When spring brings out unwanted insects and weeds, pesticides start flying off store shelves. While spraying a weed or dusting a flower bed may seem harmless, those quick fixes can turn deadly when poisons get into the wrong hands.
To prevent unwanted side effects of pesticides:
• Never put pesticides in any food or drink container. Even if you clearly label the container, someone may accidentally drink from it.
• Never store pesticides where a child can reach them. Many child victims are not poisoned at their own homes.
• Do not buy pesticides that carry the signal word “Danger,” unless you really need them and can store them securely.
• Read the label carefully before you buy a pesticide. Be sure the pesticide is labeled for the use site. If the product is for a garden, make sure the product is labeled for food crop application.
• Follow the label directions carefully. It is illegal and unsafe to use more pesticide than the label indicates. Additionally, you may harm the plants you are trying to protect.
• At a minimum, wear plastic and/or rubber gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes when applying pesticides. The label may direct you to wear additional protection as well.
• Read the environmental cautions on the label before you buy the product. Some pesticides are highly toxic to fish, birds and bees. You may decide to use a different product.