Mitigating Pesticide Hazards
When planning for pesticide applications, consult the UC Pest Management Guidelines for your crop, and consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.
Choose a pesticide from the Pest Management Guidelines, considering these factors:
- Impact on natural enemies and pollinators. Within each crop guideline is the Relative Toxicities of Insecticides and Miticides table with this information.
- Potential for water quality problems using the UC IPM WaterTox database. Where pesticides are suggested in the Pest Management Guidelines, click on the Compare Treatments button to see data for those pesticides.
- Impact on aquatic invertebrates. See Pesticide Choice .
- Chemical mode of action if pesticide resistance is an issue. See Herbicide Resistance .
- Endangered species that may be near your site. Find out using the Department of Pesticide Regulation's PRESCRIBE program.
Before an application
- Ensure that spray equipment is properly calibrated to deliver the desired pesticide amount for optimal coverage.
- Use appropriate spray nozzles and pressure to minimize off-site movement of pesticides.
- Avoid spraying during these conditions:
- Wind speed over 5 mph
- Temperature inversions
- Just prior to rain or irrigation (unless it is an appropriate amount, such as when incorporating a soil-applied pesticide)
- At tractor speeds over 2 mph
- Identify and take special care to protect sensitive areas (for example, waterways or riparian areas) surrounding your application site.
- Review and follow labeling for pesticide handling, personal protection equipment (PPE) requirements, storage, and disposal guidelines.
- Check and follow restricted-entry intervals (REI) and preharvest intervals (PHI).
After an application
- Record application date, product used, rate, and location of application.
- Follow up to confirm that treatment was effective.
Consider water management practices that reduce pesticide movement off-site.
Consider practices that reduce air quality problems.
- When possible, reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by decreasing the amount of pesticide applied, choosing low-emission management methods, and avoiding emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations.
- Use the Department of Pesticide Regulation calculators to determine VOC emission rates from fumigant and nonfumigant pesticides.