Not only must pesticides be applied at the right amount to a property, but it must also be applied uniformly. “Banding” or “striping” occurs when the applicator does not evenly apply fertilizer/pesticide products. In addition to hand-gun sprayers, three main types of equipment to spread fertilizer on urban landscapes: Drop Spreaders, Rotary Spreaders and Backpack Sprayers. The first two are for dry products. The third is for liquids.

General Principles:

  • Do not apply to frozen soil
  • Do not allow pesticides to enter bodies of water unless the label specifically allows for such use
  • Do not apply pesticides on impervious surfaces unless the label specifically allows for such use
  • Never wash pesticides into streets or onto sidewalks




The broadcast type of spreader is also called the rotary or cyclone type. These spreaders have a rotating disc that “throws out” a circular pattern of pesticide as it is pushed.


Newer models have a shield that prevents pesticide from being thrown in one direction. Using the shields is very important and they should be used to keep the pesticide from being cast into unwanted areas (such as bodies of water and impervious surfaces).


As with drop spreaders, it is advisable to apply half the pesticide in one direction and the other half in the other direction to enhance uniformity and prevent streaking.


An advantage of the broadcast spreader is its ability to spread pesticide over a fairly large area in a short time.

The exact pesticide distribution pattern of each broadcast spreader varies, but the general rule is for heavier particles to be thrown further away from the spreader and for the bulk of pesticide to be spread closer to the machine.


A problem with broadcast spreaders is their indiscriminate distribution of pesticide over a wide area. Unless one is careful, pesticide is placed on impervious surfaces or in bodies of water.