Pesticides are toxic substances and if they are not used properly, they can pose a hazard not only to the user but also to the environment. The following are key points that will help to minimize environmental impact.
- Read the label. Follow the directions for pesticide use. The label is a very informative document that will provide information on environmental concerns.
- Be aware of potential impacts of pesticides on wildlife including birds, and on fish and insects in streams, rivers and lakes.
- Minimize spray drift. Abide by specific buffer zones.
- Do not mix or load pesticides near bodies of water or wells.
- Do not wash any equipment used for pesticide application in bodies of water or near a well.
- Clean up any spills at loading sites and at row ends.
- Ensure that there is a backflow preventor on equipment that is drawing water directly into equipment used to mix a pesticide or to apply a pesticide.
- Select a pesticide or formulation that is least toxic to fish and wildlife, particularly when application is made close to fish and wildlife habitat.
- Select a pesticide or formulation that is least likely to leach into the groundwater.