Press-Republican

Cornell Cooperative Extension

August 5, 2013

Take precautions when using pesticides

My dog, Oliver, thinks that anything that sounds remotely like kibble or dog cookies rattling around in a box or can should be for him.  

If it’s one of his regular meals, he waits patiently for it to be placed on his plate before he gobbles it down. If he thinks it’s something we dropped, or do not intend for him to have, he pounces and wolfs it down before we have a chance to grab it. This is not good dog manners, but more than that, it’s dangerous.

This is why, when I am working in the garden, I am very careful not to use any product that could harm him if he is nearby. Even if I’m spraying a water-soluble fertilizer, he is inside or on his tether. If I am using a product indoors, he is outdoors. Perhaps I should have trained him better, but realistically, knowing his “enthusiasm” to get to something he thinks is food, I don’t take chances with his health.

Whether you have pets, wildlife, birds, children or grandchildren, you need to be mindful of what you use in your home or garden and when. Even fish emulsion, blood meal and manure are products that can be harmful if they are not used properly. They should be kept away from curious children and pets. Ollie would eat the fish emulsion and blood meal and roll in the manure in short order. Not a pleasant scenario.

Knowing the precautions to take when using garden and household products is as simple as reading the labels. Pesticides in particular need to be used thoughtfully and according to the directions. A pesticide is any product, for indoor or outdoor use, that is used to kill, repel or control a pest. This includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and disinfectants. It can be in the form of a dust, granules, sprays or baits.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension