Okay, no one really enjoys using pesticides. But in Summer, bugs crawl, weeds grow, mosquitos bite and…..well, people turn to using pesticides. So, since pesticide use is common in Summer, we all need to know how to use them in a manner that reduces health risks, to ourselves, our loved ones, to non-targeted species (e.g. pollinators) and to the general environment. Notice I didn’t use the word “safe”, because “safe” doesn’t belong in the vocabulary of pesticide use: pesticides are designed to repel or kill unwanted species, so we can only use them in a manner that substantially reduces or eliminates the risk for adverse effects.
How can we do this? By knowing how to read and understand the pesticide label. The label contains all the information you need to use the product appropriately and with a minimum of risk. But, pesticide labels can be intimidating and may seem confusing. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) recognizes this and has produced a label info-graphic that explains and takes the confusion out of label reading. Please try this out. And remember, if you ever have any questions about what the label is telling you, you can find the answers by calling NPIC at 1-800-858-7378.
Enjoy your summer! And, if you have to use pesticides, do it correctly by reading and understanding the label before you open the container!