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Using Pesticides & Other Chemicals in the Garden



> What are pesticides? What's in them, how they work
> When and how to use

The approach to using pesticides is rapidly changing. The increasing interest in protecting our precious resources and being good environmental stewards are shifting from routine, preemptive use of potent pesticides, to a selective, integrated pest management approach using pesticides only when absolutely needed.  

Consider consequences of pesticide usage carefully. Pesticides can be useful tools when used appropriately, but incorrect or careless use can result in undesirable effects. Elimination of beneficial insects and pollinators, toxic exposure to humans and pets, and accumulation / contamination of air, soil and water are the most common impacts. 

Find out more about
How Are Pesticides Affecting Water Quality? and Pesticides and Residential Soils

Before using any pesticide product, be prepared:
• Become knowledgeable about the pesticide you choose to use
• Read the product label carefully
• Learn how to use the product correctly
• Know what to do in the event of accidental poisoning, exposure, or a spill

Unintended side effects of synthetic fertilizers:
In addition to pesticides, synthetic fertilizers can do more than promote vigorous growth in your lawn and flower garden.
• The nitrogen and phosphorus in chemical fertilizers, if not fully used by plants, can end up negatively affecting the air and downstream water quality. 
• They can also stimulate succulent new growth on plants that is an attractant to insects like aphids.