Pesticides, Herbicides & Fertilizers :
Nationally, one quarter of the pollutants found in rivers and streams originate from the residential use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These materials can enter into our waterways through illegal dumping, run-off from excessive lawn irrigation, and from heavy rains. The following guidelines if followed can greatly reduce the potential of these pollutants from entering our waterways.
- Consider using less toxic alternative products.
- Read and follow the recommended application direction on the product label.
- Use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer only if there is an actual pest problem (not on a regular preventative schedule).
- Do not use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer if rain is expected. Apply only when wind speeds are low (less than 5 mph).
- Do not mix or prepare pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer for application near storm drains.
- Prepare the minimum amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer needed for the job and use the lowest rate that will effectively control the issues.
- Employ techniques to minimize off-target application (e.g. spray drift) of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer, including consideration of alternative application techniques.
- Calibrate pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer application equipment to avoid excessive application.
- Sweep pavement and sidewalk if pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer is spilled or overspread on these surfaces.
- Purchase only the amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer that you can reasonably use in a given time period (month or year depending on the product).
- Triple rinse containers, and use rinse water as product. Dispose of unused pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer as hazardous waste.
- Dispose of empty pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer containers according to the instructions on the container label.
Links and Resources
The following are some external links with information of pesticide application tips and alternatives:
http://www.pesticides.org/docs/website-home-use.pdf - Home pesticide use tips & alternatives
http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/dept/factshts/factmenu.htm - California Department of Pesticide Regulation – Safe pesticide use and reducing pesticide use.
http://www2.epa.gov/safepestcontrol - EPA - Pest control and pesticide safety for consumers.
http://www.gotantsgetserious.org/ - Got Ants? Get S.E.R.I.O.U.S.! - Got Ants is a collaboration of public agencies, educational institutions, pest professionals, and nonprofits working to promote environmentally sound ant management and to protect water quality. The Got Ants? website provides excellent tips, and ideas for switching from spraying pesticides to less toxic and more effective means for managing ant problems.
http://ourwaterourworld.org/ - A website designed to help consumers with home and garden pest by providing product information and guidance for non-toxic alternatives.
http://www.epa.gov/composting/ - Composting for Facilities (US EPA) – Compost application information for compost facilities, businesses, industries, and local governments.
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/index.html - UC Master Gardener Programs - Messages and information for Integrated Pest Management tips, techniques, and resources