Is It Safe to Use Pesticides Around Your Home and Garden?
Pests sneaking around your home and garden can be infuriating. They not only cause damage to the landscape but also increase your risk of health complications. While some people question the safety of using pesticides at home, the truth is that using pesticides is one of the best ways to eliminate insects, vermin, and even bacteria.
No matter how a homeowner chooses to use pesticides around their homes and gardens, whether it’s scrubbing bathroom areas with a mold removal agent or applying granular crabgrass preventers, pesticides can enhance your garden’s appearance and keep your home bacteria-free.
The bottom line is that pesticides can play a significant role in your home and garden. To avoid accidental ingestions and food contaminations, here are a few safety precautions you can implement while using pesticides around your landscape and living space. Click here to learn more about the best times to apply your pesticides for optimal effect.
Understand the problem before purchasing a pesticide
Before buying a pesticide, the first step should be to identify the problem at-hand and draft a diagnosis plan. Then, evaluate your control options and evaluate whether it’s necessary to utilize a pesticide in your employed pest-control strategy.
Depending on your situation, determine whether or not chemically-based pest control is best for your home. In some cases, the situation requires a little time to self-stabilize. Once you decide on the best treatment method, the next step is to measure the target area.
By so doing, you’ll be able to calculate the exact quantity of pesticides needed to cover the area in its entirety. When applying the chemical treatment, avoid driveways, sidewalks, and any other locations with high chances of runoff. It can also help to spray a thin layer of pesticide around the garden or yard. Maximize the effect of these pesticides by applying this pest control treatment during the expert-recommended times of the day.
Once you’ve assessed that your pest problem requires a pesticide and properly calculated the amount you’ll need, it’s time to make a purchase. The product label usually prints the recommended amount, so you can estimate how much you need.
Once you’re at the store, be sure to read the label to absorb all the information on various environmental and health hazards linked with the product. It can also help to choose pest-specific chemicals instead of general pesticides. Broad-spectrum chemicals can harm insects and plants in the general vicinity of your target area. To avoid leftovers, only purchase only enough pesticides to treat your designated target area.
Nowadays, many pesticides come in a ready-to-use package, which eliminates the need to mix. However, with some brands or pesticide types, mixing your pesticide is a crucial step in activating the ingredients and ensuring a flawless application.
Before application, you should test your sprayer with clean water to verify the nozzle is working. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to identify the right quantities to mix. Prepare the mixture in open space or on the ground to minimize the risk of contamination. Before you start mixing, put on chemical resistant gloves, appropriate shoes, long sleeves, and eye protection.
For further protective measures, make sure you mix the pesticide on a hard surface, away from common play areas or other areas children come in contact with. Follow the instructions and dispense the correct amounts, as specified. Avoid mixing these chemicals with substances other than water, unless otherwise directed by the label. In the interest of avoiding leftovers, remember to mix the exact amount needed for the job at hand.
Clean equipment and dispose of waste
After the application process, you’ll need to dispose of any existing leftovers and clean your equipment. The best way to get rid of the remaining mix is by spraying it on affected plant life, preferably in your garden or lawn. Following the disposal, clean all the equipment and materials that came into contact with the chemical and remember to empty out nozzles and hoses.
As you clean, be careful not to run water off into any drain within your home. You also need to wash the equipment with clean water and soap before you eat or drink to avoid a poisoning incident.
Use caution when disposing of empty pesticide containers. Fill the container with a generous amount of water, shake well, and rinse. Pour the water in the sprayer and repeat the process at least twice. Don’t pour this contaminated water on the grass or down the storm drain. Instead, use it as the last batch of pest control treatment.
As a final step, cut the bottom of the pesticide container, wrap it, and dispose of it in the trash. Avoid recycling or burning chemical containers after use.
Storing pesticides safely poses a significant challenge to many homeowners. To avoid improper disposal, contact a professional to complete the job. Improper chemical disposal is not only illegal but also has serious environmental and health impacts. Not to mention, reckless storage can be hazardous to children and pets if it’s within their reach. To store the remaining pesticide properly, keep it in a locked and labeled area far away from common living spaces.
If you, as the homeowner, aren’t sure about incorporating pesticides into their pest control plan, adhering to the safety precautions listed can put their mind at ease. To reduce the risk of poisonings, store all equipment like gloves in a lockable cabinet to prevent cross-contamination. Ensure all pesticide containers are tightly sealed and properly labeled. Whether the pesticide is in powder or liquid form, you should keep the pesticides in their original state to avoid altering these chemical compounds.