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Environment issues pesticides guidance

27 April 2017

The Department of the Environment is reminding people about the safe way to use pesticides.

It follows queries raised recently about the use of herbicide along country road sides and the possible impact on wildlife and pets.

The department advises people to think about whether pesticides* are necessary or if suitable alternatives, such cutting back or removing weeds by hand, are appropriate.

It’s not illegal to use pesticides if used in the right way, but all chemicals, whether professionally or domestically applied, must be the right product for the problem they are targeting. Users must follow the instructions on the product label which give information about the following:

  • Dilution factor (the dosing rate)
  • Application rate
  • Weather conditions (including wind and forecast rainfall) during and after application
  • Safety precautions (for you, other people and animals)
  • Crop or situation

People using pesticides should wear the right protective clothing and all spraying should be done in suitable conditions so that the wind doesn’t cause it to drift on to non-target areas.

People should make every effort to avoid applying pesticides near water courses, wells and boreholes or surface water drains, but if absolutely necessary they must choose the right product and it must be carefully applied to avoid any product or spray drift reaching the water.

Disposal of applicators

Wash water from sprayers/applicators must be disposed of properly, for example, sprayed on to the areas of treated vegetation. On no account should sprayers or containers be washed in streams. Empty domestic pesticide containers can be carefully disposed of in a normal domestic bin (without being rinsed), as long as they are empty.

The department is also reminding people using contractors to apply herbicides that they too must follow Jersey’s pesticide and water pollution laws, and ensure that any staff or contractors hold certificates of competence, even if using an ‘amateur’ product.

Householders who pay gardeners to apply such products should also make sure that the person doing the work holds a certificate of competence.

Other methods

The Department of the Environment’s pesticide advisor Steve Thompson said “There are circumstances in which the correct use of pesticide can be beneficial, but the department would encourage anyone considering using or employing someone else to use pesticides to think about whether that’s the right approach or whether are there other methods available to achieve the same result.”

The Department for the Environment works closely with the Action for Cleaner Water Group and farmers to safeguard Island water sources. 

*Pesticides are chemical that kill insects or plants. Pesticides include fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and rodenticides. Herbicides are designed to kill plants.

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