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Attitudes to Pest Control Study. Background. The study provides the consumer perspective of the “market,” covering product use, related attitudes, knowledge of government regulation, and assessment of the proposal to prevent the sale and use of pest and weed control products.

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Attitudes to Pest Control Study

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Attitudes to Pest Control Study


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Background

  • The study provides the consumer perspective of the “market,” covering product use, related attitudes, knowledge of government regulation, and assessment of the proposal to prevent the sale and use of pest and weed control products.

  • The research was conducted by telephone with a nationally representative sample of 600 homeowners (those in condo apartments excluded), April 19-25, 2001.

  • The interview was completed with the individual who is responsible for decisions about pest and weed control.

  • Each homeowner was asked three of four sections (minimum 450 interviews for each section): pests in home; pests in lawn/garden; pests in trees/shrubs; weeds.


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Bottom Line / Three-Point Brief

  • Canadian homeowners are of two minds about their use of pest and weed control products.

  • They see merit in the products’ purpose and see the products as effective in accomplishing this purpose.

  • They also see potential risks to using the products which centre on safety to humans and the environment.


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Advantages and Disadvantages of Relevant Products


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Homeowners’ Perceptions of Pest Control Product Advantages (Unaided)

Kills pests (net)

Kills pests/eliminates (unspec)

Kills/eliminates ants, rats, mice, etc.

Controls pests (net)

Controls pests/keeps them down

Controls spread of disease

Improves look of yard/better flowers and trees

Easy to use/effective products/fast results

Sanitary/cleaner living

No advantages/don’t know


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Homeowners’ Perceptions of Pest Control Product Disadvantages (Unaided)

Harmful/dangerous (net)

Harmful to animals/people/children

Product is toxic/poisonous

Environment (net)

Not environmentally friendly/ environmental hazards

Water/air/soil pollution

Pollution (unspec)

Health related (net)

Health hazards/risks (unspec)

Risk of cancer/asthma/allergies

Health hazards/risks to children/ animals/people

Cost/expensive

Dislike the smell/bad odour

No disadvantages/don’t know


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Homeowners’ Perceptions of Plant Disease and Weed Control Product Advantages (Unaided)

Appearance of yard (net)

Improves look of yard/trees/flowers/grass

Healthier plants/trees/flowers

Kills (net)

Kills weeds/eliminates

Kills bugs/eliminates

Controls (net)

Controls weeds/stops spreading of weeds

Controls (plant) diseases/stop spreading of diseases

Easy to use/effective product/fast results

Healthier crop/better yields

No advantages/don’t know


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Homeowners’ Perceptions of Plant Disease and Weed Control Product Disadvantages (Unaided)

Environment (net)

Not environmentally friendly/environmental hazards

Water/air/soil pollution

Pollution (unspec)

Harmful/dangerous (net)

Harmful to children/animals/people

Product is toxic/poisonous

Health related (net)

Health hazards/risk to children/animals/people

Health hazards/risks (unspec)

Risk of cancer/asthma/allergies

Cost/too expensive

Kills/burns grass and plants

No disadvantages/don’t know


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Likely Response to Situation


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Homeowners’ Likely Response to Situation

Purchase suitable product and use

Hire a professional

Try to eliminate or remove by hand

Take no action, ignore


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Use of Relevant Products and Professional Services


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Use of Relevant Products in Past 2 Years among Homeowners

Pests in home

Pests in lawn/garden

Pests in trees/shrubs

Weeds


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Use of Professional Services in Past 2 Years among Homeowners

Pests in home

Pests in lawn/garden

Pests in trees/shrubs

Weeds


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Related Attitudes


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Homeowners’ Agreement with Statements About Pest and Weed Control

Scale used: Strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree


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Overall Opinion among Homeowners on the Useof Relevant Products

Necessary, safe if used properly

Neutral/neither

Hazardous, unnecessary


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Preference for Product Availability


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Homeowners’ Preference for Availability of Relevant Products at Retail Stores

Available for purchase on the shelves

Available behind the counter on request

Not available at all


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Perceptions of Government Regulation


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Homeowners’ Perceptions of the Level and Adequacy of Government Regulation


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Support or Oppose Prohibiting Sale and Use of Pest and Weed Control Products

Strongly support

Somewhat support

Neutral

Somewhat oppose

Strongly oppose


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Conclusions / Key Findings

  • Canadian homeowners are of two minds about their use of pest and weed control products.

  • They see merit in the products’ purpose and see the products as effective in accomplishing this purpose, which is both to control pests, plant diseases and weeds, and to enable homeowners to do so themselves. Another benefit is that these products further the pride homeowners take in their gardening efforts (and home).

  • On the other hand, homeowners also see disadvantages or potential risks to using these products. These perceived drawbacks include the products’ toxicity to humans and animals, and adverse environmental impact.


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Conclusions / Key Findings

  • Homeowners are likely to take action when faced with a pest, plant disease or weed situation (virtually all if they find pests in the home and 90% for the other situations).

  • Many see suitable products as the best approach. Purchasing a suitable product for do-it-yourself use is the most common first response to three of the four situations, while hiring a professional is the least likely reaction – aside from ignoring the issue – to all four.

  • Overall...homeowners acknowledge both benefits and drawbacks to these products, but are likely to use them when needed. This suggests they are considering the pros and cons, and consciously making the trade-off in favour of product use.


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Conclusions / Key Findings

  • With regard to access, homeowners clearly want to have the products available at retail (82%-85%). Access preferences are correlated with use of the products; users are more often in favour of shelf access while non-users are more likely to favour behind-the-counter access.

  • Most (73%-77%) either know these products to be regulated by the Federal government or feel confident in assuming such regulation exists. Most (63%-71%) also see the existing level of regulation as either adequate or more than adequate.

  • Homeowners are likely to have an opinion on the Federal government prohibiting the sale of these products (i.e., very few are neutral or undecided on the matter). Opposition to this proposal outweighs support for each of the four product categories, and is particularly strong for in-home pest control products.


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