Consumers

In Virginia (and most states), 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. We offer a variety of educational resources for consumers who use or are interested in pesticides or want to learn about alternatives to using pesticides. Other resources help consumers gain knowledge about common pests and pest control associated with our daily lives and environment.

Factsheets

Consumer Alerts -- What's important to consumers. This is where we put more newsy items of current issues relating to pests and pesticides in and around the home, food, and the environment.

Consumer News -- A quarterly newsletter for the consumer with questions about pesticides and their use in and around the home.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pest Control -- A series of questions relating to pest control services and pest control in and around the home.

What about Integrated Pest Management (IPM)? -- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) combines several appropriate pest control tactics into a single plan to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level. Using many different tactics to control a pest problem causes the least disruption to the living organisms and non-living surroundings at the treatment site. Relying only on pesticides for pest control can cause pests to develop resistance to pesticides, can cause outbreaks of other pests, and can harm surfaces and non-target organisms. With some types of pests, only using pesticides achieves very poor control.

The Pesticide Label -- If you decide to use a pesticide, you will most likely purchase these chemicals from a local outlet. Before you go to this outlet, please make sure you know what you are doing. You should already know what pest you are trying to control, how you are going to apply a pesticide (the types of equipment and methods available to you for application), and have established how important it is to control the pest.

How to Choose a Pest Control Company -- Termites are chomping away at your house. Roaches are taking over your kitchen. Mouse droppings dot your dresser drawer. Gypsy moths are eating trees in your front yard. Your lawn needs a major overhaul. You’ve got a pest control problem and you’ve decided that it’s too serious for you to solve on your own. You’ve decided you need a professional applicator. If you find yourself in a situation like this, what can you do to be sure that the pest control company you hire will do a good job?

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.

What happens if you or a member of your family is exposed to or poisoned by a pesticide? -- Pesticide poisonings can occur through careless handling, through accidental ingestion, and by contact with treated surfaces, containers, and application equipment. Many accidents can be prevented by careful handling, storage, and selection of safer products. Never store or leave pesticides where children, uninformed adults, or pets can contact them. Never leave a sprayer unattended or allow others to enter a treated area until the sprayed area is safe to reenter according to the label instructions.

Hokie BugFest -- Hokie BugFest is an annual fall festival celebrating the science of entomology -- a function of the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology. This page highlights the festival and our year-round youth and family education activities.

Other References & Resources

A variety of educational resources to help the consumers understand how to safely handle pesticides in the home and garden, and gain knowledge about common pests and pest controls associated with our food, water, air, homes, and other aspects of our daily lives.

Resources available through Virginia Cooperative Extension

Other Resources