Pesticide Product Labels are Info-Rich

If you count carbs, fat, sodium content or total calories, you’ve read the label on everything you bring home from the grocery store.

Are you equally as diligent when it comes to labels on lawn and landscape products?  They line the shelves in the hardware store, the garden center and some are even in the grocery store.  These products have labels, too, and they’re just as important to read and understand as the ones on the soup can.  Here’s why.

Whether you’re zapping dandelions or controlling a serious pest, the product you use needs to be the right one for the job as well as applied correctly and safely.  Some products have caution statements to protect the safety of the person who applies them as well as pollinators, edibles and other plants nearby. 

If you spray some products on dandelions in the lawn, they will kill only the dandelion and leave the grass in tact.  Other products, however, will not only zap the dandelion, but also the surrounding lawn.  Labels – and knowledgeable pros – can help you sort this out.

Apply the old carpenter’s adage to measure twice and cut once to the vast array of lawn and garden products.  Read the label carefully at least twice and apply once.  If you need to treat again, follow the label guidelines.  More is not necessarily better and precautions are there for a reason.  

Also, follow safety measures when using products labeled “natural” that we tend to think of as non-toxic.  That’s not necessarily so.  Just as many plants are as poisonous as they are beautiful, “natural” products can be as harmful as they seem to be ecological.  Even natural products have the potential to cause harm if they are not properly handled.  

While many plants have developed toxins to protect themselves from pests, a product made from plant derived toxins can be toxic to humans, because the toxins are sold in concentrations much higher than found in plants naturally. All chemicals, including natural ones, have the potential to cause harm if they are not properly handled.

DIY – or hire a pro?

If you suspect an insect or disease problem in your yard, it’s often smarter in the long run to consult a pro.  Industry professionals are trained to follow Integrated Pest Management strategies that will determine IF and WHEN a treatment is needed.

The best solution may be something as simple as pruning or a change in water management practices.  Sometimes introducing a predator insect can solve a problem.  Other problems need a treatment akin to an antibiotic or chemo for humans.  That’s when a pesticide may be necessary because the condition warrants it to save the plants and protect your landscape investment.   

When you consult with a professional, you tap into their science-based training and horticultural expertise.  If they need to apply a pesticide, they are the pros who are licensed by the State of Colorado to do the work.  They know the importance of following label instructions and observing safety precautions because they, themselves, are the front-line applicators.

If you read food labels because you need to follow a low-sodium diet, apply the same strategy to lawn and garden products.  Health is health whether it’s about people or plants.  We are, after all, participants in the same ecosystem.

If you need help with your landscaping please contact our professional team of Landscape Architects in the Denver, Cherry Hills, Greenwood Village, Castle Pines and Evergreen areas at info@designscapes.org or at 303-721-9003.

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