You've been patient with those pesky pests, but they're still there and causing damage. What should you do?
Responsible use of safe pesticides is part of an overall landscape care plan. Follow these guidelines.
- Be sure that you have correctly identified the garden pest in question. Consult a professional for assistance if necessary. Try natural methods again if you were treating the wrong problem at first.
- If you do need a pesticide, select the correct pesticide for the specific pest.
- Reduce waste by buying and applying only the recommended amount of the product. Check with your local nursery or home improvement store for advice on how much to purchase.
- Carefully follow manufacturer's directions for use and storage.
- Keep all products in their original containers with original labeling.
- Apply insecticides to plants, grassy areas or landscapes only. Driveways and sidewalks should be avoided. If you are treating a pest which lives on or adjacent to a paved surface, such as fire ants, treat only the infested area.
- Clean up excess amounts of insecticides and never hose them into storm drains.
- Avoid applying insecticides near waterways or if rain is expected. Always storethem in a dry area free from rainfall. Run-off can unintentionally kill "good" bugs.
- Monitor the status of your plantings. Discontinue use of your pesticide when the problem has been resolved.
- Dispose of pesticides by bringing them to a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event.
The University of Florida - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension
- Homeowner's Guide to Pesticide Safety
- Pesticides for Home, Lawn, Landscape and Garden
- Who needs a Pesticide Applicator License?
Bugs provide food for birds. So it is no surprise that heavy pesticide use can affect our bird population. The Audubon Society has information that can help you deal with your garden pests without hurting harming birds. Click here to view their Ten Steps on Responsible Pesticide Use.