Pesticide Pollution Prevention
Keep Ant Spray Out of our Waterway!
To help prevent pesticide pollution, the first thing we should do is to prevent ants from coming into our home or business in the first place. By taking these steps, you may be able to avoid having an ant problem:
- Avoid leaving food or dirty dishes on counters or sinks. Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Avoid overwatering and fix leaks, inside and out.
- Store pet food in an air-tight container and avoid leaving uneaten pet food out.
- Apply caulk to openings on baseboards or around pipes to prevent ants from coming through.
- Apply foam insulation around windows.
- Keep landscaping neat and clear of weeds and debris to avoid ant nesting.
If you see ants inside, don’t disturb them just yet. Find out what the ants are after and where they are coming from. Use nontoxic alternatives that are better to use around humans and pets, and are better for the surrounding environment. Remove the food or liquid source and clean up the area with soap and water. Diluted vinegar works, too! From the inside entry point, spray the line of ants with soapy water and wipe up with a sponge. Ants communicate through scent-trails and the soap erases that trail.
If you must apply pesticide:
- Read and follow the instructions
- Spot apply instead of spraying entire areas
- Keep pesticide off of concrete and other hard surfaces
- Avoid applying when rain is predicted in the next couple of days
- Turn off your sprinkler system for at least 72 hours after applying
Avoid washing off pesticide from your lawn and garden. Whether it’s a garden hose, or sprinklers or rain, pesticides that get washed into the storm drain will pollute our Santa Clara River.
There has been a problem with excessive amounts of pesticides being washed off properties, down the gutter, into storm drains, and into the Santa Clara River. The river helps replenish local groundwater, which supplies approximately half of our drinking water. Use chemicals sparingly and follow the instructions carefully. If you apply chemicals before it rains or your sprinklers wash them away, then they are not doing their job, its polluting the river and you are washing money down the drain.
The bottom line… seal up your home to prevent ants from entering and don’t leave anything out for them to want to come in. If you must use chemicals, use them sparingly and don’t let them be washed away.
For more information, check out www.applyresponsibly.org.