Disinfection has become top of mind for the past few years, with many pest management professionals (PMPs) embracing the opportunity to provide these services. The term sanitation generally means cleaning, which is removal of debris from surfaces. Bio Sanitation is a term that Rockwell coined to refer to cleaning using beneficial microbes to digest organic debris.
General cleaning products are not registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency does, however, register antimicrobial products labeled to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Sanitizers are generally milder, and are required by the EPA to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria on surfaces. Disinfectants are stronger and can be harsher. The EPA requires that they kill 99.999 percent of both viruses and bacteria
Sanitizers and disinfectants are often not cleaning products, meaning they aren’t designed to remove debris. In some cases, they may not work well in the presence of debris, so cleaning the surface first may be required. Both cleaning and disinfection are beneficial services that PMPs can offer, with the former also helping to remove conducive conditions for insects and rodents.
Lastly, the term biocide can be used for pesticides of all types, although in the U.S., it is more commonly used for antimicrobials specifically.
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