Private Pest Control Companies Exposing Kids To Toxic Chemicals, Critics Say

Dread Skeeter poses on the cover of the coloring book, a backpack-mounted pesticide spray gun in his hand and muscles bulging under his T-shirt. A few pages in, outlines of young kids playing football accompanies a caption: "Backyards are better without biting bugs."

The coloring book -- with its superhero-like mascot -- are given to kids for free by Mosquito Squad, one of many private pest control companies that has recently seen a boom in business. A mild winter and spring around much of the country has brought out bugs in record numbers. Widespread fear of West Nile, Lyme and other diseases carried by those insects is driving people to seek professional services, according to Mosqu