Pesticide usage is an effective way to control or suppress troublesome pest infestation in your garden. A Pesticide can either be a natural, organic or synthetic material designed to be toxic to the targeted pests, such as insects, weeds or unwanted garden invaders. It is a broad term that may include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, molluscicides, and miticides.
Why You Should Learn Proper Ways to Use Pesticides
Responsible and safe pesticide usage in your garden is essential regardless of whether you are using a natural or chemical combatant. More is not better as far as pesticide application goes.
Excessive application of pesticide is not only an environmental risk, but it can also damage whatever you are treating—such as your lawn or plants.
Learning about safe pesticide usage is key to alleviating a myriad of safety concerns that come with it. Pesticides call for respectful and smart handling along with a keen understanding of the manufacturer’s instructions concerning mixing, timing and application rates.
Proper use of pesticides can protect your plants from damage while maintaining the environmental integrity. On the contrary, inappropriate usage of pesticides and failing to adhere to the label instructions can be disastrous to your plants and environment at large.
It can impair the health of your plants and contribute to soil, water, and air pollution. The following are tips for safe pesticide usage. For more information on the same you can visit here.
Understand Pesticide Toxicity
Whereas all pesticides are considered harmful, some are more poisonous than others. The relative toxicity of pesticides implies to how dangerous they are to warm-blooded animals.
It is expressed as LD50, which is an abbreviation for lethal dose 50%. This measure determines pesticides that can kill half of a test animal population. LD50 is based on mg of active ingredients per kg of total body weight.
Hence, pesticides with the lowest LD50 are more toxic to people. For the sake of simplicity, a pesticide label comes with one of three signals indicating relative toxicity to human beings. These signals include the following:
- DANGER is a label that applies to pesticides with an LD50 value of less than 50. They are highly toxic, and you need special certification to be permitted to buy and use them.
- WARNING is a label indicating pesticides with moderate toxicity. Their LD50 may range anywhere between 50 and 500.
- CAUTION applies to pesticide products with either low or very low toxicity to humans. These products can have an LD50 of 500 and above. Most pesticides available to homeowners typically come with this signal word on their labels.
Despite the signal word you can see on a product label, keep in your mind that all pesticides have the potential to poison. For that reason, make sure to go through all the instructions and directions of use and follow them to the letter.
Accurately measuring concentrated formulations of pesticide products is vital for efficient and safe usage. The product label shows the application rate for pesticides, which can be in ounces per gallon of water. Follow these procedures and make sure to dilute and apply materials according to the directions provided.
You are advised to wear the right equipment when mixing and applying pesticides in your garden. These include a coverall garment, unlined boots, hat, long-sleeve shirt, and unlined neoprene or rubber gloves.
The pesticide concentrates are highly toxic compared to the diluted spray. So, wearing goggles, rubber apron, and a respirator is highly advisable. Visit Northeast Greenhouse Conference for additional information.
Do not eat or smoke when mixing pesticides. The odds are you will carry pesticide traces to your mouth if you eat while mixing pesticides. Additionally, some pesticide products are known to be flammable. Smoking while applying pesticides can be dangerous.
Develop a habit of mixing or diluting pesticides outdoors or in a ventilated area. Do not use cups or spoons to measure the pesticides for mixing. Always utilize the equipment listed on the product label, and carefully measure the pesticide for accuracy.
Mix pesticide according to the requirements for each application. Never prepare larger amounts for storage and possible future use.
Stored pesticides can degrade hence become ineffective over time. Visit this website to see how to calculate the correct amount of pesticide for use.
Proper Application of Pesticides
Only apply pesticides in your garden on a calm day, especially in the morning when the wind is flowing mildly and unnoticeable.
All applications should be done at temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees and must be maintained as close to the ground as possible. Change your clothes right away if you become contaminated and take a shower.
Follow the instructions on the label warily and strive to achieve a judicious use. Using these chemicals at unnecessarily high rates is a waste of money, energy and time. Besides, extra products are likely to cause storage and disposal issues.
Excessive application of pesticides is not only detrimental to your garden but also poses environmental harm. Extra pesticides are likely to leach into wells or groundwater leave alone running off into surface water.
Over-application also leads to the buildup of resistance in the target pests and damage of beneficial organisms and desirable plants in your garden. Applying pests beyond directions provided on the label is an illegal misuse of the product.
Do the following when applying pesticides in your garden:
- Keep children, pets, and toys far away from your garden until the product dries completely
- Dispose of all clothes that are saturated in a spray solution
- Wash any exposed body part with water and soap, and wear clean clothes to finish the job
- Do not place bait for insects, mice or rats and other rodents where children or pets can access.
- Avoid harming non-target organisms in your garden
Avoid Sensitive Areas in Your Garden and Beyond
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, http://aapcc.org, you must protect sensitive environmental areas when applying pesticides.
Such areas include beehives, buzzer zones close to wells and water sources, and playgrounds for children. That means you should not apply these chemicals to your garden when it is windy or when rainfall is forecast.
These weather conditions often set the stage for the movement of chemicals beyond the target area. If you’re going to apply pesticides to fruit crops and vegetables, check the label for the pre-harvest interval.
The product label should showcase the time it should take between application and harvesting of veggies and fruits for consumption or freezing. Do not eat any food product tainted with pesticides that are not meant for that specific crop.
Proper Storage and Disposal of Pesticides
Store each pesticide product in its original container away from water, food, animal feeds, and pets. Always make sure you have locked the storage location, and that it is beyond the reach of children and pets. A locked cabinet or shed suffices both short and long-term pesticide storage.
When it comes to product disposal, take the pesticide to an approved site for approved use. You can carry the product to a community household hazardous waste collection site for proper disposal.
Do not flush the product down drains, sewers or toilets. And, never leave the pesticide on the ground as it is not acceptable.
If you think you have no time or ability to apply pesticide safely and securely, then hiring a pest control service can be helpful.
Licensed pesticide operators have access to a variety of products which are not readily available in retail stores. A lot of pest problems require specialized equipment and training for effective management.
Whereas most professional services are expensive, it is worth the investment to solve serious pest problems in your garden in a safer approach.