Home & Garden Pest Control

Five Guides for Pesticide Use

Derived from the Latin "-cide," which means to kill, the word pesticide literally means the something for the killing of pests. Thus, pesticide chemicals can be dangerous if care is not taken at all times.

Following are Five Guides for Pesticide Use
  1. Pesticide Selection
    • Whether it is an insect, weed to be controlled, proper identification is critical for proper product selection. Identification assistance can often be attained through local universities or county extension offices.

    • Buy the least toxic product labeled for the pest to be controlled.

    • Buy only the amount to be used immediately, rather than storing quantities of product.

    • For insects and rodents, bait stations can be safe and effective alternatives to pesticide application.

  1. Pesticide Label Requirements
    • Prior to beginning use of any product, completely read the label directions .

    • Follow all directions exactly as labeled, paying particular attention to precautions and restrictions.

    • It is illegal to use a pesticide in a manner or location not specified on the label.
  2. Pesticide Handling
    • Limit exposure to pesticides by wearing long-sleeves shirts, long pants, and gloves. Goggles and masks may also be worn for further safety, and must be worn if specified on the product label.

    • To prevent environmental contamination, dispose of all product properly, as specified on the label and by federal, state and local ordinance. Do not dispose of pesticide by pouring it down the drain, into the trash or on the lawn.
  3. Pesticide Application
    • Carefully reading all label directions and safety precautions.

    • Ensure children and pets are away from the application area. Remove any child or pet toys.

    • When applying indoors, cover food-contact surfaces; cover or remove foods from the area.

    • Keep children and pets away until the application is finished and product is dried or label specifications are fulfilled.

    • Use products only for pests that are identified on the label. Do not use a pesticide for an unspecified pest just because you happen to have the product on hand.

    • Use only the amount specified on the label. More pesticide does not equal more kill.

    • Check the weather prior to applying pesticide outside. To keep pesticide from drifting, running into, or otherwise affecting non-target areas, do not spray pesticides on rainy or windy days.

    • Use product only when and as necessary; avoid using pesticides as frequent preventive control. Penn State's Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension recommends that homeowners keep a record of pesticide applications to include date, time, pesticide brand name, formulation, rate applied, temperature, wind conditions and location of the application. Such records can be important in the case of an alleged poisoning or property damage.

    • Change clothes and wash hands after any pesticide application.

  1. Pesticide Storage
    • To prevent unauthorized or unsupervised use, keep pesticides in a locked area if possible, or in a high, secure area if not.

    • Always store pesticides, as well as baits and traps, out of the reach of children and pets.

    • To further protect children, ensure other adults and caretakers in the home know the location and hazards of the pesticides.

    • Keep pesticides in the original containers as much as possible. Never transfer to a container that may appear to be food or drink.

    • Ensure storage area is well-lit, well-ventilated, and protected from weather.

When any pesticide is purchased, handled, applied or store, follow all safety precautions and be sure you have the Poison Control Center phone number nearby: 1-800-222-1222.

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