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Posted on: July 3, 2019

Summer is HERE and so are those PESKY bugs!

Pesticide sprayed at plant

Did you know that when pesticides (including weed killer, insecticides, and fungicides) are sprayed on your lawn or garden, water from rain or overwatering can wash these chemicals down the sidewalk and into the storm drains and directly into local waterways? Unlike sewer systems, the water in storm drains is not treated before it reaches our local creeks and the San Francisco Bay.  While pesticides are designed to be toxic to certain organisms, they can often be harmful and kill other species in the marine system that are important for the entire ecosystem.

You can help reduce pesticide pollution:

  • Use non-chemical Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices as an alternative to pesticides. 
  • Purchase beneficial insects such as ladybugs to eat up destructive pests like aphids on your plants.
  • Grow native plants which have natural defenses to ward off insect pests and diseases.
  • Purchase household and garden products that are least toxic to the environment.
  • Use containerized baits for exterior treatment of ants and cockroaches instead of a perimeter spray to prevent runoff.
  • Don’t apply pesticides if it is windy, when rain is predicted, or prior to watering your lawn or garden.
  • Avoid applying pesticides to sidewalks, driveways, and other hard surfaces because the rain could carry them into the storm drains.
  • If you must use pesticides, do so carefully and sparingly.

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