Pesticide Sprayer – Basic Principles of Spray Safety


Understanding the basics of pesticide sprayers and application helps to ensure the user and those coming in contact with the applicator and items the chemical was applied to will be safe.

For many common sense is all that is needed for adequate protection, however, at times we all need to be reminded of the basic “rules” to follow.

Before Spraying Pesticides

    • Make sure the personal protective equipment is in good condition.
    • Read the pesticide label BEFORE using. It is better to know all you can about the pesticide instead of having to react to a problem.
    • Put on the “proper” personal protective equipment required by the pesticide label. This includes protective clothing, gloves, goggles and respirator before mixing any spray material.

  • Apply pesticides labeled for what needs treating
  • Use wetting agents or surfactants (if applicable) for better “stick” and coverage
  • Use only the recommended amount. More is not always better and can be harmful.
  • Always keep pesticides safely out of reach of children and pets and in their original containers.When handling any concentrated form of pesticides which is the most toxic form be especially careful.
  • Always mix and prepare any materials to be sprayed in a well-ventilated area.
  • Remove objects like pet bowls, children’s toys and cover birdbaths etc. in the spraying area or nearby areas.

When Spraying

  • Check the weather avoid spraying on windy days and never spray into the wind. Stay away from spraying on rainy days which will reduce the overall spray effectiveness.
  • Do not smoke, drink or eat while spraying or mixing pesticides any of the three items can put the applicator in closer contact with the pesticides themselves. Wait until finished spraying and all materials have been handled and cleaned up – including you – before smoking, drinking or eating. Keep adults, children and pets away from the sprayed area.

Related Reading: Details on Pet-Friendly Weed Killers

After Spraying

  • Thoroughly clean up all spray equipment, hand-held and backpack sprayer tanks, nozzles bottles, gloves and goggles after spraying.
  • Dispose of any “throw away” clothing (spray suits) and wash clothes used while spraying separately from other clothes.
  • Shower and shampoo immediately to remove any residue from skin and hair.
  • The homeowner can safely

Any chemical pesticide available to the home gardener can be used safely without harm to the applicator, family members, pets, neighbors or the environment.

Simply be aware and knowledgeable about:

  • What you are doing
  • Use proper protective clothing and gear
  • Have respect for the pesticides and their effects
  • Use a little common sense

By following these basic guidelines, and you can have beautiful plants and lawn and enjoy them.

JOIN Our FREE Plant Care Newsletter 

By entering your email address you agree to receive a daily email newsletter from Plant Care Today. We'll respect your privacy and unsubscribe at any time.