Be careful when using chemicals in the garden this spring, agency says


It's finally warm again outside and many Minnesotans may start tending more to their lawns, trees and gardens.

It's why the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has released a statement encouraging the "safe use of pesticides and fertilizers by following all label directions."

It's against the law in Minnesota to apply products without following the label instructions, noted the agency.

It's also important to store pesticides in a safe place, especially if there are children around. The Minnesota Poison Control System received 582 calls about pesticide exposures in children und age 5 last year.

The MDA recommends to avoid applying pesticides or fertilizers in windy conditions, which can cause products to drift and potentially harm people, pets or plants.

The organization also says to sweep sidewalks and hard surfaces of unused product and reapply it to the intended site.

For those Minnesotans who hire a professional to maintain their yard, the MDA notes that they must be licensed by their state agency to apply weed and feed products, plant nutrient fertilizers, or pesticides to control weeds, insects or fungi.

For information about applicator licenses, call the MDA at 651-201-6615. To report unlicensed applicators, please file a complaint on the MDA website ( or call 651-201-6333.

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