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Some Pesticides May Irritate Gardens

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Some Pesticides May Irritate Gardens

Pesticides are frequently used to eliminate irritating bugs and other insects, but some may linger in grass clippings and destroy gardens if used improperly.

Montana State University pesticide education specialist Cecil Tharp recently suggested consumers read pesticide labels twice before using the products to avoid doing damage to their gardens. A study conducted by MSU found that 80 percent of plant samples were contaminated by pesticides because the soil had come in contact with compost, manure and grass clippings.

Consumers should double-check labels and look out for pesticides that contain hazardous active ingredients, such as dicamba, picloram, aminopyralid, clopyralid and aminocyclopyrachlor. All of these agents can remain active for a long time after they are sprayed, so activities such as mowing the lawn could blow pesticide-contaminated clippings into gardens.

It's especially important to look at pesticide labels to ensure the products are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Sometimes retailers accidentally sell unlicensed products, which could have hazardous side effects when used.