Pesticide Safety

Along with the coming of planting season come unwanted pests. Whether you are working on a large farm or a small garden there are certain procedures that should always be followed when using pesticides. Even if you are a frequent user you can never know too much about pesticide safety. Before picking out a pesticide this year keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Make sure you correctly identify the pest you need to eliminate.
  • Choose the least toxic pesticide available for your problem.
  • Do not buy more pesticide than can be used in one season.

Pesticide Container Disposal

Never reuse pesticide containers. Follow these guidelines when disposing of used containers:

  1. Fill container one-third full with water.
  2. Place cap on container and shake.
  3. Pour rinse water into spray tank, never down a drain or ditch.
  4. Repeat these steps at least two more times.
  5. Punch several holes in the used container.

Safety Precautions

When using pesticides, be sure to follow the following safety precautions:

  • Before opening the container, read all labels and follow the directions exactly. Different products have different requirements.
  • Do not apply pesticides on a windy day. Homeowners and farmers can be liable for damage caused by drifts to neighboring property.
  • Wear gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE). The amount of protective clothing may vary depending on the chemical and is usually indicated on the label.
  • When handling or working with a pesticide never wear clothing inside the house that has been exposed. Wash the clothing you are wearing separately from the rest of your laundry.
  • Avoid mixing excess pesticide.
  • Never drink, eat, smoke or chew gum while handling pesticides.
  • Always wash with soap and water after handling pesticides.
  • Store pesticides safely. Keep them locked away from children and animals. Always keep them in their original container and store them in well-ventilated, dry, cool, places.
  • Keep an emergency kit close by and an extra set of clothing.

Symptoms of Pesticide Over-Exposure

If you have been using a pesticide and you experience the following symptoms, you may have been over-exposed to a chemical.

  • Headaches, dizziness, confusion and/or weakness.
  • Excessive sweating, chills, salivation and/or thirst.
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, muscle cramps or tremors.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or stomach cramps.
  • Pinpoint pupils.

If you experience any of the above symptoms remove contaminated clothes and put them in a sealed bag. Then lather up with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately.

In order to make sure that certain pesticides will be available to protect your crops it is important that you use them safely and responsibly. Your well being as well as the health of those around you is worth the commitment to safety.

Keep Your Family Safe While Protecting Your Crops

Protecting your crops does not need to harm you, your family, or the workers on your South Carolina farm. You can avoid pesticide poisoning by following the above guidelines, which have been provided by Farm Bureau Insurance. Our agents live where you live, so they understand your needs. Learn more about the fast and dependable service we offer with our affordable farm insurance policies.

Source: Clemson University website at http://entweb.clemson.edu/pesticid/ and University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences website at http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/.