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MDARD Outlines the Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides for Gardening and Landscaping

Homeowners reminded to use approved pesticides and certified applicators

For immediate release: March 16, 2021
Program contact: Brian Verhougstraete, 517-582-4573
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

LANSING, MI - As warmer weather approaches, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is reminding the public to safely use pesticides when gardening and landscaping. A pesticide is any substance intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate a pest. Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and disinfectants are pesticides.

"When used correctly, pesticides are an effective tool to help control, destroy, and repel destructive pests such as insects, weeds, rodents, germs, and plant disease," said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD's Pesticide Section Manager. "If applying pesticides, always read and follow the label directions and use the recommended personal protective equipment."

If hiring an applicator, choose a firm licensed by MDARD. Licensed firms meet the required financial and experience requirements and employ certified pesticide applicators who have passed MDARD's proficiency examinations. Their training and experience will help prevent accidental pesticide misuse as well as help prevent harm from occurring to humans, pets, livestock, and the environment.

"Be aware of online advertisements and social media posts promoting the sale of unregistered pesticides, particularly those that claim to be 100% safe or all natural," added Verhougstraete. "Unregistered pesticides are not proven to be safe or effective and are unlikely to meet MDARD's or the Environmental Protection Agency's requirements."

For additional information on MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pesticide Management Division, visit


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