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Authorities warn of illegal pesticide sold at flea market
Authorities are warning that this illegal cockroach powder sold at a flea market could be harmful to people and animals and should be disposed of properly. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office is warning people who may have purchased a product to kill cockroaches from the flea market that the product is not safe.

The cockroach powder was advertised on social media, in Spanish magazines and direct door-to-door advertising as “El Mejor Remedio” or “El Mejor Polvo.” It was recently sold at the Merced Spring Flea Market. The product is not safe for people or animals and should not be kept in a residence, said authorities.

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office has arrested Julio Pino Reyes for making, advertising and selling the powder.

The Merced District Attorney’s Office became aware of this potential health hazard after a woman came forward and said that she had purchased the powder at the flea market.

Sean Runyon from the Merced County Department of Agriculture recommends that if anyone has already applied the powder inside of their home, they should contact their local fire department and they can then evaluate the safety of the home. People should seek medical attention if they’re suffering any pesticide related symptoms, and do not throw this product away in a trashcan or put it down the sink.

Anyone that has the product should keep it in a dry location and away from other materials. People can bring them to the Highway 59 Landfill at 7040 N. State Highway 59 in Merced from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturdays.