Pesticides on the Home and Farm
- Pesticides- insecticides, herbicides, rodenticide,
and fungicides - are chemicals widely used by farmers, foresters,
exterminators, and homeowners to kill harmful insects and weeds, to
and timber harvests, and to prevent the spread of plant, animal,
parasites and diseases.
- Although targeted at pests, certain pesticides
inadvertently can harm nontarget organisms - stream insects,
fish, wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Pesticides can also contaminate
if not handled carefully. Pesticides can reach groundwater very quickly
in karst areas due to the porous rock, sinkholes, springs,
- Taking voluntary action to prevent pesticide contamination
of groundwater will help assure the continued availability of pesticides
for responsible use. Drinking water is least likely
to be contaminated
if appropriate management procedures are followed or pesticide wastes are
- Understanding the soils on your lawn, garden, or farm
and developing natural and appropriate chemical strategies can
keep chemicals from
leaching into your groundwater. Soil types vary widely within
short distances, so several samples should be collected and analyzed
characterize the soils. Contact your county Cooperative Extension
Agent for information on soil sampling and analytical services.
- The correct use of pesticides and herbicides,
and reducing the amount of pesticides and herbicides used can
create a cost savings for
- Avoid pesticide problems by using integrated pest
management practices. Such programs use chemicals only when necessary,
with other practices like crop rotation, timed plantings, and
appropriate growing conditions, to protect crops from weeds, insects,
Pesticide Handling Rules
- Read and follow the label carefully.
- Buy only the quantity
- Choose the least toxic pesticide. Those with the signal
word Caution on the label are considered the least
toxic, whereas the signal
word Warning indicates moderate toxicity.
- Wear any protective clothing
specified on the product label and wash hands immediately after
- Apply only the amount specified on the product label and
only on the plants and areas listed in the instructions.
- Make sure people
and pets are out of the area during application and until the
spray has dried.
- Never apply to bare ground or eroded areas
- Never store,
mix, or apply near wells, streams, sinkholes, ponds, or marshes.
Maintain buffer zones around these areas.
- Don't apply if rain is forecast, unless specified on the
label (some pesticides do need to be watered after application).
of containers and leftover pesticides according to label
- Store all pesticides away from the reach of children.
- Use a "water only" nurse tank in the field -
away from water sources and sinkholes - to provide water for mixing
- Avoid back-siphoning from sprayer equipment
by always keeping
the discharge end of fill hoses above the tank's water level.
- Before disposing
of chemical containers, triple rinse or pressure rinse them and
place the liquid rinsate into the spray tank to make up
the final spray mixture.
- Prevent spills from reaching groundwater
by using a mix pad with low walls to contain spills and overfills.