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Illegal Insect-killing Chalk

(Pretty Baby/Miraculous/Chinese Chalk)

Illegal insect-killing chalk is imported from other countries and sold in small markets all over the United States. Pretty Baby Chalk, Chinese Chalk or Miraculous Chalk are names for insecticides that looks like normal chalk, but they are intended to be used to control small insects such as ants and cockroaches in homes. The chalk ingredients are usually unknown. Samples of illegal chalk tested by the California Departments of Pesticide Regulation showed some of the products contained deltamethrin and others contained cypermethrin. Children are especially prone to poisoning from insecticidal chalk because it looks and writes like normal chalk, and the pesticide dust can be breathed in, get on their hands or end up in their mouths.

Legally registered insecticidal chalks are available in most states. These products are packaged in plastic dispensers that prevent contact with the skin, have known ingredients with bittering agents that discourage children from eating them, and the labels contain warnings about applying the chalk in areas where children are present. Legal chalk insecticides will have instructions written in English that include the directions for use and first aid instructions.

If you have a product that you suspect may be illegal or counterfeit, give NPIC a call at 1-800-858-7378. Illegal products can be very dangerous. Our pesticide specialists can help you asses the product.

Additional Resources:

If you have questions about a potentially illegal or counterfeit product, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated September 17, 2020

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