In the News

Industry Group Launches Campaign to Remind California Homeowners & Gardeners to Apply Pesticides Responsibly

New Web Site Offers Smart Tips for Protecting State’s Water & Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 31, 2009) – In advance of National Pest Management Month, a leading pesticide industry alliance today announced the launch of Apply Responsibly, a public awareness campaign intended to instill environmentally responsible practices among California gardeners and homeowners who choose to use outdoor pesticides.

The launch of “Apply Responsibly” coincides with the advent of spring and National Pest Management Month held annually in April.

“We’re coming into the season when a lot of Californians are going to be outside tending to their gardens, lawns and homes,” said Fred Pearson, chairman of the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship. “It’s a perfect time to offer a reminder about how to responsibly use our products.”

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 state’s water and the environment.

“We recognize and appreciate the different options available for controlling pests,” said Pearson. “For those consumers who choose to use pesticides it’s critical they know how to handle, store and dispose of them properly.”

The stewardship program is promoting Apply Responsibly 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
  • Don’t 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 from Apply Responsibly.”

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