Selecting the best pesticide

When selecting which pesticide to use it is important choose one that has the least risk to human health and has a low environmental impact.

Use of “selective” insecticides which target  related types of insects is preferred over  use of “broad spectrum” pesticides which will also kill non-target organisms.  It is also important to select and properly apply insecticides which will cause the least amount of damage to beneficial insect populations.

 Reduced risk pesticide application methods and materials:

  • Lessen risk of non target exposure  (birds,pets,children)
  • Lessen risk of runoff contaminating our streams and oceans
  • Lessen risk of chemicals leaching into drinking water aquifers
  • Lessen the possibility of tracking toxic materials into your home

Examples of reduced risk application methods :

  • Trunk injections
  • Sub-surface soil applications
  • Trunk drench applications

Examples of higher risk pesticide applications:

  • Spray of chemical broad spectrum pesticides to lawn and other outdoor landscape  surface areas
  • Tree canopy spays for insects which are not an imminent threat to plant health
  • Use of pesticide materials with a “warning” or “danger” signal word on label

Examples of reduced risk pest control products:

  • Horticultural oil sprays
  • Safer Soap
  • Botanical products (neem oil, pyrethrum,)
  • Biological products (Bt., Spinosad)
  • Beneficial insect releases
  • Pesticides with a “caution” signal word on label

Examples of higher risk pesticides:

  • Broad spectrum  chemical pesticides (permethrin, chlorpyrifos)
  • Any pesticide with long residual
  • Pesticides with “warning” or “danger”  signal word on label 

Certified Arborist WE-6717A

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