OSU guide shows how to use pesticides safely at home

pesticide application photo by Bob Rost
Corvallis gardener Teresa Welch demonstrates the proper attire to wear when spraying pesticides. (Photo by Bob Rost)
Last Updated: 
July 5, 2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An updated guide from the Oregon State University Extension Service shows gardeners and others how to use, store and dispose of pesticides safely.

The publication, "Using Pesticides Safely," is available online.

"Good decisions about pesticide use start before you buy," said the guide's author, Tim Stock, a pesticide educator with the OSU Extension Service. "Before you purchase, make sure to correctly identify the pest and the right pesticide."

Local OSU Extension offices can help with the identification.

"The most important thing to do before using a pesticide is to read the label on the container," Stock said. "The label is the law, and it's illegal to use a pesticide in a way that doesn't follow the label's recommendations."

Stock also advises people to:

  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves and waterproof boots when spraying a pesticide;
  • Use a respirator, goggles or other protection if needed;
  • Avoid wearing soft contact lenses when spraying because they may absorb the pesticide;
  • Refrain from putting unused pesticides in the garbage or pouring them down the drain;
  • Visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's household hazardous waste Web page to find out upcoming collections.

For more information on pesticides and related topics contact the National Pesticide Information Center online or call 1-800-858-7378.

Author: Judy Scott
Source: Tim Stock