Environmental Commission Tip of the Month: June 2016 – Proper Use of Insecticides and Pesticides

Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides OH MY!…. 

While we do not live in the Emerald City we do want to live in a “green community”.  We have all  been encouraged to utilize natural and/or organic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides. We see many organic brands on the shelves of hardware stores and garden enters.  We use these lawn treatment chemicals to make our lawns more beautiful. And yet, as beach and bay residents we need to be cautious to prevent pollution of our natural resources while also being protective of our children, grandchildren and pets who play and spend time on our yards.

Following the steps below, you will help protect all of the aforementioned.

Step One– Do you need to use a lawn treatment chemical?!… Remember there are alternative control measures–i.e. planting resistant varieties or pruning. If you decide a lawn treatment chemical is necessary, then-

Step Two– Select a lawn treatment chemical that has the least potential to create a problem. Products that are highly water soluble may contaminate water supplies since they do not adhere to soil particles. AVOID these products.

Step Three– Proper mixing and application of lawn treatment chemicals. Read the directions. When you follow proper procedures for mixing, you reduce the risk of accidents. Never mix more chemical than you need. Never use the same equipment for different types of lawn treatment chemicals. i.e. if you apply a herbicide to lawn and then use the same sprayer to apply insecticide to plantings, you may damage the plantings.  Be aware of weather. Avoid applying lawn treatment chemicals when rain is forecasted or if it is windy.  Your application has the potential to contaminate unintended property. Make sure that your application will cause no harm to humans or pets.

Step Four– Proper cleanup, storage and disposal. Most products will describe your cleanup process. If not, refer to websites such as Rutgers Cooperative Extension (njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs) or guidelines from our county.

By employing informed application techniques of lawn treatment chemicals around our homes, we can protect our beach and bay, help insure the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren, and the health of our pets. Think the idiom—Less is More.