Pyrethroid Group Offers Tips for Protecting Water

A pesticide industry alliance, the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship, is encouraging California users to apply their products responsibly through a public awareness campaign and Web site,

"While we recognize and appreciate the different options available for controlling pests, our focus is to ensure consumers who use our products know how to handle, store and dispose of them properly,” said Fred Pearson, chair of the group.

Established last year, the group now is promoting its message through advertising, public radio underwriting, mainstream media, and the Web site. It also is making informational brochures available to garden clubs, nurseries, water districts, and any other organization interested in helping raise pesticide awareness among California gardeners and homeowners.

Apply Responsibly reinforces many existing guidelines and established best practices, including, recommendations that consumers:

  • Use, store, and dispose of unused pesticides according to the instructions on the product label.
  • Never pour any leftover pesticides down the sink, toilet, sewer, or storm drain.
  • Don’t stockpile pesticides, buy only enough for one season.
  • Consider ready-to-use pesticides rather than products that need to be mixed if only a small area needs to be treated.

In addition to raising awareness about pesticides in general, the program also seeks to educate homeowners and gardeners about “pyrethroids.” Insecticides with pyrethroids are used to control a wide range of insects that can infest gardens and enter the home. Chances are most consumers are probably using a pyrethroid if they have purchased consumer pesticide products intended to control mosquitoes, caterpillars, ants, spiders, garden worms, wasps, cockroaches, aphids, and other insects that threaten plants, home, or health.

“Pyrethroids should be handled like any other pesticide to keep them out of the water and environment,” Pearson said.