City gets $250,000 grant for safer pest control

March 31, 2010

The Baltimore Health Department received a $250,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to fund less toxic pest control for city homes, schools and businesses. Called the Safe Pest Management for Health Initiative, the program aims to reduce the use of toxic pesticides in favor of a concept called integrated pest management, which is less harmful and more environmentally sensitive, according to health officials. The strategy relies on preventive measures first - such as sealing cracks and properly storing food - continuing with less hazardous options, if needed. A pilot program last year in a city public housing complex decreased cockroach infestation by 97 percent, Health Department officials said.

- Kelly Brewington

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