Before using any pesticide for any pur­pose, read the label.   Reading and following label directions are the most important things you can do to protect the environment, the public, your coworkers, and yourself from pesticide exposure.   The label will tell you where and how to use the product.   It will list the legal uses for the product.   It may also note specific sites that may not be treated or application methods that are not permitted. Labels give directions for mixing and use. They also describe specific safety precautions. Follow all label directions to the letter.  Be sure you are applying pesticides at or below the label rate.   Use the proper application equipment.   Minimize the number of applica­tions you need to make, if possible.

Avoid the complacency that often comes with familiarity.   Pesticide label directions change.   Use sites are added  to and deleted from product labels.  Application rates, tim­ing, and number of applications permitted per season change.  Do not assume that, just because you have used a product before, you can remember all the label directions.  Do not assume that a product you buy this year will have exactly the same use directions and pre­cautions as the same product did in the past.

Study the site before making an applica­tion.   Observe the use patterns of people, pets, and wildlife.   Pesticide use around some buildings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, day-care  centers, and schools, requires very special care.   Identify sensitive areas and situations.  Have plans to prevent potential problems in place before application.   It may be helpful to post the treated area.   Be sure that people know about and observe reentry precautions.

Here  are  some special concerns for profes­sional  turfgrass managers:

  1. How will the pesticide affect the site?
  2. What nontarget organisms must be protected?
  3. Is there any chance for the pesticide to move offsite?