Chapter Six: Pesticide Use and Safety and IPM Renee Hypes, IPM Technician Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Pest • What is a pest? • For the purposes of pesticide application, there is a legal definition of pest. • "Pest" means any deleterious organism that is: (i) any vertebrate animal other than man; (ii) any invertebrate animal excluding any internal parasite of living man or other living animals; (iii) any plant growing where not wanted, and any plant part such as a root; or (iv) any bacterium, virus, or other microorganisms (except for those on or in living man or other living animals and those on or in processed food or processed animal feed, beverages, drugs as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and cosmetics as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Any organism protected under federal or state laws shall not be deemed a pest for the purposes of this chapter.
Pest • And because there is a legal definition of pest, there also is a legal definition of pesticide. • "Pesticide" means: (i) any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any insects, rodents, fungi, bacteria, weeds, other forms of plant or animal life, bacterium, or viruses, except viruses on or in living man or other animals, which the Commissioner shall declare to be a pest; (ii) any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; and (iii) any substance intended to become an active ingredient in any substance defined in clause (i) and (ii).
Pest Management and Decision-Making • This is where IPM comes in, which we will talk about in more depth later. • The book poses excellent questions to facilitate decision-making in terms of pests. • Is the problem actually caused by a pest? • What kind of pest? • Is the problem severe enough to require action? • Can the pest be controlled at this stage of life/growth? • Are pesticides registered for the pest and site? • Is pesticide use the best management option? • Is pesticide use cost-effective?
Pest Management and Decision-Making • If there is a problem that requires action, there are factors that will help with what action to take • Pest life cycle and habits • Pest population size and distribution • Factors that attracted pest to site • Management options • Ways to prevent future problems
Safe Use Precautions • If you decide to use a pesticide, the label must be followed. • In place of specific instructions on the label, always use common sense. • Before your trip to Lowe’s, Ace or Cooke’s, be sure of your pest. • Consult a knowledgeable friend, extension agent or knowledgeable garden center employee.
Safe Use Precautions • Be as close to 100% positive as possible on what you’re trying to control. • Misidentification will waste time, money and effort. • Also, unnecessary exposure of pesticide to yourself and the environment will result.
Safe Use Precautions • Read labels carefully and make sure you understand it • If you have questions ask someone at the store or call an extension agent for advice • Before leaving make sure you have all of the necessary equipment including PPE • Make sure the product is labeled not only for the target pest but also the site
Safe Use Precautions • The book also recommends not buying pesticides intended for professional use. • Professional pesticides may be cheaper per unit, but usually you end up with way more than needed • Professional formulations also have a greater risk for mistakes and consequently exposure
Safe Use Precautions • Generally professional pesticides require very little concentrate per water which makes mixing smaller amounts harder, such as a gallon • The requirements for PPE are usually more strict as are other precautions particularly for the environment • All of these stipulations also mean a longer, more difficult to understand label; another good reason to stay away from professional products.
Pesticide Terminology • Acaricide • A substance used to kill acarids (a subclass of aracnids that includes mites and ticks) • Attractant • A substance used to lure a pest • Avicide • A substance used to kill birds • Bactericide • Fungicide
Pesticide Terminology • Growth Regulator • Herbicide • Insecticide • Miticide • Nematicides • A substance used to control nematodes • Repellants • Rodenticide
Pesticide Terminology • Band • Spraying in-between rows, a small strip • Broadcast • Dip • Directed • Drench • In-furrow • Application to or within the furrow
Pesticide Terminology • Spot treatment • Sidedress • Over-the-top • Contact • Stomach • Systemic • Translocated/translaminar • Selective/non-selective
Pesticide Label • Labeling-all of the printed information on or attached to a pesticide container • The EPA is the federal agency that gives broad approval for a product that claims to have pesticidal activity • In Virginia, manufacturers also have to be approved by VDACS • This approval process ensures the claims made by the company can be proven and also that the product conforms to safety standards
Pesticide Label • The most important thing to know about pesticides is that the label is the law! • The label is the law! • The label is the law! • The label is a contract between EPA, manufacturer, seller and purchaser. • Purchasing a pesticide is agreeing to the terms on the label.
Pesticide Label • The label has parts • Brand name • Common name • Chemical name and composition/ingredient statement • EPA registration number • EPA establishment number • Name and address of the manufacturer • Net contents
Pesticide Label • Restricted use designation • Restricted use chemicals require a pesticide license and will not be in most retail establishments and are not meant for homeowner use • Precautionary Statements • Signal Word • Danger/Poison • Warning • Caution • Statement of Practical Treatment
Pesticide Label • PPE • Hazards to human and domestic animals • Environmental hazards • Directions for use • Misuse statement • Storage and disposal • Emergency assistance
Pesticide Formulations • Aerosol (A) • Bait (B) • Dust (D) • Emulsifiable Concentrate (E,EC) • Granule (G) • Ready-to-use (RTU) • Water Dispersible Granule (WDG), Dry Flowable (DF) • Wettable Powder (WP)
Adjuvants • Adjuvants are added to increase effectiveness or safety • Includes activators, compatibility agents, deflocculators, detergent, dispersants, emulsifiers, foam and drift suppressants, and spreading, sticking and wetting agents • Sometimes they are already part of the formulation, sometimes they need to be added or are unnecessary
Compatibility • Not all pesticides can be mixed together • The label will give instructions on what can and cannot be mixed • Sometimes the label will also tell you to perform a jar test, but this is usually only with professional pesticides
Personal Safety • One of the first things to know about personal safety is what PPE is and what PPE the pesticide you are using requires • The label will give instructions on the minimum PPE, this is a requirement, not a suggestion! • Most often PPE consists of long pants, long-sleeved shirt, shoes plus socks and sometimes chemical resistant gloves and eye protection
Personal Safety • Be aware of what you need to wear for each activity, mixing and loading may require more PPE that applying • Eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum should not happen while spraying, nor should these items be present when you spray • Pesticide contaminated clothing should be washed separately from other laundry and an empty cycle should be run after washing PPE
Symptoms of Poisoning • Different pesticides affect people differently but knowing common symptoms can help you get help faster • Symptoms of mild poisoning or early acute poisoning include • Fatigue • Headache • Dizziness • Blurred vision • Excessive sweating and salivation
Symptoms of Poisoning • Nausea • Vomiting • Stomach cramps • Diarrhea • Moderate poisoning or intermediate acute symptoms include • Increased severity of early symptoms • Inability to walk • Weakness
Symptoms of Poisoning • Chest discomfort • Muscle twitches • Constricted pupils • Severe or acute poisoning • Unconsciousness • Sever constriction of pupils • Muscle twitches • Convulsions • Secretions from the mouth and nose • Breathing difficulty • Death
Symptoms of Poisoning • Acute symptoms appear within 24 hours and are usually reversible with treatment • An MSDS will tell you what to expect and give numbers to call in emergency • If symptoms appear after 12 hours check with a doctor to make sure you have pesticide poisoning and not something else
Emergency Procedures • The label will list specific procedures for specific pesticides • Depending on the specific pesticide it may be particularly harmful to the eye or skin and require certain remedies • In general, if a pesticide gets on the skin, wash with soap and water as soon as possible and remove contaminated clothing
Emergency Procedures • Clothing soaked with concentrate should be thrown away • If pesticide gets into the eye, flush with a gentle stream of water for 15 minutes • If someone has been acutely poisoned, seek medical attention immediately • Give the doctor the name of the pesticide and how much was ingested • Take the pesticide and the MSDS with you • Or call poison control-1-800-222-1222
Protecting the Environment • Protecting insect pollinators (bees) • Avoid spraying when plants are blooming • Spray in the early morning or evening • Choose spray formulations over dust and do not apply when temperatures are cool because residues will stay active longer • If you have any concerns about bees, including identification, habits and swarm or nest collection contact the state apiarist at VDACS or the local master beekeepers
Protecting the Environment • Persistence and Accumulation • Persistence refers to how long a pesticide remains active in the environment • Most are broken down by sun, temperature or microbial activity • Pesticides that build up in the tissues of animals are said to accumulate • Most pesticides that accumulate have limited uses or are off the market
Pesticide Movement • Drift • Spray droplets • Pesticides attached to soil particles that erode • Volatilization • Tendancy for a liquid to turn to gas • Some volatize more readily than others like 2,4-D ester • Do not mix, store or apply pesticide near any source of water or a storm grate
IPM • We’ll talk about that more in depth later!
Application Equipment • There are different ways to apply different pesticides • Most of the time the application method is determined by the formulation • Reading and understanding the label will tell you haw the pesticide should be applied
Application Equipment • Any application equipment should be maintained properly • Cleaned after use • Stored properly • Applicators used for herbicide should not be used for any other pesticide or fertilizer • Caution should also be used when using non-selective herbicides
Application Equipment • Sprayers • Use compression to force liquid/suspension out • One of the most common ways to apply pesticide • Hand duster • Either separate device or built in to the container • Hard to get uniform coverage and tends to drift easily
Application Equipment • Spreaders • For granule formulations • More uniform coverage and low drift • Be careful when applying near hard surfaces and clean excess when finished
Sprayer Calibration and Application Techniques • Calibration ensures the equipment performs to certain specifications • When using sprayers and spreaders it is important to make sure the equipment is applying the correct amount • This is especially important for labels that express rate as an amount per area, such as ounces per 1000 square feet
Sprayer Calibration and Application Techniques • Calibrating a sprayer does not take much time and is relatively easy • Clean our the sprayer including the hose • Mark out an areas, something easy like 10 x 10 • Fill the sprayer with a known volume of water, such as 1 gallon • Spray the area in a continuous fashion as you would when spraying actual chemicals
Sprayer Calibration and Application Techniques • Spray the remaining volume out of the sprayer and measure it • Subtract the remaining amount from the starting amount of liquid • This amount over the area sprayed is your rate • When spraying or spreading it is important to have a good pattern to achieve uniformity
Sprayer Calibration and Application Techniques • Try not to spray so that you are walking through it • A good way to get a uniform broadcast application is to spray half the rate in one direction and then again in a perpendicular direction
Storage and Disposal • Always read the label for instructions on how to properly store and dispose of any chemical • There are general guidelines but the label will have specific concerns and requirements
Storage and Disposal • In general a pesticide storage area should have • Security • Good ventilation • Good lighting • Moisture control • Protection from temperature extremes • Enough space to store and separate pesticides • Construction so that spills and leaks can be contained
Storage and Disposal • Make sure you have clean-up materials at hand • The clean-up supplies should be for pesticide only • Pesticides should always be stored in their original container! • Changing containers can be confusing and the second container may not be able to hold the pesticide
Storage and Disposal • Pesticide should always be stored by itself and never with food (animal or human), cleaning products or drugs • Keep track of what has been purchased and use older pesticides first • Check for deteriorating containers and labels • Replace labels when necessary ensuring they are fixed to the container
Storage and Disposal • By keeping good inventory and only buying what is needed for the growing season, disposal problems are eliminated • If the product is still legal for use the best and most recommended way to dispose of it is to use it according to the label • If you cannot use it, see if you can give it to another gardener
Storage and Disposal • The label will give specific directions on disposing of unused concentrate • It may be returned to the manufacturer or the point of sale but generally that only happens when the product is illegal for use • Another way to dispose is to participate in a homeowner waste collection program or VDACS pesticide disposal program
Storage and Disposal • NEVER pour concentrate out anywhere • Plan carefully to avoid dealing with excess dilution • Storage is not recommended, but to use what is mixed according to the label • Try to reuse rinsate in another mix • Containers should also be disposed of according to label directions
Pesticides and the Law • The EPA and VDACS are the agencies that regulate pesticides in Virginia • FIFRA is the federal legislation on pesticides • The Pesticide Control Act is the Virginia legislation that governs pesticides