Reading Pesticide Labels

Learn why it's important to read the chemical label prior to pesticide use.
From:
Similar Topics:
GBY1810-4_Read-Pesticide-Label_s4x3

GBY1810-4_Read-Pesticide-Label_s4x3

When you buy a lawn and garden chemical, whether organic or synthetic, do you take the time to read the label? The label is law, which means that you assume the responsibility for using the chemical in the proper manner, based on the recommendations on the label.

The first thing you want to look for on a label is the signal word, and there are three of them: "caution," "warning" and "danger." These words refer to the acute toxicity of the chemical in question.

Chemicals labeled "caution" are the least toxic of the lot, although they may still pose a hazard. Those labeled "warning" are more toxic still, and those labeled "danger" are considered the most toxic of all.

The use of chemicals bearing the "danger" label are usually restricted to use by professionals who have passed a rigorous test and received an applicator's license.

Don't assume that so-called organic or all-natural products are necessarily safer to use. They are still chemicals, regardless of what others might suggest, and many of them can be just as hazardous as certain synthetic chemicals.

Beyond the toxicity issue, you also need to pay close attention to such things as proper dilution rates, application rates, protective clothing required and so on. Never assume that if the suggested dilution rate is two tablespoons per gallon, then four tablespoons must be twice as good. It doesn't work that way, and that approach can be deadly — to your plants and to you as well.

Also, never mix chemicals. Combining two pesticides, or an insecticide and an herbicide, for example, may make sense to you, but the two chemicals may react in unpredictable and potentially dangerous ways. Of course, one of the easiest ways to avoid the dangers of chemicals is to stop using them altogether.

Next Up

How To Read a Pesticide Label

Find the critical pesticide information you need, when you need it.

Basic Lawn Care Tips

8 tips on keeping your grass green

Tips for Watering and Feeding Your Lawn

Keep your lawn healthy with these three top tips for maintaining your outdoor spaces year-round.

Lawn Care During Drought

Try these tips for keeping grass green (or not) when water is scarce.

How to Repair Your Lawn Sprinkler

Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system.

Tips for Keeping Your Yard Healthy in Summer

Sponsor content courtesy of Fiskars

Cultivating an Allergy-Free Garden

Tips for reducing the sneeze-makers in your landscape.

Caring for Your Lawn Year-Round

Use this seasonal guide to keep your lawn and other outdoor spaces healthy throughout all four seasons.

Caring for Your Lawn

Grow healthy green grass with these simple tips for lawn maintenance.

Lawn Care Tips to Keep Your Lawn Green and Growing

Mow, water and fertilize on a regular basis to keep your yard looking lush and tidy.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.