No topic from our master gardener training scares me quite as much as this one.
Pesticides are dangerous. The suffix in the name – ‘cide’ – says it all: In Latin, it means “kill.”
Put another way, pesticides are poison.
Let me refer you to the 2016 Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals. It’s compiled and published annually by the experts at Virginia Tech. You can review it online or download a 310-page PDF FREE. No charge. No cost. No reason not to get.
Or you can buy a shrink-wrapped, beautifully printed, three-hole-punched version suitable for mounting in your own binder for just $15. If it saves you, a loved one, a pet or your treasured garden plants just once, it’s worth it.
* PMG – Pest Management Guide
Follow the label. The label is the law.
- Controlling a “pest” involves three steps. (Don’t skip any of them.)
- Identify the pest.
- Determine whether the pest is really worth controlling. (Control pests only when they are causing unreasonable damage.)
- Decide who should control the pest. (Do not automatically volunteer.)
- Controlling a pest does not necessarily involve chemicals. For instance, weeds can be pulled by hand. Who knew?
- Put another way: Use chemicals as a last resort.
- If you must use a chemical pesticide …
- Use it as a last resort, i.e., try other stuff first.
- Use it when the target is vulnerable. (No point spraying after the bugs have moved on or the seed heads have popped.)
- READ THE LABEL.
- Wear protection. (Never wear flip flops.)
- Dispose of leftovers and containers safely. Disposal directions are on the label.
PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS ARE NOT ADVICE; THEY ARE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS. THE LABEL IS THE LAW!
- Acaricides – Kills mites, ticks and spiders.
- Avicides – Kills birds.
- Bactericides — Kills bacteria.
- Fungicides – Kills fungi.
- Herbicides – Kills plants.
- Insecticides – Kills insects.
- Integrated pest management – A well-rounded management approach to pest control that can reduce the need for pesticides.
- Miticides – Kills mites.
- Nematicides – Kills nematodes.
- Nematode – A nonsegmented roundworm.
- Rodenticides – Kills rodents.
The solution to pollution is dilution.
Not a pest unless it stings. Pest control advice: Leave it alone. Walk away.
Read the label.
Answer 15 questions on which pesticide to use to produce the desired results. For instance, “Which fungicide (see vocab) will give the best control of rust on apples?” WTF!