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How to Use Atrazine

By Jacob J. Wright ; Updated September 21, 2017

Atrazine is a controlled-use herbicide that is a water-soluble white powder that is odorless. With proper use and application, it can be an effective control for annual and broad-leaf weeds and many perennial grass weeds. Proper personal protective equipment, such as long sleeved shirts and pants, socks and water-resistant shoes and gloves must be worn. Spraying a solution of atrazine directly onto weeds results in their demise, as the chemical disrupts the photosynthesis that creates food within the weed.

Put on appropriate personal protective equipment as advised on the atrazine product label. A long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks must be worn. Wear shoes that repel water and latex or thicker rubber gloves to protect your skin from coming in contact with the herbicide.

Mix the herbicide with water in a clean container, such as a spray tank or bottle. Follow dosage and procedures outlined on the product label. Agitate the solution with a stir-stick to ensure the powder herbicide is well-dissolved into the water.

Close the container in which the atrazine solution is housed and prepare to spray apply the herbicide to the weedy area. Again make sure your personal protective equipment is on.

Spray the atrazine solution onto the foliage of the weeds. Avoid spraying on windy days so no drifting mist from the spray accidentally falls upon nearby non-weedy, ornamental or crop plants. Do not overlap your spraying, meaning do not spray over foliage that has already been coated with the atrazine solution.

Rinse your gloves with water before removing them. Remove your protective clothing and wash them in hot water with detergent. Do not place atrazine-soaked clothing with other household laundry.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Full-length pants
  • Socks
  • Water-resistant shoes
  • Water-resistant gloves

Tips

  • Do not spray atrazine on windy days, and in certain warm-climate regions it's best used when temperatures are not too warm, to prevent damage on nearby plants.
  • Always follow the directions and warnings on the atrazine product label.

Warning

  • Atrazine, if over-used and misapplied, can infiltrate groundwater supplies. Prolonged exposure to this herbicide poses substantial health risks. It is a herbicide that requires appropriate protective clothing and equipment.

About the Author

 

Jacob J. Wright became a full-time writer in 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. He has worked professionally at gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Wright holds a graduate diploma in environmental horticulture from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware.