Agriculture & Natural Resources

Pesticide Safety Education Program

Consumers and Youth

Consumer pesticide products are most commonly sold as ready to use products, as opposed to the concentrated formulations used by agricultural producers and commercial applicators that require mixing and additional handling. Pesticides by definition are substances that are used to kill, control, or someway manage pests. Which means that if they are used incorrectly they can also cause harm to humans, animals, and the environment. This is true even of chemicals that are considered organic. However, when used according to the label directions, pesticides can be used safely to control weeds, insects, rodents, and other pests.

If you decide using a pesticide is necessary for control the most important step in pesticide safety is to read the label to learn:

  • Is it the right product to control the pest
  • What protective clothing do you need to wear when applying the product
  • What is the right amount to use (Twice as much does not mean twice as good!!)
  • Special precaution to take during and after the application to protect humans, pets, and the environment
  • Storage of the unused product out of reach of children – Ideally at least 5 feet off the ground in a locked area.

If you decide to hire a professional for pest control:

  • Make sure they are certified by the Delaware Department of Agriculture
  • Even if they are applying products that you could buy yourself, they still must be a
    certified pesticide applicator
  • Ask questions if you have concerns about the products or practices they may use for pest control.