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Consumer WARNING - Unregistered Pesticide Products!

Consumers should use caution when buying pest control products. EPA exempts a number of products called "25b" pesticides from registration. Many of these products lack sufficient safety and use information. Many are marketed with false and misleading claims. Avoid buying from door-to-door, online, or telephone sellers. When shopping in your local store, make sure any product you buy has a EPA Registration Number on the label. With bed bugs, brown-marmorated stinkbugs, and Asian lady beetles affecting our daily lives, we are seeing more "snake-oil" products. If in doubt, contact your local Extension agent for assistance.

Honeybee Swarm Removal

With the domestic honeybee in a worldwide health crisis, pesticides are even less of an acceptable option to dealing with swarms around the home. More and more local beekeeper organizations are offering swarm removal as a public service. The Virginia State Beekeepers Association has a link to most local beekeeper organizations in Virginia.

Consumer Applicators

Homeowner applicator.

Consumers use "general" use pesticides in and around their own homes and gardens in their daily activities. This is non-occupational pesticide use, does not require certification, and involves the use of home and garden products that are available in consumer retail channels.


There are a variety of educational resources available to help consumers use pesticides safely and/or learn about alternatives to the use of pesticides. Other resources help consumers gain knowledge about common pests and pest control associated with our daily lives and environment.


What happens if you spill a pesticide?

Every pesticide spill situation varies, but there are some basic procedures you can follow to protect you and your family if a spill emergency occurs. Spills occur due to breakage of glass containers, tipping open containers during mixing and handling, and sometimes from poor storage conditions. Avoid these situations and you will avoid most spill emergencies.

Some measures you can take to reduce the hazards of a spill include: 

  • Review your pest control priorities to determine if you need to use or store a pesticide in the first place. 
  • Don’t buy large containers or glass containers, which break more easily. 
  • Avoid liquid formulations if possible. 
  • Use readytouse products to avoid storing or handling concentrates. 
  • Don’t store pesticides in your living areas or where vapors from a spill can enter your home in some way. 
  • Don’t place containers where they will be easily knocked onto the floor and broken. 
  • Don’t store containers where heat or cold will cause chemicals to react or rupture containers. 
  • Don’t store containers where they will become wet or damaged.


The following diagram provides a 10-step process that works for most home and garden chemicals. If you have any doubts, contact the chemical manufacturer, your local Extension agent, or the groups listed in the Virginia Pesticide Information Directory (to follow).


Chemical Spill Kit

Here is a list of supplies you will need to handle most chemical spills. Try to keep these items handy if you store pesticides in your home.

  • chemical resistant gloves [2 pairs made from nitrile or neopreneif you can’t get these, rubber or vinyl will work but be careful since some chemicals can permeate (dissolve and enter through the glove surfaces) these materials easily] 
  • chemical resistant boots (1 pair made from neoprene rubber, or vinylagain be careful about permeation) 
  • absorbent material (1 large bag of kitty litter or other commercially available absorbent) 
  • detergent [strong household type such as Tide or All will work; trisodium phosphate (TSP) will work more effectively but be careful because this material can burn you] 
  • disposable pail (a 5-gallon bucket will workthis is a good place to store most of the items in a spill kit) 
  • disposable plastic bags (2 heavy-duty garden type bags) 
  • broom (household type with natural bristles) 
  • scoop or shovel
  • fire extinguisher [10 lb.—rated for chemical fires (A B & C type fires)]


Document Actions
Who to Call

For local assistance with consumer pest management and pesticide questions:

EPA Lawn & Garden Page

The EPA Lawn and Garden page provides a number of features of benefit to the average consumer and homeowner. This includes a series of videos to encourage homeowners and communities to adopt healthy lawn care practices as a means of reducing pesticide risk to human health and the environment.

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