There are many types of insecticide available for use in your garden. You can choose from either an organic or synthetic form of insecticide. Whichever you choose, you will need to carefully follow certain guidelines to make sure your garden is not harmed. The following provides a few tips to help you use your insecticide safely and effectively.
Check the Weather
Keep in mind that any type of insecticide, whether it is commercial or organic, will need to remain on the plant for at least 48 hours to work effectively on the pests. This means that any rain that comes within that time can wash away the insecticide. The rain will also wash away the insecticide into the soil and groundwater supply. Make sure that there is not chance of rain for a few days after application.
Use Insecticide Well before Harvesting
This is not as important as with using organic insecticides, but very important when using commercial chemicals. Make sure that you apply the chemicals well in advance of any type of harvesting. You should leave several weeks in between the application and actual harvesting of the fruit or vegetable. Food that still has a residue of insecticide on it can taste bad and even make you sick.
Only Use What You Need
When using insecticides, following precise instructions is very important. Only mix the amount of chemicals that you need. This will keep you from using too much on your plants. Overuse can actually cause damage to the plants.
When you mix too much of the chemical, you are left with the problem of storing any excess. While you should only mix what you need, it is better to store the excess than try to use it in your garden. Store the chemicals in a cool, dry place. They should be locked in a cabinet that is off the floor and out of reach of small hands or animals. Keep the containers dry and free of any rust or heat. Heat can cause leakage or the chemicals to build up pressure and explode.
The best way to apply the insecticide to your plant is to use a sprayer. You want to stream the chemicals on your plant like you would in a normal watering. Spray over the entire plant, and pay particular attention to under the leaves and the stems. Do not spray directly into the soil. Keep the chemicals on the plant.
Clean up Thoroughly
After you finish using your insecticides, clean up thoroughly. Wash your hands and clothes immediately. Dispose of any containers and waste that is left over. It is best not to reuse any of the containers used in mixing your insecticide.
Using insecticides on your garden will help to keep it free and clear of any pests. However, pay close attention to the instructions to make sure you apply them safely.