Always read and follow pesticide label directions

By Roberta Tolan
SUN Columnist

Pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, can serve a useful purpose around the home and garden by reducing some of the problems we face in our home and landscapes.  If not used according to label specifications, however, humans, pets, water supplies and other plants can be harmed.

Pesticide labels are the legal document located on the pesticide container that provides information concerning the safe and effective use of the chemical. The most valuable time spent in pest control is the time you take to read the label.  Before you buy a pesticide, read the label to determine:

•  Whether it is the right pesticide for the job.

• Whether the pesticide can be used safely under your application conditions.

• How much pesticide you should buy for the area you are treating and when to apply the pesticide.

The label is the law so read it thoroughly. The user of any pesticide is liable for all aspects of handling the product including but not limited to mixing, loading, application, spill control and disposal (including the container). Other information found on the label includes:

• First aid instructions. These outline what protective clothing to use and safety measures to follow, what can be mixed with the chemical, how much pesticide to use, the mixing process and the reentry time (how long to wait after application to reenter area).

• Name and address of manufacturer.

• EPA registration number. You can search the Pesticide Product Label System (PPLS) using the EPA pesticide product registration number at

• Levels of toxicity.  These indicate the toxicity and/or hazards associated with the use of the pesticide. Three signal words are used:  “Danger”, “Warning” or “Caution”. The precautionary statement describes the hazards to the applicator, children, domestic animals, wildlife and the environment. If protective clothing and equipment are necessary, the precautionary statements will tell you. The label must list the active ingredient – the ingredient that actually kills or inhibits the pest.  Inert ingredients, such as carriers or solvents, do not have to be specified, but their concentrations must be listed.

• Uses inconsistent with labeling:  It is a violation of federal law to use any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling with only a few exceptions.

When using pesticides, do not do any of the following:

• Apply pesticide at a higher rate than is on the label.

• Remove the label.

• Put pesticide in another container or put another product in the original pesticide container.

• Store pesticide near children and/or pets.

Storing and disposal

Read the label to determine:

• Where and how to store.

• How to clean and dispose of the container.

• How to dispose of surplus pesticide.

For more information on pesticide product labels, visit the EPA pesticide label page at

This information was taken from an article written by Kim Wolinski and published in the Colorado State University Extension Sustainable Small Acreage Newsletter, summer 2013.  For more articles on Small Acreage Management, visit

CPR/First Aid certification classes

Beginning Sept. 9, CPR and First Aid certification classes will be offered monthly by the CSU Extension office from 6-10 p.m.

Anyone needing to receive certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.

Classes will be held in the Extension Building at the fairgrounds on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month, with CPR on Monday and First Aid on Wednesday.

Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/First Aid and $55 for CPR and First Aid individually. The type of First Aid information will vary according to the needs of the participants.

Free wood chips 

Free wood chips are available for pick up at the Archuleta County fairgrounds on US. 84 in Pagosa Springs. If you plan on using these chips around your home, be sure to place them at least 30 feet from your home or structure so they do not ignite in case of a wildfire.

If you have any questions, contact the Extension office at 264-5931.

Colorado State University Extension provides science based information on youth development (4-H), agriculture and natural resources, horticulture, family and consumer sciences and community development. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.


Aug. 29 — Harvest and Storage of Fresh Vegetables Workshop, 9 a.m.

Sept. 2  — Extension Office closed for Labor Day holiday.

Sept. 5 — Western Heritage Committee meeting, 6 p.m.

This story was posted on August 29, 2013.