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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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19. Read The Pesticide Label

Read the label

The most valuable time spent in pest control is the time you take to read the pesticide label.
Before you buy a pesticide, read the label to determine:

  • whether it is the right pesticide for the job
  • whether the pesticide can be used safely under your application conditions
  • whether there are any restrictions on the pesticide
  • how much pesticide you should buy for the area you are treating
  • when to apply the pesticide.
before you mix...

Before you mix and apply a pesticide, read the label to determine:

  • what protective clothing to use and safety measures to follow
  • what the chemical can be mixed with
  • how much pesticide to mix
  • the mixing process
  • how to apply the pesticide
  • how long you should wait after application to reenter the area, harvest the crop, or plant another crop.
before you store...

Before you store or dispose of a pesticide, read the label to determine:

  • where and how to store the pesticide
  • how to clean and dispose of the chemical container
  • how to dispose of surplus pesticide.
pesticide label

The label must list the active ingredient—the ingredient that actually kills or inhibits the pest. Inert ingredients, such as carriers or solvents, do not have to be specified, but their concentrations must be listed.
pesticide warning

The label indicates the level of toxicity with one of three signal words: danger, warning, or caution. The precautionary statement describes the hazards to the applicator, children, domestic animals, wildlife, and the environment. If protective clothing and equipment are necessary, the precautionary statements will tell you.

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