How to Use Pesticides Safely

We are a proponent of pesticide use to solve problems caused by weeds, insects, fungi, and other plant pests. However, it is vitally important that these pesticides be used both correctly and safely at all times. Problems with pesticides typically occur when they are used improperly and unsafely.

We believe the following guidelines should be used at all times when applying pesticides of any type:

  • Always follow all label directions for the pesticide you are using.

  • Do NOT use more pesticide than the recommended amount. More is NOT a good thing and can be detrimental to beneficial organisms, the plants you are spraying, and the environment.

  • Select the product that best solves your problem given your specific circumstances, but try to use chemicals that have a lesser footprint when possible. Natural and organic chemicals are a good place to start depending on the problem you are attempting to control. Learn about the pest and the different ways of proper control.

  • Be mindful that proper safety and care need to be taken even with organic and natural pesticides. They can still cause harm and injury to humans, animals, and plants when used improperly.

  • Understand the mode of action for the specific chemical you are using and how it works to control the pest. If you don’t understand the label, Google it! Read as much as possible so you have a grasp on how the product treats the target pest.

  • Always wear proper clothing and gear while spraying and applying chemicals. At the very least, goggles, long sleeves, and work boots should be worn at all times. A good resource can be found here for proper PPE (personal protection equipment).

  • Be wary of your environment. Never use more chemicals than you need and be aware of your surroundings, especially when it comes to honeybees and pollinators. Our pollinator policy can be found here: Our Pesticide Disclaimer for Controversial Products & Pollinators It is vitally important to use pesticides responsibly so we do not cause harm.

  • Time treatments so that you are catching pests early or at their most vulnerable stage. This will make eliminating the pest much easier and your footprint less.

  • When possible, spot treat rather than applying pesticides to an entire lawn or area.

  • Do not allow people (especially children) or pets into an area after pesticides have been applied. Follow the label instructions of the specific chemical you’re using for re-entry times.

Other Helpful Links Regarding Pesticides:

Our Pesticide Disclaimer for Controversial Products & Pollinators
How to Use Pesticides in Their Various Forms

Recommended by Matt

Hello and welcome! I'm Matt and I started Mid Atlantic Gardening to help gardeners in the Mid Atlantic (and beyond!) with their lawn and garden problems and issues.

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