United States
Environmental Protection
Prevention, Pesticides,
and Toxic Substances
EPA 735-K-04-002
March 2005
vvEPA Citizen's Guide to Pest Control
and Pesticide Safety

Foreword 	 1
Introduction 	2
Pests, Pest Control, and Pesticides .<>..<>..<>	3
Pest Management	3
First Steps in Pest Management	4
Preventing Pests 	6
Indoor Prevention 	6
Outdoor Prevention 	7
u Gardening 	7
u Lawn Care 	8
Using Non-Chemical Pest Controls 	 11
Biological Controls 	11
Manual Methods 	12
Using Chemical Pest Controls 	 B
Choosing the Right Pesticide Product 	14
Reading the Pesticide Label	16
Determining the Correct Amount To Use 	18
Using Pesticides Safely and Correctly 	19
u Before Using a Pesticide	19
u When Mixing or Applying a Pesticide 	19
Indoor Applications 	20
Outdoor Applications 	21
u After Applying a Pesticide 	22
Storing and Disposing of Pesticides Properly 	23
u Safe Storage of Pesticides 	23
u Safe Disposal of Pesticides 	24

Reducing Your Exposure
When Others Use Pesticides 	 25
Exposure Through Food 	26
u Commercial Food 	26
u Home-Grown Food 	27
u Food from the Wild 	27
Exposure Through Water 	 28
Exposure Through Air 	28
u Outdoors 	28
u Indoors 	29
Poisoned by Pest icides:
Don't Let This Happen to Your Chi Id! 	 3D
Handl ing a Pesticide Emergency 	 22
First Aid for Pesticide Poisoning	33
What To Do After First Aid 	34
How To Recognize Pesticide Poisoning 	35
Choosing a Pest Control Company 	 33
Reference Section 	 39
Calculating the Correct Amount of Pesticide
To Use for Your Target Area 	39
For More Information 	42
EPA Addresses	44
u EPA Headquarters 	44
u EPA Regional Offices 	44
u State Lead Agencies for Pesticide Regulation 	45
Index	 4)
ii Contents

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with
ensuring that pesticides do not pose unreasonable risks to the
public and to the environment. EPA regulates the use of pesticides
under the authority of two laws—the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,
and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug and
Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Most pesticides may legally be sold in
the United States if they have been "registered" by EPA and if they
bear an EPA registration number. Federal pesticide registration,
however, is only the first step in preventing pesticide risks. Just as
important are the steps that consumers take to control pests and use
pesticides safely. EPA hopes that this booklet will help you do just that.
Foreword 1

SoONER OR LATER, we're all pestered by pests. Whether
it's ants in the kitchen or weeds in the vegetable garden, pests can
be annoying and bothersome. At the same time, many of us are
concerned that the pesticides we use to control pests can cause
problems too. How can pests be controlled safely? When and how
should pesticides be used?
This booklet is intended to help answer these questions. The
questions have no single right answer, but Citizen's Guide to Pest
Control and Pesticide Safety gives the information you need to make
informed decisions. You should be able to control pests without
risking your family's health and without harming the environment.
The major goals of this booklet are to help you understand—
u What steps to take to control pests in and around your home.
u What alternatives to chemical pesticides are available, including
pest prevention and non-chemical pest controls.
u ITow to choose pesticides and how to use,
store, and dispose of them safely.
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u How to reduce your exposure when others
use pesticides.
4 Cockroach sprays and baits.
u How to choose a pest control company.
4 Insect sprays and wasp repellents
u What to do if someone is poisoned by a
for indoor use.
4	Insect repellents for personal use.
4	Termite control products.
4	Rat and other rodent poisons.
4 Flea and tick sprays, powders, and
pet collars.
) 4 Kitchen, laundry, and bath disinfectants
and sanitizers, including bleach.
4 Products to kill mold and mildew.
4 Lawn and garden products such as
weed killers.
4 Repellents that keep deer, raccoons, or
rabbits away from your garden.
4 Swimming pool chemicals, including those
that kill algae.
2 Introduction

Pests, Pest Central,
and Pest icicles
PLANTS, insects, mold, mildew, rodents, bacteria, and other
organisms are a natural part of the environment. They can benefit
people in many ways. But they can also be pests. Apartments and
houses are often hosts to common pests such as cockroaches, fleas,
termites, ants, mice, rats, mold, or mildew. Weeds, hornworms,
aphids, and grubs can be a nuisance outdoors when they get into
your lawn, flowers, yard, vegetable garden, or fruit and shade trees.
Pests can also be a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets.
It's easy to understand why you may need and want to control them.
Nowadays, you can choose from many different methods as you
plan your strategy for controlling pests. Sometimes a non-chemical
method of control is as effective and convenient as a chemical
alternative. For many pests, total elimination is almost impossible,
but it is possible to control them. Knowing your options is the key
to pest control. Methods available to you include pest prevention,
non-chemical pest controls, and chemical pesticides. Each of these
methods will be described in more detail in the next three sections of
this booklet (starting on pages 6,11, and 13).
Pest Management
The most effective strategy for controlling pests
may be to combine methods in an approach
known as integrated pest management
(IPM) that emphasizes preventing
pest damage. In IPM, information
about pests and available pest
control methods is used to manage
pest damage by the most economical
means and with the least possible
hazard to people, property, and the
environment. An example of using
the IPM approach for lawn care is
presented in the next section of this
booklet titled "Preventing Pests."
Some signs of pest infestation are unmistakable.
Pests, Pest Control, arid Pesticides

Knowing a range of pest control methods gives you the ability to
choose among them for an effective treatment. Knowing the options
also gives you the choice of limiting your exposure to potentially
harmful chemicals. No matter what option you choose, you should
follow these steps to control your pest problem:
First Steps in Pest Management
1 Identify the pest problem. This is the first and most important
step in pest control—figuring out exactly what you're up
against. Some pests (or signs of them) are unmistakable—most
people recognize a cockroach or a mouse. Other signs that
make you think "pest" can be misleading. For example, what
may look like a plant "disease" may be, in fact, a sign of poor soil
or lack of water.
Use free sources to help identify your pest and to learn the most
effective methods to control it. These sources include library
reference books (such as insect field guides or gardening books)
and pest specialists at your County Cooperative Extension
Service or local plant nurseries. These resources are usually
listed in the telephone book. Also, state university Web sites have
residential pest control information.
Decide how much pest control is necessary. Pest control is
not the same as pest elimination. Insisting on getting rid of all
pests inside and outside your home will lead you to make
more extensive, repeated, and possibly hazardous chemical
treatments than are necessary. Be reasonable. Ask yourself
these questions:
u Does your lawn really need to be totally weed free?
u Recognizing that some insects are beneficial to your lawn,
do you need to get rid of all of them?
u Do you need every type of fruit, vegetable, or flower you
grow, or could you replace ones that are sensitive to pests
with hardier substitutes?
u Can you tolerate some blemished fruits and vegetables
from your garden?
u Is anyone in your home known to be particularly sensitive
to chemicals?
4 Pests, Pest Control, and Pesticides

3 Choose an effective option. Use the information gathered in
Step 1, your answers to the questions in Step 2, and guidance in
the sections titled "Preventing Pests/' "Using Non-Chemical Pest
Controls/' and "Using Chemical Pest Controls" to determine
which option you want to choose. If you're still uncertain, get
further advice from the free sources listed in Step 1.
4 Evaluate the results. Once a pest control method has been
chosen and implemented, always allow time for it to work and
then evaluate its effectiveness by taking the following steps:
u Compare pre-treatment and post-treatment conditions. Is
there evidence of a clear reduction in the number of pests?
It's easier to prevent pests than to control them.
You may not need to worry about the four pest
control steps just mentioned IF you make the
effort to prevent pests in the first place.
Weigh the benefits of short-term chemical pesticide control
against the benefits of long-term control using a
variety of other treatments, including non-
chemical methods.
The first step in pest control is to
identify the pest.
Pests, Pest Control, arid Pesticides

Prevent irg Pests
m Pests SEEK PLACES TO UVE tha, satisfy basic needs for a.,
moisture, food, arid shelter. The best way to control pests is to try to
prevent them from entering your home or garden in the first place.
You can do this by removing the elements that they need to survive.
Take the following preventive actions:
Indoor Prevention
Pests need water to survive. Fix
leaky pipes.
u Remove water. All living things, including pests, need water for
survival. Fix leaky plumbing and do not let water accumulate
anywhere in or around your home. For example, do not leave
any water in trays under your houseplants, under your
refrigerator, or in buckets overnight. Remove or dry out water-
damaged and wet materials. Even dampness or high humidity
can attract pests.
u Remove food. Store your food in sealed
glass or plastic containers, and keep your
kitchen clean and free from cooking grease
and oil. Do not leave food in pet bowls on
the counter or floor for long periods of time.
Put food scraps or refuse in tightly covered,
animal-proof garbage cans, and empty your
garbage frequently.
u Remove or block off indoor pest hiding places. Caulk cracks
and crevices to control pest access. Bathe pets regularly and
wash any mats or surfaces they lie on to control fleas. Avoid
storing newspapers, paper bags, and boxes for long
periods of time. Also, check for pests in packages or
boxes before carrying them into your home.
Block pest entryways. Install screens on all floor
drains, windows, and doors to discourage
crawling and flying pests from
entering your home. Make
sure any passageways
through the floor are blocked.
Place weatherstripping
on doors and windows.
Caulk and seal openings
in walls. Keep doors shut
when not in use.
Store food in sealed containers.
6 Preventing Pests

Outdoor Prevention
Remove or destroy outdoor pest hiding places. Remove piles
of wood from under or around your home to avoid attracting
termites and carpenter ants. Destroy diseased plants, tree
prunings, and fallen fruit that may harbor pests. Rake fallen
leaves. Keep vegetation, shrubs, and wood mulch at least
18 inches away from your house.
Remove breeding sites. Clean up pet droppings
from your yard; they attract flies that can spread
bacteria. Do not accumulate litter or garbage;
it draws mice, rats, and other
rodents. Drain off or sweep away
standing puddles of water; water
is a breeding place for mosquitos
and other pests. Make sure drain
pipes and other water sources
drain away from your house.
Take proper care of all outdoor plants. These include flowers,
fruit and shade trees, vegetable and other plants, and your
lawn. Good plant health care reduces pest control needs —
healthy plants resist pests better than do weak plants. Plant at
the best time of year to promote healthy growth. Use mulch
to reduce weeds and maintain even soil temperature and
moisture. Water adequately. Native flowers, shrubs, and
trees often are good choices because they adapt well to local
conditions and require minimal care.
Remove breeding sites.
Clean up litter or garbage.
, ^
U Select healthy seeds and seedlings that are known to resist
diseases and are suited to the climate where you live. Strong
seeds are likely to produce mature plants with little need
for pesticides.
u If your garden is large, alternate rows of different kinds of
plants. Pests that prefer one type of vegetable (carrots, for
example) may not spread to every one of your carrot plants if
other vegetables (not on the pests' diet) are planted in the
neighboring rows.
u Don't plant the same crop in the same spot year after year.
That way your plants are not as vulnerable to pests that survive
the winter.
u Make sure your garden plot has good drainage. Raised beds
will improve drainage, especially of clay soils. If a heavy clay
soil becomes compacted, it does not allow air and water to
get to the roots easily, and plants struggle to grow. To loosen
Preventing Pests 7

compacted soil and create air spaces so that water and nutrients
can reach the roots, buy or rent a tiller that breaks up the dirt
and turns it over. Before planting, add sand and
organic matter to enrich the soil mixture in your
garden plot. Also, have the soil tested periodically
to see whether you need to add more organic
matter or adjust the pH (acidity/alkalinity)
balance by adding lime or sulfur. Your
County Cooperative Extension Service, listed
in the telephone book, or local nursery should
be able to tell you how to do this.
u Mulch your garden with leaves, hay,
grass clippings, shredded/ chipped bark,
or seaweed.

Before planting, add organic matter to
enrich the soil mixture in your garden plot.
Lawn Care
Tending a garden may not be your hobby; but if you rent or own a
home, you might need to care for the lawn. You don't have to be an
expert to grow a healthy lawn. The key is to work with nature. You
need to create the right conditions for your grass to grow strong and
stay healthy. A healthy lawn can resist damage from weeds, disease,
and insect pests. Set realistic weed and pest control goals for your lawn.
Think of lawn care as a preventive health care program, like one
you would follow to stay healthy yourself. The goal is to prevent
problems from ever occurring.
Pesticides can be effective but should not be relied on as the
quick-fix solution to any lawn problem. Serious, ongoing pest
problems are often a sign that your lawn is not getting what it needs
to stay healthy. Pests may be a symptom of an underlying problem.
You need to correct the underlying problem to reduce the chances of
pests reappearing.
8 Preventing Pests

Make these six steps part of a preventive health care program
for your lawn:
Develop healthy soil that has the right pH balance, key
nutrients, and good texture. You can buy easy-to-use soil
analysis kits at hardware stores or contact your local County
Cooperative Extension Service for a soil analysis.
Choose a type of grass that grows well in your climate. For
instance, if your area gets very little rain, don't plant a type of
grass that needs a lot of water. Your local County Cooperative
Extension Service can advise you on which grasses grow best
in your area.
Mow high, mow often, and make sure the lawn mower blades
are sharp. Grass that is slightly long makes a strong, healthy
lawn with few pest problems. Weeds have a hard time taking
root and growing when grass is fairly long (around 2H to 3V2
inches for most types of grass). A foot-high meadow isn't
necessary; just adding an inch to the length of your grass will
give most lawns a real boost.
Water deeply but not too often. The best rule is to water only
when the lawn begins to wilt from dryness—when the color
dulls and footprints stay in the grass for more than a few
seconds. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day
because the water will evaporate too quickly.
Correct thatch buildup. Thatch is a layer of dead plant
material between the grass blades and the soil. When
thatch gets too thick (deeper than 3/t of an inch), it prevents
water and nutrients from getting into the soil and reaching
the roots of the grass. Overusing synthetic fertilizer can
create a heavy layer of thatch, and some kinds of grass are
prone to thatch buildup.
\VA*' * *
Get rid of excess thatch by raking the
lawn or using a dethatching rake.
Preventing Pests 9

In a healthy lawn, earthworms, spiders, millipedes, and a variety
of microorganisms help keep the thatch layer in balance by
breaking it up and using it for food, which releases nutrients into
the soil. You can get rid of excess thatch by raking the lawn
using a dethatching rake or by using a machine that pulls plugs
out of the grass and thatch layer to break it up. Sprinkle a thin
layer of topsoil or compost over the lawn after dethatching or
aerating it to speed up the process of decomposition.
6 Set realistic weed and pest control goals. It is almost impossible
to get rid of all weeds and pests. However, even a lawn that
is 15 percent weeds can look almost weed-free to the casual
observer. A healthy lawn will probably always have some
weeds and some insect pests. But a healthy lawn will also have
beneficial insects and other organisms like earthworms that keep
pests under control. Improper use of pesticides can kill these
beneficial organisms.
By following this preventive health care program for your lawn, you
should be able to rely very little, if at all, on chemical pesticides for
weed and insect pest control. For additional information, refer to
EPA's booklet Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment. (See page 42 in the
Reference Section.)
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10 Preventing Pests

Using Non-Chemical
Pest Gcntrols
Jr JL OU'VE GOT PESTS, and you want to control them with a
dependable pest control method that does not contain chemical
pesticides. Non-chemical pest control methods really work, and
they have many advantages. Compared to chemical treatments,
non-chemical methods are generally effective for longer periods of
time. They are less likely to create hardy pest populations that
develop the ability to resist pesticides. And many non-chemical
pest controls can be used with fewer safeguards, because they are
generally thought to pose virtually no hazards to human health or
the environment. Two examples of non-chemical pest control
methods are biological and manual treatments.
Biological Controls
Did you know that pests themselves may be eaten or otherwise
controlled by birds, insects, or other living organisms? You can
use a pest's natural enemies (predators) to your advantage. These
"biological controls," as they are called, take many forms:
u Beneficial predators such as purple martins and other birds
eat insects; bats can eat thousands of insects in one night; lady
beetles (ladybugs) and their larvae eat aphids, mealybugs,
whiteflies, and mites. Other beneficial bugs include spiders,
centipedes, ground beetles, lacewings, dragonflies, big-eyed
bugs, and ants. You can install a purple martin house in your
yard. You can also buy and release predatory insects. They are
available from sources such as gardening catalogs and magazines.
Contact your County Cooperative Extension Service, a nursery,
or a garden association for information on how to attract and
protect beneficial predators.
u Parasitoids such as miniature wasps lay their eggs inside the
eggs or bodies of insect pests such as tomato hornworms. Once
the eggs hatch, the offspring kill their insect hosts, making
parasitoids highly effective pest controllers.

u Microscopic pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses
control pests. An example is milky spore disease, which
attacks Japanese beetles. A number of these biological
pesticides are available commercially at hardware and
garden stores. (See page 43 in the Reference Section for
more information.)
u Biochemical pesticides include pheromones and juvenile
insect hormones. Pheromones are chemical substances
released by various organisms (including insects) as means
of communicating with others of the same species, usually
as an aid to mating. Pheromones lure pests inside a trap.
Juvenile insect hormones interfere with an insect's normal
growth and reproductive functions by mimicking the effects
of compounds that occur naturally in the pest.
Manual Methods
u Spading and hoeing to cut up weeds.
u Hand-picking weeds from your lawn and pests from
your plants, indoors or out.
Pheromone traps lure pests.
u Using a flyswatter.
u Setting traps to control rats, mice, and some insects,
u Mulching to reduce weed growth.
One or a combination of several non-chemical treatments may
be just what you need for your pest problem. You must be patient
because results may not be immediate. And you must work to
prevent pests from entering your home or garden in the first place.
12 Using Non-Chemical Pest Controls

Using Chemical
Pest Controls
.F YOU DECIDE that the best solution to your pest problem is
chemical—by itself or, preferably, combined with non-chemical
treatments—be aware that one of the greatest causes of pesticide
exposure to humans is the use of pesticides in and around the home.

Anyone can buy a wide variety of "off the shelf " pesticide products
to control weeds, unwanted insects, and other pests. No special
training is required to use these pesticides. Yet, many of the products
can be hazardous to people, especially when stored, handled, applied,
or disposed of improperly. The results achieved by using chemical
pesticides are generally temporary, and repeated treatments may
be required. Over time, some pests become pesticide resistant,
meaning they adapt to the chemical and are no longer harmed by
it. This forces you to choose another product or method. If used
incorrectly, home-use pesticide products can be poisonous Ji		
to humans. As a result, it is extremely important for
you to take responsibility for making sure that these
products are used properly. The basic steps in
reducing pesticide risks are—
u Choosing the right pesticide product.
u, Reading the product label.
u Determining the right amount to purchase
and use.
u Using the product safely and correctly,
u Storing and disposing of pesticides properly.
Each of these steps is described in more detail in
the sections that follow.
Choosing the right product is a basic step in
reducing pesticide risks.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 13

Choosing the Right Pesticide Product
Once you decide to use chemical pesticides, you must decide whether
to do the job yourself or hire a professional pest control service. If
you are interested in hiring professionals, see pages 36-38 for advice.
If you choose to tackle the job yourself, the next question is the most
important. Which pesticide product is the best one for your situation?
Home-use pesticides come in many forms—including solutions,
aerosols, dusts, granules, baits, and wettable powders. As the name
implies, wettable powders are usually mixed with water and/ or
other liquids and then applied. Pesticide solutions are often diluted
with water. Certain formulations work better for some pests and/ or
some target areas than others. Many pesticides also come in ready-to-
use forms, such as aerosols and spray bottles, which are often
more practical and easy to use because they don't require measuring
or mixing.
Before you buy a product, read the label! Compare product labels,
and learn as much as you can about the pesticide. Contact your
County Cooperative Extension Service (listed in the telephone book),
local pesticide dealers, the National Pesticide Information Center
(NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, or your state pesticide agency
for assistance. (See pages 45-48 in the Reference Section for
state contacts.)
Read the label before you
buy or use a pesticide product.
14 Using Chemical Pest Controls

When you are ready to buy a pesticide product, follow these
u First, be certain that you have identified the problem correctly.
Then, choose the least-toxic pesticide that will achieve
the results you want and be the least toxic to you and the
|| When the words "broad-spectrum" appear on the label,
this means the product is effective against a broad range of
pests. If the label says "selective," the product is effective
against one or a few pests.
u Find the signal word—either Danger, Warning, or Caution
on the pesticide label. The signal word tells you how poisonous
the product is to humans. (See page 16.)
u Choose the form of pesticide (aerosol, dust, bait, or other)
best suited to your target site and the pest you want to control.
Choose the form of pesticide best
suited to your target site and the
pest you want to control,
DSKEK, means poisonous or corrosive.
WMSflNG means moderately hazardous.
.CAUTLCJSjmeans least hazardous.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 15

Reading the Pesticide Label
The pesticide label is your best guide to using pesticides safely and
effectively The directions on the label are there primarily to help
you achieve "maximum" benefits —the pest control that you desire—
with "minimum" risk. Both depend on following label directions
arid correctly using the pesticide. Read the label. Read the label
before buying the pesticide. Read the label before mixing or using the
pesticide each time, and read the label before storing or disposing of
the pesticide. Do not trust your memory. You may have forgotten
part of the label instructions or they may have changed. Use of any
pesticide in any way that is not consistent with label directions and
precautions is illegal. It may also be ineffective and, even worse,
The main sections of a pesticide label are described below:
Keep out of reach of children.
See back panel lor additional
precautionary statements.
EPA Rtfl. No XXX-00-YYY J
Signal Words, The signal words—Caution, Warning, or Danger—
indicate the pesticide's potential for making you sick. The word
CAUTION appears on pesticides that are the least
harmful to you. A pesticide with the word
WARNING is more poisonous than those with
a Caution label. Pesticides with the word DANGER
on the label are very poisonous or irritating. They
should be used with extreme care because they
can severely bum your skin and eyes.
1EPA Registration Number. This number tells you that EPA
has reviewed the product and determined that it can be used
with minimal or low risk if you follow the directions on the label
properly. The number is not a stamp of approval or guarantee
of effectiveness.
Ingredients Statement or Active Ingredients. Active ingredients
are the chemicals in the pesticide that kill or control the target pest(s).
Main sections on front label.
16 Using Chemical Pest Controls

Precautionary Statements. This part describes the protective
clothing, such as gloves or goggles, that you should wear when
using the pesticide. The section also tells you how to protect
children or pets by keeping them away from areas treated
with pesticides.
Environmental Hazards. This section tells you if the product
can cause environmental damage—if it's harmful to wildlife,
fish, endangered plants or animals, wetlands, or water.
Directions for Use. Make sure that the product is labeled
for use against the pest(s) that you are trying to control.
(For example, products labeled only for
termites should not be used to control fleas.)
Use only the amounts recommended, and
follow the directions exactly.
First Aid Instructions. The label tells you
what to do if someone is accidentally
poisoned by the pesticide. Look for this
information in the Statement of Practical
Treatment section. The instructions are only
first aid. ALWAYS call a doctor or your local
poison center. You may have to take
the person to a hospital right away after
giving first aid. Remember to take the
pesticide label or container with you.
Storage and Disposal. Read carefully and
follow all directions for safe storage and
disposal of pesticide products. Always keep
products in the original container and out
of reach of children, in a locked cabinet or
locked garden shed.
InsectSpray contains
DIRECTIONS FOR USE: It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a
manner inconsistent with its labeling —
EPA Reg. No XXX-00-YYY
Distributed by InsectSpray, inc.
Main sections on back label.
Some pesticides have small foldout booklets
containing the label information.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 17

Determining the Correct Amount To Use
Many products can be bought in a convenient ready-to-use form,
such as in spray cans or spray bottles, that won't require any mixing.
However, if you buy a product that has to be measured out or mixed
with water, prepare only the amount of pesticide that you need for
the area where you plan to use the pesticide (target area). The label
on a pesticide product contains much useful information, but there
isn't always room to include examples of different dilutions for every
home use. Thus, it is important to know how to measure volume
and figure out the exact size of the area where you want to apply the
pesticide. Determining the correct amount for your immediate use
requires some careful calculations. Use the following example as an
illustration of how to prepare only the amount of pesticide needed
for your immediate pest control problem.
w\\\ \
An example: The product label says, "For the control of
aphids on tomatoes, mix 8 fluid ounces of pesticide into
1 gallon of water and spray until foliage is wet." You have
only 6 tomato plants. From experience, you know that
1 gallon is too much, and that you really need only 1 quart
of water to wet the leaves on these 6 plants. A quart is only
Vt of a gallon. Because you want to use less water than
the label says, you need less pesticide. You need only
XU of the pesticide amount listed on the label—only
2 fluid ounces. This makes the same strength spray
recommended by the label, and is the appropriate
amount for the 6 tomato plants.
In short, all you need to do is figure the amount of
pesticide you need for the size of your target area,
using good measurements and careful arithmetic. For
help in making these calculations, see pages 39-41 in
the Reference Section.
When using pesticides that must
be mixed, determine the correct
amount for your immediate use.
Caution: When you use cups, teaspoons, or tablespoons
to measure pesticides, use only level measures or level
spoonfuls. NEVER use the same tools that you use for
measuring pesticides — spoons, cups, bottles—to prepare
food, even if you've washed them.
18 Using Chemical Pest Controls

Using Pesticides Safely and Correct ly
Once you have read the pesticide label and are familiar with
all precautions, including first aid instructions, follow these
recommendations to reduce your risks:
Before Using a Pest icide
u Wear the items of protective clothing the label requires:
for example, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, overalls, non-
absorbent gloves (not leather or fabric), rubber footwear (not
canvas or leather), a hat, goggles, or a dust mist filter. If no
specific clothing is listed, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long
pants, and closed shoes are recommended. You can buy
protective clothing and equipment at hardware stores or
building supply stores.
When Mixing or Applying a Pesticide
u Never smoke or eat while mixing or applying pesticides. You
could easily carry traces of the pesticide from your hands to
your mouth. Also, some pesticide products are flammable.
u Follow the use directions on the label carefully. Use only for the
purpose listed. Use only the amount directed, at the time and
under the conditions specified. Don't change the recommended
amount. Don't think that twice the amount will do twice the job.
It won't. You could harm yourself, others, or whatever you are
trying to protect.
u If the directions on the label tell you to mix or dilute the
pesticide, do so outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Use
the amount listed on the label and measure the pesticide
carefully. (Never use the same measuring cups or spoons that
you use in the kitchen.) Mix only the amount that
you need for each application. Do not prepare
larger amounts to store for possible future
use. (See ''Determining the Correct Amount To Use"
on page 18.)
When using a pesticide—
4	Read and follow the label directions.
4	Wear protective clothing.
4	Don't smoke or eat.
4	Mix and apply only the amount you need.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 19

u Keep children, pets (including birds and fish), and toys
(including pet toys) away from areas where you mix and
apply pesticides for at least the length of time required
on the label.
u Never transfer pesticides to other containers, such as
empty soft drink or milk bottles. Keep pesticides in
their original containers — ones that clearly identify
the contents. Refasten all childproof caps tightly.
If a spill occurs, clean it up promptly. Don't
wash it away. Instead, sprinkle the spill with
sawdust, vermiculite, or kitty litter. Sweep it
into a plastic garbage bag, and dispose of it as
directed on the pesticide product label.
u Indoors or outdoors, never put bait for insects
or rats, mice, and other rodents where small
children or pets can reach it. When using
traps, make sure the animal inside is dead
before you touch or open the trap.
Indoor Applications
u Use pesticides indoors only when absolutely necessary, and use
only very limited amounts.
Mix pesticides outdoors
or in a well-ventilated area.
-Will// .
« It
u Provide adequate ventilation. If the label directions permit,
leave all windows open and fans operating after the application
is completed. If the pesticide product is only effective in an
unventilated (sealed) room or house, do not stay there. Put
all pets outdoors, and take yourself and your family away
from treated areas for at least the length of time prescribed
on the label.
u Apply most surface sprays only to limited areas such as cracks;
don't treat entire floors, walls, or ceilings.
u Remove food, pots and pans, and dishes before treating kitchen
cabinets. Don't let pesticides get on any surfaces that are used
for food preparation. Wait until shelves dry before refilling
them. Wash any surfaces that may have pesticide residues
before placing food on them.
Using Chemical Pest Controls

Outdoor Applications
u Never apply pesticides outdoors on a windy day (winds higher
than 10 mph). Position yourself so that a light breeze does not
blow pesticide spray or dust into your face.
u Before spraying, close the doors and windows of your home.
u Use coarse droplet nozzles on your sprayer to reduce misting,
and spray as close to the target as possible.
u Keep pesticides away from plants and wildlife you do not
want to treat. Do not apply any pesticide to blooming plants,
especially if you see honeybees or other pollinating insects
around them. Do not spray bird nests when treating trees.
u Follow label directions carefully to ensure that you don't apply
too much pesticide to your lawn, shrubs, or garden. Never
water your lawn after applying pesticides. Before using a
pesticide outdoors, check the label or contact your EPA Regional
Office or County Cooperative Extension Service
to find out whether the pesticide is known or
suspected to run off or seep into ground water.
Ground water is the underground reservoir that
supplies water to wells, springs, creeks, and the
like. Excessive application of pesticides could
cause the pesticide to run off or seep into water
supplies and contaminate them. Excess spray
may also leave harmful residues on your home-
grown fruit and vegetables, and could affect
other plants, wildlife, and fish.
Never mix or apply a pesticide near a wellhead.
If you have a well, be sure it extends downward
to water sources that are below, and isolated
from, surface water sources. Be sure the well
shaft is tightly sealed. For further information,
see EPA's brochure Pesticides in Drinking Water
Wells. (See page 42 for information on how to
order a copy from EPA's National Service Center for
Environmental Publications.)
u When using total release foggers to control pests, the most
important precautions you can take are to use no more than
the amount needed and to keep foggers away from ignition
sources (ovens, stoves, air conditioners, space heaters, and
water heaters, for example). Foggers should not be used in
small, enclosed places such as closets and cabinets or under
tables and counters.

Ld Li ia

Keep children and pets away from
areas where you apply pesticides.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 21

After Applying a Pesticide, Indoors or Outdoors
u To remove pesticide residues, use a bucket to thoroughly rinse tools
or equipment that you used when mixing the pesticide. Then pour
the rinse water into the pesticide sprayer and reuse the solution by
applying it according to the pesticide product label directions. (See
pages 24-25 for safe disposal guidelines.)
u Always wash your hands after applying any pesticide. Wash
any other parts of your body that may have come in contact with
the pesticide. To prevent tracking pesticides inside, remove or
rinse your boots or shoes before entering your home. Wash sepa-
rately from your regular wash any clothes that have been exposed
to pesticide.
u Evaluate the results of your pesticide use. Consider using a
different chemical, a non-chemical method, or a combination
of non-chemical and chemical methods if the chemical
treatment didn't work. Again, do not assume that using
more pesticide than the label recommends
will do a better job. It won't.
u Watch for negative effects on
wildlife (birds, butterflies, and
bees) in and near treated areas.
If you see any unusual behavior,
stop using that pesticide, and
contact EPA's Pesticide Incident
Response Officer (see page 35).
Wash clothing worn when using pesticides
separately from other laundry.
22 Using Chemical Pest Controls

Storing and Disposing of Pesticides Properly
Improper pesticide storage and disposal can be hazardous to human
health and the environment. Follow these safety recommendations:
Safe Stores of Pesticides
u Don't stockpile. Reduce storage needs by buying only the
amount of pesticide that you will need in the near future or
during the current season when the pest is active.
|| Store flammable liquids outside your living area and far away
from an ignition source such as a furnace, a car, an outdoor grill,
or a power lawn mower.
u Never store pesticides in cabinets with or near food, animal feed,
or medical supplies.
u Always store pesticides in their original containers, complete
with labels that list ingredients, directions for use, and first aid
steps in case of accidental poisoning.
u Never transfer pesticides to soft drink bottles or other containers.
Children or others may mistake them for something to eat
or drink.
u Use child-resistant packaging correctly—close the container
tightly after using the product. Child resistant does not mean
child proof, so you still must be extra careful to store properly—
out of children's reach—even those products that are sold in
child-resistant packaging.
u Do not store pesticides in places where flooding is possible or in
places where they might spill or leak into wells, drains, ground
water, or surface water.
u If you can't identify the contents of the container, or
if you can't tell how old the contents are, follow the
advice on safe disposal in the next section.
u Follow all storage instructions on the pesticide label.
Store pesticides in a locked
cabinet out of reach of
children and pets.
u Store pesticides high enough so that they are out of reach
of children and pets. Keep all pesticides in a locked cabinet
in a well-ventilated utility area or garden shed.
or drink.
Never transfer pesticides to soft
drink bottles or other containers
that children or others may
mistake for something to eat
or drink.
Using Chemical Pest Controls 23

Safe Disposal of Pesticides
u The best way to dispose of small amounts of excess pesticides is
to use them—apply them—according to the directions on the
label. If you cannot use them, ask your neighbors whether they
have a similar pest control problem and can use them.
u If all of the remaining pesticide cannot be properly used,
check with your local solid waste agency, environmental agency,
or health department to find out whether your community has a
household hazardous waste collection program or a similar
program for getting rid of unwanted, leftover pesticides. These
authorities can also inform you of any local requirements for
pesticide waste disposal.
u Earth 911 (1-800-CLEANUP or www.earth911.com) is another
source for information about disposal and special waste collection
programs in your local area.
u If no community program or guidance exists, follow the label directions
for disposal. Under federal law, it is legal to dispose of residential pesticides
in the trash. However, state and local laws regarding pesticide disposal may
be stricter than the federal requirements.
u An empty pesticide container can be as hazardous as a full one
because of residues left inside. Never reuse such a container.
When empty, replace the cap or closure securely and place in
trash. Dispose of the container according to label instructions. Do
not puncture or burn a pressurized or aerosol container—it could
u Many communities have programs to recycle household waste
such as empty bottles and cans. Do not recycle any pesticide
containers, however, unless the recycling program specifically
accepts pesticide containers and you follow the program's instruc-
tions for preparing the empty containers for collection.
Be sure to check with your state or local solid waste agency
before dispos-ing of your pesticide containers.
Do not pour leftover pesticides
down the sink, into the toilet, or
down a sewer or street drain.
u Do not pour leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet,
or down a sewer or street drain. Pesticides may interfere
with the operation of wastewater treatment systems or
pollute waterways. Many municipal systems are not
equipped to remove all pesticide residues. If pesticides reach
waterways, they may harm fish, plants, and other living
24 Using Chemical Pest Controls

Using Chemical Pest Controls

Reducing Your Exposure
When Others Use Pesticides
Even if you never use pesticides yourself, you
can still be exposed to them—at home, school, work, or play—by
being in treated areas, as a consumer of commodities that others
have treated with pesticides, or through food, water, and air that
may have been contaminated with pesticides.
This section describes sources of exposure other than your own use
of pesticides. It also suggests ways to reduce your overall exposure.
If you know or suspect that you, or others close to you, are sensitive
to chemicals, consult an expert who can help you develop a strategy
for handling your potential exposure problems.
Exposure Through Food
Commercial Food
To ensure a safe food supply, EPA regulates the safety of food by
setting safety standards to limit the amount of pesticide residues that
legally may remain in or on food or animal feed that is sold in the
United States. Both domestic and imported foods are monitored by
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure compliance with these safety
Because most crops are treated with pesticides at least some of the
time, foods you buy at the grocery store may contain small traces
of pesticide residues. Pesticide levels tend to decline over time
because the residues break down and because crops are usually
washed and processed before reaching the marketplace. So, while
we all consume small amounts of pesticides regularly, levels in our
food generally are well below legal limits by the time the food
reaches the grocery shelves.
Although EPA sets safety standards for the amount of pesticide
residues allowed both in and on foods, you can take extra precautions
to reduce the traces of pesticide residues you and your
family consume in the food you buy. Follow these suggestions:
u Trim the fat from meat and poultry because residues of some
pesticides concentrate in fat. Remove the skin from fish.
u Discard the fats and oils in broths and pan drippings.
Reducing Your Exposure When Others Use Pesticides


u Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water. Scrub
them with a brush and peel them, if possible. Taking
these safety steps will remove most of the existing
surface residues, along with any remaining dirt.
Note that surface cleaning (rinsing and scrubbing)
will not remove pesticide residues that are
absorbed into the growing fruit or vegetable
before harvest.
u Cook or bake foods to reduce residues of
some pesticides even further.
Home-Grown Food
Growing your own food can be an enjoyable
activity. It is also a way to reduce your exposure to
pesticide residues in food — especially if you decide
not to use chemical pesticides on your produce and
you choose a garden site where drift or runoff from a
neighbor's use of pesticides will not result in unintended
residues on your food. If your house or property is regularly
treated for pest prevention, don't plant your garden where the
treatments are applied.
Food from the Wild
While it may seem that hunting your own game, catching your
own fish, or gathering wild plant foods would reduce your overall
exposure to pesticides, that isn't necessarily true. If you eat wild
animals or plants from areas where pesticides are frequently used,
this food may contain pesticide residues. In addition, birds such as
ducks and geese may absorb pesticide residues if they have stopped
to eat treated crops anywhere along their flight path.
If you eat food from the wild, you may want to take the following steps
to reduce your exposure to pesticides:
|| Do not fish in water bodies where contamination has occurred.
Pay attention to posted signs that warn of contamination.
Consult with fish and game officials or other appropriate officials
where you plan to hunt or fish to determine whether there are
any chemical problems associated with the area.
Do not pick wild plants that are growing right next to a road,
utility right-of-way, or hedgerow between farm fields. These
areas may have been treated with pesticides.
u When preparing wild foods, trim fat from the meat. Discard the
skin from fish.
Rinse fruits and vegetables with water.
Scrub them with a brush and peel them,
if possible.
Reducing Your Exposure When Others Use Pesticides

Do not fish in water bodies where
contamination has occurred.
EPA sets standards for chemicals that
may be found in drinking water.
Exposure Through Water
When pesticides are applied to land, a certain amount may run off
into streams and rivers. This runoff, together with industrial waste,
may result in low-level contamination of surface water. In certain
settings—for example, when sandy soil lies over a ground-water
source that is near the surface—pesticides can seep down through
the soil to the ground water.
To ensure a safe supply of drinking water, EPA's Office of Water sets
standards for pesticides and other chemicals that may be found in
drinking water. Municipal water systems test their water periodically
and provide treatment or alternate supply sources if residue
problems occur. Generally, private wells are not tested unless the
well owner requests an analysis. If you get your drinking water
from a private well —
u Contact your state or local health department if you have any
questions about pesticide or other chemical residues in your
well water.
u If your well water is analyzed and found to contain pesticide
residue levels above established or recommended health
standards, use an alternate water source such as bottled water
for drinking and cooking. The safest choice is distilled spring
water in glass bottles. If you buy water from a local bottler, ask
for the results of any recent pesticide analysis of the bottled water.
Exposure Through Air
Air currents may carry pesticides that were applied on properties
nearby. You can reduce your exposure outdoors to airborne pesticide
residues, or drift, by following these recommendations:
u If a close neighbor or someone else is applying pesticides
outdoors near your home, you may want to stay indoors
with your children and pets. Keep windows and exterior
doors closed.
u If you live near fields, parks, or other areas that receive
regular pesticide treatment, consider planting a group of hardy,
thick-branched trees or shrubs to help serve as a buffer zone
and windbreak.

Reducing Your Exposure When Others Use Pesticides

u Careless application can lead to drift or direct spraying of non-
target sites. If your property is accidentally sprayed during an
aerial pesticide application, you should call your local, state,
or regional pesticide office. (See pages 44-48 in the Reference
Section for phone numbers.) If you or someone in your family is
accidentally sprayed, wash pesticide off immediately and change
into clean clothes. Then call your local poison center at
Some local governments require public notice before area-wide
or broad-scale pesticide spraying activities take place. Affected
residents are notified through newspaper announcements, fliers,
letters, or signs posted in areas to be treated. Some communities
have also enacted "right-to-know" ordinances that require public
notice (usually through posting) of lawn treatments and other
small-scale outdoor pesticide uses.
Air out the building adequately after
a pesticide is applied indoors.
The air you breathe may contain low levels of pesticide residues
long after a pesticide has been applied to objects inside a building
or to indoor surfaces and crawl spaces, or after it has been tracked
in from outside. Pesticides break down and disappear more slowly
indoors than outdoors. In addition, many homes have built-in
energy efficiency features that reduce the exchange of indoor and
outdoor air and thus aggravate the problem. To limit your exposure
to indoor pesticide residues —
Air out the building adequately after a pesticide is applied
indoors. Open doors and windows, and run overhead,
whole-house, or window fans to exchange indoor air for
outdoor air rapidly and completely.
If you suspect that the air in your building is contaminated,
consult knowledgeable professionals in your local or state
health department or the National Pesticide Information Center at
1-800-858-7378, seven days a week, from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Pacific Time (9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Eastern Time) for advice on the
appropriate steps to take.
Reducing Your Exposure When Others Use Pesticides

Poisoned by Pest icides:
Don't Let This Happen
to Your Chi Id!
A 5-year-old boy drinks from a bottle of bleach that he
finds under the bathroom sink.
A 3-year-old girl tries to spray her hair the way
mommy does, but sprays an aerosol disinfectant
in her eyes instead.
A baby who has just begun to crawl eats green
pebbles from behind the sofa. They look like
candy, but are really rat poison.
These accidents could happen to your children or
to children visiting your home if you don't store
pesticides out of their reach or if you don't read the
label carefully before using the pesticide product.
The dangers are real. Each year thousands of children are
exposed to or poisoned by a household pesticide product
that is used or stored incorrectly.
Whether or not you have young children in your home, take the
following precautions to protect all children from unintentional
pesticide poisonings or exposures:
u Always store pesticides and other household chemicals up high,
out of children's reach, in a locked cabinet or garden shed.
Installing child-proof safety latches or padlocks on cupboards and
cabinets is a good idea. Safety latches are available at your local
hardware store or building supply warehouse.
u Before applying pesticides — indoors or outdoors—remove
children and their toys, along with any pets and their toys,
from the area. Keep them away from the area that has been
treated until the pesticide has dried and for at least the length
of time recommended on the pesticide label.
u If you are interrupted while applying a pesticide—by a phone
call, for example—be sure to close the pesticide container
properly and put it out of reach of any child who may come
into the area while you are gone.
Where do you store your pesticides?
A nationwide study conducted
by EPA revealed that almost half
(approximately 47 percent) of surveyed
households with children under the age
of 5 had at least one pesticide stored
within their reach.
Poisoned by Pesticides: Don't Let This Happen to Your Child!

u Never remove labels from containers, and never transfer
pesticides to other containers. Children may mistake them for
food or drink.
Store pesticides out of children's reach.
u Never put rodent or insect baits where small children can find
them, pick them up, and put them in their mouths.
u Make sure you close any container marked "child resistant" very
tightly after you use the product. Check periodically to make
sure the product is securely closed. Child resistant does not
mean child proof, so you should still be careful with products
that are sold in child-resistant packaging.
u Make sure others—especially babysitters, grandparents,
and other caregivers—know about the potential hazards
of pesticides.
u Teach children that "pesticides are poisons" — something they
should never touch or eat.
u Keep the poison center telephone number
(1-800-222-1222) near each phone. Have the
pesticide container handy when you call.
Poisoned by Pesticides: Don't Let This Happen to Your Child! 31

Handl ing a Pesticide
' He 1 p! Someone' s Been Po i soned!
What To Do in a Pesticide Emergency
If the person is unconscious,
having trouble breathing,
or having convulsions,
ACT FASTI Speed is crucial.
Give needed first aid immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency
If possible, have someone
else call for emergency help
while you give first aid.
If the person is awake or conscious,
not having trouble breathing, and
not having convulsions . . .
Read the label for first aid
Call your local poison center at
1-800-222-1222, or the National Pesticide
Information Center at 1-800-858-7378.
Give first aid.
32 Handling a Pesticide Emergency

First Aid for Pesticide Poisoning
When you realize a pesticide poisoning has occurred or is occurring,
try to determine what the victim was exposed to and what part of
the body was affected before you take action—taking the right
action is as important as taking immediate action. If the person is
unconscious, having trouble breathing, or having convulsions, ACT
FAST! Speed is crucial. Give needed first aid immediately. Call 911
or your local emergency service. If possible, have someone else call
for emergency help while you give first aid. If the person is awake or
conscious, not having trouble breathing, and not having convulsions,
read the label for first aid instructions. Call your local poison center at
1-800-222-1222 or the National Pesticide Information Center at
1-800-858-7378. Give first aid.
Read the Statement of Practical Treatment section on the product
label. The appropriate first aid treatment depends on the kind of
poisoning that has occurred. Follow these general guidelines:
u. Swallowed poison. A conscious victim should drink a small
amount of water to dilute the pesticide. Induce vomiting only if a
poison center or physician advises you to do so. Call the poison
center at 1-800-222-1222.
If a poisoning has occurred, call for help, and be ready to read
information from the pesticide label.
Poison on skin. Drench skin with water for at least 15 minutes.
Remove contaminated clothing. Wash skin and hair thoroughly
with soap and water. Later, discard contaminated clothing or
thoroughly wash it separately from other laundry.
Chemical bum on skin. Drench skin with water for
at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing. Cover
burned area immediately with loose, clean, soft cloth. Do
not apply ointments, greases, powders, or
other drugs. Later, discard contami-
nated clothing or thoroughly wash i
separately from other laundry.
Poison in eye. Hold eyelid open
and wash eye quickly and
gently with clean cool running
water from the tap or a hose
for 15 minutes or more. Use
only water; do not use eye
drops, chemicals, or drugs in the
eye. Eye membranes absorb
pesticides faster than any other
external part of the body, and eye
damage can occur in a few minutes with
some types of pesticides.
Handling a Pesticide Emergency 33

u Inhaled poison. If the victim is outside, move or carry the
victim away from the area where pesticides were recently
applied. If the victim is inside, carry or move the victim to
fresh air immediately. If you think you need protection like a
respirator before helping the victim, call the Fire Department
and wait for emergency equipment before entering the area.
Loosen the victim's tight clothing. If the victim's skin is blue
or the victim has stopped breathing, give artificial respiration
(if you know how) and call 911 for help. Open doors and
windows so no one else will be poisoned by fumes.
What. To Do After First Aid
u First aid may precede but should not replace professional
medical treatment. After giving first aid, call the poison center at
1-800-222-1222. Have the pesticide label at hand when you call.
u If emergency treatment is needed in a doctor's office or emergency
room, carry the container in your trunk or flatbed away from
the passengers in your vehicle. The doctor needs to know what
active ingredient is in the pesticide before prescribing treatment.
This information is on the label, which sometimes also includes
a telephone number to call for additional treatment information.
Another good resource in a pesticide emergency is NPIC,
the National Pesticide Information Center, a toll-free
telephone service that operates seven days a week, from
6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Pacific Time (9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Eastern Time). NPIC provides information on pesticides
and how to recognize and respond to pesticide poisonings.
If necessary, staff at NPIC can transfer your call directly to
a local poison center. Call NPIC toll free at
NPIC staff answer questions about animal porsonings, too. To keep
your pets from being poisoned, follow label directions on flea and
tick products carefully. If you are concerned about the chemicals
used in these products, consult your veterinarian.
How To Recognize Pesticide Poisoning
External irritants that contact skin may cause skin damage such as
redness, itching, or pimples. External irritants may also cause an
allergic skin reaction that produces redness, swelling, or blistering.
The mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat are also
quite sensitive to chemicals. Pesticide exposure may cause stinging
and swelling in these membranes.
National Pesticide
Informat ion Center ;
Cal 1 Tol 1 Free 1 -800^858-7378,
34 Handling a Pesticide Emergency

Internal injuries also may occur if a pesticide is swallowed, inhaled,
or absorbed through the skin. Symptoms vary from organ to organ.
Lung injury may result in shortness of breath, drooling (heavy
salivation), or rapid breathing. Direct injury to the stomach and
intestines may produce nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or
diarrhea. Injury to the nervous system may cause excessive fatigue,
sleepiness, headache, muscle twitching and numbness. In general,
different types of pesticides produce different sets of symptoms.
If someone develops symptoms after working with
pesticides, seek medical help immediately to
determine if the symptoms are pesticide related.
In certain cases, blood or urine should be collected
for analysis, or other specific exposure tests can be
made. It is better to be too cautious than too late.
Avoid potential health problems by minimizing
your exposure to pesticides. Follow all the safety
recommendations on pages 19-25.
EPA wants to know about any adverse
effects assocmtad with pesticide Majeure
If you haNe such information, ccntaet—
Pesticide Incident Response Officer
Office of Pesticide Programs (7506P)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Handling a Pesticide Emergency 35

Choosing a
Pest Control Company
-£0 IF YOU HAVE a pest control problem that you do not want
to handle on your own, you may decide to turn to a professional
applicator. How can you be sure that the pest control company you
hire will do a good job? Before you choose a company, get answers
to these questions:
Is the company licensed?
Most state or local agencies issue state pest control licenses.
Make sure the pest control operator's licence is current if one is
required in your state. Also, ask if the company's employees are
bonded, meaning that the company reimburses you for any loss
or damage caused by the employee.
You may want to contact your state pesticide agency to find out
about its pesticide certification and training programs and to ask
whether periodic recertification is required for pest control
operators. (See pages 45-48 for addresses and phone numbers.)
In addition, possession of a city license—where they are
issued—is one more assurance that the company you are
dealing with is reputable and responsible.
Is the company willing and able to discuss the treatment
proposed for your home?
Selecting a pest control service is just as important as selecting
other professional services. Look for the same high degree of
competence you would expect from a doctor or lawyer. Any
company, including those advertising themselves as "green,"
should inspect your premises and outline a recommended
control program, including the—
u Pests to be controlled.
u Extent of the problem.
u Active ingredient(s) in the pesticide chosen.
u Potential adverse health effects and typical symptoms of
poisoning associated with the active ingredient.
u Form of the pesticide and application techniques.
u Non-chemical alternatives available.
Choosing a Pest Control Company

u Special instructions to reduce your exposure to the pesticide
(such as vacating the house, emptying the cupboards, and
removing pets).
u Steps to take to minimize your pest problems in the future.
Does the company have a good track record?
Don't rely on the company salesperson to answer this question.
Research the answer yourself. Ask neighbors and friends if they
have ever dealt with the company. Were they satisfied with the
service they received? Call your state or local pesticide regulatory
agency and find out if they have received complaints about the
Does the company have appropriate insurance? Can the
salesperson show proof on paper that the company is insured?
Most contractors carry general liability insurance, including
insurance for sudden and accidental pollution. Their insurance
gives you a certain degree of protection should an accident occur
while pesticides are being applied in your home. Contractors
may also carry workmen's compensation insurance, which can
help protect you should one of their employees
be injured while working in or around your
apartment or house. Although most states do
not require pest control companies to buy
insurance, you should think twice before
hiring a company that is not insured.
Does the company guarantee its work?
You should be skeptical about a company
that does not guarantee its work. In addition,
be sure to find out what you must do to keep
your part of the bargain. For example, in
the case of termite control treatments, the
company's guarantee may become invalid
if you make structural alterations to your
home without giving prior notice to the
pest control company.
Is the company affiliated with a
professional pest control association?
Professional associations—national,
state, or local—keep members informed
of new developments in pest control
methods, safety, training research, and
regulations. Members agree to honor a
code of ethics. The fact that a company,
small or large, chooses to join a professional
association signals its concern for quality.
Ask questions before choosing a pesticide company.
Choosing a Pest Control Company 37

You and the company of your choice should develop the contract
together. Your safety concerns should be noted and reflected in
the choice of pesticides to be used. These concerns may include
allergies, sensitivities, age of occupants (infants or elderly), resident
pets, and treatment near wildlife and fish. Wise consumers get bids
from two or three companies and look at value more than price.
What appears to be a bargain may warrant a second look.
If you hire a pest control firm to do the job, ask the company to use
the least toxic chemical method available that will do the job. Ask
to see the label or Material Safety Data Sheet, which will show
precautionary warnings.
Hiring a company to take care of your pest problem does not mean
your job is over. You must evaluate the results. If you believe
something has gone wrong with the pesticide application, contact
the company and/ or your state pesticide agency. Be a responsible,
wise consumer and keep asking questions until your pests are
under control.
38 Choosing a Pest Control Company

Reference Section
Calculating the Correct Amount of Pesticide To
Use for Your Target Area
To determine the size of your target area outdoors (usually a square
or rectangular part of your lawn or garden), measure each side and
multiply the length times the width. For example, if you want to
apply a pesticide in an area that is 15 feet long and 15 feet wide,
multiply 15 x 15 to get a total of 225 square feet.
When you read the label for pesticides commonly applied outdoors,
you will see measurements in square feet or in square yards. A section
of lawn that is 1 yard long x 1 yard wide has an area of 1 square yard.
Because 1 yard = 3 feet, another way to calculate the same area is
this: 3 feet long x 3 feet wide = 9 square feet = 1 square yard.
To know the size of your target area indoors, you may need to
determine the volume of a room. You must calculate the volume
of a room, for instance, before using a bug bomb
(aerosol release) to control cockroaches or fleas.
In a case like this, measure and multiply the room's
length times width times height. For example, if
the kitchen in your apartment is 6 feet long, 5 feet
wide, and 8 feet high, its volume is 240 cubic feet
(6 x 5 = 30 x 8 = 240).

Tables 1 to 3 (on pages 40-41) give examples for
changing measurements you find on the pesticide
label to match your specific target area and pest
For most pesticide uses in and around
the home, you need to know some
common ways to measure volume and
some common abbreviations:
I gallon (gal.) = 16 cups
= 8 pints (pt.)
= 4 quarts (qt.)
= 128 fluid ounces (fl, oz.)
I quart (qt.) =4 cups
= 2pt.
= 32 fl. oz.
I pint (pt.) =2 cups
= 16 fl. oz.
I cup	= 8 fl. oz.
I tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
= '/2fi.OZ.
I teaspoon = '/<= fl. oz.
I sq. yard	= 9 square feet = 3 ft. long x
3 ft. wide
Measurements are based on standard measuring
utensils, not on tableware.
Reference Section 39

Not all amounts are included in the tables. For amounts not
included, use the following notes as a guide:
u To figure the amount of a ready-to-use pesticide (not to be
diluted with water), you must change the quantity of pesticide
in the same way that you change the area/ volume/number of
items treated to keep the correct proportion.
For example—
/? lb. of pesticide _ % lb. of pesticide
per 1,000 sq. ft. — per 500 sq. ft.
u To figure the amount of a pesticide that is to be diluted with
water, you must change the quantity of pesticide and the
quantity of water in the same way that you change the area/
volume/number of items treated to keep the correct proportion.
For example—
1 lb. of pesticide	/ lb. of pesticide
in 2 gals, of water	= in 1 gal. of water
per 2,000 sq. ft.	per 1,000 sq. ft.
TABLE I —Diluting Pesticides with Water
Unit stands for any measure of pesticide quantity. Read across.
Pesticide Label Says:
Mix"x" Units of
Pesticide...	You mix...
8 units per I gal. water	2 units per I qt. water or	I unit per I pt. water
16 units per I gal. water	4 units per I qt. water	or	2 units per I pt. water
32 units per I gal. water	8 units per I qt. water	or	4 units per I pt. water
128 units per I gal. water	32 units per I qt. water	or	16 units per I pt. water
40 Reference Section

TABLE 2 — Measuring Pesticides for a Surface Application
Unit stands for any measure of pesticide quantity. Read across.
Pesticide Label Says:
Apply "x" Units of	Your surface measures...
20,000 sq.ft.
10,000 sq. ft.
500 sq.ft.
I unit per 1,000 sq. ft.
Apply: 20 units
10 units
Vi unit
2 units per 1,000 sq.ft.
40 units
20 units
1 unit
5 units per 1,000 sq.ft.
100 units
50 units
2/i units
10 units per 1,000 sq. ft.
200 units
100 units
5 units
TABLE 3 — Buying Pesticides for a Room Application
Read across.
Pesticide Label Says:
Release One Aerosol	Your room measures...
Can...	20,000 cu. ft. 10,000 cu. ft. 5,000 cu. ft.
10,000 cu.ft.
2 cans
1 can
don't use
5,000 cu.ft.

4 cans
2 cans
1 can
2,500 cu.ft.

8 cans
4 cans
2 cans
You may need to measure quant i t i efe
of jest icicles that are too small to to;
measured accurately with common
measurirg tools as,ai lable--at heme.
In this ease, voushiilch
4 Search for another pesticide product
or a less concentrated form of the
same pesticide.
4 Find a more accurate measuring
device, such as a graduated cylinder or
a scale that measures small weights.
Reference Section 41

For More Information
Visit Our Web Site
For more information on pesticides, pesticide safety, and pest control,
visit our Web site at www.epa.gov/pesticides. A wide variety of infor-
mation is available, including:
u	Fact sheets
u	Frequent questions
u	Information sources
u	Publications
u	Health and safety
u	Environmental effects
u	Controllirigpests
u	Regulating pesticides
u	Science arid policy
u Access to local/regional
u Materials for kids
Order Publications
You may order pesticide
publications two ways:
1. Call the National Service
Center for Environmental
Publications at
1-800-490-9198 or
Home and Garden Web Resources:
\ Control 1 u"g Basts (EPA)
v Control 1 i.ng JfcSfluita® „
v Bm to Use Insect Repellents Safelv (EPA)
v Sxwi rpnfflfental Ij^BerSgf icial Landscaping
H©;lp Your^ilf: to A Seal thy Elai^: J
Cooperative State Research, ESAicaticti,
and Extension Sen ice State Partners
(U S Etepartamt of Agriculture)
2. Order the publications
from the Center's Web site
at http:/ / www.epa.gov/ncepihom/ordering.htm
Other sources for information about pesticides, pesticide safety, and
pest control include:
u National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
Telephone: 1-800-858-7378
Web site: www.npic.orst.edu
E-mail: npic@ace.orst.edu

NPIC is an EPA-sponsored toll-free service that provides objective,
science-based information on a wide variety of the following
pesticide-related subjects to the public:
w Pesticide information
w Information on recognizing and managing pesticide
w Safety information
w Health and environmental effects
w Referrals for investigation of pesticide incidents and emer-
gency treatment information
w Cleanup and disposal procedures, and much more
County Cooperative Extension Service offices are usually listed
in the telephone directory under county or state government;
these offices often have a range of resources on lawn care and
landscape maintenance, including plant selection, pest control,
and soil testing (Web site: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/qlinks/
State agriculture and environmental agencies may publish
information on pests, pest management strategies, and state
pesticide regulations. (See state contacts on pages 45-48.)
Libraries, bookstores, and garden centers usually have a wide
selection of books that identify various pests and discuss lawn
care. Garden centers may also have telephone hotlines or
experts available on the premises to answer gardening

EPA Addresses
EPA Headquarters
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs (7506C)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Telephone: 703-305-5017
Fax: 703-305-5558
EPA Regional Offices
US EPA, Region 1
Pesticide Section
John Kennedy Federal Building
1 Congress Street, Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02114
www.epa. gov/regionOl/
US EPA, Region 2
Pesticide Section
2890 Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
www.epa. gov/region02/
US EPA, Region 3
Pesticide Section
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
USEP A, Region 4
Pesticide Section
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
www. epa. go v/ region04 /
US EPA, Region 5
Pesticide Section
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago^ IL 60604-3507
US EPA, Region 6
Pesticide Section
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202-2733
www. epa. gov/ region06 /
US EPA, Region 7
Pesticide Section
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
www. epa. gov/region07 /
US EPA, Region 8
Pesticide Section
99918th Street
Denver, CO 80202-2466
www.epa.gov/ region08/
US EPA, Region 9
Pesticide Section
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
www. epa. gov/ region09 /
US EPA, Region 10
Pesticide Section
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
www.epa.gov/ regionlO/
EPA Regions

State Lead Agencies for Pesticide Regulation
Plant Protection and Pest Management
Alabama Department of Agriculture
& Industries
P.O. Box 3336
Montgomery, AL 36109-0336
Environmental Health
Dept. of Environmental Conservation
555 Cordova
Juneau, AK 99501
Environmental Services Division
Arizona Department of Agriculture
1688 W. Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2617
Arkansas State Plant Board
P.O. Box 1069
Little Rock, AR 72203-1069
California Department of Pesticide
10011 Street
P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Division of Plant Industry
Colorado Department of Agriculture
700 Kipling Street, Suite 4000
Lakewood, CO 80215-5894
Pesticide Management Division
Department of Environmental
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South Dupont Highway
Dover, DE19901-5515
District of Columbia
Environmental Health Administration
Bureau of Hazardous Waste and Toxic
Substances Division
Department of Health
51 N Street, NE, 3rd Floor, Room 3018
Washington, DC 20002
Division of Agricultural
Environmental Services
Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services
3125 Conner Blvd., Bldg 6-L29
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
Plant Industry Division
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Capitol Square
Atlanta, G A 30334-4201
Plant Industry Division
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
Division of Agricultural Resources
Idaho Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 790
Boise, ID 83701-0790
Bureau of En vironmental Programs
Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Office of the Indiana State Chemist
175 S. University Street
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1154
Pesticide Bureau
Iowa Department of Agriculture and
Land Stewardship
Wallace Building
Des Moines, IA 50319
Pesticide and Fertilizer Program
Kansas Department of Agriculture
109 SW Ninth Street, 3rd Floor
Topeka,KS 66612-1281
Division of Pesticide Regulation
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
100 Fairoaks Lane, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601-1108
Pesticide and Environmental
Louisiana Department of Agriculture
and Forestry
P.O. Box 3596
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3596
Reference Section 45

State Lead Agencies for Pest icide Regulat ion (ocftt' d)
Board of Pesticides Control
Maine Department of Agriculture
State House Station #28
Augusta, ME 04333-0028
Pesticide Regulation Section
Maryland Department of Agriculture
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 22401-7080
Pesticide Bureau
Massachusetts Department of Food
and Agriculture
251 Causeway St. — Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114-0009
Pesticide and Plant Management
Michigan Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909-7517
Agronomy and Plant Protection
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107-2094
Bureau of Plant Industry
Mississippi Department of Agriculture
and Commerce
P.O. Box 5207
Mississippi State, MS 39762-5207
Plant Industries Division
Missouri Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630
Agricultural Sciences Division
Montana Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 200201
Helena, Ml 59620-0201
Pesticide Program
Nebraska Department of Agriculture
301 Centennial Mall
P.O. Box 94756
Lincoln, NE 68509-4756
Bureau of Plant Industry
Nevada Department of Agriculture
350 Capitol Hill Avenue
Reno, NV 89502-2923
702-688-1182, ext 239
New Hampshire
Division of Pesticide Control
New Hampshire Department of
Agriculture, Markets and Food
P.O. Box 2042
Concord, NH 03302-2042
New Jersey
Pesticide Control and Land Use
New jersey Department of
Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 411
Trenton, NJ 08625-0411
New Mexico
Division of Agricultural and
Environmental Services
New Mexico Department of
P.O. Box30005, Dept. 3AQ
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8005
New York
Division of Solid and Hazardous
New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 9th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7250
North Carolina
Food and Drug Protection Division
North Carolina Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services
P.O. Box 27647
Raleigh, NC 27611-0647
North Dakota
Plant Industries
North Dakota Department of
600 E. Blvd., 6th Floor
Bismarck, ND 58505-0020
Division of Plant Industry
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-3399
Plant Industry & Consumer Services
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
2800 North Lincoln Blvd.
P.O. Box 528804
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4298
46 Reference Section

State Lead Agencies for Pest icide Regulat ion (cent' d)
Pesticides Division
Oregon Department of Agriculture
635 Capitol Street, NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Bureau of Plant Industry
Pennsylvania Department of
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408
Puerto Rico
Analysis & Registration of
Agricultural Materials
Puerto Rico Department of
P.O.Box 10163
Santurce, PR 00908-1163
Rhode Island
Division of Agriculture & Resource
Rhode Island Department of
Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI02908-5767
South Carolina
Department of Pesticide Regulation
Clemson University
511 Westinghouse Road
Pendleton, SC 29670-8847
South Dakota
Office of Agronomy Services
Division of Agricultural Services
South Dakota Department of
Foss Building, 523 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Regulatory Services
Tennessee Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 40627, Melrose Station
Nashville, TN 37204-0627
Texas Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 12847
Austin, TX 78711
Utah Department of Agriculture and
350 North Redwood Road
P.O. Box 146500
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500
Vermont Department of Agriculture,
Food and Markets
116 State Street, Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-2901
Virgin Islands
Pesticide Program
Division of Natural Resources
Watergut Homes, Box 118,
St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820
Office of Pesticide Services
Virginia Department of Agriculture &
Consumer Service
P.O. Box 1163, Km. 401 A
Richmond, VA 23218-1163
Registration Services
Pesticide Management Division
Washington Department of
P.O. Box 42589
Olympia, WA 98504-2589
Reference Section

State Lead Agencies for Pest icide Regulat ion (ocftt' d)
West Virginia
Plant Industries Division
West Virginia Department of
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305-0190
Bureau of Agricultural Management
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture,
Trade and Consumer Protection
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI53708-8911
Technical Services
Wyoming Department of Agriculture
2219 Carey Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0100
Reference Section

Beneficial Predators 	11
Biochemical Pesticides 	12
Biological Controls 	11
Breeding Sites 	7
Burns (chemical) 	33
Caulking 	6
Child-Resistant Packaging 	23,31
Children (safety) 	20,23,30,31
Compost	10
Dethatching Rake	10
Disease	7,8
Disposal	24,25
EPA Pesticide Incident
Response Officer 	35
Fertilize(r) 	8,9
First Aid 	32,33
eyes 	33
inhalation 	34
skin	33
swallowing 	33
First Aid After Poisoning 	33,34
Foggers (Total Release) 	21
Gardening 	7
Grass Type 	9
Ground Water	21
Indoor Prevention 	6
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 	3
Lawn Care	8-10
Manual Methods 	12
Measuring 	18
Microscopic Pathogens 	12
Mxing 	18,19,21
Mowing 	9
Mulch	8
Non-Chemical Pest Controls 	11,12
Outdoor Prevention	 7
Parasitoids	11
Pathogens	12
Pest Control Company 	36-38
Pesticide Product Types 	2
Pets	23
bathing 	6
poisoning 	34
Poisoning 	32-35
eyes 	33
inhalation 	34
skin	33
swallowing 	33
Seeds 	7
Soil 	7-9
Storing	23
Thatch 	9
Tiller 	8
Index 49

"Help! Someone's Been Poisoned!"
What To Do In a Pesticide Emergency
If the person is unconscious, having
trouble breathing, or having convulsions...
ACT FAST! Speed is crucial.
Give needed first aid immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency service.
If possible, have someone else call for
emergency help while you give first aid.
If the person is awake or conscious, not
having trouble breathing, and not having
Read the label for first aid instructions.
Call a doctor, a poison control center, a local
emergency service (911), or the National
Pesticide Information Center
(toll free at 1-800-858-7378).
Give first aid.