Properly measuring concentrated formulations of pesticides is essential for their effective and safe use. The application rate for most insecticides and fungicides is given on the label in ounces per gallon of water used in the spray applicator. |
Usually, the more concentrated a formulation is the more hazard it poses. Dilute the concentrated pesticide and you reduce the hazard. The handling of the dilute mixture is thus reduced when compared to the concentrate. Use good judgment when figuring out the concentration and dosage of a pesticide; try to use the lowest concentration and/or dosage that is necessary to control the target species.
Mix only the amount of the product you intend to use. This can be accomplished by reading the information on the label under "application rate", generally in terms of gallons per acre, or 'gallons per 1000 square foot". Measure the area you intend to treat, and calculate the amount of material required to treat it. Storing left over mixed pesticides is generally not a good idea, but if you must, label the container according to contents and date mixed, and keep it tightly closed.
Remember, if the label specifies a dilution rate, you need to follow the label directions precisely.Many pest control products have brochures or instruction pamphlets enclosed or attached to their container. Before mixing up your pesticide, test out your sprayer with water to assure you will cover the recommended area with the recommended amount of diluted spray. If not, you will need to adjust your application rate accordingly by walking or spraying slower or faster.
Read the warning label. The warning label contains specific information about the product. Some obvious information may include the following. Its toxicity level.
* "CAUTION" means that it is mildly toxic. Lethal dose is an ounce or more. * "WARNING" means that it is moderately toxic. Lethal dose is between a teaspoon and tablespoon, * "DANGER" means that it is highly toxic. Lethal dose is trace amounts.
Insecticide or fungicide directions for fruit or ornamental trees often don't specify areas in square feet to be treated. They often say something such as "wet plants to dripping point, thoroughly cover both sides of leaves." For these applications or for spot treatments, it is also a good idea to test out your sprayer with water to see how much spray you need to cover a fruit or ornamental tree or other area. That way you'll know how much product to mix up.
Never use more than what the directions recommend. The pest will not be controlled any faster and you will be wasting the pesticide, your time, and money while potentially causing plant injury and contaminating the environment with excess chemicals. Mix up only as much as you need immediately; don't store leftover pesticide solutions. They may be susceptible to quality changes at high or very low temperatures or by settling out.
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