Pesticide Application & Best Management Practices
If you are planning on applying pesticides within your home or around your property, certain precautions should be taken in order to reduce or prevent exposure to you and your family. When you are applying pesticides using the proper gear is essential. The pesticide label on your product states the concerns for the pesticide you are using. Make sure your personal protective equipment (PPE) matches the method of application.
- Make sure to take caution to prevent spills when mixing and loading pesticides. Moreover, make sure your equipment being used for application (ex: spray bottle, granular spreader) are calibrated properly. For spraying, check the nozzle and and set the flow rate in the label instructions. For broadcast applications, again, check the broadcast rate to make sure you are not over or under applying your pesticide.
- Rubber boots, long rubber gloves, long pants over boots, long sleeves on shirt, and possibly a waterproof hat are the first step to gearing up no matter what type of pesticide application type you are doing. These items will minimize dermal exposure during application.
- Next, make sure to wear eye protection for almost every application scenario. Mucous membranes - such as the eyes - can be more sensitive to pesticide exposure than your skin. Irritation to the eye can occur upon contact.
- Where an OSHA approved respirator to minimize inhalation and oral exposure to fumigant and liquid (or dissolved) pesticide mixtures. Check the cartridges in the respirator to determine if they are out-of-date or need to be replaced. Replace - if necessary - before application.
- Continue to wear the respirator and the remainder of your PPE while spraying (checking wind direction before application) or possibly with granular applications.
If the area of application is in high ecosystem impact areas (due to location and physical characteristics indicated by address search in data portal) please consider the following before applying pesticides:
- Read the label to see what time of day, temperature, and moisture level is best for application of the pesticide.
- Make sure to not be careless in your mixing or application of the pesticide as to not adversely effect non-target organisms.
- Check the forecast and make sure wind intensity is not high if spraying outdoor pesticides. Also check the data portal and check potential soil loss on your property, soil type, and flood zone where application is occurring.
- Determine or check that you have identified your pest correctly by either scrolling through the pictures in the decision making tool or by using the Identification Guide (third-party link) on the Useful Links page
- Use the decision-making tool to determine which pesticides will solve your pest problem and view the concern symbols for each pesticide
- making a decision on a pesticide to apply
- Make sure to use all necessary personal protective equipment is used for the pesticide you are applying by reading the label.
- Store and dispose of containers as stated on label.
- Be particularly cautious that children and pets do not become exposed to the pesticide during or for the post-application period identified on label.
- Create a 10-15 ft. buffer zone where no pesticide application occurs around waterbodies
- Read carefully instructions for indoor applications of pesticides. Do not eat or drink while pesticide application is occurring.
- Wear the proper PPE
- Make sure to spray what is only necessary; if linens or clothes are contaminated, take contaminated items to washer with gloves on. Wash hands after application.
- Make sure children and pets are not exposed during application and for the post-application period.
- Leave home for a number of hours if the whole house is targeted. Especially, if odor is too strong and for the recommended label time frame.
- Make sure that all cracks and crawl spaces are sealed to ensure that reinfestation of pests does not reoccur.