"Pesticide" might mean more than one thinks
A wet start to the growing season means weeds and insect pests are growing fast.
If choosing to hire a professional to treat lawns or landscaping, one question can go a long way in protecting the family and neighborhood. Ask to see the applicator's Wisconsin Commercial Pesticide Applicator License.
"Pesticide application" means more than most people think. It includes Weed-n-Feed , Roundup, Preen or any product labeled to kill or prevent weeds, insects, grubs or rodents.
It even applies to products labeled "chemical free" or "organic" such as liquid copper or corn gluten meal.
"People applying pesticides need to know how to safely and effectively use these products to protect themselves, the environment and their customers," said Mike Murray, pesticide program manager at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). DATCP enforces Wisconsin's pesticide laws.
To legally use pesticides, individuals and businesses hired to apply them must carry a number of documents. When looking for an applicator to treat the lawn or landscaping at the home or office, ask to see:
• Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification. Granted to applicators who complete training about the safe and appropriate use of pesticides.
• Commercial Pesticide Applicator License. Legal permission to contract for pesticide applications. Every individual who uses or supervises someone using pesticides must have this license.
• Commercial Pesticide Application Business License. An annual operating license required for a business that makes or contracts pesticide applications.
In addition, DATCP requires applicators to provide specific information including:
• Pre-application information. This states the applicator's willingness to provide the name of the product, the label, the date of application and contact information for the person to call with questions.
• Pesticide application warning signs. Signs must be visible at points where people are likely to walk onto property.
• Post-application information. As soon as he or she is finished, the applicator must provide in writing:
• The name, phone number and license number of the technician.
• The date and time of application and a description of the location the pesticide was applied.
• The name of the product, its Environmental Protection Agency number and the amount applied.
• Any information from the label about precautions to take after application.
The property owner is not the only person qualified to get the information listed above. Pesticide applicators are required to provide most of the above information to anyone who asks.
If there is a complaint or concern about a pesticide application, call 608-224-4500 between 7:45 a.m.-:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with as much information as possible.