For the professional or the DIY homeowner – here’s how to protect yourself when spraying herbicides or insecticides. The appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

7/19/18 – Matt Rohman

Each product has different toxicity. Insecticides can effect people more than herbicides (people share more genetically with insects than plants). Handling concentrates require much more care and protection than products after mixed with water. Even different herbicides react and behave differently when sprayed (oil based [esters] vs water based [amine]).

Below is a very broad overview based on products and methods we or the homeowner are likely to use – ALWAYS READ THE PRODUCT LABEL TO DETERMINE THE CORRECT PROTECTIVE GEAR YOU NEED.

Spraying herbicides or insecticides (Bifethrin specifically) after they are mixed with water:
  1. Long pants
  2. Long-sleeved shirt
  3. Safety Glasses
    • This has more to do with protecting your eyes from low tree branches than spray. You’ll be paying attention to the ground and you will hit stuff with your head!
  4. Waterproof gloves (the higher they go up your arm the better)
  5. Waterproof shoe covers
    • Waterproof hiking boots may “work” but 1) to take them off after spraying, your hands will likely come into contact with the chemical sprayed (laces, etc.) and 2) a lot of herbicides stink. If you spray your lawn then walk through it your hiking boots will smell like herbicide.
Handling Concentrates:
Wear the same PPE required for spraying mixed products plus most chemicals specify wearing:
  1. A waterproof apron
  2. A face shield

when handling and mixing concentrates.

The above is what we follow doing our professional applications day after day. That’s why you see us in long sleeves when it’s 80+ degrees out: safety. We typically don’t handle concentrates once we leave the shop.

We’ve never had a safety-related incident since we started in 1980.

These “if I didn’t work at” posts are intended to show the DIYer how to get professional results on their lawn. Stay tuned for more.