Neighbors' chemicals

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's spring and pest-control companies are spraying cosmetic pesticides — chemicals designed to simultaneously kill and make your lawn look good. Responding to an incident when a dog died shortly after a commercial-applicator applied pesticides, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food offers condolences and safety tips:

"Be proactive. When you see an applicator preparing to make an application on your or your neighbors' property, bring inside your children and your pets. Keep them in at least until the spray dries. Most licensed applicators work hard to do their job according to law and label, and are happy to answer questions about what they are applying. If you have any concerns, talk to them and ask for a copy of the pesticide label."

Problem is, oftentimes we don't see our neighbor's applicator. And having Grandma on the front porch doing neighborhood pesticide watch seems unacceptable. Nor should kids discuss anything with anyone's hired help if an adult isn't home.

Utah law requires that pest-control companies give notice to their customers of risks associated with these chemicals, but it doesn't require any thought for others who might be exposed, including neighbors.

The risk of chemical drift is real; talk to your neighbors.

Elva Jensen