Responsible use of pesticides encouraged

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is recognizing National Pesticide Safety Education Month by reminding the public to read the label on all pesticide products and follow the instructions for their use. The instructions and related precautions that appear on the pesticide label are intended to protect the user, other people, animals and the surrounding environment by minimizing the potential risk of exposure to the pesticide. The likelihood of an incident is minimized when users follow the directions on the label.

Pesticide users are reminded that the pesticide label is the law. Failure to follow the directions could constitute violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which is the federal pesticide law, as well as the Virginia Pesticide Control Act. Both the federal and Virginia pesticide laws provide for civil or criminal penalties for violations.

VDACS offers the following suggestions for using pesticides safely around the home and garden:

• Read and follow the label. The label is the law.

• Identify the pest before buying a pesticide. This will help you pick the pesticide that will work best for your specific issue.

• Only buy the amount you need. Bigger isn’t always better.

• Beware of “home brews” to treat for pests. The Internet contains a lot of good information but these products have not undergone scientific review and may do more harm than good.

• Utilize your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension for additional 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/ pdf/reports-businesses. pdf.

To learn more about the proper use of pesticides, visit the Virginia Pesticide Safety website at www.vapesticidesafety.com. In addition to information regarding the proper use of pesticides, the website also contains information about common and seasonal home, lawn and garden pests, as well as options for managing those pests.