Herbicides are often used to control weeds at home, camp, and just about anywhere people are likely to get together. Applied correctly, they can assist in controlling unwanted weeds and plants. Applied incorrectly, herbicides or chemicals can be extremely dangerous to humans and animals, and impact the environment. Always check the local laws and guidelines and follow the instructions on the label before starting to apply any herbicide or chemical.
Proper Application Steps
- Read the label carefully before you start. For any herbicide use, the label will tell you: specific purpose of the herbicide; level of toxicity, with “caution” being the least toxic and “danger” the most toxic; herbicide safety information; protective clothing and equipment needed for weed killer application; instructions for herbicide use, storage, and disposal.
- Wear protective clothing and equipment: gloves, goggles, long sleeve shirt, long pants, hat, etc. Do not wash protective clothing used to apply herbicides with other laundry.
- Use the correct equipment for the herbicide application: dusters, sprayers or granular applicators (spreaders). If using personal applicators, check for leaking connections or nozzles. You can also choose ready-to-use products, such as sprays or aerosols to directly apply herbicides.
- If mixing herbicide, use according to the label, using the exact proportions: Mix only the amount that is needed. You should not store mixed herbicides. Calibrate equipment before the weed killer application.
- Choose the best day and time of day for safety in weed killer application: Breezy days can cause particle drift. Stop if the wind picks up. Mornings and evenings are better for application.
- Apply herbicides in a continuous manner with little overlap: Spray so you don’t have to walk or step in application areas. Follow specific label directions for application. Use all of the mixed herbicide.
- Clean up after application: Rinse spray equipment, flush hoses, and nozzles. Wash yourself, clothing, and protective equipment. Remove clothing before washing face, hands, and body.
- Store herbicides in original containers in a secured cabinet away from temperature extremes and from children and pets: Buy only what you need. If you must dispose of herbicides, contact a waste collection program. Rinse empty herbicide containers before wrapping in newspapers and sending to a sanitary landfill.
- Know which first aid procedures are required by reading the “Statement of Practical Treatment” on the pesticide label. General procedures include: rinsing skin immediately if herbicide gets on it; moving to fresh air if an herbicide is inhaled; have the container with you if you must seek medical help or contact a poison control center.