DEP URGES RESIDENTS
TO AVOID ROUTINE SPRAYING & REDUCE PESTICIDE USE THIS SUMMER
The state Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) is reminding homeowners to avoid routine spraying
this summer and reduce pesticide use whenever possible.
State Environmental Protection Commissioner
Bob Shinn said, "While we understand that warm and wet weather
may trigger some unwanted household and garden pests, we
urge residents to avoid routine spraying whenever possible
and take advantage of the many alternatives readily available
to control pests."
Shinn said homeowners should always try
using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program and other
common sense measures often obtained from local hardware
stores, garden centers or kitchen cabinets. IPM uses a combination
of methods such as barriers or biological controls to address
problems. DEP last year opened a web site offering gardeners
and anyone who uses pesticides updated information and advice.
The site provides helpful tips about safety, proper use
and environmentally sound disposal methods for pesticides
and IPM strategies, including pesticide alternatives such
as use of soap and water solution to control pests on houseplants.
Rutgers County Extension offices are also good sources for
Additionally, Shinn stressed that homeowners
should first carefully monitor the pest and when possible
use naturally occurring bacteria and other organisms on
lawns, plants and shrubs, and monitor results. He also reminded
homeowners who spray to read the label carefully and follow
all directions and precautions.
"We urge homeowners and lawn care
applicators to protect themselves and the environment from
pesticide misuse, and to avoid potential exposure to pesticides
this summer," said Shinn. He also advised homeowners to
check the credentials of professional pesticide applicators
to ensure that the applicator has a valid, up-to-date DEP
approved license. Applicators for weed, termite and household
pest controls are among those licensed by DEP's Pesticide
DEP requires large-scale spray applicators
to place legal advertisements in two newspapers circulated
in the proposed target area at least seven days before the
proposed target date. The public may call the contact person
in the notice for specific details of the proposed pesticide
application. Commercial pesticide applicators are required
to give an individual advance notice of a pesticide application
if that individual requests it of the applicator. Posting
of lawns and public buildings are also required when pesticides
are applied by commercial applicators.
Shinn urges residents to call DEP's Bureau
of Pesticide Compliance which regulates pesticide use at
609-984-6568 if they suspect pesticide misapplication (during
off- hours, any suspected environmental violation should
be reported to DEP's 24-hour hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP [1-877-927-6337]).
For a pesticide health emergency, call the New Jersey Poison
Information System at 1-800-222-1222. For general information
regarding IPM call 609-984-5014 or visit the DEP's web site