Exterminators of Metafilter! Halp!
July 7, 2016 6:23 PM   Subscribe

We had the exterior of our house treated for wasps/bees with Dragnet today. As the fellow was spraying around the roof, some of the pesticide dripped into the vent on the top of my window air conditioner. This was about 12 hours ago. Will I or my pets die if I turn on the air conditioner? It's so very hot here in Southern Ontario :(
posted by torisaur to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Open the case of the window air conditioner with a screwdriver.
Take a damp cloth and wipe down the blades and the inside. It's probably overdue for a cleaning anyway if you've never done it.
You will be okay.
posted by Karaage at 6:37 PM on July 7, 2016

Unplug the AC, first!

You can also call your exterminator and ask their advice.
posted by jbenben at 6:40 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Was this on the outside of the AC unit? If so, you're probably fine.

Air conditioners don't exchange air from the outside to the inside. In fact, no air moves from the outside to the inside or vice versa. They use liquid to absorb and pull the heat away from the indoors, and then move that liquid out of the unit. Here's a cheesy animation showing the process. An AC unit is a pretty sealed system.

You're probably fine to turn on your AC unit, but yeah, give the exterminators a call and see the best way to clean it up.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:15 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]

If you have a bird, please don't risk it. They are more sensitive to things in the air (smells, particles..) than pretty much anything else alive.
posted by ElectricGoat at 7:23 PM on July 7, 2016

Unless your A/C has a control for fresh air (which controls a post-it size flap (IE: practically no effective at all) there isn't any air exchange between inside and out. And the fan running on the outside is going to rapidly disperse any sort of gaseous contaminate. Your pets, even birds, are going to be more at risk from air leakage via the building envelope (if there is any risk, I don't know if the product used is dangerous to pets).
posted by Mitheral at 8:45 PM on July 7, 2016

You will be fine. We spray for wasps each year, and the substances used is formulated based on body size. Unless your pets lap up a bunch of it they will be fine. Unless you chug it you will be fine.
posted by terrapin at 12:21 PM on July 8, 2016

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