Introduction

blueprintsThe pesticide portion of the Decision-support Toolbox is a simple, relative cumulative ranking system devised for users in the target counties to estimate relative potential ecological hazard of commonly-used residential pesticides. Our aim is to provide the user with a web-based system to simplify a complex process (determining if a pesticide is needed and determining which pesticide will be effective yet safe) based on several different parameters. If you would like to learn more about the parameters being considered and how threshold values were set for each category, and how the one hundred pesticides were chosen, please see the ranking system and the technical explanation. The most conservative values are being used for every parameter within the ranking process thereby taking a cautious approach in the decisions being made and output to users.

Identifying a Pesticide by Identifying Your Pest:

decision_support_tool

 

What the colors mean:

Relative Potential Ecosystem Hazard:

indicator colors

Pesticide Warning Symbols:

 

warning symbols

The second portion of the Decision-Making Toolbox - the Data Portal - goes hand and hand with the pesticide portion of the Toolbox. The Data Portal will allow users to identify important information about the area or neighborhood a user lives in and the surrounding ecosystem. Users can plug in their address to the Data Portal and determine if they are in a critical floodplain zone, or if significant soil loss is occurring during rain events, possibly leading to unintentional runoff of some pesticides. Recent fish kills and mammal strandings are also on indicated on the map so users can identify areas where problems may potentially already exist and potentially use extra caution during pesticide choice and application. In its entirety, the Decision-Making Toolbox will let pesticide users in the tri-county area maintain a balanced, economically viable ecosystem within and around communities by making environmentally-sound choices and decisions.

Begin now or continue on to learn more about the methods and values used in developing the framework for the tool. There are also limitations in any ranking system that should be understood as well.