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MDARD provides strategies for safe pesticide use during National Pesticide Safety Education Month

LANSING, Mich. – Do you use disinfectants? Or antibacterial soaps or insect repellants? Did you know those are considered pesticides? The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division (PPPM) works daily behind the scenes to make sure those products are properly registered and use safely. February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month, and MDARD is sharing its best practices and tips for using pesticides safely in and around your home.

Pesticides are vital tools used to manage a range viruses, pests, diseases, and weeds. In addition to agricultural products, pesticides include common household products such as insect repellents, antimicrobials, and disinfectants.

“Proper use helps maintain pesticides as important tools in our pest-control and public health toolbox especially around home pest control, agriculture and public health protection,” said Mike Philip, PPPM Division Director. “Just like with anything, always, read the label to ensure you are using the product correctly. In Michigan, the label directions are the law.”

Pesticide applications are just one method of pest control. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the scientific approach to combatting pests by using a variety of techniques to prevent pests from reaching unacceptable levels with the least possible impact on people, property, and the environment.

“Ensuring pesticide safety is a major initiative for MDARD,” added Philip. “Thanks to the ongoing support from the Governor and the legislature, MDARD continues to expand our outreach, education, and compliance assistance efforts and highlight the importance of integrated pest management plans to safely combatting pests.” Here are more pesticide safety tips to follow:

Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
Store pesticides out of the reach of children and pets, preferably locked up.
Use the amount specified on the label. Using more will not be more effective and may harm you, your family, and the environment.
Wash hands with soap and water after using a pesticide including insect repellents. Wash clothes that have been in contact with pesticides immediately and separately from other items.
Don’t let children and pets enter sprayed areas while they are still wet.

For more information about MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, visit