Pesticide Safety and Risk Management
Pesticides are a mix of chemicals whose primary use is repelling, destroying, and generally mitigating an array of pests. “Pests” refers mainly to insects, plant pathogens, weeds, birds, roundworms, and microbes that can destroy property or spread disease.
Pesticides are very useful, however, many of the chemicals used in pesticide mixtures are also harmful to humans and pets as well as the pests they are meant to deter. The danger can also be multiplied if the applicator doesn’t know what they’re doing when mixing or doesn’t store them properly.
Following these safety tips can help in mitigating the risk involved with pesticide use:
- If you decide you must use pesticides, always read the label first and follow the directions to the letter, including all precautions and restrictions.
- Don’t use products for pests that are not indicated on the label and don’t use more pesticide than directed by the label. Don’t think that twice the amount will do twice the job.
- Use protective measures when handling pesticides as directed by the label, such as wearing impermeable gloves, long pants, and long-sleeve shirts. Change clothes and wash your hands immediately after applying pesticides.
- Before applying a pesticide (indoors or outdoors), remove children, their toys, and pets from the area and keep them away until the pesticide has dried or as recommended by the label.
- Don’t spray outdoors on windy or rainy days. Take precautions to keep the pesticide from drifting or running off into the vegetable garden, pool, or neighbor’s yard.
- Remove or cover food during indoor applications.
- If using a commercial applicator or lawn care service, ask for information about potential risks and safety precautions to take.
- Don’t buy more pesticides than you will need. If you have leftover pesticides, check with your local government to determine whether your community has a household hazardous waste collection program or other program for disposing of pesticides. If no community program exists, follow label directions and any state or local regulations regarding disposal.
- Keep the telephone number of your area Poison Control Center near your telephone or saved in your cell phone
Pesticides are very useful in keeping lawns looking healthy. But we must always keep in mind that pesticides are toxic and can cause injury or illness if not used properly, just like any other tool. However, even with the most stringent precautions, accidents happen. In the event of a claim it is important to have a program like LawnCarePro, an insurance program designed with the specific needs of lawn maintenance professionals in mind, to reduce the risk of coverage gaps.
For more information on lawn care insurance, visit LawnCarePro.