RICHMOND, Va. — As February is National Pesticide Education Month, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers the following suggestions for using pesticides safely around the home and garden:
- Read and follow the label. The label is the law.
- Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
- Keep children and pets away from stored pesticides and during pesticide applications.
- Keep pesticides away from food and dishes.
- Identify the pest before purchasing pesticide. This will help you select the pesticide that will work best for your specific pest issue.
- Only apply the amount specified on the label.
- After using a pesticide, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water. Wash any clothing that may have been exposed to pesticides immediately and keep them separate from other items.
- Beware of “home brews” to treat for pests as they may do more harm than good.
- Contact your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, as they are a wealth of information.
If your pest issue continues or you would prefer not to do it yourself, consider hiring a licensed pesticide business. For a list of licensed pesticide businesses in Virginia, visit www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticide-business-license.shtml. For additional information regarding the use of pesticides in Virginia, please visit www.vapesticidesafety.com.
For more pesticide related information contact the National Pesticide Information Center.
–Michael Wallace, VDACS