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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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20. Apply Pesticides Accurately And Safely

lawn

More is not better when it comes to applying pesticides. Applying too much pesticide can damage your lawn, plants, or whatever else you are treating. It is also an environmental risk.
To understand how you can apply pesticides with the least waste and the least risk of exposure, keep these tips in mind.

Before you begin, know how large an area you are treating and how much pesticide is needed for the job. Know where to find emergency response numbers in case of an accident. Prepare pesticide mixtures outdoors, where there is plenty of fresh air and good lighting.

measuring pesticides

Keep pets, children, food, and dishes away from the area where you are mixing. Use measuring cups and tools that have been designated exclusively for pesticide use. Make sure you have soap, towels, and other supplies available in case of a spill. While mixing pesticides, keep the sprayer in a containment device, such as a rubber tub to contain any spills.
When it's time to spray...

When it’s time to spray, read the label carefully. Make sure your application equipment is in working condition and that the hoses and connections do not leak. Inform children and neighbors about pesticide application plans, and keep pets away from the area. Never eat, drink, or smoke while handling pesticides.
protection when spraying pesticides

When applying pesticides, the clothing essentials are:

  • hat
  • long-sleeve shirt
  • long-leg trousers or a coverall garment
  • unlined rubber or neoprene gloves
  • socks
  • unlined boots

Check the label for any additional recommendations.

added protection when mixing chemicals

When mixing pesticides, wear the same equipment suggested for pesticide application. The pesticide concentrates are more toxic than the diluted spray, so wearing a respirator, goggles, and rubber apron may also be advised.
added protection when cleaning equipment

When cleaning application equipment, wear the same protective gear recommended for pesticide mixing, with one exception—the respirator is usually not necessary.
Ideal application conditions...

Apply pesticides on a calm day, preferably in the morning when there is less wind. Make your applications as close to the pest as possible and when temperatures are between 60 and 85 degrees. If you become contaminated while using pesticides, change clothes and shower right away.
cleaning equipment

Immediately after use, clean the equipment inside and out. Then allow a water-detergent solution to circulate through the system and run some water through the hoses and nozzles. Flush the system twice with clean water. Put the captured rinse water in the sprayer and apply it on areas listed on the label.
washing hands

After handling pesticides, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Change clothes and take a shower every day that you use pesticides.
washing clothes

Wash contaminated clothing separate from other laundry in warm or hot water using standard laundry detergents. Clean the washer afterwards by running a complete cycle without clothes, but with a full amount of hot water and detergent. Dry laundered clothes immediately after washing. Line drying is best. If clothes have been contaminated with pesticide concentrate, throw them away.
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