Pesticide use in California is most common in agricultural areas. However, pesticides are used throughout the state in outdoor areas and buildings, including people's homes, schools, and workplaces. Knowing when and how pesticides are used where you and your family lives, works, and learns can help prevent contact with harmful pesticides.
The best way to avoid exposure to pesticides is to prevent pests before they become a problem. Simple techniques can include pulling out weeds, spreading mulch over soil, and properly storing food to detract unwanted pests.
When pesticides are needed, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation recommends a stepwise approach called integrated pest management (IPM). Using an IPM method, pesticides are only used when needed and in combination with other strategies for more effective long-term control of pests.
When pesticides are needed, there are important steps you can take to keep you and your family safe:
- Always store pesticides safely in their original container
- NEVER take pesticides from work to your home
- Always follow all instructions on the pesticide's label
- Use appropriate safety gear
- Wash your pesticide work clothing properly every day
If you have a question or concern about a pesticide application, you should immediately report it to your local County Agricultural Commissioner. Agricultural Commissioners investigate pesticide incidents and illnesses, and can assess penalties when needed. You can contact your Agricultural Commissioner by calling 1-87PestLine (1-877-378-5463).
Additional Resources on Pesticide Safety: