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MDARD outlines the safe use of pesticides for gardening, landscaping

LANSING — As warmer weather approaches, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding the public to safely use pesticides when gardening and landscaping. A pesticide is any substance intended to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest. Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and disinfectants are pesticides.

“When used correctly, pesticides are an effective tool to help control, destroy and repel destructive pests such as insects, weeds, rodents, germs and plant disease,” said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD’s pesticide section manager. “If applying pesticides, always read and follow the label directions and use the recommended personal protective equipment.”

If hiring an applicator, choose a firm licensed by MDARD, officials recommended. Licensed firms meet the required financial and experience requirements and employ certified pesticide applicators who have passed MDARD’s proficiency examinations. Their training and experience will help prevent accidental pesticide misuse as well as help prevent harm from occurring to humans, pets, livestock and the environment.

“Be aware of online advertisements and social media posts promoting the sale of unregistered pesticides, particularly those that claim to be 100 percent safe or all natural,” Verhougstraete said. “Unregistered pesticides are not proven to be safe or effective and are unlikely to meet MDARD’s or the Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements.”

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