get Fly Spray on Your Skin?

Fly sprays work quickly because the chemicals are toxic to flies. However, side effects can occur if the spray comes into contact with your skin. Different chemicals will produce different reactions, so make sure you know what’s in your fly spray before using it. For example, Pyrethrin could have redness, swelling, and skin irritation should you experience Pyrethrin poisoning.

Organophosphate can produce even more severe symptoms; should it comes into contact with your skin, or if you don't wash your skin thoroughly and quickly after it touches your bare skin, severe poisoning can occur. Your lips and fingernails may turn blue, and as large quantities of the chemical can soak your skin unless protected, life-threatening paralysis can happen quickly. 

If these chemicals come into contact with your skin, you must seek medical attention immediately. When the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, we recommend flushing the area with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes.

What Happens if You Ingest Fly Spray?

If you accidentally ingest fly spray, it can lead to symptoms including:

  • Inability to walk
  • Tight chest
  • Twitching muscles
  • Reduced pupils

However, everyone responds differently to the ingestion of poisonous substances, so if you suspect someone has accidentally ingested fly spray and is showing these symptoms, seek medical help immediately: 

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Heart Palpitations
  •  Breathing difficulties 
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness 

It’s essential to know the different ways to help people who are conscious or unconscious following a poisoning, so make sure you understand the differences should someone ingest fly spray. 

How to Safely Use Fly Sprays to Avoid Overexposure

Overexposure to pesticides can prove fatal, but insecticide poisoning shouldn’t occur if you’ve followed the necessary and prudent steps. It’s vital that before you use any fly spray, you follow the steps below.

  1. Read the instructions on the insecticide leaflet or packaging and follow these instructions precisely. Don’t skip any steps; always follow the precautionary methods recommendation for that specific spray.
  2. Don’t use a fly spray for pests that aren’t referenced on the label. Likewise, don’t ever use more pesticides than directed on the instruction label. Even if your pest problem is significant, don’t think that double the amount of spray will produce a strong effect. 
  3. Use protective measures even if not explicitly listed on the label. For example, wear protective gloves, long trousers, and long-sleeve shirts.
  4. Whether indoors or outdoors, remove children, toys, and pets from the area you spray and keep them out until the spray has dried (or as the label recommends). 
  5. Remove or cover food if applying the spray indoors. 
  6. If it’s a windy or rainy day, avoid using the fly spray outdoors to limit the chance that the pesticide travel onto vegetable gardens, pools, or into a neighbour’s garden.
  7. Once you’ve used the spray, change your clothes and wash your hands immediately. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Symptoms of Fly Spray Poisoning?

There are a variety of symptoms depending on the type of poisoning experienced, including vomiting, difficulty breathing, and skin irritation. However, if you think you’ve been poisoned or overexposed by any insect control product, you should immediately seek medical attention. 

Need Safe Fly Spray? Shop Dalton Engineering!

Always buy your fly spray from a responsible, safe provider like Dalton Engineering. Don’t let the potential dangers of overexposure put you off finding a solution to your pest problem. 

Shop Dalton Engineering’s insect control products today and say goodbye to flies!