Appropriate Pesticides

Situation Appropriate Pesticide
Avoid problems by taking the time to carefully study your pesticide needs. Your local Cooperative Extension professional can help with pesticide recommendations, as well as help you tailor the application to the site intended. Personal and environmental safety are prime concerns.
  • Carefully read the disposal directions.
    Be sure you can properly dispose of any unused or unwanted pesticide and the pesticide's container according to the manufacture's recommended method.
  • Compare costs.
    If all else is equal, compare the cost per unit of active ingredient before making your final selection.
  • Consider the equipment needs.
    What application equipment and personal protective equipment does the label require? Do you have the gear? If not, are you willing to purchase, use and maintain it? Do you want a pesticide that must be mixed and loaded into a sprayer, or will a premixed, "ready-to-use" product in a spray bottle be more appropriate to your needs?
  • Consider the site.
    Read the label of each product under consideration to be sure that it can be used in place and the manner you intend. For example, if the label indicates that the material is toxic to fish, do not use it on plants along the border of a pond. If the label requires that you wait two weeks form the time that you spray until you harvest, it should not be used on vegetables or fruits that are almost ripe. Consider all uses of the site to which the pesticide will be applied. Protect children, pets, and wildlife by careful pesticide selection and use.
  • If your must use a pesticide.
    Read the label carefully to be sure that it is intended for use on the type of plant you wish to protect, to control the type of pest you've identified. Pesticide users are legally bound to follow label directions. You should read a pesticide label thoroughly before purchase, before each use, and prior to storage or disposal.
  • Minimize waste.
    Buy only the amount of pesticide you anticipate using in one season. Most pesticides have a limited shelf life. If pesticides are stored, they must be protected from extreme heat and cold, and must be kept in a secure, locked place. Read the storage section of the product label before purchasing, and do not buy a product that you can't store as directed. Also, remember that pesticides must be kept in their original containers with the labels intact.
Good cultural practices will help reduce the need for pesticides.