Selecting Pesticides – What you Need to Know to Get Started

Whether you have a small start-up farm or a large-scale landscaping operation, selecting the right pesticides will play a role in the success of your business.

From homeowners to established agricultural professionals, there are questions to consider: what pesticides to look for, how they will affect your product, and how they should be handled.

Pesticides can protect your crops until harvest, regardless of whether you have a plot of land for a personal garden, or acres of farmland for commercial ventures.

However, a little knowledge always goes a long way in ensuring that your land, home, environment, and your crops are all protected from potential pesticide-related problems.

So before you buy and apply, be sure to follow these key basics that will determine the type and application of the pesticide you use.

Identify the Pests That Need to Be Addressed

The most damaging pest in your region could be an insect, animal, weed or microbe. Identifying the main culprit(s) that affect your farm or garden is key to selecting the pesticide that will work the best.

A local County Extension Office can help answer these preliminary questions. Business owners can also contact a pest management professional to identify pests in a specific area. For more information on Extension Offices in your state, visit http://npic.orst.edu/pest/countyext.htm.

Review Your Treatment Area

Does the region you need to address have any sensitive areas nearby? For example, is there a stream, a well, a garden or a playground in the vicinity? Or are there vulnerable plants and trees nearby that could be affected by pesticide drift?

These questions will help determine which pesticides to purchase, as well as application methods.

Check the Signal Words

Signal words are located on the labels of pesticide products. They identify the short-term toxicity of the product. Though all of these words have an inherent sense of alarm, they indicate varying levels of toxicity:

  • CAUTION – “Caution” means that the pesticide is only slightly toxic if it is absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or eaten, and it may cause mild skin or eye irritation.
  • WARNING – “Warning” signals that the product is moderately toxic when ingested, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled.
  • DANGER – “Danger” indicates the highest levels of toxicity by at least one variety of exposure — such as inhaling or skin absorption. It could potentially be corrosive, causing irreparable damage to the skin and eyes. (Often, “POSION” is located on the product label as well when this is the case.) Precautionary steps must be taken before using and applying these products.

Research and Buy Accompanying Safety Equipment

Depending on a pesticide’s toxicity, you should purchase safety equipment hand-in-hand with the pesticide itself, for your protection.

Equipment may include goggles for eye protection, gloves, and even chemical resistant clothing. Find out the safest route to go before application. Make sure to purchase all safety gear along with the pesticides.

Buy Only What You Need for a Season

For the most part, pesticides have a limited shelf life. They can even be a hazard if stored for too long.

Therefore, farmers and landscapers should buy and mix only what they need today – and not purchase big quantities for endeavors in the distant future.

Have an Excellent Storage System

When not properly stored, pesticides can cause permanent damage to your home and environment, becoming a major safety hazard.

To keep the chemicals – and your family and home – safe, invest in a quality storage tank to preserve the contents.

Our ChemTech™ Tanks have been specifically designed to store highly toxic and corrosive chemicals. They are rugged and impact resistant to last for the long term.

With a six-year warranty, you can also rest assured that your storage tank will be a safe and reliable receptacle for your crops.

Ask for Help

If you’re new to applying pesticides, or have any kind of questions for your specific region, exact location, or crops, ask for assistance.

There are a number of resources for farmers and individuals who want to ensure that the pesticides they apply do not negatively affect the environment.

Reach out to organizations like the National Pesticide Information Center, or contact a County Extension Office. You could even talk with a pest specialist or a researcher at a local college or university.

Pesticides have so much influence on the health of your farm and / or garden for now and for the long-term. Your whole operation can succeed if you have as much information as possible about the potential effects before moving forward.

Do you have any questions about storage systems and pesticides? Ask us in the comments below!

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Selecting Pesticides – What you Need to Know to Get Started
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Thinking about using pesticides to protect your farm or garden? Read these pesticides basics first before selecting, purchasing and applying these sensitive products.
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