Garden Sprayer Safety

Overview

Garden sprayers are used to kill pests and invasive plants that can harm a garden. While the especially harmful pesticides and herbicides can be applied only by licensed pesticide applicators, large quantities of pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to human health, and some individuals are hypersensitive to pesticides and herbicides.

Operating Manual

Read and fully understand the operating manual before using the pesticide or herbicide sprayer. Improper use of the sprayer can lead to chemical splashes that can harm the pesticide applicator, according to the University of California. Also, read the instructions on the pesticide label.

Maintenance

Before using the sprayer, inspect the sprayer to make sure it is not damaged and check to see if the sprayer needs cleaning before using it, according to the University of California. A broken sprayer might release chemicals that can be harmful to the operator.

Children

The pesticide sprayer should be kept out of reach of children. If possible, the sprayer should be stored in a locked container, according to Donnan, a website for professional landscapers.

Herbicide and Pesticide

The sprayer should not be used for both herbicide and pesticide treatments. Both sprayers should be marked for the kind of treatment applications that the sprayer will be used for in order to avoid confusion, according to Donnan.

Control

Low-pressure regulators are useful for avoiding spray drift. Spray drift can harm other plants and wildlife unintentionally and can also end up on human skin or be inhaled into the lungs, according to Donnan. Also, more of the chemical will need to be used to make up for the chemicals lost through drift. Pesticide and herbicide spraying is best carried out early in the day when the wind is lower so that the wind does not unexpectedly push the sprayed chemicals toward the sprayers or away from the intended plant. Do not spray the pesticides or herbicides when there is a forecast for a strong chance of rain within 24 hours, unless the pesticides or herbicides need to be watered-in to be effective.

Protective Equipment

The eyes and skin should be protected when applying pesticides and herbicides using the sprayer. Eyes can be protected with goggles if spray drift is a significant problem. Chemical resistant gloves and boots are very important, and a respirator is sometimes needed, according to Donnan. This equipment is especially important when using concentrated pesticides and herbicides. The sprayer should never be shot in a direction where people are present, according to the University of California.

Backpack Sprayer

When using the backpack sprayer, make sure that you can handle the weight of the sprayer and ensure that your footing is always stable. The surrounding area should be inspected for rocks that can be easily tripped over, according to the University of California. Acidic or flammable chemicals should never be put into the backpack sprayer because of how condensed the sprayer is.

Keywords: backpack sprayer, garden sprayers, harmful pesticides, human health

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.