Use Pesticide Control Products Responsibly
You have probably experienced an occasional household, lawn or garden pest in or around your home. Perhaps it's a pesky insect problem, an ornamental disease or a lawn weed. To remedy the problem, you may call a professional or treat the problem yourself.
When using pesticides, you are reminded to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure their safe and responsible use. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)®, an association representing manufacturers and others who produce and supply pesticides for use in homes, on lawns and public areas, offers the following information on the safe and responsible use of pesticides.
Pest Control Products Are Extensively Tested
Many people are unaware of the rigorous testing today's pest control products must successfully complete before becoming available in the market. The pesticide industry is one of the most highly regulated in the nation. After thorough review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers only those uses of pesticide products that pose minimal risks.
- It takes a chemical manufacturer eight to 10 years to test and register a product.
- Up to 120 tests or more are performed, many to evaluate environmental and health impacts.
- Only one pesticide in 20,000 makes it from the research lab to the market.
- A product will cost between $30 and $50 million to register.
Follow an IPM Strategy
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a pest control system developed by professionals in which pests are identified, all possible control options are evaluated and selected control(s) are implemented. An IPM program stresses the prevention of pest problems and the judicious use of pesticides when necessary.
Read and Follow the Label, It's the Law
- Identify the pest and be sure the pesticide to be used is labeled for that pest.
- Wear the protective clothing the label specifies.
- Follow the label directions for mixing solution and rinsing spray containers.
- Apply the proper amount of product required. Do not overuse!
- Always wash your hands after applying a pesticide.
- Keep children and pets away during applications and until the product dries, or as long as the label suggests.
Store Pest Control Products Safely
- Store pesticides out of reach of children and pets.
- Always store pesticides in their original containers in a cool, dry place.
- Protect the directions on the package by covering them with clear tape.
- Write the date of purchase somewhere on the container.
- Periodically check the container for possible leaks.
Pest Prevention In Your Home
- Eliminate wet areas that provide pests with water, including leaky pipes, damp basement areas and standing water.
- Keep food containers closed, including pet food.
- Dispose of garbage regularly.
- Seal cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home to keep pests outside.
Lawn Maintenance and Pest Prevention
- Healthy, vigorous plants and lawns can better compete with most weeds, insects and diseases.
- Use grasses that grow well in your climate. Water these areas as needed.
- Keep a good pH balance in the soil by having your soil tested once a year.
- Fertilize as recommended for your lawn variety.
There are several organizations you can turn to for advice on pest control and the safe and responsible use of pesticides.
National Pest Control Association - (703) 573-8330
Professional Lawn Care Association of America - (770) 977-5222
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - (202) 260-2090
County extension offices, found in the white pages of your local phone book.