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Responsible stewards understand that pesticides serve a purpose – controlling or killing a pest in order to prevent or reduce damage and protect the environment. Learn about the different pesticide types and formulations, along with how to choose and apply them correctly.
When it comes to controlling unwanted pests, you have two choices, cultural or chemical. Cultural solutions include putting down mulch, pulling weeds by hand or drowning Japanese Beetles in soapy water. In terms of chemical solutions, there are three main types of pesticides:
When used appropriately, chemical solutions often require less work and offer longer-lasting results compared to cultural solutions.
Fertilizers feed your lawn and plants.
But many fertilizers are combined with pesticides to also control weeds or insects. Make sure you understand the type of product you're purchasing before you apply.
Pesticides come in sprays, concentrates, powders, gels, foams or granules. Each has a unique purpose and benefits.
Systemic pesticides are absorbed into the plant tissues through the roots or leaves and works internally to protect or cure the plant. For example, a systemic tree & shrub product is applied around the base of your tree, then absorbed by the roots, and works its way upward to protect to the tip of every leaf. But systemic protection doesn’t always start with the roots. Foliar-applied pesticides can be sprayed on and then absorbed through the leaves and stems of a plant as well.
Now that you know the difference between insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, along with the benefits of systemic products, you can make a more educated and responsible pesticide choice. Start with your target pest. Product labels list the insects, weeds or plant diseases that product controls.
But what if you don’t know what’s causing your issue? Or you identify the cause, but still don’t know the name of the pest?
Don’t worry. Click here for help identifying your insect, weed or disease, plus find multiple product recommendations to solve your issue. Or contact your local or state Cooperative Extension Agency for additional information and expert recommendations.
Always read and follow label instructions before applying any pesticides. Here are some tips you should know about Responsible Application.