[Music] What can be done to reduce the
amount of pesticide that gets into the environment? Non-toxic
environmentally-friendly alternatives are available for managing most
home and garden pests. For instance, good cultural practices and
encouragement of biological control can prevent most problems.
Monitor for pests and apply a pesticide only when treatments are warranted.
Tolerate low populations of pests that don’t cause damage.
Many gardeners rarely use pesticides and still maintain beautiful gardens.
If pesticides are needed, choose materials with little environmental impact,
such as soaps, oils, microbial pesticides, and ant baits in bait stations.
Find out about environmentally-friendly pesticides and non-chemical
alternatives on the UC IPM webpage and UC IPM Pest Notes for the target pest.
Read the pesticide label to understand how much to apply, where, and when.
Try to choose a pre-mixed, that is, ready-to-use product to reduce the chance of mixing errors
and the need to dispose of unused spray solution. Reduce the amount of
pesticide getting into the environment by using better application
practices. For example, choose the least-toxic chemical control
available or use non-chemical methods. Identify nearby sensitive areas
such as waterways or riparian habitat or areas where a pesticide could easily
move offsite. Avoid applying pesticides to these areas.
Don’t apply a pesticide in the landscape or around a home if there
is a good chance of rain within 48 hours or if the soil is saturated. Don’t
water after an application unless the label tells you to.
There are many ways to reduce runoff. One is to try to maintain a planted area
where excess water, that is runoff, will flow rather than into the gutter
and stormdrain. By trapping the pesticides in a planted area, they can break down
instead of being washed into the street and stormdrains and
contaminating waterways. Keep the irrigation system in good order
with proper timings to avoid overwatering. Applying more water than
needed increases pesticide runoff. Use reduced rates of pesticides when
they are known to be effective. This reduces the amount of pesticide
applied without sacrificing pest control. If runoff cannot be controlled,
schedule pesticide treatments to maximize the time between application
and the next irrigation and / or select short-lived pesticides. That way most
or all of the pesticide will break down before it moves offsite. How you apply pesticides can also
minimize runoff into our waterways. Use spot treatments and don’t
over apply the pesticide. Use drop spreaders rather than
rotary spreaders to apply granular materials to small areas. This way the
pesticide is applied only to where it is needed. Do not wash the
pesticides off sidewalks or driveways but do sweep away any
granules that land on these surfaces back into the treated area. Adjust your sprayer so that it
does not produce a fine mist, which is much more likely to drift off target. Don’t spray if it is windy.
Pull some grass blades and drop them from about 6 or 8 feet in the
air. If they hit the ground more than a foot away from where they were dropped,
spray drift may be a problem. Don’t spray pesticides onto hard
surfaces, such as sidewalks and driveways since pesticides applied here can easily be carried into
the street and stormdrains with rain or irrigation water. Use smaller-pump sprayers or
trigger sprayers to apply materials to small areas so there is less chance
of needing to dispose of unused solutions. Mix pesticides and clean your equipment
away from areas where rinse water or spills might contaminate surface water. Never rinse or dump pesticide down a
household drain or a stormdrain. All these steps help reduce the
amount of pesticide in our rivers, streams, and lakes, and prevent
pesticide toxicity to fish, and other aquatic life. Remember, it
takes only a tiny amount of pesticide getting into the water
to cause a lot of harm. [Music]