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How To Safely Apply Pesticides

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How To Safely Apply Pesticides

Pesticide applicator wearing protective equipment.

Digital Vision, licensed to Getty Images
Some home, garden, school and workplace pest populations may be controlled with pesticides when all reasonable pest control efforts have been exhausted. However, safety precautions, like reading and heeding the product labels and wearing protective equipment must always be the first priority of any applicator.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1 hour or less

Here's How:

  1. Read the product label, all of it, 3 times. Make sure that you completely understand the application instructions, safety precautions and what to do in the case of ingestion. Call the manufacturer, a local pest control company or your county extension agent if you have questions.
  2. Wear safety glasses, a dust mask, rubber gloves, long pants and socks. Foam plugs may prevent dust from entering your ear canals.
  3. Do not apply dust or powder on a windy day. Make sure that no children, pets or drinking water sources are nearby. Cover cooking surfaces and utensils. Apply only with new or clean, used dusters or sprayers.
  4. Dispose of excess spray or dust properly, cleaning any reusable equipment thorougly with water while still wearing gloves and do not allow the rinse water to puddle where pets or children may be exposed to it. Proper disposal means not pouring the excess pesticide or wash water into your toilet, septic system or public sewer drain. Instead, pour onto well draining unpaved ground away from food plants.
  5. Label any unused product and store in a child-proof cabinet.
  6. Remove the protective equipment, storing any non-disposables in a sealed, plastic zip bag.
  7. Wash your hands thoroughly, remove your clothes and enjoy a lukewarm shower or bath. Hot water opens skin pores and can further expose you to any pesticide residue clinging to your skin.

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