15 Tips On The Proper Use Of Insecticides

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1. Read the label. Those that are labeled "non-toxic to humans" are the safest but must be handled carefully. Even though exposure to the substance once may not be dangerous, there is a growing concern about cumu­lative toxicity, the effect of long-term buildup. So use even the mild insecticides carefully. Use of the word "caution" also indicates a relatively mild insecticide.

2. When you get to the word "Warning," you know you have a more dangerous product. Follow the directions to the letter.

3. If you see the word "poison" and the old skull-and-crossbones symbol, skip it and pick another product. Leave the stuff to the professionals and stay out of their way.

4. Read the instructions carefully. Never mix different insecticides together. Never mix an insecticide in great­er strength than directed — it's only the bugs you want to kill, not pets or children or yourself.

5. Determine what you need for it. If it is one type of bug you are concerned about, then pick the least toxic insecticide that will kill the bug.

6. Keep the kids and the pets away when you dust or spray for a good length of time afterward.

7. Keep insecticides out of reach of children. Such dan­gerous material should be kept under lock and key. Don't store them with food products. Never use garden insecticides inside the house.

8. Keep the insecticides in their original containers and keep the label clean and intact. When the containers are empty, get rid of them. Wash out bottles and cans before tossing them in the trash can.

9. Wear clothes that cover you completely. Wear rubber gloves. If working in close quarters or for a long pe­riod of time, wear a respirator mask.

10. Since your clothing is bound to become contaminated, wash it when you have finished spraying.

11. Wash hands and face immediately. Wash before eating or smoking. Don't smoke while spraying.

12. Watch out that some products may be inflammable. Assume they are if they have an oil base.

13. Overkill is not a good idea. Fogging apparatus is dan­gerous. It drifts where you don't want it. If you can apply a small amount of insecticide to a plant or in a crevice, then don't spray.

14. Adjust your equipment for the smallest spray pattern possible. Spray so that the wind is blowing from you. Check your equipment. If it leaks, you may get the dust or spray on yourself. If you have a compressed air sprayer, be careful when you refill it.

15. Turn it over and release any remaining air away from you. Then if there is any insecticide left in the con­tainer, it will not spray in your face.

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