In the News

Californians Urged to Apply Pesticides Responsibly Because Every Day is Earth Day Around the Home & Garden

Industry Offering Simple Tips for Protecting Stateʼs Water & Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 22, 2009) – Californians who choose to use pesticides around the home and garden should treat every day as if it were Earth Day – by taking care to keep chemicals out of the stateʼs water and environment, according to a leading pesticide industry alliance.

The announcement is intended to promote “Apply Responsibly,” a public awareness campaign to instill environmentally responsible practices among California gardeners and homeowners who choose to use outdoor pesticides.

“Our Earth Day message is simple: Apply Responsibly,” said Fred Pearson, chairman of the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship. “While we recognize and appreciate the different options available for controlling pests, our focus is to ensure consumers who use our products know how to handle, store and dispose of them properly.”

The stewardship group, comprised of leading pesticide industry companies, was established last year as a way to inform California consumers about the important link between responsible pesticide use and safeguarding the stateʼs water and the environment.

The stewardship program launched Apply Responsibly in April and is promoting messages through advertising, public radio underwriting, mainstream media and the web site. The group is also making informational brochures available to garden clubs, nurseries, water districts and any other organization interested in helping raise pesticide awareness among California gardeners and homeowners.

Apply Responsibly reinforces many existing guidelines and established best practices, including, recommendations that consumers:

  • Use, store and dispose of unused pesticides according to the instructions on the product label
  • Never pour any leftover pesticides down the sink, toilet, sewer or storm drain
  • Donʼt stockpile pesticides. Buy only enough for one season
  • Consider ready-to-use pesticides rather than products that need to be mixed if only a small area needs to be treated

In addition to raising awareness about pesticides in general, the program also seeks to educate homeowners and gardeners about “pyrethroids.”

Insecticides with pyrethroids are used to control a wide range of insects that can infest gardens and enter the home. Chances are most consumers are probably using a pyrethroid if they have purchased consumer pesticide products intended to control mosquitoes, caterpillars, ants, spiders, garden worms, wasps, cockroaches, aphids and other insects that threaten plants, home or health.

“Pyrethroids should be handled like any other pesticide to keep them out of the water and environment,” Pearson said. “Our campaign is about helping Californians do their part by carefully following label instructions and common sense tips for applying responsibly.”

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