Pesticides are frequently misunderstood and can carry a poor reputation. The term pesticide refers to a much broader category than most people believe. A “pesticide” is any type of tool that is used to control pests, whether chemically based or naturally occurring. This includes the more commonly known pesticides such as herbicides (for weeds), insecticides (for insects), and fungicides (for fungus), and also growth regulators, rodenticides (for rodents), miticides (for mites), and even molluscicides (for snails and slugs). Organic pesticides are still considered pesticides, and they are regulated by the US EPA.
Insects, weeds, rodents, and other pests can threaten the health and well-being of communities. The use of pesticides helps preserve our crops, thus increasing food production and decreasing costs, protects us from disease and illnesses brought on by different pests, and keeps our homes, lawns, parks, and other environments safe, usable, and enjoyable.
Before you immediately grab any pesticide from the store, consider the more practical method known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The most important aspect of IPM is to first diagnose what the problem is and then you can determine the best method for control, including doing nothing. IPM combines cultural, mechanical, biological, and as a last resort, chemical control methods to tackle pest management. It is a more environmentally sensible and comprehensive pesticide approach that uses the most methodical information about pest’s life cycles, environmental interactions, individual circumstances, and current control methods to select the most economically sound and least hazardous solution for pest control. It’s critical to identify what the true cause of the problem is. No pesticide should be purchased or used without proper identification. Finding licensed professionals, such as Complete Lawn Care, to properly diagnose and safely solve any problems that arise for you is the best option.
If you find that a chemical pesticide is necessary, selecting one that is effective against the pest, but poses the least risks to human health and non-target species is the best strategy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) are responsible for regulating and enforcing the manufacturing, sales, and usage of all pesticides. Every pesticide registered in the United States has an approved label from the EPA and it is EXTREMELY essential that you always read and understand the label completely prior to using any pesticide. Never apply more than the pesticide label lists, check for any special warnings, and be aware of weather patterns, application surfaces, and any other environmental factors that could impact usage.
In most cases, the use of an IPM protocol will make for the best results for you, your family and the environment.
In short, pesticides are extremely valuable and necessary tools, but only when used appropriately. Awareness, research, and understanding are imperative in order to appropriately control pests while protecting human and environmental health. Confident and knowledgeable pesticide operators offer the safest, and most successful solutions to your pest problem.
Complete Lawn Care provides professional IPM and follows nutrient management laws to help improve your lawns and landscapes safely and effectively. Contact us today for expert assistance!