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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2007

Contact: Darlene Yuhas (609) 984-1795
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994

TAKE SPECIAL CARE WHEN USING PESTICIDES,
DEP CAUTIONS RESIDENTS AND COMMERCIAL APPLICATORS

(07/34) TRENTON -With gardening and lawn-care season in full swing, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today urged New Jersey’s residents to use pesticides sparingly and reminded commercial pesticide applicators that they must notify the public in advance of spraying.

“Some pesticides can be beneficial, but if used or stored improperly, they can pose serious risks to public health and the environment, particularly our streams, lakes and the ocean,” Commissioner Jackson said. “Residents also should remember that children and infants are especially susceptible to pesticide exposure.”

Through its Web page, the DEP’s Pesticides Control Program posts information about Integrated Pest Management practices that offer residents effective and economical alternatives to routine pesticide spraying, including biological controls, barriers and simple household remedies such as applying a soap-and-water solution.

Before hiring a professional pesticide applicator, residents should verify that both the applicator and the company he or she represents have valid DEP-issued licenses and the required liability insurance for pesticide use. Also, residents should read all literature carefully and question businesses that promise “organic,” “natural,” or “environmentally friendly” lawn care or pest control. Such terms can be misleading, and in some cases, businesses making those claims actually provide nothing other than a conventional approach.

The DEP’s Pesticide Control Program issues licenses to pesticide applicators for weed, termite and household pest control. To verify licenses, visit www.pcpnj.org and click on “Online Reports.”

For large-scale outdoor pesticide use, such as for gypsy moth or mosquito control, the DEP requires the pesticide applicator to place both a legal advertisement and a display advertisement in two local newspapers at least seven days before the scheduled spraying. The public notice also must include the name of someone to contact for details about the pesticide application.

Also, commercial pesticide applicators are legally required to provide advance notice to any individual who requests it. When pesticides are being used, signs must also be posted on lawns and at public buildings.

Residents who suspect pesticide misapplication should call the DEP’s Bureau of Pesticide Compliance at (609) 984-6568 or after business hours, the DEP’s 24-hour hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP. For a pesticide health emergency, call the New Jersey Poison Information System at 1-800-222-1222.

For additional information about Integrated Pesticide Management, pesticide safety and environmentally sound disposal methods for pesticides, visit www.pcpnj.org.

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Last Updated: June 20, 2007